Why you’ll love this recipe
- This better than takeout air fryer sweet and sour chicken is ready in under 20 minutes.
- Both kids and adults will love this recipe.
- No dyes or white sugar added.
- This recipe uses minimal ingredients and pantry staples.
- Perfect for meal prep and reheats great.
- A way healthier version and easy on the macros!
Do you have to use chicken breast?
No, you can use chicken breast, thighs or even beef for this air fryer sweet and sour chicken. You could even use ground meat, cook the meat in a pan over medium until cooked through and add to the sauce. All would be great. Thighs will be nice and tender and full of flavor.
How to make this low carb?
The carbohydrates in this air fryer sweet and sour chicken recipe mainly come from the pineapple juice and chunks. You can omit the chunks completely which will take away ~ 30 grams of carbs from the overall recipe. You could also cut the juice in half but this will alter the taste so you’d need to taste test and adjust as needed whether it’s more sugar.
Doing a quick search online a typical restaurant order of sweet and sour chicken ranges anywhere from 1000 to 1800 calories.
What air fryer do you use?
I have become slightly obsessed with using my air fryer for everything, liked here. I do find it is pretty loud in the kitchen but it gets the job done and makes perfect cooked chicken for this air fryer sweet and sour chicken recipe. We have had it since Amazon Prime day 2020 without any issues.
Here are some of our favorite air fryer recipes:
- Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken
- Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes
- Air Fryer Shrimp Tacos
- Air Fryer Blackened Chicken
Ingredients and Substitutes:
These are the main ingredients and substitutions. See recipe card below for full ingredients list and instructions for Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Chicken.
Chicken Breast: you can use any chicken for this recipe. Chicken tenderloins, chicken breast, chicken cutlets or even thighs.
Pineapple: this recipe uses the juice of one large Del Monte Gold can (20 oz.) of pineapple chunks and half the pineapples. You can omit pineapples and just use the juice or use all the pineapples for the second half does not go to waste. We like to snack on the leftovers in cottage cheese in the morning.
Swerve Brown Sugar: this recipe calls for brown sugar substitute which saves approximately 400 calories in the overall recipe. You can use brown sugar in it’s place, maple syrup or honey. If using maple syrup or honey start with 1/4 cup and add more as needed.
Rice Vinegar: this recipe calls for rice vinegar. You can substitute with apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar or even lemon juice.
Coconut Aminos: this recipe calls for coconut aminos. I prefer aminos to soy sauce as it’s less salty to taste. You can also use soy sauce or tamari as a substitute.
Ketchup: for this air fryer sweet and sour chicken I am using standard everyday ketchup. Not zero sugar, low sugar, low carb etc. You can use your favorite ketchup here. Lower sugar and carbs will lower the overall carb count in the recipe.
Tapioca Flour: to thicken the sauce I am using tapioca flour. You can use corn starch, arrowroot or you’re preferred thickener. Mix it with water to dissolve prior to adding to the sauce.
How to make air fryer sweet and sour chicken:
Step 1: Cook the Chicken
Preheat the air fryer. Chop the chicken into bite size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the basket of the air fryer and cook at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes until cooked through.
Step 2: Make the Sauce
Mix the tapioca flour and water in a small bowl and set aside to use to thicken the sauce. Add pineapple juice, rice vinegar, brown sugar substitute, ketchup and coconut aminos to a large pan over medium. Whisk the sauce and bring it to a low boil.
Step 3: Thicken the Sauce
While the sauce simmers add the tapioca slurry and continue stirring to thicken the sauce. This will happen almost instantly.
Step 4: Add the Chicken
Once the sauce has thickened add the cooked chicken from the air fryer. Be sure not to add the juice from the air fryer or you sauce will thin out. Add pineapples and mix together well so the pineapples and chicken are coated with the sauce.
Step 5: Serve
Top with chopped green onions and serve with rice or steamed vegetables. Add leftover sauce on top when serving or see sauce tip below.
Sauce TIP for Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Chicken ..
If you want a extra thick sauce, once you coat and remove the chicken from the sauce to serve you can add an additional pinch of tapioca slurry and thicken to make a sauce to go on top.
Optional add ins:
Add in thick cut yellow onions and chopped red bell peppers half way through the air fryer cooking time with the chicken, at 5 minutes. This will cook them down some but keep them al dente. Add to the sauce when you add the chicken.
What to serve with this recipe?
Serve your air fryer sweet and sour chicken with steamed or roasted vegetables, rice or add to a wrap and enjoy!
Serving size notes
This recipe makes 5 servings of air fryer sweet and sour chicken. Since this recipe requires you to thicken and simmer the final outcome weight may vary person to person. Due to this I highly suggest you weigh your pan before cooking, after cooking and subtract the pan weight for a final weight of the food. You can also weigh everything for a final weight after cooking in a separate bowl or plate. Then divide the total grams of the entire meal by the total servings for your total serving size. This is the best way to be the most accurate.
If you like this recipe be sure to check out some of our other easy air fryer recipes!
- Air Fryer Breakfast Potatoes
- Air Fryer Shrimp Tacos
- Air Fryer Beef Taquitos
- Air Fryer Sesame Chicken
- Cinnamon Cream Cheese Roll Ups
- Air Fryer Blackened Chicken
Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Chicken
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- Air Fryer
- 2 lbs. chicken breast boneless, skinless, cubed
- 1 cup pineapple juice or juice of one 20 oz. can
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- 1/2 cup Swerve brown sugar
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp. ketchup
- 2 tbsp. coconut aminos
To thicken the sauce
- 1.5 tbsp. tapioca flour
- 2 tbsp. water
- green onions chopped
- Preheat the air fryer. Chop the chicken into bite size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the basket of the air fryer and cook at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes until cooked through.
- Mix the tapioca flour and water in a small bowl and set aside to use to thicken the sauce. Add pineapple juice, rice vinegar, brown sugar substitute, ketchup and coconut aminos to a large pan over medium. Whisk the sauce and bring it to a low boil.
- While the sauce simmers add the tapioca slurry and continue stirring to thicken the sauce. This will happen almost instantly.
- Once the sauce has thickened add the cooked chicken from the air fryer. Be sure not to add the juice from the air fryer or you sauce will thin out. Add pineapples and mix together well so the pineapples and chicken are coated with the sauce.
- Top with chopped green onions and serve with rice or steamed vegetables. Add leftover sauce on top when serving or see sauce tip below.