Skip the Chinese restaurants and make your own popular dish with this Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe. Cubed chicken breasts, pineapple chunks, and colored bell peppers are slowly cooked in a sweet and sour sauce made from scratch. This is sure to become one of your favorite recipes.
If you love the taste of Asian flavors, you may also enjoy my Slow Cooker Mongolian Chicken or a Pepper Steak.
Why this sweet and sour chicken recipe works
It’s no doubt that sweet and sour chicken is one of the most popular meals served at Chinese restaurants. It also just so happens to be one of the easiest to recreate in your kitchen. The ingredients are simple, the prep is easy, and the cooking time is minimal. Then, when you add in using the crock pot for cooking, it gets even better. You’ll have a fully cooked, Asian-inspired meal packed with lots of flavors in just a few hours.
- Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breasts are cubed, coated with cornstarch, and lightly fried before being added to the slow cooker.
- Pineapple Chunks: About one cup of canned pineapple chunks is used for this recipe. It’s one of the main ingredients and also what adds sweetness to the sweet and sour recipe.
- Bell Peppers: Yellow, orange, and red bell pepper are cut into oversized squares, adding a nice and tender crunch.
- Corn Starch: This is used as a breading and coats chicken chunks before they are lightly fried.
- Sweet and Sour Sauce: Soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, ginger, and chili garlic sauce (optional) are whisked together to create the yummy sweet and sour sauce.
- Pineapple juice: You’ll pour this in the crockpot separately from the sweet and sour sauce.
- Vegetable Oil: Used to brown the chicken pieces on all sides lightly.
Step One – Pour the sauce ingredients into a medium bowl.
Step Two – Whisk the sauce ingredients together until well combined and set aside.
Step Three– Add the chicken chunks and cornstarch into a large Ziploc bag.
Step Four – Shake the bag until the pieces are evenly coated with the cornstarch.
Step Five – Add the vegetable oil to a large skillet heated over medium high heat and lightly sear the chicken on all sides.
Step Six – Add pineapple, the cooked chicken, chopped bell peppers, sweet and sour sauce, and pineapple juice to the slow cooker.
Step Seven – Stir all of the ingredients together until combined and coated with the homemade sauce.
Step Eight – Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 3 to 4 hours. Serve and enjoy!
How to serve
- Sweet and sour chicken always pairs well on a bed of white rice or vegetable fried rice – both of which are easy to make or purchased already cooked.
- You can also serve this dish with veggie tossed noodles similar to vegetable lo mein or steamed snow peas.
- Prawn crackers also make a great combination for this meal. They will soak up the sauce and flavors while creating a nice crunch.
- When it comes to toppings, sprinkle some sesame seeds and chopped green onions for added flavor. And don’t forget to drizzle over some extra sauce.
Yes. Chop (or cut) them into the cubes and cook just like you would the chicken breasts. If you use chicken thighs, be sure to trim them well.
Absolutely. Store the cubed chicken in a Ziploc bag and in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. And you can go ahead and make the sauce mixture and store it in an airtight container in the fridge as well. Cook within three days of storing.
Adding red pepper flakes or red chili flakes as a finishing garnish will help add spice. You can also add these directly to the sauce mixture as well.
Pour the cooled leftovers into an airtight storage container and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You can use a 4 quart or larger slow cooker.
The chili garlic paste adds a bit of heat to the sweet and sour chicken and can be left out if desired.
Yes! They will cook and taste the same in this crock pot sweet and sour chicken recipe.
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Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken
For the Sauce:
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
- 1 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce Sambal Oelek (Optional)
For the Chicken:
- 1.5 lbs chicken breast Cut Into 1 Inch Pieces
- ¼ cup corn starch
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 red bell pepper deseeded and diced
- 1 orange bell pepper deseeded and diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper deseeded and diced
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Place the cut chicken and corn starch into a large zip top bag and shake to coat, set aside.
- In a large frying pan, heat the 1 tbsp vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the coated chicken and fry until golden brown on all sides. (the goal here is to just brown the outside of the chicken, not to cook all the way through) Remove the chicken from the heat and set aside.
- To the slow cooker, add the cut bell peppers, browned chicken, pineapple juice and pineapple chunks. Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture and stir.
- Cook on HIGH for 2 hours or on LOW for 3-4 hours.
- Serve with rice and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions. Enjoy!
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container, reheat in the microwave.
- The chili garlic paste adds a bit of heat to the sweet and sour chicken and can be left out if desired a 15 ounce can of pineapple chunks with juice can be used.
- Steamed snow peas go great with this recipe.
Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.
Ideal! Made this today and it was a big hit! Thank you!
Trevor Hyland says
I use my slow cooker all the time and recipes like this would enable me to explore even more delicious meals.