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Grilled Sweet and Sour Chicken

You have to try this grilled sweet and sour chicken!

Sweet and sour chicken is one of our favorite faux takeout recipes that we have. The sauce is so delicious and wonderful, but holy cow is it packed with sugar. Combine that with that deep fried chicken and a bunch of white sticky rice and I always feel quite heavy by the time dinner is over. Now, I’m not saying to stop making that recipe, it’s delicious and should totally be on your dinner table, but until I figure out a recipe for a healthier sweet and sour sauce that still tastes like the I can at least make grilled sweet and sour chicken and cut down on some of the calories. Plus, you’ll never regret eating grilled chicken. It’s delicious! And if you need side ideas or more faux takeout recipes just scroll down!

Is Chicken Breast Better for You Than Chicken Thighs?

Both chicken thighs and breasts are good sources of lean protein.

The difference between thigh meat and breast meat is the fat content.

Thighs are higher in calories and fat.

Can You Use Vegetable Oil Instead of Canola Oil?

Yes, you can almost always substitute vegetable oil for canola oil.

More Asian Recipes: 

Raised in the Kitchen - Carrian Cheney
54 days

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You have to try this grilled sweet and sour chicken!

Grilled Sweet and Sour Chicken

0 from 0 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 -6 servings


  • 8-12 Chicken Thighs bone in or boneless
  • Salt and Pepper

For the Sauce

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Canola oil
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Rice vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup ketchup
  • 1/4 Cup low-sodium Soy sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic minced fine
  • 1 Small Can Mandarin Oranges half the juice drained and oranges smashed
  • 3 Tablespoons Corn Starch
  • 1/4 Cup Cold Water
  • Dash of Red Pepper Flakes *optional


For the Chicken

  • Preheat the oven to 375.
  • Remove the skin from the chicken and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a grill pan over high heat and add a drizzle of oil.
  • Add the chicken, top down and cook for 1 minute or until grill marks appear.
  • Turn the pan down to medium and cook for an additional 10 minutes then place the chicken in the oven still in the skillet as long as it is oven safe.
  • Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until juices run clear.
  • For boneless chicken thighs, heat a grill pan over medium high heat and cook the chicken for 4 minutes per side or until cooked through, about 8 minutes total, basting with the sauce after you turn them over the first time and again before serving.

For the Sauce

  • Cook the first 6 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat until everything is dissolved and mixed well.
  • Add the garlic and mandarin oranges, cook another 2 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water.
  • Add a little of the hot mixture to the bowl and then slowly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the pan.
  • Stir continuously for another minute and let simmer for a few minutes or until thickened.
  • Store in airtight container in the fridge if you have any left over.


left overs will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
Nutrition Facts
Grilled Sweet and Sour Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 120 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 43mg14%
Sodium 141mg6%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 8g16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • An I missing something? I don’t see where the sauce is added to the chicken.

    • Reply
  • I’m such a sucker for homemade takeout recipes, and this is just making my obsession even worse. But I love it! Can’t wait to try this out!

    • Reply
    • Us too!

      • Reply

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