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Pineapple Chicken is a quick stir-fry with juicy chunks of chicken and pineapple in a tangy sauce. Make this easy pineapple chicken recipe in just 20 minutes for a weeknight dinner the whole family will love. So much better than takeout!
We’re always looking for chicken dinners that are quick to make and family friendly. This pineapple chicken stir fry is a longstanding favorite with its beautiful colors and tropical flavors. Even the kids and picky eaters devour it!
This dish resembles our popular sweet and sour chicken, where the chicken is deep fried instead of being stir fried like in this recipe.
HOW TO MAKE PINEAPPLE CHICKEN
You make this dish by sautéeing chicken thighs with bell peppers, onion and pineapple:
- Chicken: cubed chicken thighs are the juiciest, but you can use chicken breasts instead as a lighter option.
- Pineapple: canned or fresh pineapple will work, but avoid using frozen pineapple. Keep all juices for the sauce!
- Bell peppers: any bell peppers will work including red, yellow and/or green.
- Onion: Some sweet yellow or white onion adds flavor, but is not required.
Everything then gets coated in a sauce made with soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar and brown sugar. A cornstarch slurry helps to thicken it towards the end (use flour if you don’t have cornstarch available).
If you’re serving pineapple chicken and rice, be sure to start cooking the rice at the beginning so everything’s ready at the same time.
You can serve pineapple chicken in a hollowed pineapple for more of a Hawaiian-style presentation. It’s really not too much effort and will wow guests when you’re entertaining!
Can I make it ahead of time?
This dish is easy to make ahead and reheat on the stovetop. It’s also fabulous to meal prep when you want to have meals on-the-go during the week.
Simply store for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Note: it doesn’t freeze well due to the pineapple.
Crockpot pineapple chicken is another make-ahead option. Add the ingredients to the slow cooker and set to High for 90 minutes or Low for 4-5 hours. Note: the texture will be quite soft.
Pineapple Chicken Recipe
- 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1" cubes (see note)
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1" pieces
- 2 bell peppers, any color, cut into 1" pieces
- 1 1/2 cups pineapple chunks, fresh or canned
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- cooked white rice, optional for serving
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.
- Place a large skillet on medium-high heat and add oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan when oil is hot.
- Sauté chicken for 2 minutes per side until lightly browned.
- Add onion, bell peppers and pineapple chunks to the pan and sauté several minutes more until crisp-tender.
- Add the reserved sauce mixture and bring to a boil, stirring continuously until the pieces are coated.
- Remove from heat and serve with optional rice.
- You can also use chicken breasts for a leaner option. Ask your meat counter to cube the chicken for you to save time. Pat dry with paper towels if needed to remove excess moisture.
- If you don't have hoisin sauce, ketchup works as a substitute in this recipe.
- Add 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes to make this dish spicier.
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Editor note: Originally published July 15, 2018 and updated June 8, 2019