Sweet and Sour Chicken Delicious
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This healthy sweet and sour chicken is crispy and sweet and sour to perfection, but it’s also Whole30, paleo, and sugar-free!

The healthy sweet and sour sauce is prepared with dates and Dole pineapple juice, making this lightened-up version of the Chinese classic utterly takeout-worthy but uncomplicated.

Sweet and sour chicken is the siren song of chafing dishes while you’re in the “screw it” mentality at the Chinese buffet.

Battered, fried, then slathered in a sweet-tart sauce. For good measure, add a little (or a lot?) of food coloring. Ir-re-sis-ti-ble.

When it comes to sweet and sour chicken, there’s not much competition along the line of steaming dishes: even if you favor sesame or kung pao chicken, sweet and sour is the crispiest, richest, and most luxurious. Am I correct?

As a result, creating a nutritiously sweet and sour chicken meal with a delectable sweet and sour sauce is a huge undertaking. The following is a deserving recipe:

  • Crispy
  • Enough sweetness
  • enough sour
  • Chicken that is incredibly tender

I’m not ashamed to admit that my initial version was terrible. I had high expectations, so I snapped pictures, ate a bite, and attempted to get myself to rename the dish so I could still post it.

Sure, the recipe was not horrible; in fact, it was a delicious dinner!

But it wasn’t a truly healthy sweet and sour chicken recipe, in my opinion. Instead, how about a pineapple chicken stir fry? Good, but not so good that I could eat it for the next six meals.

That’s pretty much what my hubby remarked after trying this variation. In fact, it’s caused a slew of issues! He refuses to try my new recipes or order takeout when I’m too tired to cook when we have this nutritious sweet and sour chicken in the fridge.

That isn’t entirely correct. He doesn’t care what I do as long as I leave him alone with his dish of healthy sweet and sour chicken.

Why is this recipe so delicious?

Sweet and Sour Chicken
Food: Sweet and Sour Chicken (Source: 40 Aprons)
  • It’s truly good for you! The sauce is sweetened with dates and pineapple juice from a can of Dole Pineapple Chunks in 100 percent Pineapple Juice; there is no extra sugar.
  • Thanks to an easy coating of arrowroot powder and eggs, the chicken is genuinely crispy. It’s also simple!
  • The onions and peppers add plenty of vegetables to this recipe, so serve it over cauliflower rice and call it a night.
  • The sweet and sour sauce is delicious, and it’s easy to make in the blender with whole-food components.
  • It’s Whole30-friendly and paleo-friendly, too!


  • Remove any ingredients you don’t care for, such as the peppers or the onion. However, the pineapple is delicious here (so keep it!).
  • Try replacing the chicken with prawns. Follow the same steps as for the chicken, but the shrimp will take much less time to cook, only approximately 2 minutes.
  • If you eat soy, you can replace the coconut aminos in the sauce with soy sauce. If you use soy sauce, simply leave off the salt. If you’re doing the Whole30, avoid using soy sauce.
  • Dole Pineapple Chunks are a favorite of mine to use in 100% Pineapple Juice because they’re easy to keep on hand and make beautiful small nuggets of natural sweetness. Fresh pineapple, on the other hand, can be used, but it will need to be sautéed for much longer to soften. Just go with the flow with the Dole!


  • I like to sauté the peppers and onions thoroughly so that they aren’t raw and crunchy, but I’m not a huge fan of bell peppers, to begin with. Depending on your preference, you can sauté them for a few minutes or a little longer.
  • Shake your chicken in batches; 2 batches should be plenty to cover everything. You can toss up the second batch while the first batch is frying to avoid clumpy chicken bits. Just keep an eye on the chicken while it’s frying!
  • Cut the chicken into pieces that are smaller than you think are “bite-sized.” You want bits that are 3/4-1′′ in diameter, not large chunks. This is where the coating will add some volume.
    Sweet & sour chicken with red and green bell peppers in a skillet

Is it possible to substitute cassava flour for arrowroot powder?

Absolutely! Because cassava flour is more difficult to come by, I don’t use it in as many of my recipes. However, it is my preferred grain-free flour or starch, and it performs admirably in this recipe.

How do you make Sweet and Sour Chicken?

Make the sauce first: in a high-powered blender, add all ingredients, and blend until fully smooth.

Fill a large plastic food storage bag halfway with arrowroot powder. Whisk your eggs thoroughly in a medium mixing dish. Add chicken to the bag in two batches and shake to coat.

Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and place them in the bowl with the eggs, tapping to remove any excess arrowroot.

Toss to coat, then remove chicken pieces and place back in arrowroot bag, straining to remove any extra egg.

Shake again to coat thoroughly, breaking up any clumps with your palms on the outside. Remove the pieces from the bag, shaking off any excess and breaking up any large clumps.

In a large skillet, heat a layer of coconut oil or avocado oil over medium heat and add the chicken.

Fry for approximately 2 minutes to set the breading, then continue to cook, tossing regularly and flipping to lightly brown on all sides, for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Coat and fry all of the chicken to ensure that it is cooked through.

Replace the skillet on medium heat after cleaning it. Fry peppers, onions, and Dole Pineapple Chunks in 1 tablespoon coconut or avocado oil in a skillet until peppers begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes.

Pour in the sauce and heat for 2 minutes, or until it begins to bubble. Toss in the cooked chicken to coat. Serve with sesame seeds on top of cauliflower rice.

Sweet And Sour Chicken

5 minutes to prepare
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Total time spent: 25 minutes

A nutritious Chinese sweet and sour chicken that’s crispy and sweet and sour to perfection. It’s Whole30, paleo, and refined sugar-free, and it’s delicious yet simple.


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into small chunks, about 3/4-1″
  • 1 1/2 cups arrowroot starch plus more as needed, or substitute cassava flour
  • 2 eggs beaten well
  • refined coconut oil or avocado oil for frying, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks drained and juice reserved, from a can of Dole Pineapple Chunks in 100% Pineapple


  • 1 red bell pepper seeded, quartered, and cut into 1/2″ strips
  • 1 green bell pepper seeded, quartered, and cut into 1/2″ strips
  • 1/2 yellow onion halved and sliced
  • white sesame seeds for garnish
  • green onions green parts thinly sliced, for garnish
  • steamed cauliflower rice to serve

Healthy Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice drained from a can of Dole Pineapple Chunks in 100% Pineapple Juice
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch
  • 3 tablespoons date about 3 Neglect or 2 Medjool, pitted
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Whole30 ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa aminos
  • 2 cloves of garlic peeled
  • salt to taste

Instructions For Sweet And Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken Healthy
Food: Sweet and Sour Chicken (Source: 40 Aprons)
  1. To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Remove from the equation.
  2. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Place eggs in a medium dish and pour arrowroot powder into a gallon Ziploc bag. Half of the chicken should be added to the sack with the arrowroot. Shake to coat the chicken, then remove it and tap to remove any extra. Toss the chicken with the eggs in a mixing basin to coat. Remove from dish, allowing excess to drain, and return to arrowroot powder bag. Toss one more to coat, breaking up any clumpy pieces with your hands. Remove the contents of the bag and set it aside.
  3. Repeat with the remaining half of the chicken, adjusting the amount of arrowroot powder in the bag as necessary to coat.
  4. In a large skillet, melt a layer of coconut oil over medium heat. Add the chicken in two batches and heat for 1-2 minutes to solidify the bottom breading. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the coating has turned a light golden brown color. Transfer the chicken to a platter and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat and add 1 tablespoon of coconut or avocado oil. Sauté the peppers, onions, and pineapple until the peppers start to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and is bubbling.
  6. Stir in the cooked chicken carefully but thoroughly to thoroughly coat it.
  7. Sprinkle with white sesame seeds and sliced green onions and serve over steamed cauliflower rice.


  • If you eat soy, you can replace the coconut aminos with soy sauce in the sauce. If you use soy sauce, simply leave off the salt. If you’re doing the Whole30, avoid using soy sauce.
  • Try breading with cassava flour if you have any on hand! It’s a little more difficult to come by, but this is my favorite grain-free flour, and it doesn’t gel like arrowroot.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 399kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 151mg, Sodium: 378mg, Potassium: 917mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 935IU, Vitamin C: 55.4mg, Calcium: 53mg, Iron: 1.5mg, Net Carbs: 47g