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Sweet and Sour Shrimp With Broccoli

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Sweet & Sour Shrimp with Broccoli

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This healthier version of the Chinese restaurant-style sweet and sour shrimp is one of the easiest (and tastiest) weeknight suppers you can make.

Skillet of sweet and sour shrimp with broccoli.

A healthier version of the Chinese restaurant-style dish that is typically battered and deep-fried, this sweet and sour shrimp with broccoli is one of the easiest (and tastiest) suppers you can make. Start a pot of rice before you begin prepping and 30 minutes later, your dinner is done. I always stock up on the 2-lb bags of frozen shrimp when they are on sale at my supermarket; that makes this recipe a convenient and affordable meal, too.

What you’ll need to make sweet and sour shrimp

Shrimp ingredients including ketchup, ginger, and soy sauce.

Before we get to the recipe, a note on buying shrimp: The “fresh” shrimp you see in the seafood case at the supermarket is typically thawed frozen shrimp, and you never know how long it’s been sitting there.

Almost all shrimp are cleaned and flash frozen shortly after being caught, so for the freshest shrimp, you’re better off buying it frozen and defrosting it yourself. For this recipe, I buy shrimp labeled “shell split and deveined.” Come dinnertime, all I have to do is run the shrimp under cold water to quickly defrost and then peel.

How to make sweet and sour shrimp

Whisk in a bowl of sweet and sour sauce.

Begin with the sauce: In a medium bowl, combine the ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, chili sauce, cornstarch, and rice vinegar. Whisk until completely smooth, then whisk in the chicken broth. Set aside.

Whisk in a bowl of sweet and sour sauce.

Prep the scallions, garlic, and ginger.

Diced vegetables on a cutting board.

Set a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the light green scallions, ginger, and garlic.

Scallions, ginger, and garlic in a skillet.

Cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 2 minutes. Do not brown.

Spoon stirring scallions, ginger, and garlic in a skillet.

Add the shrimp.

Shrimp in a skillet.

Cook, stirring frequently, until mostly pink and curled, but not cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Skillet of cooked shrimp.

Add the sauce and broccoli to the pan.

Broccoli in a skillet with shrimp.

Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thickened and the shrimp and broccoli are cooked through, about 3 minutes.

Shrimp and broccoli mixture in a skillet.

Sprinkle the dark green scallions over top.

Scallions in a skillet with a shrimp and broccoli mixture.

Serve with rice and enjoy.

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Sweet and Sour Shrimp with Broccoli

This healthier version of the Chinese restaurant-style sweet and sour shrimp is one of the easiest (and tastiest) weeknight suppers you can make.

Servings: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes


  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chili sauce, such as Sambal Oelek (available in Asian aisle of most supermarkets)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely sliced, light and dark green parts divided
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger (see note)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pounds extra-large (26/30) or jumbo (21/25) shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed if frozen
  • 2½ cups broccoli florets


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, chile sauce, cornstarch and rice vinegar. Whisk until completely smooth, then whisk in the chicken broth. Set aside.
  2. Set a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the light green scallions, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 2 minutes. Do not brown. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring frequently, until mostly pink and curled, but not cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add the sauce and broccoli to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thickened and the shrimp and broccoli are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the dark green scallions over top and serve with rice.
  3. Note: Check out easy guidance on how to peel, grate, and chop fresh ginger here.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 347
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 21 g
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 35 g
  • Sodium: 2152 mg
  • Cholesterol: 286 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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  • Another recipe from Once Upon A Chef, another home run.

    The flavor of this one is so great that I’m going to try it with other proteins as well.

    Made exactly as written except cut the oil down to 1 tablespoon – fabulous low fat meal that will be put into regular rotation!

  • CRAVIN’ ASIAN!! Thanks! So easy and delicious! Going in my weeknight deck! Everyone enjoyed!!

  • This recipe is so good!! Made it for my dad who says he doesn’t really like shrimp and he basically licked the bowl.

  • We love broccoli generally, but it seemed like an odd veg to add to this dish. Nevertheless, we followed the recipe to a T and it was delicious! In fact we’ll be reducing the shrimp and adding MORE broccoli the next time we make this 😉

    Jenn, one question for you please: when you reference salt in your recipes, do you mean table salt or kosher salt? If you don’t specify, is it safe to use either? Thank you!

    • — Monica in Toronto
    • Reply
    • Hi Monica, Glad you liked this! When a recipe of mine says salt in the ingredient list, I am referring to regular/table salt. If it calls for something else like kosher salt, I will specify that in the recipe. And while it doesn’t make a huge difference, different salts have different-sized grains and so you may end up using a bit more or a bit less if you use a different type of salt than the recipe calls for. Hope that clarifies!

  • I was missing a lot of ingredients so I had to improvise a bit. I tasted the sauce before adding it to the pan and it tasted a little bit too sour so I added a teaspoon of Hoisin sauce and it balanced it out perfectly! Super yummy and quick.
    Thanks Jen!

  • I love a good asian style shrimp recipe, and this one is great. I followed it exactly, except just had a little more than one pound of shrimp. It was even well balanced with that. I will say, if you haven’t tried the Sambal Oelek chili sauce, you should give it a try. It’s a very good and not too spicy flavor, I think. But then I like spicy. Also, Jasmine rice is perfect with this shrimp dish.
    Thanks for another delicious recipe.

  • Another winner! It was so delicious and flavorful, we all loved it.

    • — Robin Burnosky
    • Reply
  • It is okay/good recipe.

  • Is it possible to use frozen cooked shrimp (instead of raw) and then just add the shrimp at the end to heat them in the sauce?

    • Hi Susanne, I think this is best with raw shrimp, but cooked shrimp should work here. Just don’t heat them any longer than necessary or they’ll get tough. Hope that helps!

  • I’m usually happy with Jenn’s recipes, but this just didn’t work for us. It was fine for a one time meal, but I wouldn’t make it again.

  • Just made this last night for my partner and our one year old. They both loved it! Was worried about the salt and sugar content for the one year old, so steamed some broccoli separately in the microwave (but he still got some lightly sauced shrimp which he adored). Super easy with ingredients I generally have on hand. Definitely going into the weeknight rotation!

  • Ok, this recipe I really liked. But my husband loved, loved, loved it. I will definitely make this again!

  • I made this tonight and it was excellent. The only change I made was to use sweet chili sauce instead of regular chili sauce because we don’t like spicy food here. We did it with chicken – another option mentioned in the reviews. I was worried the kids might balk so I made some plain chicken that went untouched! Delish – thanks as always for a great dinner Jen!

  • Hello, I love your recipes! I’m not sure if this recipe calls for ‘sweet’ chili sauce or ‘hot’ chili sauce?

    • Hi Terry, This recipe calls for hot chili sauce. Hope you enjoy it!

  • This is my go-to site these days and have yet to make a less-than-great dish.
    This one, along with several others, has me buying more Asian components than I ever thought I would but it’s been very much worth it.
    This broccoli and shrimp combo is perfect; in flavor, in ease of making and in scoring big with guests. I have made it several times now and cannot say enough good things about its flavor and healthful benefits.

  • This recipe was a total surprise for me! First off, I’m not crazy about shrimp (I just happened to have a 2lb bag of shrimp in my freezer), nor do I typically order sweet and sour shrimp from my favorite Chinese restaurant, but this was really yummy. I was a bit skeptical when I saw ketchup in the ingredients list, but the sauce was nicely balanced and not at all overly sweet.

    Jen, thanks for your website. You have made my weekly menu planning a breeze and my dinner parties far more delicious 🙂

    • Maaike, Glad you enjoyed this and that the recipes have made your life a bit easier! 🙂

  • Can you make this without the scallions? I use them only when I have too. Want to try this tomorrow night?

    • — Cynthia Taffet
    • Reply
    • While you can omit the scallions, I do think they add a lot of flavor to the dish and would be worth picking up if possible. Hope that helps!

  • What a great recipe. My husband loved it. I believe this recipe is important to keep the amount of meat (2 pounds of preferred meat) and sauce ingredients balanced because I substituted chicken (a little less than one pound) and it turned out sauce heavy…but delicious! He loved it.

    • — Stephanie M Cone
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, could I use Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce as a substitute for Samal Oelek?
    Thanks Scott

    • Hi Scott, Sweet chili sauce won’t work; sriracha would be a better option. Hope that helps!

  • I made this last night. My kids and husband were literally licking the plate. The only change I made because my husband doesn’t like spicy food is halve the amount of chile sauce. It still had a little kick and was DELISH! Thank you Jenn!

  • Another wonderful recipe Jennifer. This dish comes together quickly and tastes great! Thank you for sharing! My wife and I both loved this dish!

  • Can you please confirm that the rice vinegar is unseasoned? Thanks!

    • Yes that’s correct, Kate. 🙂

  • The flavors were spot on and another winner at our house!

  • Very good recipe. The only change was to cut the ginger to one tablespoon and I microwaved the broccoli for one minute. I will make this again

  • Another winner, thanks so much! Making it a second time and wondering if I can make the sauce a day in advance? Thanks!

    • Glad you enjoyed this. I haven’t made the sauce ahead, but I think it would work (just store it in the fridge).

  • Jenn, You really hit the nail on the head with this recipe!! The flavors are sooo delicious! The bite of the ginger and garlic. Yummm… I added a little extra chili sauce. We like the heat. DH ate it so fast, he was sweating! Said he wanted to lick the plate! lol! So what better to do on a rainy day in Baltimore then to have a Once Upon A Chef cook off? I then fixed your pan seared turkey burgers. A favorite in our home. Oh! And I started with Pasta e Fagioli. A delicious tummy warmer on a bad weather day. This blog is a true gift!

    BTW, I love your cookbook! Aside from the fabulous recipes and nice thick pages, I love your writing. I feel like you and I are in your kitchen having a conversation. A true labor of love. XOXO

    • xoxo ❤️

  • Jenn, this is a really good recipe! The sauce has a great balance – it is not too sweet or too vinegary. Some sauces taste like they are missing something. This one does not lack for anything. I did add some sauteed mushrooms and red pepper strips. I also partially precooked the broccoli in the microwave to save time and preserve the color. I served it with Jasmine rice and we thoroughly enjoyed every bite! Thank you for another great recipe!

  • I made this recipe exactly as directed the first time. I did not like the taste of the ketchup and I thought the shrimp was cooked too early in the process and became very overcooked.

    My adaptations…

    Use 3 T tomato paste instead of ketchup (I keep a tube of tomato paste in my fridge). Use all other sauce ingredients listed.

    Melt a Tablespoon of butter or oil in skillet and cook shrimp in a single layer turning with tongs until it turns pink no more than 2 minutes a side. Don’t over-cook. Remove shrimp to a bowl and set aside.

    Add broccoli, ginger, scallions (I use one thinly sliced small yellow onion), garlic to skillet and cook over med high heat until broccoli is almost done… NOW pour in the sauce…continue cooking and stirring until sauce thickens. NOW add the shrimp to sauce and broccoli in the skillet and heat until shrimp has re-warmed but not overcooked.
    Now it is FIVE STARS!

  • I made this last night for guests, followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious. I had everything prepped so cooking was quick and easy. Everyone raved about it. Thank you for another amazing, easy recipe.

  • I have chilli garlic sauce in my fridge. Can I substitute that for Sambal Oelek? Or will that change the flavour too much?

    • Yes, Lorrie, the chili garlic sauce should work here. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

  • Another fantastic and easy recipe – thank you!

  • Five stars as usual! This was super easy and came together quickly – I sped things up by buying pre-cut broccoli and frozen brown rice. I only used 1lb of shrimp and added mushrooms to boost the veggie content which worked out great. Next time I’ll add red peppers as well. I spooned the sauce over tofu for my 3 year old who doesn’t like shrimp and it was a hit with him too! I’ll definitely add this to my regular rotation.

  • This was delicious! I made the recipe exact and the family was super happy.They were asking for more asian items. We had some broccoli and broccolini from the garden. Maybe next time I will add a few more veggies. We love Maggi sweet chili sauce at my house too, so we put a drizzle on top just after serving.

  • This was an easy recipe to pull together with two of my favorite foods: shrimp and broccoli! I used half a bag of frozen shrimp and cut the recipe down to fit the smaller amount of shrimp. Instead of rice I substituted some chinese noodles I had on hand. Also substituted another brand of Asian chili sauce because I couldn’t find the one in the recipe. Leftovers are great to freeze for a fast dinner another night. This is one recipe to definitely keep on hand!

  • I have made many of your recipes and each is delicious. This is no different. You can easily adjust the amount of spice depending on your family’s tolerance. Easy and quick recipe that I would serve to company. It would be great with noodles too!

  • Jen one of the reasons you are my favorite food blogger is because you get what it means to be a working mom that has to come and cook a healthy but quick meal. Case in point- your sweet and sour shrimp. I made this tonight and it was faster than ordering takeout… and healthier too. The ketchup sauce was so simple and delicious that I had my children help measure and whisk. I did not have chicken broth on hand so I used water and it was still flavorful. The broccoli was a beautiful bright green and still crispy. I finished it off with some sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil and served it over cauliflower rice. Delish!

  • Yummy with some cauliflower rice.

  • OK, Jenn. You have done it again. This is ABSOLUTELY delicious!
    And I had my doubts. Thank you very much.

    • — Louise from Québec
    • Reply
  • we thoroughly enjoyed this recipe. it was quick and straight-forward. my family enjoys stir fries lately. i substituted chives for the scallions because we still have them in the garden. the sauce nicely thickened and we served it with rice. i think next time we’ll try rice noodles. i undercooked the broccoli to make it snappy, fresh, and tender crisp. thank you

  • Absolutely delicious! I added more veggies and cooked some Farro to eat with it and yummmm!!!

  • Does this make enough sauce to add rice or noodles? Or do I need to double the sauce?

    • Hi Anjli – this recipe makes a ton of sauce so you should be fine to serve with rice or noodles. Enjoy!

  • Hi Jenn! Question for you… Do you cook the broccoli prior to putting it with the shrimp for about 3 minutes? It seems like the broccoli wouldn’t be able to soften in that amount of time?

    • I don’t, Julie – just be sure the florets are small and they will be perfectly tender-crisp.

  • Hi Jenn! Can the shrimp be substituted for chicken?

  • Thanks Jen, I made this absolutely delicious recipe last night and my husband and I loved it. As always you have the best recipes. Delicious yet simple to make and full of flavor. It is now going to be part of our recipe rotations. I have so many of your recipes I rotate that I am over a month before I start from the beginning again!

  • Jenn,
    Thanks for another wonderful recipe! The sauce is delicious! I didn’t have the scallions but I did have a leek in the fridge and that seemed to work well as a substitution. My wife and I both liked this alot!

  • I made this for dinner tonight and it was a hit! I made the recipe as written and it was quick and easy. My husband liked it so much he’s taking the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Thanks, Jenn, for another great dinner recipe!

  • Attention Gluten Free readers:

    Please note that regular soy sauce is almost never gluten free. Fermentation involves wheat or barley, and either has gluten.

    Not to worry: simply substitute Tamari. If you’re gluten intolerant, the small amount of gluten in regular soy sauce may be no big deal, but celiacs should make this recipe with Tamari.

    It sounds great, by the way!

  • Can this recipe be done with chicken?

  • Hi Jen! Have you ever made this with chicken or with another fish (not shellfish)? Would you adjust anything if shrimp is substituted?

    • I haven’t, Randi, but I think it would work without any adjustments.

      • Thanks Jenn! I’ll let you know what I use and how it comes out!

  • Will this taste good with chicken?

    • Sure, Frances – chicken will work.

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