Healthy sweet and sour chicken is a much healthier easy homemade dinner when takeout cravings strike. It's a great recipe for both meal prep and busy weeknight dinners!
Healthy Sweet & Sour Chicken
As you saw in my last no bake peanut butter energy balls post, life has been a bit busy since we welcomed baby brother to our family. It's super tempting to order in more frequently, but I know I really need nourishing foods to promote my own healing, maintain adequate nutritional status as I'm nursing baby boy, and to keep energy levels up in a time of a little less sleep than normal.
This healthier take on sweet and sour chicken is packed full of flavor, but offers substantial more nutrition. It's gluten-free, which I prefer to help manage a medical condition. It's full of vitamin C-rich bell pepper and pineapple along with lots of protein from the chicken to promote healing. Another great perk is that it has no added sugar! The sweetness in the sauce comes from 100% pineapple juice, with apple cider vinegar and coconut aminos adding some tang and greater depth of flavor.
How to Make Healthy Sweet & Sour Chicken
First up is the sauce! Combine all the sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk, or in a mason jar and shake until combined. Bring to a simmer in a large skillet, whisking occasionally, until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set sauce aside.
And yes - this is a sweet and sour chicken with pineapple, double the pineapple in fact! Between the pineapple juice in the sauce and the pineapple chunks in the stir fry, you definitely get some naturally sweet and nutrient-rich pineapple in this sweet and sour chicken.
Next prep your stir fry ingredients. Chop your bell pepper and pineapple (or used canned pineapple in juice) and set aside. Chop your chicken and then toss in tapioca starch. This will help give the best sear and make crispy sweet and sour chicken!
Sear your chicken in a large nonstick skillet, then add your bell pepper and pineapple and continue to cook until everything is cooked through. Pour the sweet and sour sauce back over the chicken stir fry, toss to combine, and dinner is ready!
I like to add even more vegetables to my meal by serving my sweet and sour chicken over cauliflower rice. You can totally serve it as-is, though, or serve with brown rice, quinoa, or whatever you prefer.
Can You Make This Sweet & Sour Chicken Ahead?
Yes, you totally can. You can take two different directions:
Make this entire recipe as written and portion it into separate containers to grab and go easy meals during the week.
Prep Individual Components to Make Dinnertime Faster
With this option, I make the sauce ahead of time, then just store in the fridge in a mason jar. I also create a couple different containers prepped for the stir fry. Have one container of the chicken chopped and tossed in the tapioca starch, so it's ready to go into the pan. Then have a second container with the chopped bell pepper and pineapple. This way when you're ready for dinner, all you have to do is brown the chicken, add the pepper and pineapple, finish cooking and toss in the sauce. SUPER easy, even with newborns and on the busiest of nights!
Need More Quick and Healthy Meals?
Try these delicious Nutrition to Fit healthy dinner recipes:
- Taco Stuffed Peppers
- Chicken & Spinach Spaghetti Squash Bake
- Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders
- Foolproof Instant Pot Salmon
- Easy Chicken Stir Fry with Garlic Ginger Sauce
Grab Your Ingredients from Amazon:
Need a few of the more "specialty" ingredients for this healthy sweet and sour chicken? Grab them from Amazon! (affiliate links - which means I make two cents if you make a purchase using my link!) 😉
Whenever you make an NTF recipe, I LOVE when you leave a comment and rate the recipe, to help out both me and anyone else looking to make a recipe! It also totally makes my day whenever you share a picture of your NTF creations to social media . Always be sure to tag me (@nutritiontofit, #nutritiontofit) so I can see! Live well!
Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken
For the Sweet & Sour Sauce:
- 6 oz pineapple juice
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp tapioca starch
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- salt to taste
For the Chicken Stir Fry:
- 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast chopped in bite-sized pieces
- 2 tbsp tapioca starch
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- optional fresh herbs and sesame seeds to garnish
- In a small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients. Alternatively, you can shake all ingredients together in a sealed mason jar. Pour ingredients into a small pan and gently whisk as the sauce thickens as it heats. After a few minutes when sauce has thickened nicely, remove from heat and set sauce aside.
- Toss chicken cubes in tapioca starch. Heat avocado oil in a large ceramic nonstick skillet. Add chicken and cook several minutes until chicken is browned. Add bell pepper and pineapple and cook another few minutes until peppers are tender and chicken is cooked through.
- Add sweet and sour sauce to chicken stir fry and toss to combine.
- Serve as is or over cauliflower rice, quinoa, brown rice, or whatever you prefer. Enjoy!