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Air Fryer Sweet And Sour Chicken Recipe

This air fryer sweet and sour chicken recipe is a weeknight staple! Tender chicken bites air fried until crispy and tossed in a homemade sweet and sour sauce. This recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make and uses mostly pantry staples. Serve over steamed rice or with stir fried green beans and other veggies. A great recipe to try at home when you want to skip the Chinese takeout!

bowl of air fryer sweet and sour chicken with green onions

Perfect bite size pieces mean quick cooking perfect for a busy weeknight.

Highlights of this easy air fryer chicken recipe:

  • Lighter sweet and sour chicken recipe
  • Quick dinner idea
  • Easy clean up
  • No messy oil from frying
  • Homemade sweet and sour sauce is quick and free of preservatives
  • Good family meal
  • Keeps well for meal prep
  • Low carb option
  • Nice crunch on the chicken
  • Can substitute store-bought short cuts, like frozen chicken nuggets

First Steps:

  • Combine ingredients for flour mixture
  • Toss chicken cubes in flour mixture until coated
  • Place in a single layer in the basket of an air fryer
  • Air fry until crispy and cooked through

Tools I used for this air fryer sweet and sour chicken recipe:

air fryer chicken recipes

Serve with with white rice, soba noodles, or stir fried veggies!

Grocery Store List & Substitutions:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts, or substitute chicken tenders or boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • All-purpose flour
  • Kosher Salt
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • Garlic cloves
  • Fresh ginger
  • Ketchup
  • Apple cider vinegar, could substitute rice vinegar
  • Regular Soy sauce (could use a gluten-free soy sauce or light soy sauce)
  • Light brown sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Green onions or sesame seeds, for garnish

Serving ideas & variations for this crispy chicken:

  • Serve over cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash for a low-carb option
  • Serve over soba noodles with sautéed red peppers, green bell peppers or broccoli
  • Add in sweet pineapple chunks
  • Substitute sweet and sour sauce for sweet chili sauce
  • Sub frozen chicken bites for an easy sweet and sour chicken over a bed of rice
steamed white rice in a bowl

Serve your air fryer sweet and sour chicken pieces with Failproof Long Grain Rice in the Instant Pot or Perfect Steamed Rice (without a rice cooker)!

Can I put raw chicken in the air fryer?

Absolutely! This sweet and sour chicken goes into the air fryer raw, dusted in flour and comes out perfectly crispy. Just make sure chicken temps at 165 degrees F. before eating.

What is the sauce made of in sweet and sour chicken?

This homemade sweet and sour sauce is made of soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, minced garlic, minced ginger, and cornstarch. It takes just minutes to mix up and reduces into a thick sauce free of additives or preservatives.

How long does chicken take to cook in the air fryer?

Depending on the size and thickness of the chicken, it usually takes between 12-18 minutes to cook chicken in the air fryer. This chicken recipe is done in about 12-15 minutes as the pieces are cut smaller. If using bone-in chicken, it can take slightly longer. Cook until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees F.

Second Steps:

  • Transfer air fried chicken to a large mixing bowl
  • Pour over warm sweet and sour sauce
  • Toss to combine

If you enjoy this air fryer recipe, you’ll love these other easy recipes…

Air Fryer Frozen Cheese Curds

Easy Crispy Air Fryer Sesame Chicken Recipe

Crispiest Air Fryer Chicken Katsu Recipe

Meal Prep Cashew Chicken Bowls

Meal Prep Garlic Ginger Chicken Bowls

Pro tips & tricks for success:

  • Cut chicken into even sized cubes for even cooking.
  • Toss chicken is a large gallon bag! Add flour mix and cubed chicken to a gallon zip top bag, seal, and toss mess free.
  • Spread chicken out evenly in the air fryer basket so nothing gets soggy.
  • If you plan to air fry a lot of chicken (if you are multiplying this recipe), preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. and have a sheet pan ready. After each batch of chicken transfer to the sheet pan and keep warm in the oven until ready to eat.
  • Enjoy immediately for best texture!
bowl of sweet and sour chicken with white rice

Instructions:

For the sweet and sour sauce:

  • In a small saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients – soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, garlic, and ginger. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture starts to bubble. In a small mixing bowl combine corn starch and water, stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low, pour in cornstarch mixture and allow to simmer 5-10 minutes, stirring often until thick and reduced. If the sauce is to thick, thin with a little water.

For the chicken:

  • In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. Stir to combine. Toss the cubed chicken in the flour mixture to evenly coat*.
  • Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Once preheated, spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray and add the chicken in a single layer*. Air fry for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Chicken is done when it has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Transfer cooked chicken to a large mixing bowl, top with the sauce, and toss to combine.
  • Serve over steamed rice. Leftover chicken will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Notes:

*You can also toss the chicken in a large gallon bag for even coating and less mess.

*Chicken needs to cook in a single layer in order to get crispy. If needed, cook in batches and keep warm in a 250 degree oven.

juicy chicken in a bowl with sauce

Air Fryer Sweet And Sour Chicken Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Keyword: Air Fryer Recipes, Rice Bowls, Sesame Chicken
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 181kcal
Print Recipe
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Equipment:

  • Air fryer

Ingredients:  

For the chicken:

  • 2 6-8 oz. Boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/3 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt

For the sweet and sour sauce:

  • 3 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup Ketchup
  • 1 tsp Ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Cornstarch + 1 tbsp water

Instructions:

For the sweet and sour sauce:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, garlic, and ginger. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture starts to bubble. In a small mixing bowl combine cornstarch and water, stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low, pour in cornstarch mixture and allow to simmer 5-10 minutes, stirring often until thick and reduced. If the sauce is to thick, thin with a little water.

For the chicken:

  • In a small bowl combine the flour, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. Stir to combine. Toss the cubed chicken in the flour mixture to evenly coat*.
  • Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Once preheated, add the chicken into the air fryer basket in a single layer*. Air fry for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Chicken is done when it has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Transfer cooked chicken to a large mixing bowl, top with the sauce, and toss to combine.
  • Serve over steamed rice. Leftover chicken will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Notes:

*You can also toss the chicken in a large gallon bag for even coating and less mess.
*Chicken needs to cook in a single layer in order to get crispy. If needed, cook in batches and keep warm in a 250 degree oven.

Nutrition:

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 181 kcalCarbohydrates: 42 gProtein: 3 gFat: 0.2 gSaturated Fat: 0.02 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.02 gCholesterol: 0.3 mgSodium: 1527 mgPotassium: 171 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 31 gVitamin A: 141 IUVitamin C: 3 mgCalcium: 35 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Did you make this recipe?

I would love to see it! Take a picture and post to Instagram with the tag @theheartylife and the hashtag #theheartylife – You can also leave me a question or comment below! If you’ve tried this recipe, feel free to give it a star rating on the recipe above.

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