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: 

Grilled Sweet and Sour Chicken

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


  • 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 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.
    8-12 Chicken Thighs, 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.
    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
  • Add the garlic and mandarin oranges, cook another 2 minutes.
    1 teaspoon Garlic, 1 Small Can Mandarin Oranges
  • In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water.
    3 Tablespoons Corn Starch, 1/4 Cup Cold 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.
    Dash Red Pepper Flakes *optional
  • Store in airtight container in the fridge if you have any left over.


left overs will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days


Serving: 1gCalories: 1023kcalCarbohydrates: 122gProtein: 39gFat: 43gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 221mgSodium: 1027mgPotassium: 704mgFiber: 1gSugar: 111gVitamin A: 1147IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 2mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 100 Family Favorite Easy Healthy Recipes

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