Sweet and Sour Chicken Stew

Looking down on a camp stove with a large pot of sweet and sour stew and a small pot of rice.

All the popular flavors of the traditional stir-fry are moved into a camp-friendly stew. Sweet and Sour Chicken is traditionally cooked hot and fast leaving crisp vegetables in a light sauce. This stew version creates a more hearty meal with soft vegetables in a rich sauce, making it perfect after a long day outdoors.

This dish is bright and colorful by its very nature. You can mix and match different vegetables, depending on what you like or have on hand. Try different colors of bell peppers, add bok choy, or throw in some water chestnuts.

Served with plain rice, it is a great option when planning two-pot meals to cook over a traditional two-burner gas stove, an extremely popular cooking option while camping. You can prepare the sauce ingredients ahead of time and mix them together, waiting to add the cornstarch at the last minute. You can prepare fresh rice at the campsite, or bring cooked or packaged rice along.

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Looking down on a serving of sweet and sour chicken stew with a side of steamed rice.
This stew is pretty sweet and strong, so goes well with a serving of plain rice.
Looking across a camp plate with a hearty serving of sweet and sour chicken stew and a side of steamed rice.
Sweet and Sour Chicken Stew has a good balance of meat and vegetables, with a side of rice creating a balanced and nutritious meal.
Looking down on a camp stove with a large pot of sweet and sour stew and a small pot of rice.
This Sweet and Sour Stew is a great two pot meal perfect for the traditional two burner gas stoves popular while camping.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Stew Recipe

Looking down on a camp stove with a large pot of sweet and sour stew and a small pot of rice.
All the popular flavors of the traditional stir fry dish are moved into a camp-friendly Sweet and Sour Chicken Stew.
Preparation 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Ready in 30 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
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  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 ribs celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small head broccoli
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup water

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 1 20 ounce can pineapple chunks
  • 3 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch corn flour

To Serve

  • 4 servings cooked rice


  • small bowl
  • 2 pots



  • Dice the chicken into even-sized pieces. Peal and/or seed the bell peppers, onion, celery, and carrot, then dice into pieces the same size as the chicken. Break the broccoli into small florets the same size. Finely mince the garlic.
  • Heat the peanut and sesame oils in a pot to medium heat. Swirl the oils to cover the base of the pot then add the diced chicken. Cook, regularly stirring, until the chicken is lightly browned on all sides, about 6 minutes.
  • Add the diced bell peppers, onions, celery, carrot, broccoli, and garlic. Cook while regularly string until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.
  • Add the water and bring it to a simmer.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • Open the can of pineapple and drain the juice into a bowl, then add the pineapple chunks to the simmering chicken and vegetables.
  • Add the Shaoxing rice wine, soy sauce, ketchup, and corn starch to the pineapple juice. Whisk with a fork until well combined. Slowly pour into the simmering chicken and vegetable stew, while continuing to stir, until boiling and the sauce thickens.

To Serve

  • Cook or reheat the rice according to package directions. Serve the chicken stew over the cooked rice.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 485kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 46gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 1154mgPotassium: 1533mgFiber: 7gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 5647IUVitamin C: 219mgCalcium: 132mgIron: 3mg

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Portrait Photo of Saffron Hodgson cooking on a Camp Stove with a campfire in the background

About Saffron Hodgson

Outdoor cooking has been Saffron’s passion since she was young, often choosing to go camping and cook hearty meals over fire rather than stay inside, watch TV, and eat take-out. Today she is the driving force of Bush Cooking bringing the skills of cooking outdoors to thousands of people.

Learn more about Saffron Hodgson
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