This easy Pineapple Chicken recipe is a healthier take-out alternative when you’re craving Chinese food. It’s delicious and comes together quickly.
Do you ever get a craving for Chinese food but just don’t feel like ordering take-out or waiting for delivery?
Fortunately, this recipe for Pineapple Chicken comes together quickly, requires minimal ingredients that you likely already have on hand, and it’s a delicious, lightened-up version of a traditional favorite.
Side dish ideas
A saucy dish like Pineapple Chicken is best served over or alongside white or brown rice. You could also serve over Lo-Mein or Udon noodles, if you’d prefer.
Add a frozen egg roll and/or a couple cream cheese wontons or crab rangoon and you’ve got a perfect meal that the whole family will love.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can absolutely make Pineapple Chicken in advance!
You can cook the chicken up to a 2 days ahead of time and then just make the sauce before serving.
If you know you’ll be in a rush at dinner time, you can prepare the full recipe up to a day or two in advance and then just reheat. If you do it this way, I recommend you store the chicken and veggies separate from the sauce. Also, it’s best to save the cornstarch step for just before serving, if at all possible.
How can I customize Pineapple Chicken?
There are lots of ways you can customize this basic recipe if you’d like to switch things up and make it your own!
I usually add at least one or two extra ingredients that I have on hand and need to use up. Here are some tried-and-tested options I recommend:
- Sliced red pepper
- Sliced red onions
- Make it vegan! Substitute the chicken with chickpeas or tofu and use veggie stock in place of the chicken stock.
- Water chestnuts
- Bamboo shoots
- Green onions
- Garnish with cilantro
This is a recipe you can definitely experiment with, so have fun with it!
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 Green pepper (diced)
- 1 Can pineapple chunks or tidbits (drained with 1/2 cup juice reserved)
- 1 tablespoon Crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tablespoon Dried ginger (or 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger)
- 1/3 cup Teriyaki sauce
- 1/3 cup Chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon Cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add chicken and brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes each. Cover skillet and cook for 10 minutes more. (If chicken is not fully cooked all the way, that's okay. It will have a chance to finish cooking later.) Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
- Add diced green peppers, pineapple, crushed red pepper and ginger. Cook about 5 minutes. While cooking, cut the chicken into chunks.
- Add reserved pineapple juice, teriyaki sauce and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, return chicken to skillet, reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least an additional 15 minutes or up to a few hours.
- About 10 minutes before serving, remove cover from skillet and bring sauce back to a boil. Stir in cornstarch/water mixture and continue boiling until sauce is desired thickness.
- You can make this dish vegetarian by swapping the chicken with tofu and the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
- Add more red pepper flakes in you like it spicier.