Pineapple Chicken

4.67 from 3 votes

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Discover a irresistible combination of sweet pineapple and savory chicken in our Pineapple Chicken recipe. Even serve it in a pineapple!

pineapple chicken and sticky rice served in a hollowed out pineapple half
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients in Pineapple Chicken
  2. Alternative Cooking Methods
  3. Air Fryer Method
  4. Gluten Free Pineapple Chicken
  5. Recipe Tip
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. More Pineapple Recipes
  8. How to Make Pineapple Chicken
  9. Pineapple Chicken Recipe

Discover the tantalizing flavors of Pineapple Chicken – succulent chicken, tangy pineapple, fresh lemon juice, aromatic garlic, and zesty ginger in every bite. Bursting with a perfect balance of sweetness and savory goodness, this recipe features juicy chicken coated in a light crispy texture. Create a restaurant-worthy dish right in your own kitchen!

Ingredients in Pineapple Chicken

  • Chicken – use boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts. Thighs will yield a more tender chicken.
  • Cornstarch – mixed with a little salt and pepper, the cornstarch is the coating that gives this pineapple chicken a light crispy texture. It is also used to thicken the sauce.
  • Vegetable Oil – this is the best oil for frying because it has a neutral flavor
  • Water
  • Canned Pineapple – you can use canned or fresh, but make sure to save the juice from whichever one you use.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Brown Sugar
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Green Onion
  • Optional – stir-fry some veggies like red bell peppers or snap peas to stir in to the cooked chicken and sauce. Or, add some cashews for extra crunch. For a healthy twist, serve over cauliflower rice.
A bowl of pineapple chicken

Alternative Cooking Methods

If you are looking for a healthier alternative, then instead of frying, heat a little oil in a large skillet and cook chicken on each side for 5-7 minutes or until cooked through and THEN add the sauce. You can also just fry until the chicken is cooked on the outside and then place the chicken on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through (165 degrees F). You will still get a little bit of a crispy texture and still have all the flavor! 

Lightly fried meat pieces on a baking sheet

Air Fryer Method

To fry your chicken in the air fryer, you just need to make sure you are coating your chicken with cooking spray before it cooks. All air fryers are different so check the correct temperatures and times for chicken pieces. We cook ours at 350 for about 10-12 minutes on each side, spraying any parts of the chicken with dry cornstarch with cooking spray while turning. Just make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F before serving. 

A spoonful of brownish orange sauce from a saucepan

Gluten Free Pineapple Chicken

Because we use a cornstarch coating for this recipe instead of flour, it is REALLY close to being gluten free. However, as you can see in the recipe below, we use soy sauce in the pineapple sauce, which contains gluten. The good news is, GF soy sauce is easy to find. Just replace regular soy sauce with a gluten-free brand and you should be good to go. As always, check labels on everything to make sure you’re working with gluten free ingredients.

A fork with a piece of pineapple chicken on it

Recipe Tip

pineapple chicken and sticky rice served in a hollowed out pineapple half

We love to serve this pineapple chicken with sticky rice inside of a hollowed out pineapple half. It looks so pretty and it makes you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation! Cut the pineapple in half, score the core and pineapple flesh, and then scoop it out. You can use the juice and pineapple chunks in the recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is pineapple chicken made of?

It combines lightly breaded and fried chicken pieces with a sweet and tangy pineapple sauce.

What does pineapple chicken taste like?

It tastes similar to orange chicken but with pineapple flavor instead of orange.

Does pineapple tenderize chicken?

While this recipe doesn’t use a marinade, pineapple juice is a great way to add flavor to chicken and to break down the fibers and make it really tender.

Read Next: 35+ Quick and Easy To Follow Dinner Ideas Your Family Will Surely Love

More Pineapple Recipes

How to Make Pineapple Chicken

pineapple chicken and sticky rice served in a hollowed out pineapple half

Pineapple Chicken

4.67 from 3 votes
Discover a irresistible combination of sweet pineapple and savory chicken in our Pineapple Chicken recipe. Even serve it in a pineapple!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian, Hawaiian
Servings 6


  • deep fryer or deep wok


Pineapple Sauce


  • Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes. Add to a large bowl with cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat.
    Chicken pieces coated in cornstarch in a bowl
  • Deep fry chicken in batches at 375 in a deep frier or over medium high heat in a wok. The chicken will be done when it starts to turn lightly golden brown on the outside. Make sure the internal temperature of the chicken pieces reaches 165 degrees. Remove chicken pieces from pan or fryer and allow to drain on paper towels.
    Lightly fried chicken pieces on a baking sheet
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine 1 cup water, lemon juice, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Whisk ingredients together over medium heat for a few minutes.
    pineapple chicken sauce in a pot
  • Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger garlic, and onion. Bring to a boil. Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with ¼ cup of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens.
    A spoonful of pineapple chicken sauce
  • Place fried chicken in a large bowl and pour sauce over the top. Add pineapple tidbits. Toss gently to coat.
    A bowl of pineapple chicken
  • Serve with rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
    pineapple chicken and sticky rice served in a hollowed out pineapple half


  • If you are serving the chicken in a hollowed out pineapple, then you can use fresh pineapple and pineapple juice instead of the canned stuff. 
  • Nutrition facts do not include rice. 
  • Add some red pepper flakes to the sauce if you like it a little spicy! 
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 471kcalCarbohydrates: 72gProtein: 31gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 848mgPotassium: 550mgFiber: 1gSugar: 46gVitamin A: 91IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 65mgIron: 2mg

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About the author

Kelsey Crist

Kelsey lives in Washington with her husband, Alex, and two cats, Diana and Nova. Her happy place is in the kitchen listening to an audiobook and trying new recipes. When she's not in the kitchen you can find her hiking, shopping at Trader Joe's, or playing Animal Crossing. Her favorite food is pasta and Alex loves when she makes Homemade Oreos.

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4.67 from 3 votes

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  1. 5 stars
    Not only was this recipe delicious but the presentation was so fun! Such a great idea to serve it in a pineapple! My whole family was impressed with this dish!

  2. 4 stars
    I made this tonight and my husband and I really liked it. A few changes – I added orange zest and orange juice and omitted lemon all together- I think orange and pineapple go better together – and in the ingredients there’s no mention of orange but in the recipe, you say to add orange juice. I added red pepper flakes to add some spice – but I still thought it was rather sweet. I will add more next time as well as more green onions – We could hardly taste them and thought adding some of the white part of the green onion will add flavor. Overall, a great recipe!