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This delicious Crockpot Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe is one of the easiest Chinese recipes you’ll ever make. You just mix up the homemade sweet and sour sauce, put everything in the crockpot then set it and forget it! In just a few hours, you will have a delicious meal that rivals even the best Chinese restaurants.
Sweet and Sour Crockpot Chicken
If you like Chinese take-out but are tired of leaving the house for it, you’re going to love this homemade slow cooker sweet and sour chicken recipe. It starts out with succulent pieces of chicken thighs, with sweet pineapple chunks, tender and colorful bell peppers that’s all covered in an amazing homemade sweet and tangy sauce.
Everything cooks away in the slow cooker as you go about your day. No mess, no fuss, just set it and forget it. And unlike some Asian recipes, this sweet and sour chicken dish uses all simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand, which not only makes for a super easy recipe, but also a budget-friendly one.
Why We Love this Recipe
- Homemade sauce: This wouldn’t be the best sweet and sour chicken without the lovely flavors in this easy homemade sauce. It really ties this dish together, truly making it a restaurant-quality meal.
- Easy dump recipe: Crockpot recipes, aka dump recipes, are the prefect answer when you want a hearty meal but know you’ll be running short on time. Just dump everything into the pot and let the slow cooker do the rest of the work for you.
- Meal prep: One of the keys to ensuring I can have a home cooked meal most nights of the week is to do a little meal prepping on the weekends. This crockpot recipe for sweet and sour chicken is perfect for that because leftovers taste even better the next day, and they reheat beautifully!
What’s Needed for this Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
- Boneless chicken thighs, approx. 4 thighs
- Red pepper
- Green pepper
- Canned chunks of pineapple in juice
- Apple cider vinegar
- Soy sauce
- Brown sugar
- Garlic clove
- Ground ginger – fresh ginger works too
- Corn starch
- Salt and black pepper
How to Make Slow-Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken
Step One: Prepare the Chicken and Vegetables
- Cut the chicken thighs into bite size pieces. Slice the peppers and onion.
- Place chicken pieces on bottom of crock pot. On top of the chicken, add onion and peppers. You can use a crockpot liner to help make clean up a cinch.
Step Two: Make the Sweet and Sour Sauce
- In small bowl, drain pineapple chunks, keeping the juice. Set the pineapple chunks aside.
- In medium-sized mixing bowl add pineapple juice, vinegar, water, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, the tablespoons of cornstarch, salt and pepper. Mix well until everything is combined.
Step Three: Cook the Chicken and Vegetables
- Pour sauce on top of vegetable and chicken mixture and then set crockpot to low heat for 7-9 hours, or high for 4-5 hours.
- Thirty minutes before serving, add pineapple chunks.
Step Four: Serve and Enjoy!
- Serve over a bed of white rice with extra sauce and enjoy!
Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken Variations and Add-ins
- Vegetables: You can add just about any fresh vegetables you prefer. Try adding baby corn, carrot slivers, white onion, water chestnuts or some red chili peppers.
- Toppings: It you’re looking for a finishing touch for your dish, you can add thinly sliced green onions or sesame seeds to the top of the chicken before serving. Both works well with the other flavors in the recipe.
- Starch: Typically, you will serve this chicken over cooked rice. But you can serve it with brown rice or rice noodles. Cauliflower rice or Palmini noodles are great alternatives if you want a lower carb option.
- Chicken: Instead of the skinless chicken thighs you can use boneless skinless chicken breasts or even pieces of boneless pork loin instead.
- Spices: If you like a little heat with your sweet and sour sauce, you can add a few red pepper flakes or sriracha to the crockpot with the other sauce ingredients.
- Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar gives the sauce a little bit of tanginess, but you can substitute it with red wine vinegar or rice vinegar in equal parts.
- Sweetness: Brown sugar and pineapple combine in this recipe to make the sticky sauce you’re looking for. A great alternative is to use apricot preserves in place of the pineapple or even in addition to the pineapple. The little pieces of apricot tastes so good coating the chicken. Another great alternative is to use honey instead of the brown sugar.
Can You Put Raw Chicken in the Slow Cooker?
This is totally a personal preference. Even though crockpots are intended to cook meat and veggies from a raw state, you can certainly give everything a quick sauté first if you prefer.
Is Orange Chicken and Sweet and Sour Chicken the Same Thing?
Both orange chicken and sweet and sour chicken are famous in Asian cuisine and have similar flavors, but there are some differences.
The biggest difference between the two is orange chicken uses mainly oranges, hence the name, to make the sauce and it has a slightly spicier flavor.
Sweet and sour chicken uses pineapple juice that is thicken with corn starch and it is a little more on the sweet side.
Want More Crockpot Recipes?
- Crockpot Beef Stew
- Slow Cooker Meatballs
- Crockpot Chicken Pot Pie
- Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Crockpot Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork
- Crockpot Spinach Artichoke Dip
Crockpot Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 2 lbs. chicken thighs approximately 4 thighs
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 red pepper sliced
- 1 green pepper sliced
- 20 oz. can pineapple chunks in juice
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- ¼ tsp. ginger
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Put chicken thighs on bottom of crock pot. On top, add onion and peppers.
- In small bowl, train the pineapple chunks, keeping the juice. Set the pineapple chunks aside.
- In medium-sized mixing bowl add pineapple juice,vinegar, water, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
- Pour mixture on top of chicken and vegetables and set crockpot to low for 7-9 hours, or high for 4-5hours.
- Thirty minutes before serving, add pineapple chunks.
- Serve over white rice.
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