This pineapple chicken is a stir fry of chicken, pineapple and vegetables all tossed in a sweet and savory sauce. Serve this Chinese style pineapple chicken over rice for an easy dinner that everyone will love!
In the mood for something tropical for dinner? Try some pineapple chicken with sauteed chicken thighs, chunks of fresh pineapple and crisp red bell peppers. You can have this easy meal on the table in less than 30 minutes.
I’m constantly searching for easy chicken dinners that my whole family will love, and I’m happy to say that this quick and easy pineapple chicken is always a huge hit! It’s essentially a chicken stir fry with the addition of juicy pineapple, and the sauce is also infused with pineapple flavor. You’ll feel like you’re on a tropical vacation when you serve this dish for dinner.
How to make pineapple chicken
The basis of this dish is chicken thighs, pineapple and red bell peppers. These ingredients are sauteed to golden brown, then flavored with garlic and ginger and tossed in a sweet and savory sauce. Add some rice on the side, and you’ve got a complete meal. If you’re feeling really fancy, you can even serve this dinner in a hollowed out pineapple for a fun presentation.
You can use either fresh or canned pineapple here, but I wouldn’t recommend frozen pineapple. If you use a can of pineapple, be sure to reserve the juice to use in the sauce. I use a red bell pepper here because it adds flavor and crunch, but you could use a different colored pepper if you prefer. A yellow or orange pepper tastes the same as a red pepper if you’ve got one of those on hand. Sometimes I also add a little chopped onion for extra flavor.
I like to make this dish with chicken thighs because it’s more traditional, and the dark meat chicken adds a little bit of richness to the recipe. If you’re a white meat fan, you can absolutely use cut up chicken breasts in lieu of the thighs.
I finish this dish with sesame seeds and green onions, but if you don’t have those garnishes on hand, don’t even worry about it. You can omit those finishing touches and still end up with a fabulous meal.
I typically put a pot of rice on the stove at the same time as I start cooking my pineapple chicken, that way everything is done at the same time. Pineapple chicken with rice is really a complete meal as is, because you’ve got fruit, vegetables, protein and your starch. That being said, sometimes I add a side of steamed broccoli, because I don’t think it’s possible to eat too many green veggies!
While serving this meal inside a pineapple is clearly optional, it’s also super impressive and not a lot of work to pull off. It’s a great one to serve to company, or just to make a weeknight dinner feel a little more special.
More easy chicken recipes
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper seeded. cored and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup pineapple chunks fresh or canned
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 3/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon sliced green onions
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste and add to the pan.
- Cook the chicken for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through.
- Add the red bell pepper and pineapple to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the pineapple juice, soy sauce, chicken broth, hoisin sauce and brown sugar.
- Add the sauce mixture to the pan and bring to a simmer.
- Mix the corn starch with 1 tablespoon of cold water; stir until smooth.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute or until sauce has just thickened.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions, then serve.