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Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce

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close up shot of a bowl of homemade sweet and sour sauce with a spoonful of sauce
Easy homemade sweet and sour sauce perfect complement to all of your favorite dishes.
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Table of Contents
  1. Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This easy, homemade sweet and sour sauce is the perfect addition to your next Asian-inspired meal. The homemade version uses fresh pineapple, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar for a balanced flavor that is ideal for use in stir-fries, on grilled chicken or pork, or as a dipping sauce.

close up overhead shot of a bowl of homemade sweet and sour sauce

Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients

homemade sweet and sour sauce raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 6-ounce can pineapple juice
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 to 2 drops red food coloring (optional)

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

SUGAR: You can substitute white sugar for brown sugar in this easy recipe.

VINEGAR: The vinegar adds that great tang and apple cider vinegar is just right in this recipe, but you can also use rice vinegar or white vinegar.

How to Make This Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe

STEP ONE: Whisk together pineapple juice, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, and light brown sugar in a small saucepan.

sauce ingredients whisked together in a pot

STEP TWO: Heat sauce over medium heat until it comes to a simmer and all of the ingredients are combined.

STEP THREE: Stir together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Pour the slurry into the simmering sweet and sour sauce, whisking until the sauce thickens.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

The cornstarch slurry thickens up this red sauce to a great dipping consistency. Whisk in additional cornstarch slurry while simmering for a thicker sauce.

cornstarch and water mixture added to the sauce mixture in the pot

STEP FOUR: Adjust the red color as desired by adding a drop of red food coloring.

PRO TIP:

The red food coloring is optional. The sauce will be delicious without it but if you want it to resemble the sweet and sour sauce from a Chinese restaurant, adding the food coloring will do the trick.

STEP FIVE: Remove sauce from heat.

How To Serve

This sauce is so versatile, you can use it for so many dishes. Dip egg rolls, spring rolls, or chicken nuggets in this tasty sauce.

You can also drizzle it on top of our egg roll in a bowl or use it to make sweet and sour pork, chicken or sweet and sour meatballs.

Check out more recipes for our favorite Asian foods including fried rice and chicken lo mein

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store this delicious sweet and sour sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.

IN THE FREEZER: You can store homemade sweet and sour sauce in the freezer for up to three months in an airtight container.

close up shot of a bowl of homemade sweet and sour sauce with a chip dipped into the sauce

With an amazing sweet and sour flavor, this sauce is a delicious alternative to take out. It has a much better flavor than the kind you get at the grocery store or restaurant and only takes a handful of pantry ingredients to make a batch.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze homemade sweet and sour sauce?

This great recipe can be frozen for up to three months in an airtight container.

How do I store this homemade sauce?

Keep the sauce in a sealed storage container in the fridge for up to three weeks.

How can I thicken my sauce as it is too runny?

For a thicker consistency, you can add additional cornstarch slurry. To make a thinner sauce, start with only a little bit of the cornstarch slurry until you reach the perfect consistency.

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close up shot of a bowl of homemade sweet and sour sauce with a spoonful of sauce

Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Easy homemade sweet and sour sauce perfect complement to all of your favorite dishes.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 6 ounces pineapple juice
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 to 2 drops red food coloring, optional

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together pineapple juice, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, and light brown sugar in a small saucepan.
  • Heat sauce over medium heat until it comes to a simmer and all of the ingredients are combined.
  • Stir together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Pour the slurry into the simmering sweet and sour sauce, whisking until the sauce thickens.
  • Adjust color as desired by adding a drop of red food coloring.
  • Remove from heat.

Notes

  • The cornstarch slurry thickens up this red sauce to a great dipping consistency. Whisk in additional cornstarch slurry while simmering for a thicker sauce.
  • The red food coloring is optional. The sauce will be delicious without it but if you want it to resemble the sweet and sour sauce from a Chinese restaurant, adding the food coloring will do the trick.

Nutrition

Sodium: 726mg | Calcium: 53mg | Vitamin C: 11mg | Vitamin A: 312IU | Sugar: 57g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 356mg | Calories: 268kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 1g | Protein: 1g | Carbohydrates: 67g | Iron: 1mg
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