I had such a blast the other day videoing the making of this recipe via Instagram Stories. Did any of you get a chance to watch? I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, but thankfully it was a winner because I put both of my kids on to get their reactions as they took their first bite. My daughter rarely likes anything, so the fact that she likes this means I will make it often. And as much as I love to get sweet and sour chicken at a restaurant, it's not something I could eat often knowing how NOT healthy it was for me. This version really lightens things up, leaves out the MSG, and just leaves you with juicy white meat chicken full of tons of flavor (plus, those veggies!).
This is what I'd call a two step recipe, because you do need to brown up the chicken just a bit to get a little crispy crust on it. Not to worry, I wouldn't call this deep frying.... only 2 tablespoons of oil and some cornstarch give us a nice, light, crispy coating that won't leave you feeling super stuffed after you eat it. To keep it quick and with minimal clean-up, I love using my multi-cooker. Everything gets made right in the slow cooker and you don't have a frying pan or stove to clean up.
A little additional cornstarch added to the sauce made it thicken up perfectly while slow cooking, so no extra steps were needed after to get it to the consistency I wanted.
I cut the veggies into larger chunks, and they stayed just the right amount of crispy. The fact that the dish isn't growing in excess sauce helps too. Next time you want take-out... try this make at home version instead! You will feel so much better about what you just ate, and the fact that you can make this so easily in the slow cooker means that you probably don't even spend that much more time than it would take to call in take-out and drive to pick it up.
Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
- ¼ cup cornstarch (+2 tablespoons for later)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 20 oz can pineapple chunks, juice drained and reserved
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, optional
- chopped green onions or cilantro, optional
- Cut chicken into large bite sized pieces
- Add to a large zipped bag along with ¼ cup cornstarch and shake together until chicken is well coated
- Heat oil in skillet or multi-cooker and add chicken to brown on each side for 4-6 minutes until lightly golden in color, transfer to slow cooker
- Remove ribs and seeds from peppers and cut into chunks and add to slow cooker along with drained pineapple
- Whisk together 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water until smooth
- Whisk together sugar, vinegar, pineapple juice, soy sauce, ketchup and the cornstarch slurry you just made until smooth
- Pour over chicken and veggies
- Cover and cook on high for about 3 hours or low for about 6
- Garnish with sesame seeds and greens if desired
Want more take-out dishes you can make at home in your slow cooker?