This easy sweet and sour sauce is paired with grilled pork, pineapple, red pepper and spaghetti squash for a lighter version of the classic. It’s quick, easy and perfect for a weeknight!
Remember that time where you went to an Asian buffet, and your eyeballs decided that you should eat WAY more than your stomach can handle, so you ate ALL the chicken fried rice, sweet and sour pork and sesame chicken….and you felt so full of energy, and your skinny jeans fit PERFECTLY afterwards?
Me neither. Because it didn’t happen.
In fact, the last time that the hubskerdoodle and I went face-first into a Styrofoam box of chicken fried rice, we spent the rest of the evening crying in discomfort and lying on the couch like couched whales.
It was also our anniversary that day. Clearly, it was full of romance.
Sidenote: The hubs told me to tell you that he was not crying. Only I cried. He doesn’t cry because he is a man and stuff.
Now, I am not one to tell you to never go to “Happy China Buffet” down the street. Heck, I LOVE me some sweet and sour pork and any orange beef stir fry. Sometimes I even go walk around the food court, slowing down at Panda Express and hoping that they wave a little toothpick of yumminess in my face.
I have even debated bringing a stick on mustache, so I could walk around TWICE in one day. Fo’ realz.
Do you think they would buy it?
HOW-EV-ER, I’m just telling you that “Happy China Buffet” is a liar. The name should really be “Sad Day for Tummy China Buffet” if it is REALLY being honest.
So, for those days when you get THE craving, but aren’t willing to give the rest of your day over to feeling like you are about to have a take-out baby, I have solved your dilemma.
In the wise words of my momma: Pick your battles.
Yes, this was her advice on marriage BUT it works for this recipe too.
Marriage, sweet and sour pork. Same thing.
Anyway. What I mean is this: To me, it’s all about the sauce, so I made a classic, thick, easy sweet and sour sauce.
BUT, the pork Ain’t no thang!
And by that I mean, it’s not deep fried or breaded; it’s grilled. You knew what I meant though, right?
I also stuck it over some spaghetti squash, just like the paleo spaghetti squash bowls, instead of fried rice, to keep it even lighter. Plus, squash is just tasty. Squash for President I always say.
Except, that’s the first time I’ve said that.
I’m trying to think of something funny and witty to say to end this post so that you will be all “MUST PUT PORK IN MOUF NOW” Buttt, I got nothin’.
So, why don’t you head over the Julies Eats and Treats to grab the Grilled Sweet and Sour Pulled Pork Recipe?
Also: I’m looking for friends to join the “We wear fake mustaches to steal Panda Express Samples” Club.
Easy Sweet and Sour Sauce with Grilled Pork and Spaghetti Squash (GF, Super Simple + Lightened up}
- 1 Cup Pineapple juice
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Reduced-sugar Ketchup
- 1/4 Cup + 3 Tbsp Brown sugar packed
- 1/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Cornstarch *
- 4 Pork chops I use a lean center cut
- 1 Large spaghetti squash
- 1 Large red bell pepper cut into large chunks
- 1 1/2 Cups Pineapple chunks drained
- Green onion sliced (for garnish)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pineapple juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ketchup and brown sugar until well mixed and the sugar is dissolved. Place the pork chops into the bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- To roast the squash:
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Cut the squash in half and scoop out all the seeds. Place the squash cut side down on the prepared tray and bake until it is fork tender, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool.
- To prepare:
- Preheat you grill to medium/high heat and place the pork chops, pineapple and red pepper chunks on it. Cook until the meat is no longer pink inside, but be sure to not cook it to long or it will be very dry. It takes about 2-4 minutes per side**. Transfer the pork, pineapple and pepper to a plate, cover and keep warm until the sauce is ready.
- To make the sauce:
- Pour the pineapple juice mixture that the meat was marinating in into a large sauce pan and add the water and cornstarch. Whisk quickly so that the cornstarch dissolves without getting lumpy.
- Turn the heat to high and bring the sauce to a boil, letting it boil until it begins to thicken (about 1 minute) stirring constantly.
- Turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens - about 5-7 minutes more. Please note that it thickens up quite a bit, so don't cook it too long or you will have jello once it cools!
- To serve:
- Scrape the spaghetti squash out of it's shell with a fork and divide among plates. Top with pork, pineapple, pepper, sauce and garnish with sliced green onions.
Recipe NotesThe sauce is not quite as thick and gummy as take-out restaurants (I like it better a little thinner.) If you want it really thick, add 1 tsp cornstarch
*the pineapple may take less time to cook,so just watch to make sure that it doesn't burn!
Want more spaghetti squash?
Squash-y ideas from around the web:
Paleo Spaghetti Squash Hawaiian Pizza Pie – Smile Sandwich
Spaghetti Squash Tostadas – Taste and Tell
Tex-Mex Spaghetti Squash Boats – Ifoodreal