Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken

Published March 14, 2012. Updated February 12, 2024

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Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken is the easier, HEALTHIER version of your favorite takeout dish! Perfectly cooked chicken, juicy pineapple, crunchy onions and peppers, all swimming in the delicious sauce and served over fluffy steamed rice will become a family favorite that’s perfect for busy weeknight dinners. 

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken

Finally, a sweet and sour chicken recipe that’s incredibly delicious but not fried!  I created this recipe because so often I would avoid making sweet and sour chicken because of its fry cooking method.  I love sweet and sour chicken so I decided I needed to create a recipe that I wouldn’t avoid making because it was fried.

I believe this recipe tastes equally as good as any of its fried sweet and sour chicken competitors.  Not to mention the prep time for this recipe takes about a quarter of the time its fried opponent takes.  It’s unbelievably easy to make.  It’s as easy going to pick up Chinese take-out.

Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour ChickenBetter Than Takeout

One thing I love about slow cooker recipes is that they allow the food hours to marinate.  The flavors are just given so much time to blend together and really develop.  I think that is one reason this Sweet and Sour Chicken tastes so amazing!  Also, your heart will thank you later if you try this recipe and skip out on the fried option.

Another reason I love this Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken is that it’s really easy to make ahead. Prep your ingredients and throw them in a container or freezer-safe bag on a meal prep day (I sometimes prep meals for a busy week ahead by chopping and assembling everything on the weekend). Pull the bag out of the fridge and dump it into your slow cooker in the morning before you start a crazy day, and come home to a perfectly satisfying and healthy meal. Or stash the prepped slow cooker meal in your freezer for a week when you need something fast and delicious.

Note that if you hate onion pieces then you can leave them out but I would recommend adding 1/2 tsp onion powder in its place.  Enjoy!

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Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken

Easiest ever sweet and sour chicken made in the slow cooker!
Servings: 5
Prep15 minutes
Cook5 hours 20 minutes
Ready in: 5 hours 35 minutes



  • Place diced chicken in a slow cooker. In a mixing bowl combine, 1/2 cup chicken broth, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, soy sauce, tomato paste, garlic powder, ginger, pepper and optional hot sauce. Whisk until well blended. Pour mixture over chicken in slow cooker, press chicken into sauce to cover. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook chicken on low heat for 5 - 6 hours.
  • In a small mixing bowl, stir together 1/3 cup chicken broth and 1/3 cup cornstarch. Whisk until well blended then gently fold cornstarch mixture into chicken mixture (chicken will be very tender that's why I say "fold"). Fold in diced pineapple, onion and bell pepper. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook mixture on low for an additional 20 - 30 minutes until sauce thickens and fruit/veggies are slightly tender. Serve warm with white or brown rice.

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  • Brooke Noble

    Yum! I made this for my family the other day and they loved it! I added in more pepper, pineapple, and onion. I didn’t have any cornstarch, so I used 1/2 cup of flour instead. I will probably add less sugar next time because it was a little too sweet for me. But overall, very yummy. Thank you!

  • DebraMN51

    Have you tried it with Splenda and or Brown Sugar Splenda?

    I think I will try this but I will probably add the pineapple and sauce as directed and saute the onions and peppers during the 20 minute cooking time for pineapple to warm up before and add them at the last minute.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I haven’t tried those before but if you do please let me know how it turns out!

  • Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe | Six Sisters' Stuff

    […] sauce thickens and fruit and veggies are slightly tender.  Serve over rice. (Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy) Looking for more delicious slow cooker recipes? Here are a few of our favorites: Slow Cooker […]

  • suzy

    Just made this tonight and it was yummy. I cooked on low for 4 hours and I think when i make it again I will only do 3 hours. The chicken was a bit dry for my taste and my slow cooker. Cut up chicken cooks very fast. Other wise the taste is great. I used red peppers and served it with brown rice. I topped it with chow mein noodles for the kids. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Anonymous

    HI! Do you think I could use pork instead of chicken? Also, could I use ground ginger instead? About how much of it? Thanks!

    • Jaclyn

      Yeah I think pork would also be good, and do you mean fresh ginger in place of the ground ginger? If so I would probably increase it to 1 tsp finely grated fresh. I hope you enjoy!

  • Kyra

    I have never had luck with chicken in my slow cooker. Perhaps mine is just very hot? Or is it because it’s a larger one and it would work better in the smaller size crock pot? I made this last night and the flavor was very good (although might use less cornstarch next time) but my chicken was so dried out. It was to the point where it was oddly dried but almost sauce-logged if that makes sense? I added celery! Yum!

    • Jaclyn

      Krya – It could be your slow cooker but someone else mentioned they thought the 6-8 hours was too long so maybe you’ll just want to reduce the time it cooks slightly next time. I’m glad you liked the flavor =).

    • Rachel Wheeler

      Another possibility might be the size of the pieces. Over the years I have noticed quite a lot of variation in chicken fillet sizes. The recipe suggested 3 breast halves. It may be that your breast halves were smallish and didn’t need to be cut into so many pieces. Just a thought.

  • Anonymous

    I really liked the flavor of the sauce, it was yum. But, 6-8 hrs in the crockpot for cut up chicken left our chicken pretty dried out. I would probably do more like 2-3 hrs on low if I made this again. Thanks for the recipe.

    • DebraMN51

      I was wondering if you remembered to press the chicken into the sauce before cooking it? If your chicken was in the sauce while cooking and came out dry, maybe the thermostat on your slow cooker is broken.

  • Sarah @ Feed My Family

    We just had this tonight and really enjoyed it. I also added some carrots and celery. I’ve tried numerous recipes, trying to duplicate the taste you get from the packet of seasoning and this is far and away the best we’ve had! We’re looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow.