Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice

Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice |

When I make fried rice, it turns out one of two ways:

1. It’s a gastronomic homerun that makes the most of leftover odds and ends while resulting in a dish worthy of multiple servings, rave reviews and a call home to Mom.

2. It’s a hot mess of a meal that results in me MacGyver’ing fried rice into “fried risotto” before arriving at the final (and only) destination for 4 cups of excessively sticky rice … Asian-inspired arancini.

It took me years to learn the secret to perfecting fried rice. And when I tell you how simple it is, you may just be tossing those takeout menus for good. Put simply, it all boils down to the age of the cooked rice …

    • Freshly made rice = sticky, glue-like fried rice
    • Day-old rice = perfectly plumped, clump-free fried rice

The key element in this equation is the moisture level. Hot, fresh rice sticks together, while older, cooler rice is less likely to cling to itself.

The good news is that even if you are starting out with fresh rice, you can speed up the drying out process by spreading it onto a baking sheet and stashing it in the fridge. And while you’re poking around in there, grab whatever stray tidbits are taking up shelf space. Peppers, onions, Brussels sprouts, pancetta, chorizo. All are welcome in this ultimate clean-out-the-fridge feast.

Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice |

Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice |

Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice |

Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice |

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Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice

Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 15 min


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup diced carrots (if frozen, run under warm water to thaw)
2 scallions, sliced, plus more for garnish
4 cups cooked long grain white rice (cold or room temp)
1/2 cup peas (if frozen, run under warm water to thaw)
1 cup chopped pineapple
3 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce


In a medium bowl, toss the cubed chicken with the sesame oil and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large sauté pan or wok over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Let the pan heat for 2 minutes then add the chicken and cook, stirring, until the chicken is cooked throughout.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil then add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots and cook 1 more minute until they've softened slightly.

Stir in the scallions, rice, peas and chopped pineapple.

Drizzle the rice with the soy sauce then stir to combine. Season the rice with salt and pepper and serve.

Kelly's Notes:

Use a sauté pan that has at least a 2-inch rim so that all of the ingredients can be properly stirred without overflowing from the pan.

Put your knife skills to the test for true restaurant-quality fried rice, which features small diced pieces of protein, vegetables and pineapple. Smaller-sized ingredients guarantees a little bit of everything in each bite.

Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste.


  1. says

    My post tomorrow is cashew mango fried rice! Haha, to funny! I LOVE your pineapple fried rice and you photos are so pretty!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — July 31st, 2013 @ 8:39 am

      We are totally on the same culinary wavelength :) Can’t wait to check out your post!

  2. says

    Funny my fried rice goes either way too lol. My kids LOVE fried rice, I should get in habit of making it more often. They love it with pineapple too! This looks delicious!

  3. says

    I love this! :D I’ll have to try it sometime, but I’ll probably end up subbing the chicken for tofu since I don’t eat meat. Thanks for the tip about the age of the rice, I’ve wondered why I can’t get it to feel like my grandma’s for a while now, haha!

  4. abby says

    I’m wondering if you’ve ever used another grain to make fried “rice”. One of my kids won’t eat rice but they all love farro. What do you think about using already cooked farro as a replacement?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — August 12th, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

      I think using farro would be delicious! Quinoa would be great, too. Enjoy!

  5. says

    Best fried rice recipe ever!! Thank you. I heated a bag of mixed vegetables in the pineapple with natural juice separately and poured it over everything at the end! Terrific.

  6. says

    Thank you for the great recipe! We tried it out and turned out great! Serving in an actual pineapple, it was fun to eat, too! I’ll send you the picture soon!

  7. says

    Oh my :) My SO and I have been looking for great recipes we’d both like involving rice and this is an absolute keeper, Although Im not a fan of Pineapple I substituted it with pepadews which sweetened it up and added great additional taste. Thanks a million

  8. says

    What about using an egg? I rather like one or two in my fried rice. Love the idea of pineapple….would be good with pork too.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 7th, 2014 @ 5:34 pm

      Definitely! Add eggs for sure!

  9. Jen says

    I used shrimp instead of chicken, used more ginger and mixed an egg per cup of rice to my soy sauce before adding it. It was amazing.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 18th, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

      Awesome! Love your substitutions, Jen!

  10. Rachel says

    Made this for dinner last night for 7. After second helpings for a few, we still had leftovers! It was delicious and got a lot of compliments! Super easy as well. I prepped all the veggies and chicken a little earlier in the day. As soon as guests arrived it was done cooking in less than 10 minutes. I found that I didn’t need the second tbs of oil for the veggies since the chicken produced enough fat for them to cook in. Topped with extra scallions and some sriracha, and it was fabulous. I’ll definitely be adding this recipe to the “keep” pile! :)

  11. says

    This looks like my new favorite rice dish! I think this would be a great dish to serve at a summer party along with some grilled chicken in a citrus marinade – like garlic lime. YUM x 100!

  12. Jana says

    This looks great! I’m hoping to make it as more of a side with your ground chicken meatballs…so if I just leave the chicken out of the rice do you think I need to replace it with something? Thanks!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 29th, 2015 @ 1:53 pm

      That sounds like my dream menu, Jana! And no need to replace the chicken with any other protein :) I hope you enjoy!


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