Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken is full of fresh pineapple chunks, juicy and tender chicken, bell peppers, onions, and a sticky sweet and spicy sauce. This healthy, kid-friendly pressure cooker meal can easily be prepped ahead for busy weeks and on the dinner table in under 30 minutes! Skip the Asian takeout and enjoy a flavorful dish at home.

Pineapple Chicken is loaded with pineapple, bell peppers, and fresh green onions and laid over a rice.

Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken Recipe

After recently recreating and updating an old pressure cooker favorite (this Instant Pot Orange Chicken) I decided to get a little creative.

This time instead of using fresh orange juice and zest, pineapple would be the star of the show.

One bite of this pineapple chicken will quickly transport you to your favorite tropical destination! Don’t blame me if you feel like you should be lounging around on beautiful white sandy beaches with a Piña Colada in hand right now…

And it’s so quick and easy to make, too! You can pop all of your ingredients into your pressure cooker and have this meal ready in under 30 minutes! This simple Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken takes minimal effort and is a tasty dinner for busy weeknights.

Don’t have an Instant Pot?  No problem! Check out this Easy Pineapple Chicken Recipe that’s made on the stovetop!

Canned pineapple, cubed chicken breast, bell peppers, and other ingredients are combined in this healthy pineapple chicken.

Ingredients

  • Chicken. One pound of chicken breasts are tenderized and then cut into cubes.
  • Starch. A starch coating gives the chicken a wonderfully crunchy exterior while keeping the inside incredibly juicy and tender. Cornstarch or tapioca starch can be used. All purpose flour or a gluten-free flour may be substituted if that’s what you have available.
  • Vegetables. Red and green bell peppers are used along with a red onion to make this dish beautiful and brightly colored.
  • Pineapple. Canned pineapple chunks in juice, not in syrup, are the best and healthiest type of fruit to use. If you happen to have some fresh pineapple, you can also use that instead. I would not recommend using frozen pineapple as it does not have nearly as much flavor as the canned or fresh kind.
  • Soy Sauce. A gluten-free soy sauce, Tamari sauce, or even coconut liquid aminos can be used interchangeably and give the pineapple chicken a great salty taste.
  • Lime. Fresh lime juice adds a bit of acidity to help balance out the sweetness. Lemon juice can be substituted but will be a little more tart.
  • Rice vinegar. A little bit more Asian flavor and tang is added in with a bit of vinegar. You can also substitute with apple cider vinegar if you’re on a Paleo diet.
  • Sriracha. Totally optional, but a little bit of this spicy sauce will take this dish from a 0 heat level to about a 3-4 out of 10.
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

How to Make Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken

Please see the recipe card below for more detailed ingredient amounts.

1. Sauté the Chicken

For extra juicy chicken, tenderize your chicken breasts with a meat mallet. Then cut into similarly sized 1-inch cubes.

Place the chicken in a bowl and toss with the starch or flour, salt, and pepper until it is completely coated. 

Add the oil to a 6-quart Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker while it is set to the sauté function. Wait until the oil begins to sizzle. 

Place chicken cubes in a single layer on the bottom of the Instant Pot and sauté chicken for 2-3 minutes. After sautéing, scrape the bottom of the pot to ensure any bits are no longer stuck.

Cubed chicken is added to an instant pot.

2. Make the Sauce

To ensure the sauce has the right consistency, it’s best to use a Nutribullet.  It’s powerful enough to make the sauce silky smooth, but is also extremely easy to clean and put away when you’re done.

You can also use a larger blender such as a Vitamix, a large food processor, or a smaller mini-prep processor.

Combine ¾-cup of the pineapple chunks, ⅓-cup of pineapple juice, ketchup, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, crushed garlic, Sriracha sauce, and ¾-teaspoon of salt in the pitcher. Blend for 20-30 seconds, or until the tangy sauce is completely smooth.

Pineapple sauce ingredients are combined and mixed into a blender until completely smooth.

3. Combine Everything in the Instant Pot

Once you have your chicken prepared and the sauce made, it’s time to put it all together and cook it in your Instant Pot.

Pour the sauce over the chickenBe sure to lift it off the bottom of the pan so it does not burn.

Place the chopped bell peppers and onion on top of the chicken and sauce. Do not stir or mix at this stage.

Chopped onions and bell peppers are added to chicken and sauce for Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken.

4. Cook the Pineapple Chicken

Place the lid on the Instant Pot and close the pressure valve. Using the manual pressure cook function, turn to High Pressure and set the timer for 5 minutes

Then allow a 5-minute natural pressure release.

Stir in the remaining pineapple chunks. This Hawaiian chicken tastes great when served over regular white ricebasmati rice, brown rice, or even cauliflower rice.

Sprinkle a bit of finely chopped green onions and even add a bit more Sriracha sauce for more spice.

Pineapple, bell peppers, and chicken are mixed together for this healthy Hawaiian chicken recipe.

FAQs

How do I make my chicken crispy?

It’s super important that you place the chicken in a single layer on the bottom of the pot. This ensures the chicken gets a nice and crusty sear.

Why did I get the burn error?

Forgetting to scrape the bottom of the pot after sautéing the chicken can result in the dreaded burn error. To avoid this, make sure you remove all of the bits and pieces of food before cooking.

Can I make this recipe in an 8-quart Instant Pot?

Yes, you absolutely can! Since an 8-quart pressure cooker requires a minimum of 2 cups of liquid (versus 1 cup for a 6-quart) you will want to add an additional ¼-cup of pineapple juice to the sauce.

Recipe Tips

  • Same size. Be sure the chicken is cut into similarly-sized pieces so they cook consistently.
  • You choose. While breasts are best, you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs if needed.
  • Add some spice. Sprinkle some red pepper flakes for a little kick.
  • Clean it up. Scrape the bottom of the pot so you don’t get a burn notice.
A spoonful of pineapple chicken served over rice in a white bowl.

What to Serve with Hawaiian Chicken?

When you’re ready to dig into this Hawaiian chicken, there are a few delicious side dish recipes you can whip up.

Of course, you can’t go wrong with rice. Try Coconut RiceWhite RiceJasmine Rice, or Basmati Rice. Save time with Instant Pot White Rice.

Try some Spring Rolls or Cucumber Salad on the side.

Other Easy Instant Pot Recipes

When you need dinner in a pinch, the Instant Pot is the way to go. Any of these easy dinners and sides will become a family favorite on busy nights.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 3 votes

Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken

Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken is full of fresh pineapple chunks, juicy and tender chicken, bell peppers, onions, and a sticky sweet and spicy sauce. This healthy, gluten-free and kid-friendly pressure cooker meal can easily be prepped ahead for busy weeks and on the dinner table in under 30 minutes!
Yield 5 servings
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 30 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb. chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup cornstarch or tapioca flour
  • ¾ tsp. salt divided, to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. avocado oil or olive oil
  • 15- oz can pineapple chunks in juice divided
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar or coconut sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce Tamari sauce, or coconut liquid aminos
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce optional
  • 2 bell peppers cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 red onion cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Green onions
  • Rice

Instructions 

  • Sauté the Chicken: Combine chicken cubes, starch, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Toss to coat chicken completely. Add oil to the Instant Pot while it is set to the sauté function and wait until the oil begins to sizzle. Place chicken cubes in a single layer on the bottom of the Instant Pot and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  After sautéing, scrape the bottom of the pot to ensure any bits are no longer stuck. (This step is HUGELY important.  If you do not scrape the bottom of the pot you'll end up getting that dreaded BURN error.)
    1 lb. chicken breasts, ¼ cup cornstarch, ¾ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. black pepper, 2 Tbsp. avocado oil
  • Make the Sauce: Add ¾ cup of pineapple chunks, ⅓ cup of pineapple juice, ketchup, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, crushed garlic, Sriracha sauce, and ¾ teaspoon of salt to a high-speed blender. Blend for 20-30 seconds or until the sauce is completely smooth.
    15- oz can pineapple chunks in juice, ¼ cup ketchup, 3 Tbsp. sugar, 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar, 1 lime, 2 cloves garlic crushed, 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce
  • Combine Everything in the Pot: Pour sauce over chicken and be sure to lift it off the bottom of the pan so it does not burn. Add chopped bell pepper and onion on top of the chicken. Do not stir or mix them in.
    2 bell peppers, 1 red onion
  • Cook and Release Pressure: Place lid on Instant Pot and close pressure valve. Using the manual pressure cook function turn to High Pressure and set the timer for 5 minutes. Keep the lid on and the valve closed for an additional 5 minutes after the timer goes off. (This is called a 5-minute natural pressure release, or NPR.)
  • Serve the Pineapple Chicken: Turn the Instant Pot off, and open the pressure valve. Once the lid has unlocked, you can open the pot. Stir in the remaining pineapple chunks that have been finely chopped. Serve your Hawaiian chicken over cauliflower rice or regular rice and with a sprinkle of green onions. Enjoy!
    Green onions, Rice

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 3 votes

Notes

The nutritional information for this recipe is calculated without any rice or cauliflower rice.
Prep-Ahead Instructions
You can chop the vegetables a day or two early. If needed, make the sauce and it keep it in an airtight container.
Storage Directions
When storing leftovers, it’s best to store the rice and pineapple chicken separately.  It will keep for up to 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or up to 4-6 months when frozen. Heat it back up in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Recipe Tips
  • Same size. Be sure the chicken is cut into similarly-sized pieces so they cook consistently.
  • You choose. While breasts are best, you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs if needed.
  • Add some spice. Sprinkle some red pepper flakes for a little kick.
  • Clean it up. Scrape the bottom of the pot so you don’t get a burn notice.

Nutrition

Calories: 315kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 58mg, Sodium: 1027mg, Potassium: 644mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 1622IU, Vitamin C: 77mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 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. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe! That’s the best kind of praise. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

  1. London,

    I only have a regular stove top pressure cooker. What changes do I need to make to the Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken recipe?

    Thank you,

    Jean

    1. Hi Jean! I haven’t personally experimented with a stove top pressure cooker so unfortunately I am unable to help with that conversion. Would love to know if you figure it out, though!