4 Ingredient Sweet and Sour Chicken


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You know those iconic dishes from your childhood that only Mom could make right? Like the homemade spaghetti sauce that was 10 times better than anything from a bottle. Or the meatloaf you’ve tried to duplicate a hundred times but just doesn’t quite make the cut? My mom and I can stand side by side and make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the same ingredients and hers will STILL taste better. Sweet and sour chicken is one of those signature dinners from my childhood that I never even bothered to try making because I knew only Mom could do it right. But then she told me there were only 4 ingredients. Say what?!?! I guess it was one of her best kept secrets…like wherever she kept the Christmas presents and stash of chocolate. I’m sure she has a few more secrets up her sleeve, but for now I have this sweet and sour chicken recipe and I’m content with that. And it almost tastes as good as when she makes it…almost

sweet and sour chicken

Start with 16 ounces of French dressing. It has to be French dressing, folks. It’s what gives the sweet and sour chicken the “sour” part of the recipe.

sweet and sour chicken

Then mix in a jar of apricot preserves. I have tried it with orange marmalade and it is only ok. For the best sweet and sour chicken in the world, stick with the apricots.

sweet and sour chicken

Now mix both of those together in a bowl with a packet of onion soup mix. Whisk it up until it is smooth.

sweet and sour chicken

Layer some of the sauce on the bottom of a 13×9 glass pan and then place however many chicken thighs you can fit on top. I like boneless skinless chicken thighs the best. I have made this recipe with chicken breast and the breast meat is just too thick.

sweet and sour chicken

Pour the rest of the sauce on top so that all the chicken is covered.

sweet and sour chicken

Cover the pan with foil and bake the sweet and sour chicken in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour. Uncover the pan for the last few minutes so that it can crisp up and caramelize on top.

Bada bing bada boom, dinner is ready! We serve the sweet and sour chicken over rice so we can sop up all that delicious sauce. A simple side salad also pairs well with it.

Need some other easy and budget conscious meals for your family? You may also like 5 Ingredient Crockpot Orange Chicken, Budget Friendly Burrito Lasagna, and Crockpot Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches. These are the meals I lean on when our schedule is full or I just plain don’t feel like cooking. Hopefully these can help you out too! For even more recipes, check out my Recipe Index or follow me on Pinterest. Happy cooking y’all!

4 Ingredient Sweet and Sour Chicken

Heidi Davison
4 Ingredient Sweet and Sour Chicken is one of the most delicious meals you can make! It only has 4 ingredients, making it easy to prepare and budget friendly.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 16 oz bottle French dressing
  • 18 oz jar apricot preserves
  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix
  • 5-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix the first 3 ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth.
  • Pour some of the sauce on the bottom on a 13x9 glass pan.
  • Place the chicken thighs on top of the sauce and pour the remaining sauce on top.
  • Cover the sweet and sour chicken with foil.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until bubbly.
  • Remove the foil the last few minutes to crisp and caramelize the top.
  • Serve warm over rice.



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  • 5 stars
    I could not believe how easy it was to make this. I only had whole chicken and cooked it up it was so good. I am making this again.

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