Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken – A delicious healthy dinner! Packed with protein, gluten free, sugar free, Paleo and Whole30. It’s super simple to make and better than take out!
Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken
I’m a bit obsessed with asian take out flavors. I truly can’t get enough of them! But ordering take out is both expensive and difficult to avoid certain hidden ingredients so I love making my own renditions at home and boy oh boy, this healthy sweet and sour chicken is a keeper for sure!
Love this better-than-takeout Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken? Try Tandoori Fried Rice, Korean Beef, Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli and Healthy Orange Chicken.
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Ingredients For Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken
For this Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast
- canned of pineapple chunks
- apple cider vinegar
- whole30 ketchup
- coconut aminos
- red bell pepper
- 1/2 a yellow onion
- garlic cloves
- fresh ginger
- avocado oil
- salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes
- garnish with chopped green onion and sesame seeds
What makes this Sweet and Sour Chicken healthy?
While most of the time you’ll find sweet and sour chicken deep fried this version isn’t. In this recipe you get tons of flavor without the grease. This recipe is also sugar free but sweetened by both the coconut aminos and pineapple juice.
How to make Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken
The Instant Pot makes this dish a breeze to make! Simply prepare your ingredients, mix up the sauce, add the listed ingredients to the instant pot and cook! Once it’s done you will thicken the sauce, toss everything together until coated and you are ready to eat!
Serve over cauliflower rice and top with green onions and sesame seeds.
Can I use Fresh Pineapple in Place of Canned Pineapple
It’s so lovely to have fresh pineapple but I recommend sticking with canned pineapple for this recipe for two reasons. First, canned pineapple holds up better in the cooking process. Second, you need the canned juice for the sauce. However, if you do only have access to fresh pineapple and are able to juice some of it for the sauce, I’d recommend waiting to stir in your freshly cut chunks of pineapple until the end after the pressure cooking so that they hold their form.
I hope you enjoy this take out style recipe as much as my family did! Tell me in the comments below what your favorite take out dish is!
More Healthy Asian Recipes:
- Korean Beef
- Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken
- Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli
- Whole30 Asian Inspired Meatloaf
- Asian Stir Fry
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Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 17 minutes
- Total Time: 27 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Whole30
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Chinese
Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken – A delicious healthy dinner! Packed with protein, gluten free, paleo and Whole30. It’s super simple to make and better than take out!
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 – 20 ounce can pineapple chunks in 100% juice, separate 1 1/2 cups pineapple and 3/4 cup juice (separate juice into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup whole30 ketchup
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil
- 1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- chopped green onion to garnish
- sesame seeds to garnish
- Prepare all ingredients.
- To the instant pot bowl, add 1/2 cup pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, coconut aminos, garlic, ginger, avocado oil, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Give this mixture a stir.
- Add in the chicken, pineapple chunks, red bell pepper and onion and stir through the sauce. Then add and lock the lid, set to sealing and select high pressure/manual for 7 minutes.
- After cooking quick release pressure and open lid.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove all but the sauce from the instant pot and set aside.
- Add the additional 1/4 cup of pineapple juice and turn the instant pot to saute for 10 minutes. Leave the pot uncovered to simmer and reduce until the sauce is the desired thickness. (If after 10 minutes the sauce is thinner than desired, reduce on saute mode for another 5 minutes.)
- After the sauce has thickened, add back in the chicken, pineapple and vegetables that were set aside. Stir until everything is coated in sauce.
- Serve with green onions and sesame seeds over cauliflower rice. (Or basmati rice for a gluten free option if you’re not doing paleo or whole30.) Enjoy!
I prefer a naturally reduced sauce by using a simmer to release stream, however if you are pinched for time you can alternately add a slurry to the sauce as it simmers. To do so, mix 1 teaspoon of arrowroot powder and 2 Tablespoons of water together and stir constantly into the sauce until thickened.
Keywords: healthy sweet and sour chicken, whole30, paleo, instant pot,
I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back down the road. Many thanks
Carolyn Kinnaird says
What are coconut aminos?
Hi Carolyn, coconut aminos are made of coconut snap and are commonly used as a gluten and soy free alternative to soy sauce. There is a link in the recipe card for coconut aminos if you want to click on it and read more.
Is there another method of making this if I do not have an instant pot?
Hi Ellen, thanks for the question. On this recipe I only tested it in the Instant Pot so I don’t have specific instructions for making it otherwise but you could certainly cook the chicken on the stove top until done, saute the bell pepper and onion, reduce the sauce in a saucepan, add in the pineapple and then toss it all together at the end. I hope this helps.
I absolutely love your blog. Recently made your Sweet and sour chicken while doing a Whole 30 round. It was a real hit in my house.
So delicious and so much better than take out.
This will be my GO to recipe all the time now when I’m craving Chinese food. 😋
Hi Carol! I’m so glad to hear your family enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing.
New to the Instant Pot! This looks delicious and I’d love to try it! I have a couple of questions….. I’m not an experienced cook and don’t enjoy a lot of veggie chopping. I’ve heard that there are “pastes” for garlic and ginger that you squeeze out of a tube. Would those work as well? I don’t mind chopping the larger veggies, but garlic and ginger are particularly difficult for me………… Another question is about the 1 Tbsp of avocado oil. My husband is highly allergic to avocados, causing severe GI distress. Can something be substituted for that, or can it just be eliminated? Thanks! I look forward to your response!
Hi Barbara! I’ve seen those pastes but I’m not sure how they would compare in this recipe since I haven’t tested it, I’d say it’s worth a try though if you want the shortcut. The avocado oil can certainly be replaced with any other neutral flavored high heat oil of your choice like grapeseed, sunflower or safflower would all work just fine. I hope you enjoy your new Instant Pot as much as I do!
Debbie S says
How to make this on the stove without an instapot or slow cooker?