Home Life Style Sweet & Sour Sauce – A Beautiful Mess

Sweet & Sour Sauce – A Beautiful Mess


When I think of sweet and sour sauce, what comes to mind for me is a fried chicken and rice dish with this slighty red sauce that tastes a little like spicy pineapple.

I’m from southwest Missouri, so Springfield-style cashew chicken is a strong childhood memory to me, as well as sweet and sour chicken.

This sweet and sour sauce recipe is great as a dipping sauce, too! This could be for anything from egg rolls, fried dumplings, or as a spring roll sauce.

Ingredients for Sweet & Sour Sauce:

  • Pineapple juice
  • Brown sugar
  • Rice vinegar
  • Ketchup, which adds to the color of this sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Cornstarch, to thicken the sauce

How to make Sweet & Sour Sauce:

This sweet and sour sauce recipe is super easy to make, and can be made ahead of when you plan to use it.

Combine all the ingredients except the cornstarch in a small pot (or pan) over medium heat, and whisk to combine well. Stir the cornstarch with 1-2 tablespoons of water to create a slurry, and then add to the pot.

Cook to your desired thickness and then you’re ready to use this sauce, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at least 5-7 days.

Tips for Making:

  • It’s best to create a slurry from cornstarch and water rather than directly adding the cornstarch to the pot. This helps it to incorporate better so you don’t get any little lumps of cornstarch in your final sauce.
  • While the ketchup does add some color to this sauce, the brown sugar does, too. If you want your sauce to be more bright red, you can add a drop or two of food coloring.
  • If you’d like to add more heat/spice to this sweet and sour sauce, try adding 1/4 teaspoon (or more) of red pepper flakes.

Serving Suggestions:

Remember that this sauce can work well on a main dish or as a dipping sauce. Here are some recipes you might want to try with this:


get the recipe
Get the Recipe

a sweet, red dipping sauce that goes great with chicken

Yield 4

Prep 5 mins

Cook 5 mins

Total 10 mins


  • In a small pot, combine the pineapple juice, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ketchup, and soy sauce.

  • Whisk over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.

  • In a small cup, stir together the cornstarch and one to two tablespoons of water, creating a slurry.

  • Whisk the slurry mixture into the sauce.

  • Continue to cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until the sauce thickens.


  • If you want to make this sauce more red, add a drop or two of red food coloring. 
  • If you’d like to add some heat, add 1/4 teaspoon or more of red pepper flakes. 
  • You can store this sauce in an airtight container for at least 5-7 days in the refrigerator. 


Nutrition Facts

Sweet & Sour Sauce

Amount per Serving

% Daily Value*

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here