Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken


Deliciously flavorful sweet and sour chicken without the deep frying! Bite size chicken pieces are tossed with cornstarch and seared then veggies are sautéed until tender crisp, and to finish both are tossed with flavorful sweet and tangy sauce. So tasty!

Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken | Cooking Classy

Sweet and Sour Chicken Made Lighter!

I love Chinese take-out but isn’t it just that much better when you make it at home?

I do love all the different kinds of fried Chinese chicken but I prefer not to eat fried foods very often so I’ve started making lighter versions of the classics that aren’t deep fried in oil.

Instead they are sautéed in small amounts of oil and I also work to cut back on the sugars in the sauces. This Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken is the perfect example that lighter versions of Chinese take-out can be just as good as the calorie heavy, high fat versions!

Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken | Cooking Classy

This version is dredged in a egg and cornstarch mixture before it’s cooked which gives it a light crust and helps the sauce stick.

It’s packed with veggies and fruit to make it healthier and of course you’ll get plenty of protein from the chicken.

Who could resist this healthier take on sweet and sour chicken? It has just the right amount of sweet and tart to it and it will leave you craving more! This is my idea of a delicious weeknight dinner my whole family can enjoy!

Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken | Cooking Classy

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Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken

5 from 1 vote

Deliciously flavorful sweet and sour chicken without the deep frying! Bite size chicken pieces are tossed with cornstarch and seared then veggies are sautéed until tender crisp, and to finish both are tossed with flavorful sweet and tangy sauce. So tasty!

Servings: 5
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes



  • 1/2 tsp extra light olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp peeled, minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch


  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Salt and white or black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp extra light olive oil or vegetable oil

Veggie mixture

  • 2 tsp extra light olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 bell peppers, diced into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or canned pineapple chunks (drain if using canned)


  1. For the sauce: Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and saute 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of the chicken broth, rice vinegar, honey, brown sugar, tomato paste, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. 
  2. Season lightly with salt and pepper. In a small bowl whisk together remaining 2 Tbsp chicken broth with 1 Tbsp cornstarch, pour into sauce mixture. 
  3. Return to heat and bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, and allow to boil until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. For the chicken: In a medium mixing bowl whisk together cornstarch, egg whites, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper until well blended and slightly frothy. Add in chicken and toss to evenly coat. 
  5. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken (work to space evenly apart) and cook, turning pieces occasionally, until cooked through and outsides are golden brown, about 7 minutes.

  6.  Transfer chicken to a plate and repeat process with remaining 1 Tbsp oil and chicken.
  7. For the veggie mixture: While the chicken is cooking, in a large skillet heat 2 tsp oil over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers and onions and saute until tender, about 6 - 8 minutes, adding in pineapple during last minute.
  8. Return chicken on plate to saute pan with chicken. Add veggie mixture and sauce to chicken. Toss to evenly coat. Serve warm over white or brown rice.
Nutrition Facts
Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 387 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 87mg29%
Sodium 489mg21%
Potassium 791mg23%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 1285IU26%
Vitamin C 75.2mg91%
Calcium 33mg3%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Sweet and Sour Chicken
Calories: 387 kcal
Author: Jaclyn


  • Jules: Is there a possible non-seafood option to substitute for the oyster sauce? (seafood allergies) I am looking forward to making this sans the oyster sauce. January 13, 2019 at 8:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You can just omit it. January 30, 2019 at 11:44pm Reply

  • Deborah: You have this labeled as gluten free. With the use of soy sauce that is untrue. This also has oyster sauce which is also NOT gluten free! March 24, 2016 at 10:28pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m not sure where you are seeing that I have it labeled as gluten-free because I didn’t label it as such (I’m very careful about adding that label because I know how dangerous it can be to people if it’s not truly gluten free)? If you are seeing that on pinterest/instagram etc. that is from someone else adding it. BUT as far as I know this could be made gluten free as there are a select few brands of soy sauce out there that are gluten free (or gluten free tamari could be used) and there are some gluten-free oyster sauces as well Then of course as with anything if on a strict gluten free diet you’d want to make sure the other ingredients used have the label that they are gluten free. March 25, 2016 at 12:18am Reply

  • Jessica: No, I’m just not a big fan of rice either :D October 26, 2015 at 7:22am Reply

  • Jessica: I really like the idea of this. I’m not sure about the pineapple, though. The thing about sweet and sour recipes that I try to avoid as much as I can is making them too sweet.
    Do you think it will go well with broccoli instead of rice? October 13, 2015 at 11:39pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I might try cauliflower rice if you are trying to make it low carb? October 19, 2015 at 11:10pm Reply

  • Krystle: This looks really yummy. Since it’s lighter I won’t have to feel guilty about seconds! October 13, 2015 at 9:18pm Reply

  • james juszczyk: when making the sauce, may I suggest that you add the pineapple juice that you drained fron the can… October 13, 2015 at 4:07pm Reply

  • Melanie: This looks amazing, and I love the sprinkling of sesame seeds over it all. Looking forward to trying it out. October 13, 2015 at 9:47am Reply

  • Medeja: Looks so yummy! Must try :) October 13, 2015 at 2:49am Reply

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