Easy sweet and sour pork is a one-pot meal that’s ready in 25 minutes and features a 5-ingredient, 5-minute homemade sweet and sour sauce. It’s perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner!
I'll be at my kids' school tonight for a "welcome to middle school" meeting for parents, as my daughter will be moving to 6th grade next year.
And if that wasn't bittersweet enough, I have my (delayed) 20-year high school reunion this weekend (from the same school). And my 8-year-old son is having his first sleepover at a friend's house. Oh, and I'm going to a funeral of a friend's dad that passed away recently.
It feels like all sorts of reminders about just how quickly life moves. I'll be sure to get some extra hugs and snuggles from my kiddos and be thankful for this beautiful life we have together.
OK, let’s move along to the food.
Previously I’ve shared my go-to homemade sweet and sour sauce.
It’s just 5 minutes to make and 5 simple, on-hand ingredients: rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce and a cornstarch slurry for getting it silky smooth and perfectly thickened.
I use it in my easy sweet and sour chicken dinner that’s a healthy, at-home version of the takeout favorite.
Mine is loaded with broccoli, peppers, snow peas and plenty of cubed chicken pieces, all coated in that tasty sauce.
Today, we’re doing a different twist with this sweet and sour pork.
It has tender chunks of seared pork plus onion, bell peppers, pineapple and of course, the sauce.
Yum, yum, yum.
To note: We are not deep frying our pork for this recipe. You can find other versions that do that, if you’re interested.
Me, I don’t fry much. And don’t like the effort and mess that go with it.
So we’re keeping it easy and also a lot healthier by just pan searing the pork. Then you layer in your veggies and toss everything with the delicious sauce.
Ta-da! Dinner is done - and in less than 25 minutes!
You are going to love how very flavorful this is - and how very easy to make yourself.
OK, let’s get cooking so you can enjoy this too.
(Here's a little visual of the step-by-step parts of this recipe, in case you are a visual learner like me. 👇)
Now, I’ve got those notes and tips coming up below on how to make sweet and sour pork. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on making easy sweet and sour pork:
- Pork: I like to buy the thin pork cutlets from the store and just quickly cut those into small chunks. You can also use a pork tenderloin or thicker pork chops. Just be sure to cut the pork into similar sized pieces so it cooks evenly and at the same rate.
- Peppers: I use a red and yellow bell pepper here, but have also used red and green. Probably any combination of colors would work.
- Pineapple: Feel free to use fresh or canned pineapple. You need a cup of diced pineapple pieces for the recipe.
- Sauce: The recipe below includes a homemade sauce. It’s just 5 ingredients and 5 minutes to make. You can of course substitute a store-bought sauce if you prefer.
Feel free to add in any other favorite stir fry veggies for this dish. Broccoli or snow peas would be good here. And you know I'm always in favor of adding more veggies. (If only my kids would get on board with that plan...)
And the recipe card below also includes a couple of serving ideas in terms of toppings - sliced green onions and/or a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Use ‘em if you have ‘em. They add a little something extra.
In terms of serving, we just pair this with some steamed rice and call it a day in my house. White or brown will do, whichever one your family likes.
Last thing, let’s talk about what to do with the leftovers.
Leftover sweet and sour pork will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
Reheat individual servings in the microwave. Or reheat on the stove until warmed through.
It helps that we didn’t deep fry our pork pieces, which would lose their crispiness and get a little soggy while storing and sitting in the sauce. This version with the seared pork holds up better to storing and reheating. 👍
Whether you love sweet and sour pork from a restaurant or are yet to try it, I hope you give this homemade version a try.
You’ll love the flavor and you’ll love how easy it is to make in your own kitchen in no time at all.
Happy cooking and enjoy!
For the sweet and sour sauce:
- ⅓ cup water
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 ½ tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (or Tamara)
- 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 ½ tablespoons cold water
For the pork:
- 1 ½ lbs. thin pork cutlets, cut into small chunks
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup pineapple (fresh or from can)
- Sliced green onions
- Sesame seeds
- Steamed rice
- Make the sauce. Combine the water, vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup and soy sauce in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Meanwhile, combine cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl until well mixed.
- Once the sauce mix has come to a boil, stir in the cornstarch slurry and stir constantly, for about a minute, until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Season the pork strips with salt and pepper then toss in the cornstarch.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the pork and cook for about 2 minutes per side, until cooked through. (Be careful not to over-cook the pork.) Remove to a bowl and set aside.
- Heat the remaining canola oil to the pan. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add the pineapple and cook 1 more minute. Return the pork to the pan, stir to combine then add the sweet and sour sauce and stir well to get everything coated. Cook for 2 minutes until heated through. Serve hot and enjoy!
Pork: I like to buy the thin pork cutlets from the store and just quickly cut those into small chunks. You can also use a pork tenderloin or thicker pork chops. Just be sure to cut the pork into similar sized pieces so it cooks evenly and at the same rate.
Peppers: I use a red and yellow bell pepper here, but have also used red and green. Probably any combination of colors would work.
Pineapple: Feel free to use fresh or canned pineapple. You need a cup of diced pineapple pieces for the recipe.
Sauce: The recipe includes a homemade sauce. It’s just 5 ingredients and 5 minutes to make. You can of course substitute a store-bought sauce if you prefer.
Veggies: Feel free to add in any other favorite stir fry veggies for this dish. Broccoli or snow peas would be good here.
Leftovers: Leftover sweet and sour pork will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave. Or reheat on the stove until warmed through.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 512Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 470mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 3gSugar: 15gProtein: 24g