Overhead view white bowl with serving of sweet and sour chicken over rice.

Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken (Full of Veggies, Lower In Sugar)

This familiar dish gets a health upgrade and tastes so delicious with the addition of a homemade lower-sugar sweet and sour sauce plus many nutritious veggies. This recipe cooks quickly on the stovetop for an easy weeknight dinner the family will love.

Prep: 20 minsCook: 20 minsTotal: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings (6 cups) 1x


  • 1 (14-ounce) can of pineapple chunks in 100% juice; drained (½ cup juice reserved)
  • ⅓ cup ketchup (we recommend unsweetened natural ketchup, such as Primal Kitchen)
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos*
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (or 1½ tablespoons arrowroot starch)
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ¾-inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil, divided 
  • 2 medium bell peppers, any color, cut into ¾-inch pieces (2 cups) 
  • ½ medium yellow onion, cut into ¾-inch pieces (1 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • Optional garnish: 2 green onions, thinly sliced, and sesame seeds


  1. In a small bowl, combine the reserved ½ cup pineapple juice, the ketchup, vinegar, coconut aminos, garlic powder, and ground ginger; whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in the cornstarch until no lumps remain. Set aside the sweet and sour sauce
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken pieces with the salt and pepper; toss well to coat.
  3. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add 1 teaspoon of oil and reduce the heat slightly. Add the chicken and cook 2-3 minutes without stirring. Flip the chicken pieces over when they release easily from the pan and are lightly browned. Continue cooking until the chicken is almost cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate and increase the heat for the pan to medium-high heat.
  4. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the same skillet (no need to wipe it out first) and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the onion and carrots; cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes. Add the bell peppers and continue cooking, stirring often, until the vegetables are crisp tender, 4-5 minutes more.
  5. Return the cooked chicken to the skillet and add the drained pineapple chunks to the skillet. Stir the sweet and sour sauce again, then pour it over the ingredients in the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens and the vegetables are tender. 
  6. Remove the skillet from the heat. If desired, garnish with sliced green onions and/or sesame seeds.
  7. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


* Read more about why we like to call for coconut aminos in this post. In place of coconut aminos, you may use 1 tablespoon of soy sauce or tamari mixed with 1 tablespoon of water. 

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
  • Calories: 275
  • Fat: 7 g
  • (Sat Fat: 2 g)
  • Sodium: 658 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 25 g
  • (Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 16 g)
  • Protein: 27 g
  • Cholesterol: 66 mg


© The Real Food Dietitians