Mock Chinese Take Out

I am a big fan of Chinese take out. If it’s a Friday night, you can find B and I either grabbing a pizza or hitting the local Chinese place for something quick and tasty. Abby is a big fan of the sweet and sour chicken and so most of the time, we end up with at least one order of that on top of some fried dumplings and egg rolls.

But there is a snag or two when it comes to Chinese take out. Not only is more expensive than I’d like it to be, it’s also a lot more caloric than I want. Sure, the golden, deep-fried chicken slathered in sugary, sweet sauce is amazingly tasty. I just don’t want the extra added calories attacking my thighs and gut. That’s what potato chips are for.

When I came across this baked sweet and sour chicken from Six Sister’s Stuff, I knew I had to make it. The picture was so enticing and delicious-looking. How could I not give it a whirl? I adapted it slightly by adding some bell pepper and onion to it. I meant to add water chestnuts (bought them JUST for this recipe) but I forgot. I sloshed it down on top of some brown rice and went to town.

So, so, so good. So close to the take out version, I might never go back.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
Recipe type: main course, Chinese, mock takeout
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
A lighter version of traditional Chinese take out.
  • Chicken:
  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • Sweet and Sour Sauce:
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 tbs ketchup
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cut your chicken into 1" chunks. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Dip chicken into the cornstarch to coat then dip into the eggs.
  4. Heat your ¼ cup oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned. Place the chicken in a 9x13 greased baking dish. Toss the pepper and onion in the dish and arrange them around your chicken.
  5. Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and then pour evenly over the chicken.
  6. Bake for one hour. Turn the chicken and baste with sauce every 15 minutes.
This dish is perfect over brown rice.


Sweet and Sour Chicken

We eat a lot of take-out in this house. Typically, Fridays are the days we order in or grab something quick. And when we have Girl Scouts, the food has to be even quicker.

One of our favorite take-out spots is a little hole in the wall Chinese place around the corner. You can’t pay with credit cards. You typically end up waiting for at least 45 minutes when they tell you 15.  The woman who takes the orders cuts you off before you finish.

The food is awesome.

In this day and age, however, eating out gets pricey. And when Chinese take-out ends up costing upwards of 35 dollars per person, you need to improvise. Find new ways to satisfy those needs to MSG.  Get the crunch of water chestnuts and snow peas.

We accomplish this through homemade Chinese. I’ve shared my recipe for easy stir fry before.

Here’s my recipe for DIY sweet and sour chicken. It’s an easy weeknight dish and is also perfect for those busy Fridays when you just don’t feel like cooking.  I serve it over some white rice, but you could also try brown rice or quinoa.

Give it a shot!

Sweet and Sour Chicken


2 breasts of chicken, cut into chunks

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1/2 head of broccoli

1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained

For sauce:

3/4 cup white sugar

1/3 cup white vinegar

2/3 cup water

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 Tbsp. ketchup

2 Tbsp. corn starch

In a sauce pan, add all of the ingredients for the sauce. Bring it to a boil and stir constantly until the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Pour a tiny bit of oil into a frying pan. Add your chicken and cook over medium-high until browned. Add your onions and peppers. Let it cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft. Add the broccoli. Cover and let cook five more minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Take the lid off and add your water chestnuts. Stir to combine.

Lay your chicken mixture on top of some rice. Top with sweet and sour sauce.


What are your favorite take-out staples?