This Pineapple Chicken is the perfect combination of sweet, savory, and spicy. It’s packed with tender chicken, juicy pineapple, and red bell pepper. Ready in just 25 minutes!
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We are big pineapple lovers here! This Pineapple Chicken was an instant hit with the family — they love it almost as much as they love this Pineapple Upside Down Cake, this Pineapple Coconut Cake, or this Pineapple Smoothie 😉
Now, we’ve already made crockpot pineapple chicken, but sometimes I’m craving its sweet and savory flavors and I don’t have three hours to wait for it to cook.
That’s where this stovetop Pineapple Chicken comes in.
This recipe is packed with tender bites of chicken in a gooey, sweet, slightly spicy pineapple sauce—and it’s ready in just 25 minutes!
Ingredients needed for Pineapple Chicken:
- Pineapple Sauce: we’re making up a gooey, sweet, tangy, spicy pineapple sauce with pineapple juice, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, hoisin sauce, cornstarch, minced garlic and ginger, salt, and red pepper flakes.
- Cornstarch, Salt, and Black Pepper: we coat the chicken pieces in cornstarch and seasonings to help add flavor and absorb moisture. This gives the exterior that crispy texture!
- Chicken Breast: I use boneless and skinless chicken breast cut into 1/2-3/4″ pieces. You could also use chicken thigh, but it may take slightly longer to cook.
- Oil: you’ll use oil to cook the pepper and brown the chicken before adding the pineapple sauce.
- Red Bell Pepper: adds some color and a boost of nutrition
- Pineapple Chunks: I use canned pineapple chunks but you could chop up fresh pineapple and use that instead.
How to make Pineapple Chicken
- Make the pineapple sauce: In a bowl, whisk together all of the pineapple sauce ingredients. Set aside.
- Coat the chicken: In a baking dish or ziplock bag, combine cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Add in the chicken pieces and toss until fully coated.
- Cook the pepper: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add in 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in the pepper and cook until crisp-tender. Remove from the pan.
- Brown the chicken: In the same pan, add another tablespoon of olive oil and the chicken pieces. Cook until golden-brown.
- Combine: When the chicken is browned, add the sauce, peppers, and. pineapple to the skillet. Cook until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked through.
Pineapple contains a group of enzymes called Bromelain which help break down the connective tissues in meat. So not only does it add a fresh, tangy, fruity flavor, it also creates a deliciously tender texture.
Yes! I like to use canned pineapple because I can get the juice and the fruit I need for this recipe with one 540 ml can. However, if you want to use fresh pineapple and buy the juice separately, feel free to do that instead.
Leftover pineapple chicken will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen, then microwave or warm on the stove until heated through.
- Add other veggies. Feel free to cook any veggies you like along with the red bell pepper. Try broccoli, snap peas, carrots, green beans, mushrooms, you name it.
- Make it spicier. This dish already has a kick of heat from the red pepper flakes, but if you like an even spicier sauce, mix in a drizzle of Sriracha!
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Easy Pineapple Chicken
- 1 cup pineapple juice*
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (or sub white vinegar)
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup corn starch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2-3 breasts) cut into ½-¾" pieces
- 2 tablespoons oil (divided)
- 1 red bell pepper (cut into ½" pieces)
- 1½ cups pineapple chunks
- Whisk together pineapple sauce ingredients (juice, brown sugar, vinegar, hoisin sauce, corn starch, garlic, ginger, salt and crushed red pepper flakes). Set aside.
- Combine corn starch, salt and pepper in a baking dish or large zip-top bag. Add chicken pieces and toss to coat well.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon oil.
- Cook pepper for 2-3 minutes, just until crisp-tender. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and chicken pieces. Cook chicken on each side for 2-3 minutes, until light golden brown.
- Add sauce, peppers and pineapple to the skillet and cook just until sauce is thickened and chicken is cooked through (chicken will reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F).
- Serve over rice or as desired.
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