Pineapple Chicken features tender bites of chicken thighs, pineapple chunks, and bell peppers all served in the most sweet and tangy sauce! Soy sauce, pineapple juice, and hoisin sauce are just a few of the ingredients that make every bite of this easy dinner so mouthwatering.
What’s in this Pineapple Chicken Recipe?
Calling all pineapple lovers! This Chinese dish features chunks of chicken with pineapple, cooked in a mildly spicy sauce, where you’ll find even more pineapple.
- Chicken Thighs: I recommend using boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. You can use chicken breast if you prefer.
- Olive Oil: I recommend using a good quality extra-virgin olive oil.
- Salt and Pepper: Add to taste.
- Red Bell Pepper: This gives a nice pop of color, some great added nutrients, and even more fresh flavor!
- Pineapple Chunks: Use fresh or canned pineapple. It’s best to stay away from frozen because it contains too much water.
- Cashews: These give the whole dish a subtle crunch that pairs so well with the other ingredients.
- Pineapple Juice: This is really what gives the sauce the best citrus-y flavor!
- Soy Sauce: You can use tamari or coconut aminos if preferred.
- Chicken Stock: I like to use low-sodium chicken stock to keep the saltiness to a minimum.
- Hoisin Sauce: In a pinch, you can replace this with teriyaki or fish sauce.
- Brown Sugar: This adds a rich, deep sweetness to the sauce.
- Garlic: I recommend using fresh garlic for the most flavor impact.
- Cornstarch: This gives the sauce a thick consistency.
- Jalapeño: This enhances the fresh flavor without adding a ton of spice. You can omit it or add more as desired.
Pro Tip: After adding the cornstarch, let the sauce simmer until it reaches your desired consistency–the longer it simmers, the thicker it will be.
What’s the best chicken to use?
I used boneless chicken thighs for this pineapple chicken recipe. They are fuller on flavor and work really well with the sauce. You can of course use chicken breasts if that’s what you have or prefer.
Chicken thighs, red bell peppers, cashews and pineapple chunks are the primary ingredients in this recipe. They’re all served in the most mouthwatering pineapple-soy glaze!
Cornstarch is what makes the sauce nice and thick. If you used the correct amount of cornstarch and still think it’s on the thinner side, that may be because the sauce hasn’t simmered long enough. Simmering the sauce is what helps it thicken.
If you’d like to add a little heat, sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes into the glaze.
How to Store and Reheat
Once cooled to room temperature, store your leftover pineapple chicken in an airtight container in the fridge. Properly stored, it’ll stay fresh for about 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or back on the stovetop until warmed through.
How to Freeze
Let the dish cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. In the freezer, pineapple chicken will stay fresh for up to 3 months. Don’t forget to date and label!
How to Serve Pineapple Chicken
I love serving this Chinese-inspired chicken with pineapple over fluffy white rice. Don’t forget to garnish with some green onions and fresh lime wedges to really enhance that fresh, summery flavor!
Easy Pineapple Chicken Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs cubed
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- ¼ cup cashews
For the Sauce:
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- ¼ cup low sodium chicken stock
- ⅓ cup hoisin sauce
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch + 2 teaspoons water
- ½ jalapeno minced
For Serving (optional):
- green onions sliced, for garnish
- lime wedges
- cooked white rice
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, add it to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, until browned on all sides. Stir in bell pepper and cook for 3 minutes more, until tender.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, salt & pepper, 1 red bell pepper
- In a small saucepan, combine pineapple juice, soy sauce, chicken stock, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, garlic and jalapeno. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.½ cup pineapple juice, 4 tablespoons soy sauce, ¼ cup low sodium chicken stock, ⅓ cup hoisin sauce, ½ cup brown sugar, 2 cloves garlic, ½ jalapeno
- In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and 2 tsp water (to make a slurry). Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce and continue to simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Pour sauce over the chicken, stir and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add pineapple chunks and cashews to the skillet and stir to combine.1 cup pineapple chunks, ¼ cup cashews
- Optionally, serve over white rice and garnish with chopped green onions and fresh lime wedges.green onions, cooked white rice, lime wedges
- After adding the cornstarch slurry to the sauce, let it simmer until it reaches your desired thickness. The longer the sauce simmers, the thicker it will get.
- You can use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs.
- Use fresh or canned pineapple. Frozen pineapple contains too much water.
- If you’d like to serve it in a pineapple as pictured: cut a pineapple in half lengthwise, and scoop out the center to create a bowl.