clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
A spoon full of vegan sweet and sour sauce suspended over a jar of it

Vegan Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 ¾ cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Tangy yet sweet and addictive, this Vegan Sweet and Sour Sauce is made in just 5 minutes and is the perfect sauce for dinners and appetizers.


Units Scale


  1. Mix ingredients and bring to a boil: In a small bowl, mix together the sugars, vinegar, soy sauce/gluten-free tamari, ketchup, and garlic. Add to a small nonstick sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Let boil for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Thicken: Mix the arrowroot powder/cornstarch with the water with a whisk in a small bowl or measuring cup. Pour the mixture into the pot and whisk or stir constantly until the sauce has thickened to your liking. If you want it thicker, you can either add another tablespoon of the powder to another 2 tablespoons of water (the same way you did before, with the whisk as it avoids lumps), or you can just refrigerate it since it will thicken as it chills.
  3. Use: I like to use this right away in whatever I’m making. Use it on whatever you like--sticky tofu, vegan meatballs, vegan brisket, seitan chicken nuggets, or even my sweet and sour tofu which is why I’m creating this recipe in the first place (hi). Just saying.
  4. Store: Refrigerate the sauce for up to 3-4 days.


  • Note 1: This recipe was written for my sweet and sour tofu, but it would also be great on sticky tofu,  vegan meatballs, vegan brisket, seitan chicken nuggets, or on your favorite bowl of assorted vegetables, starch, and vegan protein.
  • Note 2: I like the warmth and flavor coconut sugar provides, I just didn’t want to use too much because, hey, color. I have to make my food look appetizing, right? Brown sugar will also work here, or you can skip it.
  • Note 3: I liked the sweet sour thing apple cider vinegar has going on, but you could use rice vinegar or white vinegar instead if you’d like.
  • Note 4: If you’re gluten-free, use gluten-free tamari. If you’re soy-free, try No Soy or Coconut Aminos. Alternatively, you can just use salt to taste.
  • Note 5: So technically, because of the sugar, you can boil this sauce until it reduces and thickens, but then you’ll also have less sauce. In order to save time, half the calories, and produce a fair amount of sauce, we can just instead use a little water + arrowroot powder or cornstarch to thicken the sauce and make it sticky (the sugar helps with that).
  • Prep Time: 1 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Category: Ingredient
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Chinese

Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Can Be Soy-Free