Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken (Paleo)

A cleaner version of healthy sweet and sour chicken that is soy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and easy to prepare! Employing the homemade sweet and sour sauce, you can use this recipe as your gateway to all sorts of sweet and sour adventures! Serve it up with steamed rice or fried rice to really bedazzle your friends and family!

Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken - gluten-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free and healthy
Are you crazy about Chinese-style sweet and sour dishes? My siblings and I always loved Chinese takeout growing up and we’d practically throw elbows over the sweet and sour chicken – it was always the first to disappear! 

Because I still crave those salty, sweet, sour, somewhat spicy but mostly sultry ultra gooey breaded lumps of crispy joy, I decided to devise my own approach to sweet and sour sauce.

My method is simple. All we do is make a homemade paleo sweet and sour sauce using all natural ingredients: pineapple juice, honey, coconut aminos (or liquid aminos or soy sauce if that’s your jam, tapioca starch, unsweetened ketchup, cider vinegar (or rice vinegar), sriracha, garlic and that’s it! Super clean, no added cane sugar, gluten-free and above all: delicious!

Grain-Free Sweet and Sour Chicken - a healthy Chinese takeout recipe made soy-free, refined sugar-free and paleo friendly

All in all this sweet and sour chicken recipe is grain-free, paleo, and easy to put together any ol’ night of the week. Keep the whole thing grain-free by serving with Thai Cauliflower Rice  or Turnip Fried Rice, or Cauliflower Fried Rice instead of steamed rice.

Or, if you’re like me and you eat rice, check out my Pineapple Fried Rice  or Basil Fried Rice

Tips for Preparing This Recipe:

If you’ve made breaded recipes in the past, you know there’s this process of dredging in egg followed by dredging in flour. WELL. I got intelligent, and I combined processes. My method is simple. 

Rather than separating the egg and flour dredging, I simply whisk the egg in a mixing bowl, stir the raw chopped chicken in with the egg (ALL of it at the same time!), then pour in the flour and toss it all together. 

No need for getting your hands dirty, transferring here and there, getting flour everywhere…it all happens in one big bowl, and it’s just so easy!

I’m almost ashamed to admit I tend to shy away from breaded recipes for the sole reason that I’m too lazy to do the two step egg-and-flour dredge. Now that I have invented this ultra high tech option, I’ll be breading all the things forever and ever and you can’t stop me muuuuhahaha!

Don’t cancel me.

As I was saying.

Paleo Sweet and Sour Chicken made grain-free, soy-free and refined sugar-free

This approach to healthy sweet and sour chicken is very easy to prepare, is relatively quick, and is a fun recipe for bringing the takeout in. If you’re like me and you enjoy cooking a variety of cuisines, you’ll LOVE this little project!

How to Make Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken:

Add the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce to a blender and blend until combined. Set aside until ready to use.

Chop the vegetables and set aside until ready to use.

chopped onion and bell pepper on a cutting board

Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

In a mixing bowl, whisk one egg. 

whisked egg in mixing bowl

Add the chopped chicken to the mixing bowl with the egg and stir well until the chicken pieces are well-coated in egg.

chopped raw chicken in a mixing bowl with beaten egg

Add the cassava flour to the mixing bowl and stir together until chicken is well-coated in flour.

chopped chicken in beaten egg with flour

floured chicken in a mixing bowl

Heat the avocado oil to high in a large skillet. 

Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken has browned, about 5 minutes.

breaded chicken peices cooking in a skillet

Add the chopped vegetables and stir well.

chicken and vegetables cooking in a skillet

Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour in the sweet and sour sauce and bring mixture to a full boil.

Pouring sweet and sour sauce into skillet with chicken and vegetables

Cook stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is very thick, about 5 minutes. Taste chicken for flavor and add sea salt and/or sriracha to taste.

sweet and sour chicken cooking in a skillet

Garnish with chopped green onion and sesame seeds. 

Serve with choice of side dishes and enjoy!

Hea;thy Paleo Sweet and Sour Chicken - grain-free, refined sugar-free and soy-free

Recipe Adaptations:

  • Use ½ cup of tapioca flour, gluten-free flour blend, or  ¾ cup of almond flour instead of cassava flour for breading the chicken. Note that if you use almond flour, the mixture will turn out somewhat grainy and not as smooth. 
  • Replace cider vinegar with rice vinegar
  • Add more sriracha, 1 to 3 Thai chilies, or ¼ to 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to increase the heat.
  • Use liquid aminos or soy sauce instead of coconut aminos.

Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken made grain-free, soy-free and refined sugar-free. paleo friendly

Sweet and sour chicken for life!

More Healthy Chinese-Inspired Recipes:

My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out. Thank you for your support!

If you make this recipe, please feel free to share a photo and tag @TheRoastedRoot on Instagram!

Grain-Free Sweet and Sour Chicken - a healthy Chinese takeout recipe made soy-free, refined sugar-free and paleo friendly

Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: chicken breasts, chicken recipe, gluten free, grain free, paleo, refined sugar free, soy free
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Julia

Grain-free paleo sweet and sour chicken made soy-free and refined sugar-free

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Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 2 large chicken breasts 1 to 1.5 lbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup cassava flour or gluten-free flour blend
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper chopped
  • 3 stalks green onion chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds optional

Paleo Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp tapioca flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened ketchup
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp sriracha to taste
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos or liquid aminos
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Add the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce to a blender and blend until combined. Set aside until ready to use.

  2. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk one egg.

  4. Add the chopped chicken to the mixing bowl with the egg and stir well until the chicken pieces are well-coated in egg.

  5. Add the cassava flour to the mixing bowl and stir together until chicken is well-coated in flour.

  6. Heat the avocado oil to high in a large skillet.

  7. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken has browned, about 5 minutes.

  8. Add the chopped vegetables and stir well.

  9. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes.

  10. Pour in the sweet and sour sauce and bring mixture to a full boil. Cook stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is very thick, about 5 minutes. Taste chicken for flavor and add sea salt and/or sriracha to taste.

  11. Garnish with chopped green onion and sesame seeds.

  12. Serve with choice of side dishes and enjoy!

Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken made grain-free, soy-free and refined sugar-free. paleo friendly. An easy healthy dinner recipe that can be made any night of the week! #chinesefood #paleo #lowcarb #soyfree #healthy

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Comments

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Rosie! Are you able to do hoisin sauce? I would try that, or just skip it altogether and add more liquid aminos. The ketcup provides some texture unfortunately, and I’m not familiar with a product that mimic the same texture and taste. I think the chicken will still be delicious without it, but if you’re able to add another Asian-style thick sauce, that would work nicely. xo

      Reply

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