Sheet Pan Sweet & Sour Chicken
Yield: 4-6 servings; Sauce yield: 1+cup (enough for 2 recipes or 1 recipe with plenty of extra sauce for rice)
Sweet and spicy mingle with a hint of heat in this family-friendly sheet pan meal that’s worthy of a spot on the weekly dinner rotation. The prep-ahead sauce stores well and makes enough for a second meal another night.


  • 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 large bell peppers, mix of colors
  • 1 small or 1/2 a large red onion
  • 0-2 cups pineapple chunks*
  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sweet & Sour Sauce (recipe follows)
  • Optional for serving: hot cooked rice (about 3/4 cup per person), 1/3 cup chopped cashews, 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, and/or 2 thinly sliced scallions

Sweet & Sour Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (113ml) unseasoned rice vinegar (may substitute apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (84g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (68g) ketchup
  • 1/4 cup (56g) pineapple juice (see tip)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 tablespoon sriracha (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and lightly grease a large, rimmed baking sheet.  (Line with foil if desired for easy cleanup.)
  2. Cut the chicken, bell peppers, onion, and pineapple into one-inch pieces.  In a large bowl or directly on the sheet pan, toss with the oil, and then spread into an even layer over the prepared pan.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake the mixture for 15 minutes, and then remove the pan from the oven.  If there is liquid on the pan that has cooked out of the chicken or pineapple, drain it off by carefully tilting the pan and spooning it off.  This will prevent a watered-down sauce.
  4. Stir in just over 1/2 cup (or about half) of the sweet & sour sauce.  Toss to incorporate, spread the mixture evenly over the pan, and then return to the oven for about 5 more minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through.  (This could take a few extra minutes if chicken pieces have been cut on the larger side – and oven temperatures do vary.)  Alternatively, I like to switch to the broil setting after the sauce has been added and broil the mixture for a minute or two, watching very closely to avoid burning, to finish cooking and lightly caramelize.
  5. Sprinkle with optional toppings and serve with rice if desired.

To make the Sweet & Sour Sauce:

  1. Place the vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, pineapple juice, cornstarch/water mix, sriracha, and soy sauce in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce begins to gently boil. It will darken in color and become thicker. Immediately reduce heat to keep warm, or let cool, and then store in a jar in the refrigerator.  The sauce will keep for 2 weeks, give or take.


*My kids and I adore how the sweet notes of the pineapple contrast the sour and spicy flavors in this recipe.  That said, not everyone likes mixing fruit and vegetables in the same dish, and my husband loves this meal even more without the pineapple.  Accordingly, I use about 1 1/2 cups for a balance that everyone in our family enjoys. Feel free to choose an amount based on preferences in your own group.

Helpful Hints: 

  • I prefer to use fresh pineapple when available, although canned may be used – in which case you may use the drained juice in the sauce recipe.  Optionally, the small 6-ounce cans that Dole offers need not be refrigerated until opened and are ideal when a small amount of pineapple juice is called for in a recipe.
  • I use half for one dinner and refrigerate the remaining sauce for another batch in the following week or two.  Alternatively, extra sauce may be used to flavor rice that may be served alongside. The sauce may also be used for other recipes calling for sweet & sour sauce.

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