This is a simple sweet & sour chicken fakeaway recipe for the whole family
This is a really cheap sweet and sour chicken recipe that is perfect for the whole family. Use for a Friday night instead of going for your usual takeaway.
At just 58p a portion, this is a bargain of a meal as well. It takes just 15 minutes to cook, and can all be bundled in together. It serves four; two little mouths and two big ones, but I’ve bulked it out with some extra veg or rice before.
There’s no need to worry about this recipe if you are new to cooking homemade food. This is pretty much foolproof and tastes lovely every time.
You will need a wok – We use this one; Dexam Non-Stick Carbon Steel Wok With Wood Handle. It’s perfect for cooking stir frys, curries and anything else that needs high heat.
You can use as many frozen vegetables as you like. We use frozen peppers and sometimes frozen pineapple too.
If you’d prefer to use your slow cooker for this recipe then that would work too. We’d suggest browning off the chicken first then adding it to the slow cooker with everything else.
We use this Morphy Richards Slow Cooker Sear and Stew as it’s 3 litres and is great for the whole family.
Beginner cooking tips
If you’re worried about cooking homecooked meals or have no idea how to start then please don’t worry. We’ve all started here and it can be scary to decide to start cooking meals that you’d normally buy in a jar or packet.
You will quickly find that it’s so much cheaper to cook your own versions.
Our top five tips for beginner cooks are:
1. Your freezer is your friend. You don’t have to buy fresh food to cook healthy homecooked meals. Buying frozen fruit, vegetables and meat meals that you can take out as much as you need without food waste. It normally works out cheaper too.
2. Start by cooking your kids favorites from scratch. If that’s fish fingers and chips then that’s great. You can buy cheap frozen cod fillets, whizz up some breadcrumbs and cover in egg. Fry the chips or oven cook them for 30 minutes. All made by you.
3. Keep the recipes simple. If you need inspiration then have a look at Spicentice. They offer small packets of spices with a full list of instructions and ingredients.
They tell you exactly how to cook the meal. You can then keep the card and cook it again with your own spices the next time.
We used them when we got stuck in a food rut. It got the kids trying new meals again. All the spices they send out are for meals that are simple and classic.
4. Prep ahead of time. If you know that you struggle for time after work then using frozen food that’s pre-cut is a great idea. You can also pre-cut the morning and use them in the afternoon.
You can also use a slow cooker to throw it all in. Some recipes using meat do require you to brown the meat first.
5. Have fun! Cooking homecooked meals for your family is meant to be good fun. Enjoy it. Cook the food that you love and watch your masterpieces come to life.
If you are struggling to fill your meal plan then have a look at:
Meal planning help
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Sweet and Sour Chicken Shopping List
This is a list of the ingredients needed to make the recipe. You can add spring onions or nuts to the recipe if you prefer.
We enjoy ours with wholemeal rice but you can easily add noodles or anything to this recipe.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts £1.16
1 x 425g can pineapple chunks in natural juice 50p
2 tbsp cornflour 2p
½ tsp dried chilli flakes 2p
2 tbsp dark soy sauce 5p
2 tbsp tomato puree 2p
1 medium onion 8p
300g frozen peppers 43p
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 5p
(Prices are based on shopping at Asda and are correct at time of print.)
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Sweet and Sour Chicken Method
Dice your chicken breast. Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok and stir-fry the onion and peppers for two minutes over a high heat until coloured on all sides.
Drain the pineapple in a sieve over a bowl and keep all the juice. Put the cornflour in a large bowl and stir in the pineapple juice to make a smooth paste, then stir in the soy sauce, puree and chilli flakes until thoroughly combined.
Add the garlic, ginger and pineapple chunks to the pan and stir-fry for 30–60 seconds.
Give the cornflour and pineapple mixture a good stir and add it to the pan with the chicken and vegetables. Stir well, season with some ground black pepper and bring to a simmer.
Cook for 4–6 minutes until the sauce is thickened and glossy and the chicken is tender and cooked throughout, turning the chicken and
vegetables a few times.
Serve with a side dish like rice or noodles.
If you enjoyed this post and would like some more family friendly budget recipes or meal plan ideas, then head over to the budget food section here on Savings 4 Savvy Mums where you’ll find over 30 cheap posts dedicated to helping you cook and shop wiser for less. There’s enough tips to help you save over £300 a month! You could also pop over and follow my family food Pinterest boards for lots more ideas on how to eat well and spend less; Family Meal Plans on a Budget, Budget Family Meals & Budget Slimming World Recipes for Families.
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- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 x 425g can pineapple chunks in natural juice
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 medium onion
- 300g frozen peppers
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- Dice your chicken breast. Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok and stir-fry the onion and peppers for two minutes over a high heat until coloured on all sides.
- Drain the pineapple in a sieve over a bowl and keep all the juice. Put the cornflour in a large bowl and stir in the pineapple juice to make a smooth paste, then stir in the soy sauce, puree and chilli flakes until thoroughly combined.
- Add the garlic, ginger and pineapple chunks to the pan and stir-fry for 30–60 seconds.
- Give the cornflour and pineapple mixture a good stir and add it to the pan with the chicken and vegetables. Stir well, season with some ground black pepper and bring to a simmer.
- Cook for 4–6 minutes until the sauce is thickened and glossy and the chicken is tender and cooked throughout, turning the chicken and vegetables a few times.
- Serve with a side dish like rice or noodles.
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