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Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Chicken

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Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Chicken is a fantastic way to enjoy this extremely popular Chinese dish, but without all the breading. Moist chicken air fried to an even crisp, drizzled with a red sauce that’s sour yet sweet, and served with perfectly cooked bell peppers.

If you love Chinese food, then this air fryer sweet and sour chicken is a recipe you’re going to crave!

Air fryer sweet and sour chicken on plate.

Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Chicken

 

This homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe is so delicious, you won’t even miss the ease of ordering Chinese takeout. Isn’t it nice to know what ingredients go into your food and how they’re prepared?

This air fried chicken with sweet and sour sauce brings crisp chicken and the tangy sweet and sour sauce you love right to your own kitchen. Add a little regular soy sauce (or light soy sauce if you’re cutting back on sodium) and you’re going to have one heck of a tasty meal.

Serve it with some easy Chicken Fried Rice or some Air Fryer Avocado Egg Rolls (yum!) and you’ll have a complete dinner!

Close up of Air fryer sweet and sour chicken on plate.

 

Why You Will Love Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Chicken

This delish Chinese dish is:

  • Ready in about a half an hour.
  • Get real veggies with fresh bell pepper.
  • With our easy recipe, you get crispy chicken bites in every bite without all the breading.
  • As quick as ordering from Chinese restaurants for pick up or delivery.
  • Healthier than deep frying. Your chicken is not soaking up all those fats from the oil, like they do in a restaurant.
  • Easy to incorporate into your meal plans.
  • Lower calories than what you get from Chinese takeaway. Win-Win!

 

SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN INGREDIENTS

More info on the cooking method and the ingredients for this great recipe can be found in the recipe card below.

1 pound CHICKEN BREASTS: You can use chicken breasts or chicken thighs (boneless) cut into 1.5-2 inch bite size pieces.

1/2 tsp SALT AND BLACK PEPPER: Common spices to use in your light breading. Just a 1/2 teaspoon of each. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add other spices, like garlic powder or onion powder.

1/2 cup CORNSTARCH: Corn starch is what we’ll use to “bread” the chicken.

1 20 oz CAN PINEAPPLE CHUNKS: Feel free to use fresh pineapple or canned pineapple, they’re both delicious. I’m using canned pineapple chunks because it’s easier!

1 ONION: I used white onion to cut up with the bell peppers. But you can swap this out for other onion varieties, although this may alter the overall taste.

2 BELL PEPPERS: I like to use both red and green bell peppers as they bring a nice crunch to the meal, add a vegetable to the recipe and bring a nice pop of color to your dinner table.

NON-STICK OIL SPRAY: Just a little bit of vegetable oil spray will help crisp the outside of the chicken.

Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients

1/4 CUP KETCHUP: This is the base of the sauce.

1/4 CUP SUGAR: I use white sugar to help bring the sweet to the sweet and sour sauce. As a side note, you can also experiment with brown sugar for an even sweeter taste.

1/4 CUP RICE VINEGAR: You can use this or swap it out for white wine vinegar if needed. This goes into the sauce mixture and gives it those tangy flavors you love.

1/4 CUP WATER: We use water in the sauce to help get it to the right consistency.

1 TBSP MINCED GARLIC: A must have! Adds another dimension of flavor to the sweet and sour sauce.

1 1/2 TBSP PINEAPPLE JUICE: Pineapple juice is the sweetness and signature flavor in the sauce. If using canned pineapple for the chicken part of the recipe, use the juice from the can in the sauce. If using fresh pineapple, juice a few pineapple chunks.

Garnish

SESAME SEEDS: Sprinkle on top for garnish.

GREEN ONIONS: Add a few to add a pop of color for garnish.

Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Chicken ingredients in bowls on counter top with text overlay identifying each ingredient.

 

How to Make Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Chicken

This Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe makes 4 servings and it’s easy enough for a weeknight meal.

STEP 1: Prep ingredients. Prep your bell peppers by slicing into chunks (remove the seeds first). If you are using fresh pineapple instead of the canned, cut up pineapple into 1/2 inch chunks. Cut the chicken breasts into 1.5 to 2 inch size chunks. Chop green onions. Set all aside.

STEP 2: In a large bowl, combine cornstarch and salt and pepper. Roll the chicken chunks into the mixture to coat them.

STEP 3: Spray the air fryer basket with nonstick spray. Add the chicken pieces into the air fryer basket and then spray the chicken with the nonstick cooking spray.

TIP: Place the chicken pieces in a single layer so the hot air can cook them evenly.

Coated chicken in the bottom of the air fryer basket.

 

STEP 4: Air fry for 8 minutes at 380 degrees F and shake the basket halfway through the cook time.

STEP 5: Once done, move the chicken to one side of the air fryer basket and add the vegetables and pineapple to the open side.

Air fryer basket filled with chicken on one side and bell pepper, onion and pineapple on the other half.

 

STEP 6: Cook for another 8 minutes, making sure to shake the basket halfway through.

Chicken and vegetables mixed together in the bottom of the air fryer.

 

STEP 7: While the everything is cooking, mix the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a bubble and then remove it from the heat to let it cool down and thicken.

Sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a sauce pan.

 

STEP 8: Remove everything from the air fryer and place in a large bowl. Drizzle the sweet and sour sauce over the vegetables and chicken. Mix together.

STEP 9: Dish up each plat and garnish with sesame seeds and green onion.

Air fryer sweet and sour chicken on plate.

 

How to Store

Any leftover chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If possible, store the sauce separate from the chicken adn vegetables as they can make the chicken a little soggy.

How to Reheat

The best way to reheat your chicken and yummmy peppers is to pop everything right back in the air fryer. Cook at 380F for 4 minutes, checking on the warmth of the food periodically.

You can also reheat leftovers in the microwave but air frying brings the chicken nuggets and peppers back to a crisp bite.

Air fryer sweet and sour chicken on a fork with full plate underneath.

 

More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes

Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken

Crispy Air Fryer Panko Chicken Thighs

Easy Air Fryer Chicken Leg Quarters

One Pot Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas

 

Easy recipes are at the top of my list and this is the best Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe that’s simple to make! Serve this for your family and everyone will join the clean-plate-club tonight.

Yield: 4

Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Chicken

Air fryer sweet and sour chicken on plate.

Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Chicken is a fantastic way to enjoy this extremely popular Chinese dish, but without all the breading. Moist chicken air fried to an even crisp, drizzled with a red sauce that's sour yet sweet, and served with perfectly cooked bell peppers.

If you love Chinese food, then this air fryer sweet and sour chicken is a recipe you're going to crave!

Prep Time 14 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 1 pound chicken breasts or chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/2 cup corn-starch (or potato starch)
  • 1 can pineapple chunks, canned
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 Red bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped
  • 2 green onions for garnish

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 water
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pineapple juice from the can

Instructions

  1. Prep ingredients: Prep bell peppers by slicing into chunks (remove the seeds first). If you are using fresh pineapple instead of the canned, cut up pineapple into 1/2 inch chunks. Cut the chicken breasts into 1.5 to 2 inch size chunks. Chop green onions. Set all aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cornstarch and salt and pepper. Roll the chicken chunks into the mixture to coat them.
  3. Spray air fryer basket with nonstick spray. Add chicken in a single layer into air fryer basket in a single layer and spray the chicken with the nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Air fry for 8 minutes at 380 degrees F. Shake basket halfway through the cook time.
  5. Once done, move chicken to one side of the air fryer basket and add in the vegetables and pineapple to the open side.
  6. Cook for another 8 minutes. Shake the basket halfway through.
  7. Mix the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a bubble and then remove it from the heat to let it cool down and thicken.
  8. Remove everything from the air fryer and place in a large bowl. Drizzle the sweet and sour sauce over the vegetables and chicken. Mix together.
  9. Dish up each plate and garnish with sesame seeds and green onion.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 457Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 348mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 44g

Nutritional values are estimates and not exact.

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