This one-skillet pineapple chicken boasts pieces of chicken breasts stir fried with fresh ginger, garlic, and vegetables in a sweet pineapple sauce.
This pineapple chicken dinner is one of John's favorite meals from his childhood. He remembers eating this often -- and I guess in our quest to eat allll the comfort foods these days, he had a taste for this nostalgic meal. That began a trial and error of all sorts of pineapple chicken recipes. After reading about and trying many a recipe, man do some of them have way too much sugar!
Now you know me. I love dessert (did you see the recent Lemon Bundt Cake?), but I don't want my dinner to contain my sugar. The chicken, vegetables, and pineapple are still tossed in a thickened sweet sauce, but that's thanks to the hoisin instead of adding brown sugar like many recipes.
I'm happy to report this pineapple chicken has made the regular weeknight dinner rotation (and if it hadn't, I certainly wouldn't be sharing it with you right now). I'm officially on the pineapple chicken wagon now, too.
Reasons I Love This Pineapple Chicken
- My husband loves it. Again, going back to his childhood, it's a dinner he gets really excited about. Oh, the joys of childhood! 🙂
- One skillet required. Easy clean up.
- Most ingredients you probably already have. Love meals like this where the grocery list can be short.
- Full of ginger and garlic. I love ginger and there's so many benefits of ginger, especially during cold and flu season. I use ginger whenever I possibly can (and lots of it). See Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup or Weeknight Coconut Curry Chicken for two of my other favorite dinners.
- Low sugar. There's already pineapple (canned or fresh...you choose!). There's also sugar in hoisin sauce, which makes this dish sweet enough. No need to add more brown sugar like you see in a lot of recipes.
- Kids love it. They eat it up (like father, like kids?!) -- and always ask for seconds.
- Delicious the next day. It's almost better the next day once the flavors have a chance to sit with one another. This meal reheats really well.
Well, now that I write all of that down, there's not a lot to not love about this pineapple chicken recipe.
How to Make Pineapple Chicken
First, cook your chicken until cooked through. Then add bell peppers and pineapple until the peppers are crisp tender. Add ginger and garlic for another minute. Just long enough for the flavors to seep into the dish without them burning.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, soy sauce, chicken broth, and hoisin. Add sauce to the chicken and bring to a simmer.
In that same bowl, add corn starch and 1 tablespoon of cold water. Add the corn starch mixture to the chicken. Combing the corn starch with water instead of just putting the corn starch in the pan allows the corn starch a jump start on thickening. You also avoid having white clumps of corn starch in your meal.
Simmer for 1 more minute then remove the chicken from the heat. Serve with sesame seeds and over jasmine rice. Ta da!
Variations on This Recipe
- Serve in a pineapple. You could empty out the middle of a pineapple and serve the food inside the pineapple. It's definitely a Pinterest worthy meal -- and I have not tried this. Way too much work and something I'd never do on a weeknight.
- Use dark meat. Use boneless kinless chicken thighs if you prefer dark meat. For some reason, I prefer chicken breasts, but I do love me some chicken thighs normally.
- Add your favorite stir fried vegetables. I think the bell peppers are delicious because they not only add some crispness to the meal but they also add beautiful color.
Other Weeknight Favorites
- Chicken Pot Pie with Bisquick
- 30 Minute Chili
- Perfect Pan Seared Chicken Breast
- Zero Effs Chicken
- Easy Chickpea Curry
Here's to delicious meals in a flash!
Healthier Pineapple Chicken
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken tbreasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
- ½ green bell pepper seeded. cored and cut into 1 inch pieces
- ½ red bell pepper seeded. cored and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup pineapple chunks fresh or canned
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- ¾ cup pineapple juice (juice remaining from one can of chunked pineapple)
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ⅓ cup low sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook the chicken for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through.
- Add the bell peppers and pineapple to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the pepper is crisp-tender. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute more.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the pineapple juice, soy sauce, chicken broth, and hoisin sauce. Add sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer.
- In the same bowl you just used, mix the corn starch with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Stir until combined. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute or until sauce has just thickened.
- Top with sesame seeds and serve with jasmine rice.