Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe - Dr. Axe

Chinese Fake-Out: Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and sour chicken recipe - Dr. Axe

Many of us have turned to delivery after a long work day. After all, it tastes good and there’s not much effort involved. But what if I told you that, in the amount of time you’d spend waiting for your (unhealthy sodium-packed) meal, you could whip up your own Chinese takeout fake-out that practically cooks itself?

I love how quickly this sweet and sour chicken recipe comes together. Plus, it tastes delicious, is loaded with healthy ingredients like cancer-fighting broccoli and requires just one skillet. You’ll have your family fooled about where this came from!

How to Make Sweet and Sour Chicken

Start by whisking the flour, garlic powder and healing ginger in a large bowl, then add in your chopped chicken. Make sure to coat each piece well with seasoning; this will give the chicken a nice crunch later.

Sweet and sour chicken step 1 - Dr. Axe

Heat the coconut oil in a skillet and then add in your chicken, making sure not to overcrowd the pieces in the pan. Stir occasionally so the pieces don’t stick. When the chicken is no longer pink, season with salt and pepper, and let it hang out on a plate. You’ll be back for it!

Sweet and sour chicken step 2 - Dr. Axe

In the same skillet (you might need another dash of coconut oil here), add your chopped broccoli and pepper. I like using a mix of bell peppers to add some extra color, but feel free to use whatever’s on hand.


Sweet and sour chicken step 3 - Dr. Axe

After a few minutes, add the pineapple chunks and juice to the mix. Throw in the broth, coconut sugar, vinegar and red pepper flakes, too. It’s time to turn up the heat! This will help thicken up the sauce.

Sweet and sour chicken step 4 - Dr. Axe

When it begins reducing, stir in the arrowroot mixture and then add the chicken back to the skillet. Let it simmer in the sauce for another five minutes, soaking up all the tasty flavors.

Serve it up! I recommend serving this sweet and sour chicken atop brown rice or nutritious quinoa to soak up the sweet and sour sauce.

Sweet and sour chicken recipe - Dr. Axe

Need to make this even more quickly? Cut down on prep time by using frozen, organic vegetables. Don’t forget to toss out the takeout menus afterwards!

Other Great Chicken Dishes from Different Cultures

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Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

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  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Want an easy Chinese meal but want to avoid overly salty takeout? Make up this sweet and sour chicken that will be ready in less than 30 minutes. It also boasts great macros: 30 grams of carbs, 10 grams of fat and 30 grams of protein.


  • ¼ cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper, red or green
  • 2 cups (or more!) chopped broccoli
  • 1 cup canned pineapple chunks in juice, chopped (reserve juice)
  • ⅓ cup chicken broth (bone broth if possible)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 teaspoons arrowroot powder dissolved in 4 teaspoons water
  • sea salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, garlic powder and ginger. Add chicken and toss to coat.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a skillet, add chicken, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink. Season chicken with salt and pepper and remove to a plate.
  3. Add bell pepper and broccoli to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2–3 minutes. Stir in pineapple (with juice), broth, coconut sugar, vinegar and red pepper flakes.
  4. Increase heat and bring the sauce to a simmer. When the sauce begins to reduce, stir in arrowroot mixture. Add chicken to sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  5. Serve over brown rice or quinoa.
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Category: Main dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • Serving Size: 1 serving (310 g)
  • Calories: 334
  • Sugar: 17.9 g
  • Sodium: 223 mg
  • Fat: 10.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.7 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2.1 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.02 g
  • Carbohydrates: 30.5 g
  • Fiber: 3.5 g
  • Protein: 30 g
  • Cholesterol: 86 mg

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