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Best Low Sodium Sweet and Sour Sauce

This homemade Low-Sodium Sweet and Sour Sauce is so quick and easy to make, it is perfect to make a batch at a time as needed. No need to store and tastes better then store bought or even takeout sauce. Both of which I find to be too sweet, almost sickly sweet. Plus it’s nearly sodium free. Making this such an easy way to shave extra sodium points off you may find other uses for it!

Typical sodium amount per serving120+ mg
Sodium per serving for this recipe2 mg
Calories per serving83


Sweet and sour sauce ready for dipping
Sweet and sour sauce ready for dipping
Typical sweet and sour sauce label
Typical sweet and sour sauce label

With most store bought sweet and sour sauces being 120 mg of sodium or more per two tablespoons and takeout being who knows what, this is an easy no brainer to make at home.  I know I used to use probably close to 3X the “serving size” on a meal.  So that would be an easy savings of 350 mg sodium in just the sauce!  And believe me, you won’t know it’s missing.

Homemade Low Sodium Sweet and Sour Sauce is probably best known for going over sweet and sour chicken OR sweet and sour pork. How about shrimp?  (Check out my great Low Sodium Sweet and Chicken recipe by the way!) But it is also superb for doing so much more like; a dipping sauce for vegetables, spring rolls or a basting marinade for chicken, pork or ribs. You can even use it over just plain rice or even on a salad. This super easy Low Sodium Sweet and Sour sauce deserves to be at the top of your recipe list or known off the top of your head! 

Low sodium sweet and sour better than store and takeout
Low sodium sweet and sour better than store and takeout


With just a few common pantry ingredients and 5 minutes, this tastes and is better for you than store bought! Easily shaving 100’s of mg of sodium off a meal!

It is simply a base mixture of a small can of pineapple juice, ketchup, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and a touch of liquid smoke. Mix all of these ingredients except for the cornstarch slurry, in a small saucepan and stir to a light boil till sugar dissolves.

Stir in the cornstarch slurry and lightly boil while stirring for another minute until thickened and it’s ready!  If you want the red hue that you may be used to, simply add a few drops of red food coloring. But it makes no difference in the taste. Once it’s thickened up, use it right away or refrigerate it for up to two weeks.

Low sodium sweet and sour chicken
Low sodium sweet and sour chicken

As always, please let me know how you like this recipe in the comments! I get motivated when I hear from you and am interested to learn about how you liked and served your Low-Sodium Sweet and Sour Sauce. We are in this together and I want your feedback so please leave a comment or rating and share any tips you might have.

Sweet and sour sauce low sodium

Low-Sodium Sweet and Sour Sauce

Author: Bill
Five minutes and a few ingredients make this Low-Sodium Sweet and Sour Sauce super easy to whip up a batch when needed and taste better than any other!
4.82 from 16 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine American, Chinese
Servings 10 2 Tbsp
Calories 83 kcal


  • 1 10 oz. canned pineapple juice
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp low sodium ketchup
  • 1/8 tsp liquid smoke

Cornstarch Slurry Thickener:

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2-3 drops red food coloring optional Really its useless unless you like the color


  • Place all of the ingredients, except cornstarch slurry, in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stir till ketchup and sugar dissolve. In a small bowl mix cornstarch and water till smooth. Then pour cornstarch slurry into saucepan, simmer and stir constantly for another minute until thickened. Stir it in red food coloring if desired.
  • Use immediately or let the sauce cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Rice vinegar is preferred but apple cider vinegar may be substituted.
Makes 1 1/3 cups sauce.


Calories: 83kcal
Did you make this recipe?Leave a rating and let me know how it was!

Nutrition InformationThe information shown is provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be substituted for a doctors or nutritionist’s advice. Please understand that not everyone’s sodium requirements are the same, therefore some recipes may be higher than you’re allowed. Always consult with your doctor for your recommended daily sodium allowance.

13 thoughts on “Best Low Sodium Sweet and Sour Sauce”

  1. I replaced the brown sugar with a tablespoon of molasses (30 mg sodium) and it came out perfect, even the color! Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely the best tasting sweet and sour sauced I could have dreamed of. And it doesn’t take a bunch of weird or hard to find ingredients! Took about 15 minutes to put this sauce together. I will never buy high priced bottled stuff again!

  3. 5 stars
    My husband love the sweet and sour sauce. He also poured it over pulled pork.

  4. 5 stars
    This was excellent for a dipping sauce for chicken nuggets. My grandchildren didn’t know the difference, and I didn’t have to go without this time, and could enjoy it with them!

  5. 5 stars
    The most successful low salt meal I’ve tried yet. The rest of the family had seconds and thirds! Thanks?

    • Love it! Thank you for your comment Jane

  6. 5 stars
    I didn’t change a single thing in this recipe and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you Bill for taking the time to come up with this recipe. My husband was just diagnosed with advanced Stage 3 liver disease and HAS to keep diet low sodium. We thought he’d never have Chinese food again. Not true with this recipe. Have you figured out a recipe for General Tso’s or Sesame chicken yet? I would love to try them.

  7. Im trying to make this for my dad, who was recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I find liquid smoke, but they are mesquite, hickory, etc. Can you please clarify which one you use? Thank you so much!

    • Hi Debbie, I usually get the hickory. But either one should work reallyy.

  8. 5 stars
    Delicious! Would never know it is so low sodium!


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