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Healthy Sweet & Sour Chicken With Vegetables {GF, DF & Nut Free}

Healthy Sweet & Sour Chicken With Vegetables {GF, DF & Nut Free}

So here is the first recipe of the year. It might look a little underwhelming but let me assure you gives some serious flavour kick. Since January is the month of healthy, light and fresh eating I thought I would post the recipe for my Healthy Sweet & Sour Chicken With Vegetables that has been sitting far too long in my draft folder. It fits into the healthy eating banner since it is low on refined sugar and FULL and I mean chock full of vegetables. Anything with more than half a dozen steps does not make it to the menu plan these days because I want dinner done fast.

Healthy Sweet & Sour Chicken & Vegetables + Slow Cooker Version

While I am partly a food blogger I do also develop, cook, style and photograph food for others on the side as part of my Food Photography & Styling business MelissaDarr.com and while I love that aspect of my job and all it entails I find by the time dinner time comes around the last thing I want to be doing is cooking again. I usually try and use whatever leftovers I have from shoots and toss it together for some kind of dinner but when there is just cake (I would eat cake for dinner but I gotta feed the kids something nourishing right?) there needs to be proper food on the table. So I always fall to quick and easy meals or slow cooker versions of meals to get me through the week. 

Healthy Sweet & Sour Chicken & Vegetables + Slow Cooker Version

I was craving sweet and sour chicken the other month and I was disgusted at the appalling amount of sugar in this dish. Like cups of sugar. It's like a dessert dish but in savoury flavours with the amount of sugar hiding in the sauce. So I went about trying to create a lighter, less sugary version that still packed the sweet and sour factor. The first version lacked the balance between sweet and sour and didn't really pack a flavour punch. So I ramped up the spices, the vinegar and added more pineapple juice to counteract the acidity. It was better and by the third version I felt like I had pretty much nailed it. 

Healthy Sweet & Sour Chicken & Vegetables + Slow Cooker Version

Now you might have noticed that I have not served this with rice. I am keeping it clean and green but if you want to go right ahead. I would recommend serving it with either basmati or brown rice. 

I hope your year is starting off on the right foot. I am feeling slightly more positive for the year ahead now that we are about 9 days into it. I am not sure I will be kicking any serious goals out of the park but I hope to make it to the end of 2018 in one piece and with my sanity in tact. What about you?

Healthy Sweet & Sour Chicken With Vegetables

by The Whimsical Wife

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

Download & Print Recipe


  • 900g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, chopped into 1 cm pieces
  • 1 yellow capsicum, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 1/2 head broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 400g tin pineapple pieces (keep the juice)
Sweet & Sour Sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1 x lemon
  • juice leftover from tinned pineapple pieces
  • 2 tbsp cornflour mixed with 4 tbsp water


Add all the sauce ingredients including the cornflour and water and mix together in a small jug. Set aside for later.

Place the cubed chicken and the cornflour into a large Ziploc bag. Toss around to coat the chicken with the cornflour. Set aside.

Heat a large wok or fry pan with a tablespoon of rice bran oil (or other high heat oil) till smoking and then carefully place the chicken pieces into the pan. You might have to do 2 batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Cook until golden brown and remove from the pan and set aside in a bowl.

To the same wok/pan add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the broccoli and capsicum and saute for a further 10-15 minutes. I add a dash of water and pop a lid over the vegetables to help soften the broccoli slightly. Add the pineapple pieces and cooked chicken back to the pan.

Pour over the sweet and sour sauce and stir to combine all ingredients. Continue to stir and the sauce thickens and cooks.

Spoon servings of the Sweet & Sour Chicken into bowls and serve with a sprig of mint.

Cooks Notes

You can also serve this with basmati or brown rice.

Freeze any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

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