This post may contain affiliate links.

You can’t beat slow cooker chicken recipes when it comes to fakeaways!

Our trusty slow cookers can be a saviour on the busiest of days, helping us to get our midweek meals made without fuss. But what about those times when we fancy a little something extra? That’s what we’re talking about! Presenting.. Sweet and Sour Chicken.

Finish pan of Sweet and Sour Chicken in the Slow Cooker with the lid off.

This sticky, sweet, tangy Sweet and Sour Chicken deliciousness is a winner of a fakeaway.

It’s so much cheaper to make at home, using your slow cooker is energy efficient and this recipe doesn’t use any complicated ingredients.

This style of sauce is a total classic, enjoyed by everyone (a particular favourite with kids) hope you love it too! ❤️


Why you’ll love this Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe

⭐️ Simple store cupboard ingredients

⭐️ Delicious sweet, tangy flavour

⭐️ Easy preparation and cooking


A close up of sweet and sour chicken made in the slow cooker.

About this recipe

There are many different styles of sweet and sour dishes that date back centuries from China, as well as the Philippines and Korea.

How it came to be that it’s now a rather orange sauce in the UK though is anyone’s guess!

As it’s evolved, we are more familiar with a bright, sticky sauce that was ranked #4 in a survey of Brits’ favourite takeaways during lockdown. This report suggests that the origins may have come from Shanghai and interestingly, the sauce was then black in colour.

This is my take on Sweet and Sour Chicken, focused on flavour, convenience, cost, and as always, family friendliness.


Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken Ingredients notes

Raw ingredients in a slow cooker pan for the recipe sweet and sour chicken.
  • Chicken breasts – I cut these into bite sized pieces. You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer, they may take a little longer to cook
  • Light soy – You can use dark soy if it’s all you have, but the colour of the finished sauce will be very different. The flavour may also be quite salty
  • Garlic – 4 cloves or 4 teaspoons of the lazy kind. You can also use paste
  • Ginger – 2 inches or 2 teaspoons of the lazy kind. You can also use paste if you prefer, or take out a small portion of fresh from the freezer and grate into the pot
  • White wine vinegar – Not white vinegar, or malt vinegar, these are very different!
  • Dark brown sugar – This does need to be dark brown to give that rich flavour
  • Peppers – You can use whichever colour you prefer
  • Tinned pineapple (in JUICE) – Make sure the pineapple is in chunks. If you buy the rings, you can just cut them up. You’ll be using the juice before you use the fruit itself in the cooking process
  • Optional: Chilli flakes for a bit of heat if you like that, and a squeeze of lime at the end for extra zing

How to make Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe method step 1.

1. Cook slow cook ingredients, PLUS the juice from the can of pineapple (save the fruit for later) on high for 3 HOURS or low for 5-6 hours.

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe method step 3.

2. Put the cornflour into a small bowl or mug and add enough liquid from the slow cooker to make a smooth paste (‘slurry’). Pour back into the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe method step 2.

3. Add the brown sugar, peppers, and tinned pineapple.

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe method step 4.

4. Put back into the slow cooker on high for 30 minutes OR put on the hob (if your slow cooker pan allows) for 15 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the peppers are slightly softened.


Substitutions

  • Chicken thighs – If you prefer this cut of meat instead of breast for taste, texture or cost, that’s fine. You may need to cook a little longer.
  • Soy sauce – Tamari is a gluten free alternative. You could also try Worcestershire Sauce, bearing in mind this isn’t vegetarian, or there’s miso paste or fish sauce if that’s all you have.
  • Brown sugar – If you only have light brown sugar, you could use this, however it won’t have such a deep flavour or colour.

Leftovers

In the fridge You can keep this recipe in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat fully in the microwave or on the hob before serving. The sauce will be a lot thicker when reheated, add a splash of water to thin a little if you like.

In the freezer Wait until it’s totally cold and then put into a freezer proof container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating in the microwave or on the hob.

Top tips

Peppers
I use red, yellow and orange peppers for their sweetness but any colour will work. You can also cheat by using frozen peppers, but bear in mind these tend to be cut up quite small.

Serving suggestions
This goes really well with my Egg Fried Rice and prawn crackers. You could also have this with noodles if you prefer.

FAQs

Why do I have to make a cornflour paste?

This is a trick to thicken the sauce without ending up with floury lumps.

First you add cornflour to a small bowl, mug or jug, then use a little liquid from the dish (a spoonful or two) to mix the cornflour into a paste consistency.

If you just sprinkle cornflour straight into the dish, it will form lumps that are almost impossible to get rid of. I promise this step is worth the extra dirty bowl!

Can you recommend a slow cooker?

My favourite slow cooker is the Morphy Richards Sear & Stew Slow Cooker.

The pan of this one works on gas and electric hobs, so you can brown meat beforehand if necessary (I do try and avoid this most of the time though), or if anything needs a quick heat up after slow cooking. It’s also really light which is a bonus.

For induction hobs, lots of people have recommended the Lakeland Digital 6.5l Slow Cooker.

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

5 from 134 votes

Sweet and Sour Chicken {Slow Cooker Fakeaways}

Replicate a takeaway favourite at home by trying this delicious Sweet and Sour Chicken in the slow cooker. Perfect for weekends or entertaining.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

Slow cook ingredients:

  • 700 g Chicken breasts, Cut into large chunks
  • 1 Onion, Peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 3 tbsp Tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp Light soy
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 2 inches Ginger
  • 4 tbsp Honey
  • 4 tbsp White wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

To add later:

  • 3 tbsp Cornflour
  • 2 tbsp Dark brown sugar
  • 3 Peppers, Cut into big chunks
  • 435 g Tinned pineapple (in JUICE), In chunks

Instructions 

  • Cook slow cook ingredients, PLUS the juice from the can of pineapple (save the fruit for later) on high for 3 HOURS or low for 5-6 hours.
  • Put the cornflour into a small bowl or mug and add enough liquid from the slow cooker to make a smooth paste (slurry). Pour back into the slow cooker.
  • Add the brown sugar, peppers, and tinned pineapple.
  • EITHER: Put back into the slow cooker on high for 30 minutes.
    OR
    Put on the hob (if your slow cooker pan allows) for 15 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the peppers are slightly softened.

Notes

Peppers: I add the peppers at the end as I like them very crunchy and not overcooked here. You could add with the chicken if you prefer them softer.
Chicken breasts: I cut these into bite sized pieces. You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer, they may take a little longer to cook
Light soy: You can use dark soy if it’s all you have, but the colour of the finished sauce will be very different. The flavour may also be quite salty
White wine vinegar: Be careful not to use white vinegar or malt vinegar. These are very different!
Dark brown sugar: This does need to be dark brown to give that rich flavour
Tinned pineapple (in JUICE): We’re using chunks, but if you buy the rings, you can just cut them up. You’ll be using the juice before you use the fruit itself in the cooking process
Optional: Chilli flakes for a bit of heat if you like that, and a squeeze of lime at the end for extra zing
Soys sauce alternatives: Tamari is a gluten free alternative. You could also try Worcestershire Sauce, bearing in mind this isn’t vegetarian, or there’s miso paste or fish sauce if that’s all you have
How to freeze: Wait until it’s totally cold and then put into a freezer proof container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating in the microwave or on the hob
Serving suggestions: This goes really well with my Egg Fried Rice and prawn crackers. You could also have this with noodles if you prefer

Nutrition

Calories: 420kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 41gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 970mgPotassium: 1103mgFiber: 4gSugar: 43gVitamin A: 2963IUVitamin C: 129mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Like this? Leave a comment and rating below!Mention @myusername or tag #myhashtag!

new cookbook!

Featuring 100 delicious recipes that can be cooked in one pot, you can open any page in this book and find something that will give you not only a meal that the whole family will eat and enjoy, but also one that makes your life a little simpler in the process.

More Recipes

Sarah Rossi founder of TamingTwins.com and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.

Welcome!

Hi, I'm Sarah. I help busy people decide 'What's for Dinner?' Find hundreds of recipes here, and also in my bestselling recipe book. Hope my recipes make your life easier ❤️

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

28 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made this twice over the last couple of weeks and absolutely love it! Only change I made was to fry off the chicken first as I found it a bit dry when cooked on low for 6 hours – bonus is my children gobble it up too! Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    So tasty and the children liked it!

    As someone who is a mum of 4 and who is also registering as a childminder, I am loving the easy, tasty, slow cooker recipes. Please keep them coming!

  3. 5 stars
    This is the best sweet n sour chicken. I’m not a fan of sweet and sour but I’d eat this anyday. South better than the takeaway version.

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely love this meal. Just like a takeaway, and freezes well for a quick and easy meal when you can’t face cooking!

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve been trying various recipes to get my 2 kids eating more varied meals as they are super fussy! This one, for the first time ever, was a hit with every single person (including my Mum, and Mum-in-Law!) So easy, really tasty and minimal washing up – what more could you ask for!

  6. Finally got a slow cooker yesterday and made this today. I loved how easy the instructions were, and the taste was amazing. Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. 5 stars
    The nicest fakeaway I have ever had or made. Usually, it doesn’t come close to the real thing but I can happily say I’d have this instead of a takeaway to keep the costs down.