5 from 6 votes
Home » Recipes » Slow Cooker Recipes » Simple Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Simple Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for details.

Slow cooker sweet and sour chicken is an easy slow cooker chicken recipe. Diced chicken, pineapple chunks, peppers, and more, all smothered in a homemade sweet and sour sauce. This sweet-and-sour chicken recipe is one of our favorites to serve with a bed of rice.

Sweet and Sour Chicken on a silver plate topped with rice and garnished with chopped green onion and sesame seeds.

Want To Save This Recipe?

Enter your information below, and I’ll send it straight to your inbox! Plus, you’ll get complimentary gifts!

Save Recipe

By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from Kim Schob.

This is a family favorite and is so easy to throw together in no time. This easy recipe is a slow-cooker sweet and savory style recipe. Make Chinese food at home with everyday ingredients.

Do you love Chinese-inspired recipes? Try out my slow cooker beef broccoli as well. Or try out this pineapple pork slow cooker recipe for another sweet and savory recipe.

  • Effortless Preparation: One of the greatest advantages of this slow cooker recipe is its simplicity. With minimal prep time, all you have to do is place the ingredients into the cooker and let time do the rest. Great on a busy day!
  • Versatility in Serving: This dish pairs beautifully with various sides, from classic steamed rice to quinoa, for those seeking a healthier twist, making it a versatile option for any meal.
  • Leftover Friendly: Not only is it a hit on the first day, but the flavors of the sweet and sour chicken further intensify overnight, making leftovers something to look forward to.
  • Customizable to Taste: Whether you prefer a tangier sauce or an extra kick of spice, this recipe is easily customizable, allowing anyone to adjust the flavors to their specific liking.

Key Ingredients

Peppers, pineapple, onion, chicken breast, soy sauce, and other ingredients on a marble countertop.
  • Chicken Breasts – You can use chicken breasts, tenderloins, or boneless chicken thighs. Diced chicken is key.
  • Carrots, Peppers, and onion – These are the three veggies used in the crockpot chicken dish. I used a mix of pepper colors.
  • Pineapple Chunks – Canned pineapple works great for this recipe.
  • Cornstarch – Cornstarch is the thickening agent of the dish.
  • Soy Sauce – The base is soy sauce; you can use a low-sodium soy sauce if you would like.
  • Honey – The sweetener in the sauce; you could use agave if needed.
  • Garlic, Ginger, Chili Paste, Tomato Paste – The base of the sauce is these ingredients. It is going to add lots of flavor.
  • White Wine Vinegar and Worcestershire Sauce – These two ingredients are the last two for the sauce. Smokey and tangy is what you will get with them.

The complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Protein Swap: If you’re not a fan of chicken or simply want to shake things up, try using cubed pork or shrimp as an alternative. Tofu can be a great option for a vegetarian version.
  • Veggies Variety: Feel free to incorporate more vegetables like snap peas, broccoli, or baby corn to add more nutrition and color to the dish.
  • Pineapple Alternatives: If pineapple isn’t your thing, mango chunks can provide a similar tropical sweetness.
  • Sauce Adjustments: For a lower sugar option, you can reduce the honey or replace it with a sugar-free sweetener. If you need a gluten-free option, ensure your soy sauce is gluten-free.
  • Cornstarch Substitution: Arrowroot powder can be used in place of cornstarch as a thickening agent if needed.

How To Make Easy Slow Cooker Sweet And Sour Chicken

Collage of creating sweet and sour chicken.
  1. Load the slow cooker with the chicken and your choice of vegetables. (Photo 1)
  2. In a separate container, whisk the sauce ingredients together before drizzling the mixture over the top of the chicken, ensuring it’s well covered. Give it a stir. (Photos 2 & 3) Close the lid and set it to cook on low.
  3. Once cooked, extract the chicken to shred or dice and then reintroduce it into the crock pot. (Photo 4)
Collage of steps for sweet and sour chicken.
  1. Mix the pineapple juice with cornstarch to create a slurry and fold it into the crock-pot to thicken the existing sauce. (Photos 5 & 6)
  2. Finish by sprinkling sesame seeds and slicing green onions for garnish, or pair the dish with a side of wholesome brown rice.
A plate of sweet and sour chicken topped with rice.

Recipe Tips 

  • You can sweeten it with brown sugar instead of honey if you would like.
  • Use all green bell peppers, or do a mix of red bell pepper and orange or red and green bell pepper. It is your choice.
  • Add in a can of drained water chestnuts.
  • Leave out the pineapple if you would like to not have it in the chicken mixture.
  • Drain the chunks of pineapple when you put it in the crockpot. You will use the juice for later.
  • This is a sticky sauce, so once the cornstarch goes in, it takes a bit to thicken. Takes about another 30 minutes in the cooking process.

Alternative Cooking Methods

For those who want to speed up the cooking process or prefer using different kitchen gadgets, this recipe is versatile and can be adapted to various cooking methods:

  • Instant Pot: To cook sweet and sour chicken in an Instant Pot, use the ‘Sauté’ function to brown the chicken and vegetables before adding the remaining ingredients. Cook under high pressure for 5 minutes, followed by a quick release. Use the ‘Sauté’ function again to add the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce.
  • Stovetop: You can easily prepare this dish on the stovetop as well. Simply cook the chicken and vegetables in a large skillet or wok, stir in the sauce ingredients, and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened. Use a cornstarch slurry to achieve the desired sauce consistency.
  • Oven Baked: Another alternative is to bake the chicken and vegetables with the sauce in an oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C), combine all ingredients in a baking dish, and bake covered for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the sauce has thickened.

Storing Tips 

To maintain the freshness and flavors of leftover Sweet and Sour Chicken, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also freeze the dish for extended storage; place it in a freezer-safe container or bag, squeezing out as much air as possible before sealing. It’ll keep well for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw overnight in the refrigerator if frozen.

For reheating, place the leftovers in a microwave-safe dish and cover it, heating on high for 2-3 minutes or until hot throughout. Alternatively, for a crispier texture, reheat in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it’s warmed to your satisfaction. If necessary, add a splash of water to loosen the sauce up.

Serving Suggestions

Serve your chicken with white rice, or even try this cilantro lime rice

For a flavorful twist, consider pairing your Sweet and Sour Chicken with other grains such as quinoa or Jasmine rice. Vegetables such as roasted Brussels sprouts could complement the dish, providing a balanced and nutritious meal. 

Closeup of sweet and sour chicken with rice.

Recipe FAQs

Is sweet and sour chicken the same as orange chicken?

Orange chicken offers a sweet and tangy flavor that provides a citrus flavor. Sweet and sour are sweeter, with a hint of tartness and more of a pineapple flavor.

Why is sweet and sour sauce red?

So some sweet and sour is red from food coloring. Others are the ingredients that just offer that tinge of red color. You can always add food coloring to change up the color of the sauce if you want.

Can I use other chicken parts? 

Yes! Skinless chicken thighs will work just as well. 

More Crockpot Recipes To Try

Did you make this recipe? Rate it!

Or any other delicious recipes on my site? If so, please leave a ★★★★★ star rating below and a 📝 comment sharing your thoughts!

To ensure you’re not missing a thing. Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along below!

Sweet and sour chicken garnished with chopped green onion and sesame seeds.
5 from 6 votes

Simple Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe


Author: Kim Schob
Course: Main Dishes, Slow Cooker & Crockpot
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
Slow cooker sweet and sour chicken is an easy slow cooker chicken recipe. This sweet-and-sour chicken recipe is one of our favorites to serve with a bed of rice.

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ lbs (680 ⅖ g) chicken breast
  • 2 carrots chunks
  • 1 red pepper chunks
  • 1 yellow pepper chunks
  • 1 onion chunks
  • 8 oz (226 ⅘ g) pineapple chunks
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Garnish:
  • 2 tablespoons green onion chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • ¼ cup (59 ⅐ ml) soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste

Instructions

  • Load the slow cooker with the chicken and your choice of vegetables.
    2 carrots,1 red pepper,1 yellow pepper,1 onion,1 ½ lbs chicken breast
  • In a separate container, whisk the sauce ingredients together before drizzling the mixture over the top of the chicken, ensuring it’s well covered. Give it a stir.
    ¼ cup soy sauce,2 tablespoons honey,2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce,1 tablespoon white wine vinegar,1 tablespoon tomato paste,1 tablespoon garlic,1 tablespoon ginger,2 teaspoons chili paste
  • Close the lid and set it to cook on low.
  • Once cooked, extract the chicken to shred or dice and then reintroduce it into the crock pot.
  • Mix the pineapple juice with cornstarch to create a slurry and fold it into the crock-pot to thicken the existing sauce.
    8 oz pineapple chunks,2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Finish by sprinkling sesame seeds and slicing green onions for garnish, or pair the dish with a side of wholesome brown rice.
    Garnish:,2 tablespoons green onion,2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Notes

  • You can sweeten it with brown sugar instead of honey if you would like.
  • Use all green bell peppers, or do a mix of red bell pepper and orange or red and green bell pepper. It is your choice.
  • Add in a can of drained water chestnuts.
  • Leave out the pineapple if you would like to not have it in the chicken mixture.
  • Drain the chunks of pineapple when you put it in the crockpot. You will use the juice for later.
  • This is a sticky sauce, so once the cornstarch goes in, it takes a bit to thicken. Takes about another 30 minutes in the cooking process.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 229kcal (11%) Carbohydrates: 23g (8%) Protein: 26g (52%) Fat: 3g (5%) Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0.01g Cholesterol: 73mg (24%) Sodium: 784mg (34%) Potassium: 747mg (21%) Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 15g (17%) Vitamin A: 3630IU (73%) Vitamin C: 57mg (69%) Vitamin D: 0.1µg (1%) Calcium: 46mg (5%) Iron: 2mg (11%)

Hungry for more?

Follow me on Pinterest and make sure to comment below!

Get 3 FREE Conversion charts + Bonus!

When you subscribe to the latest updates, recipes, and content.

5 from 6 votes (1 rating without comment)

Rate + Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This slow cooker sweet and sour chicken is a game-changer for busy nights! I just threw everything in, and hours later we had a yummy meal!

  2. 5 stars
    Oooh, such a great use for the slow cooker. The flavors sound amazing and I love all the vibrant colors from the vegetables.

  3. 5 stars
    This is a great way to approach dinner during the week. The days are bananas, extra-curricular activities with the kids in the evening—recipes like this are lifesavers! Not to mention it was delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    Now that our kids are back to school after the holidays I was needing a quick and easy recipe for the weekend. This was not only perfect, but so delicious! Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    Such a yummy sweet and sour chicken and so easy to make in the slow cooker – my kids always order this takeout so this is a delicious way to make it homemade now!

You May Also Like...