Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken

Slow cooker sweet and sour chicken recipe

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken has succulent chicken chunks in a crispy dough and topped with a sweet, spicy sauce. A takeaway favorite made easily in the slow cooker!

View of a bowl of sweet and sour chicken with a side of scallions.

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken (Hong Kong style)

I often find that replicating the most famous dishes at home can be the hardest thing: getting them to taste as a souvenir from the restaurant or to take away! Sweet and sour chicken is one of those recipes that took me a while to perfect.

Authentic ‘Hong Kong Sweet and Sour Chicken’ requires the chicken to first be cut into pieces, then floured or coated before frying and drizzling it with the sauce. So the chicken should be moist, the dough crispy and the sauce just the right amount of fruit and acid. My recipe for slow cooker ticks all these boxes and is a great addition to add to the fake Chinese repertoire!

Aerial view of Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken in a bowl with a side of scallion and chopsticks.


  • Chicken – Chicken breast cut into pieces and then battered. The dough also keeps the chicken moist during cooking.
  • Batter – Make the dough with flour, water, egg, baking powder and seasoning. Use wheat and corn flour in the dough, as wheat flour creates a stable coating for the chicken, while corn flour keeps it light.
  • Sauce – Use apple cider vinegar (for the flavor!), ginger, garlic, brown sugar, tomato ketchup, pineapple, and apple juice to make the base of the sauce (if you prefer, you can use the same volume of pineapple juice, stuffed with apple as it is a little less sweet and sour). Season with a little soy sauce and a pinch of soft chili powder. Add pieces of pineapple, onion and peppers to make them crispy.
  • Thickener – Cornmeal is added to the sauce to create a syrupy texture for icing chicken pieces.
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Close-up of Crockpot Sweet and Sour Chicken in a bowl with scallion garnish.How-to



sauce for Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour chicken is simply a case of adding everything to the slow cooker, easy!

Preparing chicken dumplings involves additional batter and shallow frying steps. This process only takes 20 minutes from start to finish and you need to get an authentic taste and texture.

Here are the steps in detail.


the sauce

Three pictures to show the stages of making sweet and sour sauce in the slow cooker.
  1. Place the onions and peppers in the slow cooker with chopped garlic. Sprinkle over ginger, chili and cornmeal and then stir to cover the vegetables.
  2. Add soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, tomato ketchup and pineapple pieces.
  3. Pour the pineapple and apple juice, stir and cook for 4-5 hours over low heat.


the dough

Three pictures to show the steps of making the dough to cover the chicken for the sweet and sour chicken recipe.
  1. In a bowl, whisk the egg and water
  2. .

  3. Sift into baking powder and flour gradually and beat continuously to ensure a smooth
  4. dough.

  5. Season the dough with salt and pepper and leave and leave to the side.


the chicken

Six photos to show the stages to prepare and cook the chicken for the slow cooker sweet and sour chicken recipe.
  1. Remove any tendons from the chicken breasts, cut them into pieces and season well
  2. .

  3. Dredge each piece of chicken into flour.
  4. Pour the oil into a

  5. pan on the stove and heat over medium to high heat for a few minutes (see recipe notes to prove the oil is hot).
  6. When the oil

  7. is hot enough, dip the chicken pieces in the dough mixture and place them in the oil slowly to prevent them from splashing with hot oil
  8. .

  9. Cook for 3-4 minutes on both sides. Once crispy and golden remove the chicken pieces.
  10. Place the cooked chicken pieces on a wire rack on a baking sheet to allow the oil to drip away. Add them to the slow cooker towards the end of cooking the sauce or serve them crispy with the sauce poured.
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Serving Tips

Serve slow-cooker sweet and sour chicken with boiled or fried rice and a side of scallion. The sauce and chicken are so tasty that you don’t really need anything more extravagant! If you’re

looking to add a few sides to the plate, crispy prawn cookies or vegetable spring rolls (just like you would with takeout) are great additions.

Aerial view of Crockpot Sweet and Sour Chicken with a side of scallion and shrimp crackers on the side.

Recipe variations

It is very easy to add additional ingredients to the sauce to create some variety in the dish. Baby corn on the cob, tout scabies and bamboo shoots add extra sweetness and texture.

Another great thing about this recipe is the fact that the sauce and chicken are prepared separately, which means you can also use both in other dishes. Here are some ideas…..


and sour pork sauce also goes great with pork. Try pouring some sauce over freshly cooked pork escalopes and serve with rice or fresh potatoes and vegetables.

Chicken burgers


battered chicken pieces for sharing taste delicious on their own and are great as part of a sharing plate – they go particularly well with a BBQ sauce. Plus, if you cut the chicken into larger flatter pieces, they’re great fillings for an indulgent chicken burger!

Close-up view of a piece of chicken battered on a wire cooling rack.

Low-fat option

Leave the dough out of the chicken and serve alone, a good idea if you’re looking for a low-fat alternative. Simply add chopped pieces of chicken breast or thigh to the slow cooker at the beginning of cooking and they will cook gently in the sauce.

Keep in mind that the fat content of breast meat is lower so you will need less cooking time (usually around 3-4 hours is enough depending on the type of slow cooker). Check that the meat is well cooked (white meat with clear juices) before serving.

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Tips for Making the Slow Cooker Sweet


  • Sour Keep peppers and onions firm by cutting them into larger pieces before cooking. For an extra crunch, add them to the slow cooker at half the cooking time instead of at the beginning.
  • There are a few stages in this recipe, so to make things easier, it is better to work in a particular order. Make the sauce first and while cooking prepare the chicken about an hour before serving.
  • Make sure the chicken pieces are well covered with the flour and completely covered with the dough mixture before frying. The dough creates a peel for the chicken that, in addition to being crunchy and delicious, also works to keep the chicken moist and juicy.

Frequently asked questions

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