sweet and sour sauce in a pan

This easy sweet and sour sauce recipe is perfect to use for a healthy homemade version of everyones favourite Chinese take out! Refined sugar free and sweetened with dates.

sweet and sour sauce in a jar

Sweet and sour sauce is the super hero that can make everything taste damn delicious. Ideal to be used to make everyones favourite Chinese take out dish but also great for when you need to jazz your food up.

Ran out of salad dressing? Need a dip for potato wedges? Having a bland boring pizza? Sweet n’ sour sauce to the rescue!!

step by step photos of how to make sweet and sour sauce

Ingredients in Sweet and Sour Sauce

It’s made with simple ingredients without any refined sugar but I promise, you wouldn’t know just from tasting it.

The basic elements to this sauce includes:

  • pineapple juice (fresh please)
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • soy sauce
  • rice vinegar
  • ketchup
  • chili flakes
  • and… DATES! I love using dates to sweeten sauces and it works well every time.

The flavour from each ingredient comes together to make the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, sour, salty and just oh so yummy.

chinese asian sauce in a small sauce pan

How to Make Healthy Sauces at Home

Plus, it’s also incredibly quick and easy to make. Blend the ingredients. Heat it through. Stir in the corn starch slurry so that it thickens up like the real thing and it’s ready to be used. Left overs also keep well in the fridge for 5-6 days so you can have some on hand at all times.

Need some serving suggestions? I got you.

  • Easy sweet n’ sour tofu bowls
  • use it as a dip for potatoes, tater totes or air fried cauliflower gnocchi
  • drizzle it over salad and grain bowls
  • noodles and stir fries!
  • drizzle it on pizza (my fav)
  • use it in burgers and sandwiches (trust me, it’s good)

Really, it’s an all-purpose sauce. As long as you like sweet n’ sour tangy sauces, you’ll love it on everythaaang.

spooning sauce

Making homemade sauces is def the way to go. You know exactly what goes in (no to weird chemicals and food colourings) and you can control the amount of sugar you add to them! Win win in all situations 🙂

side shot of sauce in a jar

More Healthy Sauces to Try


pinterest graphic of sweet and sour sauce in a jar

If you recreate this Easy Sweet and Sour Sauce let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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chinese asian sauce in a small sauce pan

Easy Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe

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5 from 2 reviews


Quick and easy homemade sweet and sour sauce naturally sweetened with dates! Perfect for a healthy version of the classic Chinese take out or to use in stir fries, rice bowls, pizza and more. 


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice (125g // preferably fresh to keep it refined sugar free)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (6g)
  • 1 tsp minced ginger (5g)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder, optional
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (15g // tamari for gluten free)
  • 4 soft dates (60g // or 3 tbsp coconut sugar)
  • 34 tbsp rice vinegar (45-60g // depending on how vinegar-y you like it)
  • 1/4 cup sugar free ketchup (60g)
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes, optional
  • 1 tbsp corn starch + 2 tbsp water


  1. Blend all the ingredients except the chili flakes. Add the corn starch and water to a bowl and stir until combined. 
  2. Pour the blended sauce into a sauce pan and add in chili flakes. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then while stirring, pour in the slurry. Turn the heat down to a low and continue stirring until sauce thickens (2-3 minutes).
  3. Remove from heat and let it cool down before using or transferring into a air tight jar. 


  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Category: essentials
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, asian


  • Serving Size: 2 tbsp
  • Calories: 30
  • Sugar: 4.4
  • Sodium: 111
  • Fat: 0.04
  • Saturated Fat: 0
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 7.6
  • Fiber: 0.4
  • Protein: 0.3
  • Cholesterol: 0

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About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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  1. This recipe is excellent and the sauce is delicious! I always find Lisa’s recipes to be so clear and easy to follow. She knows how to take a few simple ingredients you can keep on your shelf or in the fridge and add one or two new exciting things and have an entirely new food adventure.