Sweet and Savory Pineapple Chicken

published Jun 20, 2022
Pineapple Chicken Recipe

Serve this sweet and savory chicken stir-fry over steamed rice for a meal that’s better than takeout.

Serves4

Prep20 minutes

Cook25 minutes to 33 minutes

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a round plate with pieces of grilled pineapple chicken, chunks of pineapple, green onions sprinkled on top and white rice on the side.
Credit: Sahara Bohoskey

Succulent chicken thighs and sweet pineapple in a rich and savory sauce make this easy dinner a necessary addition to your weekly rotation. Plus, it’s made in just one pan!

This dish comes together fairly fast, so before you start cooking, make sure you have all of your chopping, dicing, and seasoning ready. Stir-frying should be hot and quick, so having everything ready makes the process a lot faster and leaves you with the tastiest results.

What Is Pineapple Chicken Made Of?

The key components are simple: Chicken, pineapple, ginger, garlic, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. The rest you can adjust based on what you have on hand. No white onion? Swap it with red or yellow onion, or even scallions cut into large batons. Colorful orange or yellow bell pepper is a great sweet addition but a green will give it a lovely vegetal flavor to balance the sweet and salty.

Does Pineapple Juice Tenderize Chicken?

While pineapple juice can help tenderize chicken if it’s marinated in it, here the juice is reserved for the sweet and savory sauce. Instead, the chicken is marinated in a splash of Shaoxing wine and cornstarch, both of which help tenderize the meat and season it as you get all the chopping done before you start stir-frying.

Credit: Sahara Bohoskey

How to Serve Pineapple Chicken

Serve this stir-fry over rice and pair it with steamed vegetables like broccoli and carrots.

If you’re not a fan of chicken thighs, don’t worry — you can make this with chicken breast, pork chops, or thinly sliced steak as well.

Pineapple Chicken Recipe

Serve this sweet and savory chicken stir-fry over steamed rice for a meal that’s better than takeout.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes to 33 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 5)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    Shaoxing wine

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground white pepper

  • 2 tablespoons

    cornstarch

  • 1 (20-ounce) can

    pineapple chunks in juice

  • 1

    medium yellow bell pepper

  • 1

    medium white onion

  • 3 tablespoons

    vegetable oil, divided

  • 1 (1-inch) piece

    ginger

  • 3 cloves

    garlic

  • 1

    medium jalapeño pepper

  • 1/4 cup

    soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons

    hoisin sauce

  • 1 tablespoon

    packed dark brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Cut 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1-inch chunks. Place in a large bowl, add 1 1/2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, and toss to combine. Add 2 tablespoons cornstarch and toss until the chicken is evenly coated.

  2. Reserve 1/2 cup of the juice from 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks. Drain off the remaining juice. Pat the pineapple chunks dry with paper towels. Trim and dice 1 medium bell pepper and 1 medium white onion.

  3. Prepare the following, adding each to the same medium bowl as you complete it: Mince a 1-inch piece fresh ginger, 3 garlic cloves, and 1 medium jalapeño pepper. Add the reserved pineapple juice, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, and 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar, and stir to combine.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the pineapple and cook, tossing occasionally, until browned on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  5. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the same pan and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches if needed, add the chicken in a single layer and cook until golden-brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to the plate of pineapple.

  6. Add the onion and bell pepper to the pan and cook until fragrant and the onion starts to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken, pineapple and any accumulated juices, and soy sauce mixture. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken and the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.