Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir-Fry

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Sweet, sticky, and just a little spicy, this Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry is a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

The heat of the Sriracha is mellowed with the sweetness of the pineapple and the result is a sweet and sour stir fry that is not at all burn-your-mouth-hot, despite copious amounts of Sriracha.

Sweet 'n Sour Chicken Stir Fry recipe

If your kids love take-out sweet and sour chicken, they’re going to go nuts for this meal. Faster than ordering in and even tastier, this stir fry recipe makes everyone happy!

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While spicy, this is one of the most kid-friendly chicken stir-fry recipes I’ve made. My youngest son has been eating this since he was just 2-3 years old and he still eats every bite and asks for more. For a slightly sweeter version, try this Teriyaki Chicken with Pineapple too.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir-Fry

This Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry requires about 10-15 minutes prep time for the chicken, vegetables, and sauce; and less time than that to cook and serve it. Start a pan of rice before doing anything else and you will have dinner served in 30 minutes or less.

This meal is always a hit with my family and there is never a bite leftover!

Sweet n sour chicken stir fry

How to Make Chicken Stir-Fry

After cooking your rice, prepare your chicken and vegetables. Slice boneless skinless chicken thighs into small pieces–the smaller the better for this recipe!

Drain a can of pineapple and reserve the juice to use later. (We’re going to add it to the sauce in a minute!)

Slice your bell peppers into thin strips and make sure your snap peas are rinsed with any stemmed ends trimmed. Prepared bags of washed, trimmed snap peas are available at most grocery stores and make this step extra easy.

Ingredients for Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

Toss the chicken strips with soy sauce and cornstarch. This step gives the chicken rich savory flavor and helps each piece cook up perfectly crispy. Make the sauce by combining the reserved pineapple juice with soy sauce, more starch, and vinegar.

Now it’s time to cook the chicken. Add it to a pre-heated pan with coconut or olive oil and cook for just a couple of minutes. The chicken will cook very quickly so keep a close eye on it.

Ingredients for Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry on the stovetop

Next, toss in the snap peas and sliced peppers cooking for another couple of minutes and adjusting the heat as necessary.

Finally, add the pineapple chunks and sauce and cook until the sauce thickens. It should be very sticky at this point and not at all watery.

Taste the sauce and add the Sriracha a little at a time until you reach your desired spiciness level. My family loves this with the full amount of Sriracha, but be warned that it does get spicy! Serve in bowls over rice.

Sweet 'n Sour Chicken and Pineapple Stir Fry

Sriracha Stir Fry Tip

At first glance, the amount of Sriracha in the recipe seems crazy high. As I was slowly adding it to the sauce the first time I made this, I could hardly believe how much Sriracha it took before I even noticed the mildest of heat.

Go slowly with it and adjust the heat to the level you desire. About ¼ cup of Sriracha is the perfect amount of heat for most of my family. My spice-loving husband and oldest son usually drizzle their plates with a little bit extra.

Sweet 'n Sour Chicken Stir Fry

Can you freeze stir fry?

Sweet and Sour Chicken is a great meal to prep on the weekend and store in the freezer for those extra busy weeknights.

Let the stir-fry cool completely before freezing in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. When ready to serve, let the stir-fry thaw then reheat on the stovetop or microwave.

Leftovers, if you have any, also taste great reheated for lunch the next day.

Served fresh or as a make-ahead meal, this is a family-friendly recipe that really is much better than takeout and just as fast.

Sweet and Sour Stir Fry with Chicken, Pineapple, and Bell Peppers

Chicken Stir-Fry Recipes

When I can’t decide what to make for dinner, chicken stir-fry is a meal that I know everyone will agree on. (My boys LOVE eating with these chopsticks. They’re so much fun to use!)

Spicy Chicken and Bacon Stir Fry shows up on our meal plans at least once a month (if not more, at my kids’ request). This Ginger Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry is another flavorful favorite that’s world’s better than most restaurant dishes!

Fresh vegetables and chicken, quickly cooked in a hot stir fry is one of my favorite meals to make and serve. This dish is a fun twist on the usual Asian or Mexican flavors that I would typically think of for skillet meals.

Sweet and Sour Stir Fry with Chicken, Pineapple, and Bell Peppers

If you like Sweet and Sour Chicken, I know you’ll also love this similarly flavored Sriracha Honey Cashew Chicken. The sweet honey and crunchy cashews make it almost addictively good.

Most of the time I serve chicken stir-fry over a simple bowl of white or brown rice. When we’re in the mood for noodles, I reach for this Stir Fry Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables. It’s so simple but oh so delicious!

For more quick and easy dinner recipes, check out my kids’ favorite Cheater Korean Beef and this 20-Minute Kielbasa Cabbage Skillet.

I just added this Greek Gyro Skillet and these Oven-Baked Hot Italian Sandwiches to my must-make list too. Nothing beats a quick, easy, and great-tasting meal on busy weeknights.

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Sweet 'n Sour Chicken Stir Fry

Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir-Fry

5 from 12 votes
Sweet, spicy, and a little bit tangy, this Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry is a kid and adult favorite!
Servings: 6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs sliced as thinly as possible
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce divided
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch divided
  • 3 medium size bell peppers, any color, sliced into strips
  • 1 cup snap peas
  • 20 ounces canned pineapple chunks drained with liquid reserved
  • approximately ¾ cup reserved pineapple liquid
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1-4 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce adjust to taste
  • Optional: cooked rice for serving


  • Place the chicken strips in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and toss to coat. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pineapple liquid, water, vinegar, brown sugar, remaining soy sauce, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a very large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and toss quickly to coat. Continue tossing for 2-3 minutes as the chicken cooks very quickly. Add the peppers and the snap peas and continue stirring and tossing for 2 more minutes. Lower the heat slightly if necessary.
  • Increase the heat to high again and add the pineapple chunks and the sauce. Cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes, until the sauce is thick and sticky. Taste the sauce and add the Sriracha a tablespoon or so at a time. Stirring well, between each addition. Serve over rice.


At first glance, the amount of Sriracha in the recipe seems crazy high, but it takes a good bit before the sauce will actually get spicy. Go slowly with it and adjust the heat to the level you desire. 
FREEZER MEAL: Let the stir-fry cool completely before transferring to an airtight container or freezer-safe Ziploc bag. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating in the microwave or on the stove top.


Calories: 288kcal · Carbohydrates: 43g · Protein: 17g · Fat: 6g · Saturated Fat: 3g · Cholesterol: 72mg · Sodium: 678mg · Potassium: 512mg · Fiber: 3g · Sugar: 35g · Vitamin A: 2122IU · Vitamin C: 102mg · Calcium: 48mg · Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally posted 4-25-13 – recipe notes and photos updated 5/4/23}

Sweet 'n Sour Chicken Stir Fry with Pineapple

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Jenn says

    lol.. I looked at the amount of Sriracha and thought, "oh yea, I gotta try this… give me more Sriracha!!!" I have a feeling this is going to be a hit like your Sriracha honey stir fry 🙂 Can't wait to try this one!

  2. Monet says

    Ryan and I love sriracha so I know we will love this recipe! I can't wait to give it a try. Thank you for sharing. Sweet and spicy is my kind of meal!

  3. Mike in KY says

    Made this a couple of weeks ago, followed the recipe exactly, and it was great. Actually, I did probably use more than a cup of snap peas – it was a whole bag of frozen from Kroger, probably more like 2 cups. I will definitely make this again… as soon as those sweet bells go back on sale!5 stars


    Sounds real good, but why are the ingredients in metric? I would like to make this recipe if I get an answer. Betty

  5. Juley Kingsley says

    This was good! I think I liked it even more the day after and the day after that! Thank you! Lots of veggies too. I like that.5 stars

  6. Linda says

    I made this recipe for dinner tonight. I did add onions in place of the snow peas. It was very good! My husband loved it. This is definitely a keeper!5 stars

  7. Mary Ellen says

    Made this tonight and once the prep work is done it cooks in no time! I followed the recipe exactly and it was a keeper! I served it over cauliflower rice and added some Siracha drizzle. The recipe made it to my personal recipe book so it is sure to be made again!5 stars

  8. Michelle says

    My favourite sweet and sour chicken recipe. I just got a new wok for my birthday! I can’t wait to try making it in a real wok!5 stars