Sweet-and-Sour Popcorn Chicken Recipe
Sweet-and-Sour Popcorn Chicken Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Sweet-and-Sour Popcorn Chicken Recipe

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4.5 17 36
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Pre-cooked, frozen popcorn chicken simmered in a thick, homemade sweet-and-sour sauce is the secret to this fast and fabulous entree. And what a great way to dress up frozen chicken nuggets! “This is one menu you’ll find yourself returning to again and again,” suggests Amy Corlew-Sherlock from Lapeer, Michigan.
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
MAKES:4 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 1 medium green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened pineapple chunks
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 package (12 ounces) frozen popcorn chicken

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 429 calories, 15g fat (3g saturated fat), 26mg cholesterol, 1150mg sodium, 64g carbohydrate (38g sugars, 3g fiber), 11g protein


  1. In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry green pepper and onion in oil for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain pineapple, reserving the juice in a 2-cup measuring cup; set pineapple aside. Add enough water to the juice to measure 1-1/3 cups; stir in the vinegar, soy sauce and ketchup.
  2. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and cornstarch. Stir in pineapple juice mixture until smooth. Gradually add to the skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in pineapple and heat through.
  3. Meanwhile, microwave chicken according to package directions. Stir into pineapple mixture. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Sweet-and-Sour Popcorn Chicken in Simple & Delicious September/October 2006, p19

Medium-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied white wine such as Riesling or Gewürtztraminer

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Reviewed Apr. 26, 2016

"I have made this several times. I like to bake the popcorn chicken (not nuggets!) rather than microwave them. This keeps them crispier. Also I add the chicken at the very last minute. For leftovers the chicken does get softer again but that's just the nature of keeping them mixed in the sauce. If you want to keep chicken crispy keep it separated and re-toast or bake for a few minutes again to warm up. I also tend to use 1 green and 1 red pepper for color and a larger onion for extra flavor. Serve with rice or noodles for a very satisfying meal!"

Reviewed Sep. 29, 2015

"This recipe was very good. The chicken nuggets weren't really good. I had baked them first, then added to the sauce, but they were mushy. The next time I make this, I will probably just use chicken breast. I'm sure it will be even tastier! Thanks for the recipe!"

Reviewed Aug. 6, 2015

"I have been making this since it first appeared in the magazine a few years back. I do cook the chicken in the oven instead of the microwave as we like our chicken a tad crunchy. I also add mushrooms, as per daughter's request."

Reviewed Jan. 27, 2015

"Delicious! I made this exactly as written and served it with the Fried Rice and Egg Drop Soup from the same reader."

Reviewed Nov. 30, 2014

"I love this recipe, it tastes just like take out but I know what ingredients are going into the meal. I do prefer using cooked cubed chicken as opposed to the breaded popcorn chicken. I need to make this again! It's great!!"

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