Sweet and Sour Sauce Without Pineapple

If you’ve been wanting to create your own Asian inspired sauces to go with stir-frys and other delicious dishes, you’ve got to give this Sweet and Sour Sauce without pineapple a try!

Make your own from-scratch sweet n sour sauce recipe with this very easy tutorial! #homemade #recipe #makeyourown #sweetandsoursauce #homemadesweetandsour

Sweet n Sour Sauce Recipe Without Pineapple

Asian food has to be one of my favorite types of cuisines. I love the balance that good Asian food has. When I first started learning how to make Asian sauces (instead of just pouring them out of a jar), my mom taught me to pay attention to the balance of five basic tastes: savory, sweet, sour, bitter and salty.

Trying to strike an equal balance of these five tastes will ensure that you can create delicious sauces, every time.

Now that I am cooking for a toddler who prefers dishes on the sweeter side, I have been wanting to create a sweet and sour sauce recipe for her, without the food dye or preservatives.

After experimenting with a couple different variations, I have found a super easy, but incredibly tasty sweet and sour sauce recipe. It might be worth mentioning that you can create this sweet and sour sauce recipe in only 5 minutes!

This sauce would be perfect to dunk chicken or homemade egg rolls into.

Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe 

What You Need:

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ketchup (try homemade ketchup!)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

Mix together cornstarch and water in a small bowl, and set aside. Add remaining ingredients to a small saucepan, and bring to a boil.

Add in cornstarch mixture (as a thickening agent) and mix thoroughly. Continue cooking an extra minute or two, until sauce is thick. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Sweet N Sour Sauce Recipe

You can also add in 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapples, chopped onions or chopped bell peppers for a chunkier sauce.

My picky eating toddler loves this sauce so much, I can actually get her to eat a couple bites of chicken and vegetables if she has this sauce to dip it in. And since I can make it so quickly, with ingredients I generally have on hand, it’s a perfect go-to recipe for hectic weeknights.bottle

If you plan on making any homemade sauces you NEED to have some of these glass bottles. They fit perfectly in your fridge doors and they work great for pouring the sauces. They even come with the little “dropper” top (that is removable) so you don’t pour out way too much at once!

Need to print this Sweet and Sour Sauce recipe? Grab it below!

Sweet N Sour Sauce Recipe
3.67 from 3 votes

Sweet and Sour Sauce Without Pineapple


  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tsp soy sauce


  1. Mix together cornstarch and water in a small bowl, and set aside. Add remaining ingredients to a small saucepan, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add in cornstarch mixture (as a thickening agent) and mix thoroughly. Continue cooking an extra minute or two, until sauce is thick. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Want to make your own homemade sauces?

Have you ever made your own sweet and sour sauce (without pineapple) recipe? What is your favorite food to dip in sweet and sour sauce?


This recipe for Sweet and Sour Sauce without pineapple was originally published on Little House Living in March 2014. It has been updated as of January 2019.

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  1. This looks delicious, Andrea. I wonder if this is meant as just a dipping sauce or would you sauté chicken, for example, and then add it to the pan that way, like a stir fry sauce? What is the best way to use it or could you use it both ways? It looks like it might be poured over the chicken in the picture???

    1. Hi Teresa, and thanks!

      It can be used as a dipping sauce, or poured over meat or veggies that have been cooked. If you’re sauteing meat or veggies, just pour the sauce over them, about a minute before they’re done cooking. That way the sauce will be nice and warm!

  2. Wow this looks amazing and so easy! I had never considered making my own but now I will. Just like you this is ingredients I always have on hand.
    And I can make it with my gluten free soy sauce so I can actually eat it! I’ve been missing out. Thank you for this!

  3. While in high school I waited tables at our local Chinese restaurant. I watched the owner make his awesome sweet and sour sauce & tried to figure out the proportions & ingredients. Well, I did so until he realized what I was doing & sent me out of the kitchen :-). Your ingredients look pretty similar, I’ll have to try it.

  4. This looks so much easier than other recipes I’ve tried. It looks like it’d be great on sweet ‘n sour meatballs!

  5. I am certainly enjoying your website. I admire the way you look at life. Not thinking of what you DON’T have, but appreciating what you DO have. I live in the Southwest of British Columbia, Canada. You are certainly an inspiration to me and many others. Thank you.

  6. I can’t wait to try this sauce for my grand blessings!(grandchildren) I wonder if you could make it in larger batches, maybe with the pineapple and bell peppers and can it? I would want to can it in jelly jar sizes, but that way we would always have some on hand. I have some health issues and it would sure be easier to make a large batch and can it. What is your opinion? Thank you so much for your blog and the things you share!

    1. Yes you should be able to can this recipe, just make sure to leave out the cornstarch (you could add pectin or clear gel instead or just have a thinner sauce. And since it has adding vinegar you should be able just to do a hot water bath for 30 minutes.

  7. You have such interesting recipes for things I would never think of making myself. The other night we ordered Chinese food and discovered when we got home that they had left out the duck sauce. If I had this recipe, I definitely would have tried it as a substitute dipping sauce. I will try this soon. By the way, I recently made your recipe for Catalina dressing – delicious!!

  8. This Sweet & Sour turned out really well. I was out of rice wine vinegar so I used regular vinegar. It still turned out fine. I did add 1T of cherry juice to try out bc I had seen it in another recipe. Yum

  9. Just made this, delicious. I did add 4 extra tablespoons of sugar, just right. Dipped chicken egg rolls in the sauce.

  10. I made this sauce tonight to have with our dinner,the only change I made is I added about 10 red pepper flakes.my husband and children just loved it. Thank you for sharing it.

  11. Thank you for sharing. I am a professional Chef. Some times my brain just forgets things. The wife asked me to make a sweet and sour without the pineapple. I drew a blank after working 14 hours that day . For the people who complain that recipe’s don’t taste good. These are just recipes their are going to be things that you don’t like and things you do. Make it how you like it , if not sweet enough add sweetener if bland add salt. They are basic so you can make them your way. That’s why at a restaurant there is salt and pepper on the table. Good job .

  12. I made this last nite ,Cooked boneless skinless chicken thighs and doubled the sauce
    It was excellent.don’t know why anyone is saying how horrible it is ,I fact my sister is making it for dinner tonight

  13. I wonder if I could use those coke bottles I’ve had kicking around for years to store the sweet and sour sauce in. They wouldn’t have a drip topper, but for thick sauce like sweet and sour, I might be able to repurpose those. Looks like a good recipe, I’ll give it a try.

  14. 1 star
    Oh no! This was not good. Far too vinegary for our liking. Like the simple recipe but I cannot eat it. Sorry.

  15. 5 stars
    Love this recipe as does my Hawaiian husband. Some people just aren’t into rice vinegar and that might be why they didn’t like it

  16. Like another Chef said , make it to your taste, adjust the sweetness or salt to your liking. Why all the fuss , you must taste your recipe and then adjust for your liking!!
    Wa la , reading some comments about one’s recipe is tasting horrible, well , that’s just not nice.. All chefs taste their sauces and then make adjustments if needed, practice makes perfect 💕