This recipe is a mindful and gluten-free take on the traditional Sweet and Sour Chicken dish, baked on a sheet pan loaded with Asian style veggies (yum). The homemade sweet and sour sauce is sweet, tangy, and flavor-packed, while also lower in sugar and sodium than many restaurant versions. If you are looking for a mindful takeout solution at home, this simple chicken sheet pan dinner is for you!
Summer is calling, and simple dinner ideas are a MUST to work mindful eating into my schedule. The days get longer, and so do my work hours. That’s where sheet pan dinners come to the rescue! After a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is stress over dinner.
To give a chicken and vegetable sheet pan dinner a takeout spin, I coated the chicken in egg and an almond flour mixture and baked it until golden. This is such a simple way to make homemade “chicken nuggets,” but top it with a tangy Chinese style sweet and sour sauce, and you’ve got a home run dinner.
Sheet Pan Dinners Save the Day!
I use a two-step process for most sheet pan dinners. The truth is, chicken and vegetables need different baking times if you don’t want the veggies to turn out mushy. It was a tough concept for me to accept too, don’t worry.
Make Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken by:
- Coating the chicken pieces with egg and the almond flour mixture, and laying out on a baking tray. The chicken gets baked on its own first.
- While the chicken is baking, toss some veggies with sesame oil and coconut aminos. I used baby bok choy, broccoli, peppers, and sugar snap peas. Use carrots, cauliflower, or even shredded cabbage.
- Flip the chicken over, and move to 1 side of the baking tray. Add the vegetables to the bottom of the pan, and bake together for another 10 minutes, or until chicken is lightly browned and the veggies are crisp-tender.
- Prepare a simple sweet and sour sauce to pour over the crispy baked chicken!
I have a secret to share with you that will make your sheet pan dinners even more comfortable (and taste better!). For the past year and a half, I have been using a Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven. This handy sidekick uses a combination of superheated steam and convection heat, meaning food bakes quicker, and also comes out more moist and flavorful than in a traditional electric oven. It’s a real lifesaver on busy nights.
Have you tried this recipe? Or, do you have a Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven? Be sure to share your creations on social media and use the hashtags #SimplyBetterLiving and #SharpHome!
A Mindful Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce
Chinese food is SO good. It is one of my favorite takeout choices. It’s also often filled with gluten, MSG, tons of sodium, sugar, and processed starches (that’s fun to think about!).
Making Chinese style takeout at home is a great way to enjoy the best flavors, without the bloat from sugar and salt-packed meal. The sweet and sour sauce is simple to make at home. It’s often made with ketchup, but this more mindful and diet-friendly version is made with date syrup and tomato paste.
For the homemade sweet and sour sauce, you’ll need:
- Pineapple juice
- Coconut Aminos (tamari is another wheat-free soy sauce alternative!)
- Rice wine vinegar (unsweetened)
- Date syrup (my favorite sweetener, but use a light flavored honey for Paleo)
- Tomato paste
- Arrowroot & water (an excellent paleo thickener)
A Perfect Sheet Pan Dinner
We’ve been lowering the carbs in our meal and using a lot of veggie swaps lately. If your family has higher carb needs, steam some rice for a delicious and mindful meal. However, you decide to serve this mindful baked sweet and sour chicken. I am sure you’ll love it!
Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven
For the Chicken
- 1 lb chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 2 eggs beaten
- 4 cups Asian style vegetables bok choy, carrots, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, or peppers
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
For the Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 2/3 cup pineapple juice
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/3 cup date syrup
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
For the Chicken
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine almond flour, arrowroot powder, salt, and ginger.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk eggs.
- Line a baking tray with parchment or baking paper (to prevent the chicken from sticking and coating coming off).
- Dip each piece of chicken in the egg, and then fully coat in the almond flour mixture. Layout across the baking tray, allowing some space for the coating the brown.
- Bake the chicken in the Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven on the Bake/Reheat on 425º F for 10 minutes.
- While the chicken is baking, prepare veggies by drizzling with sesame oil and coconut aminos.
- Flip the chicken, and push to 1 half of the baking tray. Add the vegetables to the other half of the baking tray.
- Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- IF PREPARING THIS RECIPE IN A CONVENTIONAL OVEN, PREHEAT OVEN TO 425º F AND BAKE FOR 14 MINUTES, AND THEN AN ADDITIONAL 13-16 MINUTES WITH THE VEGETABLES.
- Serve chicken and vegetables drizzled with sweet and sour sauce.
For the Sweet and Sour Sauce
- In a small saucepan, add pineapple juice, rice wine vinegar, coconut aminos, date syrup, and tomato paste. Whisk over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble.
- In a small dish, add arrowroot and water, and mix until smooth.
- While continuing to whisk sauce, add arrowroot mixture slowly. The sauce will fully thicken as it cools.