Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken (with pineapple)

This slow cooker chicken with a sweet and sour sauce, sauteed peppers and fresh pineapple chunks is an easy, yet delicious meal you can serve with rice. This sweet and sour chicken in the slow cooker took some trial and error to develop, but now I can honestly say, it is as good as Chinese take out and with less calories too! If you prefer crispier, breaded sweet and sour chicken, you can also try my skillet sweet and sour chicken recipe. You may also enjoy homemade egg rolls as a side to this sweet and sour chicken with fresh pineapple!

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Slow cooker sweet and sour chicken

Slow cooker sweet and sour chicken (with pineapple)

marilynpeight
This chicken is made in the slow cooker with a sweet and sour sauce, and is a very easy main dish for a Chinese style dinner you can create at home for only a fraction of the cost and calories!
3.80 from 10 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 5

Equipment

  • 3 quart crockpot (linked below)
  • Saucepan (linked below)
  • Cutting board (linked below)
  • Chef's knife (linked below)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple chunks *see note
  • 5 small mini sweet peppers

Sweet and sour Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar *see note
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch

Optional toppings:

  • sesame seeds
  • thinly sliced green onions

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, pineapple juice, soy sauce, ground ginger and garlic powder in a small sauce pan. Create a slurry with the cornstarch and 2-3 tablespoons water, then bring the ingredients in the saucepan to a boil and whisk in the cornstarch. Cook and stir the sauce for several minutes until it returns to its dark red color. Remove from heat.
  • Place the cubed chicken breast in a 2.5-4 quart crockpot and pour the sweet and sour sauce over top. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours, or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees. *see notes below.
  • Once the chicken in the slow cooker is cooked through, saute the peppers in a skillet and then add to the sweet and sour chicken in the crockpot along with fresh pineapple cubes. Stir to combine. *see notes below.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and green/spring onions (optional), then serve over cooked rice and enjoy!

Notes

You can also use canned pineapple chunks with juice for the sake of convenience, but fresh pineapple adds the best flavor to this slow cooker sweet and sour chicken. 
Less apple cider vinegar can be added if you prefer your sweet and sour sauce to be sweeter, and more can be added if you prefer it to be tangier. 
Step by step photos and notes below, including why I prefer to cook the cornstarch prior to placing it in the crockpot, and why we prefer to saute the peppers separately. 
Keyword Sweet and Sour chicken, slow cooker, with pineapple
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Equipment for this slow cooker sweet and sour chicken recipe:

  • Crockpot I used a 2.5 quart casserole crockpot in this recipe and it was a tad on the small side, which is why I recommend using a 3-4 quart crockpot. *note if using a larger crockpot the cubed chicken may cook a little faster too.
  • Sauce pan a small saucepan is handy for whipping up a sauce such as this sweet and sour sauce.
  • Cutting board I like to use a plastic cutting board that is dish washer friendly when cubing chicken and chopping veggies. *tip: be sure to clean the cutting board with hot water and soap between cubing the chicken and chopping the vegetables, to avoid spreading bacteria onto the veggies and pineapple.
  • Chef’s knife A large chef’s knife makes the chopping and cubing process so much easier and also faster!

Ingredients needed: Pineapple chunks, chicken breast, mini bell peppers, brown sugar, pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, cornstarch, soy sauce, garlic powder and ground ginger. Optional ingredients: spring/green onions and sesame seeds.

Substitutions:

You can also use roughly 1 cup diced, regular sized bell peppers. Yellow or red bell peppers will be sweeter, but green bell peppers can also be used.

You can also saute diced white or yellow sweet onions with the peppers instead of adding spring onions for garnish.

Step 1: Create the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch. Create a slurry of cornstarch and water, then bring the combined ingredients in the saucepan to a boil and whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Cook until the sauce is thickened and clear (the sauce should return to its original dark color).

Note*

The first time I tried sweet and sour chicken in the slow cooker I added the sauce with cornstarch without cooking it prior. The slow cooker does not cook hot enough (unless it happens to have a boil setting) to cook the corn starch properly and I ended up with a gritty, weird textured chicken mixture (I may have gagged a few times). So, please be sure to cook the sauce and cornstarch together before adding it to the crockpot to get the sauce nice and smooth.

Step 2: Place the cubed, sweet and sour chicken into a 2.5-4 quart crockpot and pour the sauce over top. Cook on low for 2-3 hours.

Note*

Be sure to avoid over cooking the cubed chicken, which will cook a lot faster than whole breasts and will have a dry/gummy texture if overcooked. My chicken is usually done right around 2 1/2 hours, but if you are using a crockpot that is larger than a 2.5 quart, it may cook faster. As soon as the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it is ready to enjoy.

Step 3: Saute the peppers separately, then add to the cooked, sweet and sour chicken along with the pineapple chunks.

Note*

Cooking the peppers with the chicken in the crockpot can add a strong pepper flavor to the sweet and sour sauce and the chicken. Which is why I prefer to saute the peppers separately. If you do not mind a strong pepper flavor in the sweet and sour chicken, you can skip the sauteeing step and add the peppers into the crockpot with the raw chicken, or at the last hour of cooking for more crisp-tender peppers.

Step 3 continued: Combine the chicken, pineapple chunks and sauteed peppers, then the sweet and sour chicken is ready to serve.

Feel free to pin for later and tag me on Instagram to show off your creation of this slow cooker sweet and sour chicken with pineapple.

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