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Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken over fluffy white rice in a black bowl

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken

Homemade sweet and sour chicken. No need to order take-out with this easy delicious slow cooker version.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword easy chinese chicken recipe, slow cooker asian chicken recipe, sweet and sour chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 270 kcal
Author Kelly


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized 1” cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder for Paleo friendly version (USE 3 tablespoons for an extra crispy coating)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • cooking oil
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 2 sweet bell peppers I used 1 red, 1 green, deseeded and cut into 1
  • sesame seeds for garnish


  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce use gluten free Tamari or coconut aminos for paleo version
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste or ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce leave out if you can't find this
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger minced

Corn Starch Slurry:

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder + 3 tablespoons cool water

For Lunch Bowls:


  1. In a large zip-top bag, toss in the chicken, cornstarch salt, and black pepper. Shake until well-coated. Set aside.
  2. Make the sauce In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce, set aside.

For Slow Cooker Method:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (You can skip this stove-top step if you prefer or are in a pinch. Just add chicken directly to slow cooker. Chicken will not have that crispy coating) Cook chicken about 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Transfer chicken into the slow cooker and pour sauce over top.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW for 2.5 - 4 hours or HIGH for 1.5 - 3 hours. (SEE NOTES)
  3. About 30 minutes before serving, whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir into the slow cooker. Add the pineapples and bell peppers into the pot. Cover and cook on HIGH for another 20-30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened up and the vegetables are tender. (if your slow cooker is not hot enough to thicken the sauce - pour sauce into a pot and heat on stovetop on high to thicken sauce or you can just skip the cornstarch slurry instead)
  4. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, green onions and serve over rice, quinoa or zoodles, if desired.

For Instant Pot Method:

  1. Turn Instant Pot to SAUTE (skip this step and just cook on MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK (high) for 5 minutes if you are in a pinch or prefer. The chicken won't have that crispy coating.) Allow pan to heat up for a few minutes then add oil. Cook chicken in batches (placing the browned chicken on a paper-towel-lined plate) about 3-4 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Once all the chicken is browned, add back to the Instant Pot and pour sauce over top.
  2. Close and seal Instant Pot and set the valve to sealing.
  3. Press MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK (high) and set for 3 minutes. Once the 3 minutes is up and the Instant Pot beeps, allow to naturally release for 15-20 minutes. Open lid and transfer chicken to a large serving plate or bowl.
  4. Return inner pot back to the Instant Pot. Press the SAUTE button and add additional oil as needed. Toss in the pineapple and bell peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes, until tender.
  5. Combine the corn starch with water and stir into the Instant Pot. Allow the sauce to bubble and thicken up. Add the chicken back to the Instant Pot and cook for a minute or two until everything is heated through.
  6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, green onions and serve over rice, quinoa or zoodles, if desired.

For Meal Prep:

  1. Prepare your favorite carb (rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, roasted potatoes, rice noodles) and add to containers. Divide sweet and sour chicken among containers and add any other of your favorite roasted or stir-fried vegetables.
Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 serving (without rice))
Calories 270 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Cholesterol 72mg24%
Sodium 816mg34%
Potassium 734mg21%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 1445IU29%
Vitamin C 63.6mg77%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy using the WPRM recipe calculator. It is best to make your own calculations to ensure accuracy. We expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.