This Easy Pineapple Chicken Recipe is the best way to enjoy a takeout favorite at home. It is made in one pan with canned pineapple chunks, cubed chicken breast, vegetables, and a sticky-sweet yet slightly-tangy sauce. Serve up this healthy stir-fry for a weeknight dinner since it can be made in under 30 minutes and is gluten-free, dairy-free, and kid-friendly!

Easy pineapple chicken recipe served with white rice in a wooden bowl next to pineapple rings and limes.

Pineapple Chicken for Every Occasion

It’s not very often that as I am sitting here typing up a blog post I also happen to be EATING that exact same dish…

But that’s the case today with this simple Pineapple Chicken recipe!

You might call it a fluke, but considering I have made this dish AT LEAST 5 times since first creating the recipe, it’s really not a huge shocker.

Everyone can appreciate easy weeknight meals, and this will become one of your favorite recipes. The pineapple flavor in the sweet and sour sauce along with the chicken tenders and veggies is the perfect balance.

And the general consensus – the whole family absolutely LOVES this quick and easy 30-minute pineapple chicken recipe!

Not only is this dish ready in under 30 minutes, but it is also made in ONE pan. Perfect for busy weeknights.

So yes, your dinner is ready-to-eat and is piping hot when you are!

Want a few other easy pineapple recipes? You might also enjoy this Piña Colada Recipe, Grilled Pineapple Chicken, Slow Cooker Pineapple Pulled Pork Tacos and this Pineapple Pico de Gallo.

Soy sauce, canned pineapple, bell pepper, onion, ketchup, sugar, and a lime as the ingredients for a pineapple chicken recipe.

Ingredients

The ingredients needed for this quick Asian-inspired recipe are easy-to-find and on the healthier side.

  • Pineapple. Canned, juicy pineapple with no added sugar is used in the recipe. However, you can also use fresh pineapple chunks if that is what you happen to have. (Learn how to cut pineapple if you don’t already know!)
  • Chicken. Look for lean, natural skinless chicken breasts if possible, since they are the easiest to work with. Chicken thighs will work, but get a boneless, skinless kind.
  • Vegetables. Bell peppers and onions are used to bump up the nutritional value in this recipe. Read below to see a few other ideas you might like to try!
  • Pineapple Marinade. A sweet and tangy marinade is made to coat the chicken and vegetables.

How to Make Pineapple Chicken

Below you’ll find the basic steps to make this sticky pineapple chicken recipe:

Make the Pineapple Marinade

The majority of the flavor in this dish comes from the marinade that also doubles as a sauce.

While most people associate pineapple chicken with being on the super sweet side, this recipe has a nice balance of sweet and tangy. So even the people who don’t normally like sweet mixed with savory will enjoy this stir-fry!

Combine the sauce ingredients—pineapple chunks, pineapple juice, ketchup, gluten-free soy sauce or Tamari sauce, lime juice, coconut sugar, and salt—in a high-speed blender (such as a Nutribullet) or a food processor.

You can also substitute brown or white sugar for the coconut sugar.

Blend the marinade for 20-30 seconds or until smooth.

Use ½ cup to marinate the chicken and reserve the remaining for the sticky sauce.

A handheld blender is used to make the marinade.

Prep the Chicken

Tenderize chicken by pounding to 1-inch thick and then cutting into 1-inch cubes.*

Combine chicken and ½ cup pineapple marinade in a big Ziplock bag or large bowl. Marinate for 15-30 minutes or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.

*Cook’s Tip: If doing this inside, simply place a piece of wax or parchment paper overtop to prevent chicken juice from splattering all over your kitchen.

Sauté the Veggies

Use a sharp knife to dice the onions and bell peppers into small, bite-sized pieces.

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat or medium-high heat with bell peppers and onion. Sauté for 5-7 minutes or until veggies are almost tender. 

Sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt over the veggies and stir until well combined.

Maybe you’re not a huge fan of red onion, or you don’t have two different colored bell peppers on hand – that’s totally okay! Here are a few other vegetables you can try out:

  • Sweet Onion
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans
  • Asparagus
  • Snap peas

Cook the Chicken

Remove veggies from skillet and add marinaded chicken cubes. Cook for 6-7 minutes or until chicken is almost cooked through.

Add remaining sauce, vegetables, and pineapple chunks and cook for 2-3 minutes or until sauce has thickened.

A skillet full of cubed chicken and vegetables in a sticky pineapple sauce.

What to Serve with Pineapple Chicken?

There are numerous ways to serve this pineapple chicken stir-fry to make it a complete meal. A bed of simple Instant Pot White Rice or coconut milk rice sops up all of that deliciously sticky pineapple sauce.

However, if you are limiting grains or carbs you can always opt to serve it over Cauliflower Rice, by itself, or in lettuce wraps.

A sprinkle of chopped green onions and sesame seeds adds to the flavor and presentation, as well.

Pineapple chicken stir-fry in a wooden bowl with white rice.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep Ahead: If meal prepping this delicious dinner, you will want to cut your vegetables no more than 3 days in advance. Place them in a large ziplock bag or in a storage container until ready to cook. Blend pineapple sauce and prepare chicken breasts but do not combine them until at least 2-3 hours in advance. You do not want the chicken sitting in the acidic marinade for more than a few hours otherwise it will begin to get a mealy texture.
  • To Store: Place this leftover chicken dish in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • To Freeze: Simply place it in a freezer-safe container with a layer of wax paper on top. Chill until it reaches refrigerator temperature and within 24 hours transfer it to the freezer. You can freeze this chicken for up to 3 to 4 months in a freezer-safe container.
  • To Reheat: Reheat the chicken in a skillet over medium-low heat, just long enough to warm it through. Keep it covered with a lid to help the dish retain heat and moisture.

Can you marinate chicken in pineapple juice overnight?

You should be cautious about marinating chicken in pineapple juice overnight. While marinating is an excellent way to add flavor to chicken, pineapple juice is acidic, which can break down the meat if left too long. The beauty of this easy recipe is that you can marinate it for just 30 minutes and end up with tender chicken.

Pineapple chicken recipe with a sticky sweet pineapple sauce for an easy dinner recipe.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Hit it hard. Flattening the chicken tenderizes it and makes it cook more evenly.
  • Plan ahead. The marinade is easy to make a day or two before you are ready to cook.
  • Let it rest. Be sure to marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes for the best results.
  • Get creative. You can sub in your favorite veggies, or increase the amount to up the nutritional benefit.
  • Make it work. Serve this chicken with white or brown rice depending on your preference, or opt for cauliflower rice for a delicious low-carb option.
Chopsticks picking up a piece of cubed chicken covered in sticky pineapple sauce.

Other Takeout Favorites

Takeout food is a guilty pleasure for so many. Thankfully, you can make many of these recipes at home and feel good about eating it.

Chicken Fried Rice and Shrimp Fried Rice are quick and easy ways to make this favorite at home.

General Tso’s Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry, and Instant Pot Orange Chicken are all classics.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls are always a crowd-pleaser, as well.

More Chicken Recipes

There are infinite ways to prepare chicken. These easy chicken dinners are some of my favorites.

Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce and Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps can be appetizers or the main dish.

Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies is the easiest chicken dinner recipe you can make

Chicken Cordon Bleu, Lemon Chicken Piccata, and Spatchcock Chicken are super impressive.

Tap stars to rate!

4.82 from 11 votes

Easy Pineapple Chicken Recipe

This Easy Pineapple Chicken Recipe is the best way to enjoy a takeout favorite at home. It is made in one pan with canned pineapple chunks, cubed chicken, vegetables, and a sticky-sweet yet slightly-tangy sauce.
Yield 4 people
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 30 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 ¼ lb. chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 15-oz. can pineapple chunks divided
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. Tamari sauce or gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt divided
  • 2 bell peppers cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 red onion cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. avocado oil or olive oil
  • Green onions optional
  • Sesame seeds optional

Instructions 

  • Pound chicken to 1-inch thick and cut into 1-inch cubes.
  • In a high-speed blender or food processor add ¾ cup pineapple chunks, pineapple juice, ketchup, Tamari sauce, lime juice, sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt. Blend for 20-30 seconds, or until smooth.
  • Add cubed chicken and ½ cup of pineapple marinade to a large bowl or a ziplock bag. Toss until chicken is well coated. Reserve remaining marinade.
  • Marinade chicken in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
  • While chicken is marinading, add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large skillet over medium heat with bell peppers and onion. Sauté for 5-7 minutes or until veggies are almost tender. Add ½ teaspoon salt and stir until well combined.
  • Remove veggies from skillet and add marinaded chicken cubes. Cook for 6-7 minutes or until chicken is almost cooked through.
  • Add reserved marinade, veggies, and remaining pineapple that has been finely diced to the skillet. Cook over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes, or until sauce begins to thicken.
  • Serve Pineapple Chicken over rice or cauliflower rice with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

4.82 from 11 votes

Video

Notes

  • Nutrition facts are calculated without rice.
  • You can also substitute brown sugar or regular sugar for the coconut sugar.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep Ahead: If meal prepping this delicious dinner, you will want to cut your vegetables no more than 3 days in advance. Place them in a large ziplock bag or in a storage container until ready to cook. Blend pineapple sauce and prepare chicken breasts but do not combine them until at least 2-3 hours in advance. You do not want the chicken sitting in the acidic marinade for more than a few hours otherwise it will begin to get a mealy texture.
  • To Store: Place this leftover chicken dish in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • To Freeze: Simply place it in a freezer-safe container with a layer of wax paper on top. Chill until it reaches refrigerator temperature and within 24 hours transfer it to the freezer. You can freeze this chicken for up to 3 to 4 months in a freezer-safe container.
  • To Reheat: Reheat the chicken in a skillet over medium-low heat, just long enough to warm it through. Keep it covered with a lid to help the dish retain heat and moisture.

Nutrition

Calories: 294kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 91mg, Sodium: 920mg, Potassium: 750mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 1945IU, Vitamin C: 86.4mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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Comments

  1. Do you have any suggestions for making this plant based? It looks like it could work really well with tofu but I wouldn’t know how to sub tofu for the chicken. This recipe looks delicious.

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Jenn! I’m glad it worked out with tofu. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

    1. Yay!! So happy it got the approval of your son, too. Thanks so much for the comment and rating! 🙂

    1. You can definitely use brown rice, and adjust the salt/sodium according to your taste or dietary preference!