Savory Delight

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Pork…

There are some dishes that evoke fond memories of childhood, and for me, one of them is sweet and sour pork. Whenever we had takeout or went to the local Chinese restaurant, I always ordered this perfect entrée.

The pork was always cooked to perfection, moist and tender, coated with a rich and flavorful sauce that had the sublime balance of sweetness and sourness. The pineapple and green pepper added a bold freshness and crunch, contrasting with the tenderness of the meat. I loved to ladle the pork and sauce over a mound of steaming rice and savor every mouthful.

But making it at home has always been struggle for me – until I tried this easy yet tasty recipe. The secrets? A slow cooker. And a generous coating of paprika when browning the pork. The paprika provides a bold color, and an even bolder flavor.

I also recommend using unsweetened pineapple chunks because the juice complements the vinegar and brown sugar in the sauce. I prefer reduced-sodium soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce, which adds depth and complexity to the dish.

The beauty of this recipe is that it is made in a slow cooker, which means you can prepare it in the morning and let it simmer all day. All you have to do is thicken the sauce with a cornstarch and water mixture, stir in the pineapple and sprinkle some green onions on top. Serve it with some hot cooked rice and a green salad.

This simple recipe is now a go-to meal in our home. And it’s easy to substitute other meat and veggies for a bit of variety. Use chicken instead of pork. Or add some carrots or snow peas for more color and texture.

If you’re looking for a simple and easy crockpot recipe that your family will love, try this classic dish that never goes out of style, ideal for any occasion.

Sweet and Sour Pork


  • 3T paprika
  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless pork loin roast, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 T canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 can (20 oz.) unsweetened pineapple chunks
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 3 T reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • Thinly sliced green onions
  • Hot cooked rice

Step 1:
Place paprika in a shallow bowl. Add pork, a few pieces at a time, and turn to coat. In a skillet, brown pork in oil in batches over medium-high heat. Transfer to a 3-quart slow cooker.

Step 2: Drain pineapple, reserving juice; refrigerate the pineapple. Add the pineapple juice, onion, green pepper, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and salt to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours.

Step 3: Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into pork mixture. Add pineapple. Cover and cook another 30 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Sprinkle with green onions and serve over rice.

About Terry Olson

Terry loves culinary arts, adult beverages and hiking in the North State wilderness. You may find him soaking up the sun at one of our area’s many state or national parks or sitting on a barstool sipping on a cold locally brewed craft beer.

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