Skip the takeout and whip up a fast, fresh and easy recipe for Sticky Pineapple Chicken in 30 minutes or less.

Two pineapple bowls filled with chicken and white rice

There’s just something about a meal served inside a pineapple that transports me to somewhere beyond my kitchen table. Hawaii, Bora Bora, Fiji, you name the tropical local, and this Sticky Pineapple Chicken will take your taste buds there.

It’s everything you want a takeout-fakeout dish to be—tender chicken tossed in a sweet, tangy, sticky sauce. So saucy that you’ll be tempted to ditch the fork for a spoon so you can scoop up every. last. drop.

Halved pineapples being hollowed out with a spoon

My husband played a critical role in the development of this recipe. It began with chicken breasts, a sweeter sauce and a lack of crunch. But with a few tweaks, he took this Sticky Pineapple Chicken from a so-so dish to a real dinner winner.

Diced chicken thighs with sauce being poured on top

Chicken thighs are much more moist and tender than chicken breasts (although you can check out the recipe notes for how to swap them in!). And when it comes to added flavor, a handful of roasted, salted cashews works wonders to balance out the tangy sweetness of the fresh pineapple, while also lending a bit of crunch to every bite.

Pineapple and cashews atop sautéed chicken thighs

The real show-stopping element is a hollowed out pineapple that serves as the perfect semi-edible bowl for a big scoop of rice and an even bigger scoop of sticky chicken. Of course the pineapple is totally optional, but if you’re taking this dish from a casual weeknight dinner to a lively weekend dinner party, pineapple boats are a must!

Sticky Pineapple Chicken in hollowed pineapples

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Main Course

Sticky Pineapple Chicken

There's just something about a meal served inside a pineapple that transports me to somewhere beyond my kitchen table. Hawaii, Bora Bora, Fiji, you name the tropical local, and this Sticky Pineapple Chicken will take your taste buds there. It's everything you want a takeout-fakeout dish to be—tender chicken tossed in a sweet, tangy, sticky sauce. So saucy that you'll be tempted to ditch the fork for a spoon so you can scoop up every. last. drop.
5 from 47 votes
Sticky Pineapple Chicken Recipe
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/2 cup roasted, salted cashews (optional)
  • Rice, for serving

Instructions 

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the pineapple juice, soy sauce, chicken stock, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, garlic and cornstarch. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the mixture has reduced to about 1 cup and is the consistency of thick syrup. Set the sauce aside.
  • Add the olive oil to a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and season it with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken, stirring, until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain off any liquids then add the sauce to the pan and stir until combined. Add the pineapple and cashews and cook, stirring, for an additional 1 minute.
  • Serve the chicken atop a bed of rice.

Kelly’s Note:

  • For a bit more flair to your presentation, serve the chicken and rice inside a hollowed out pineapple.
  • If you can't find chicken thighs, you can use 4 medium chicken breasts, however the meat won't be as tender.

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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.


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Nutrition

Calories: 513kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 46g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 215mg, Sodium: 1294mg, Potassium: 758mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 40g, Vitamin A: 80IU, Vitamin C: 23.4mg, Calcium: 67mg, Iron: 2.9mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe. The second time around, I cut the sauce sugar in half and added a half teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the stir fry. Diced bell pepper and onion enhances the results when one substitutes shrimp for chicken. This sauce is so versatile with a bit of imagination!

  2. 5 stars
    This was so good! It is just my hubby and I so I probably could have gotten away with less chicken but now we have some leftovers which is always a win! I added some green onions and sesame seeds on top and did the pineapple boats. What a fun and tasty recipe!

    I think I will add in some broccoli next time just to get a little more veggie time

    1. Broccoli would be an excellent addition, Stephanie! I’m thrilled you and your husband enjoyed the recipe :)

  3. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it is phenomenal! Only thing I changed was that I added crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce. It was really easy! The hardest part was cutting up the chicken….and not eating the whole pan! This ones a keeper and is headed to my “Pinterest Hits” board!

    1. Hi Nicole – I’ve never tried this recipe in a slow cooker so I can’t say with certainty if it would work. Let me know if you give it a shot!

  4. 5 stars
    I remember having this in a Thai restaurant years ago, and I really really loved it. Glad I found this recipe. I can finally make my own version at home. Thank you for sharing this. Can’t wait to try this :)

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe was excellent! We cooked this in the wok and added fresh broccoli and carrots on brown rice. Agree that cashews are a must. Sauce is so flavorful. Moisture from the veggies made the sauce more runny but still really good. We will be making this again.

  6. I had to make hoisin sauce from scratch because I didn’t have any in the pantry, and I had to make Chinese 5-spice (san star anise) from scratch in order to make the hoisin sauce. These steps made my particular experience more complicated than others’, but the meal was worth the effort! The cashews are a must-add as they bring important texture and crunch. My husband described it as “elevated,” not something you’d get from a take-out place but rather a meal you’d order in a nice sit-down restaurant (although it’s hard to remember what those are right now).

  7. 5 stars
    Holy cow!! I made this tonight. Doubled the sauce and added red peppers, onions, and water chestnuts. I cook a lot and this might have been the best weeknight dinner I’ve ever made! WOW! THANK YOU!

  8. 5 stars
    This recipe has been a family favorite at my house. I do add water chestnuts to it and its perfect! I think I’m going to try your chicken lo mein recipe tomorrow and I’m sure that one will be a favorite too! Thank you!!

    1. I’m so thrilled your family has been enjoying the recipe, Renee! Can’t wait to hear what you think of the lo mein!

  9. 5 stars
    Made this tonight with coconut milk rice and it was sooooo delicious. Boyfriend loved it too. Easy to follow

  10. I thought “bring to a boil” meant start on highest setting possible. Ha!! Start slower? I was able to save the meal by just using some store bought marinade and thicken with corn starch. Still so good! Loving your recipes – thank you!

    1. I figured out the issue, you thought since it said “bring to a boil” it meant the highest setting, what was meant was putting it on “medium” and letting it then come to a boil, but not increasing the heat. I’m glad you actually stated this issue as it saved me from making the same assumption. :)

  11. Thanks for the recipe!! The sauce (sugar?) burned as soon as i boiled it so I couldn’t use it…. any thoughts on what i did wrong? It didn’t boil for more than 10 seconds before the smell made it clear that something had burned. Thank you!

    1. Hi Cathy! It seems like your pan may have gotten too hot to begin with. Did you start at the recommended heat setting?

  12. with the current situation stopping all of us from socializing I’m trying to find recipes that are simple but different. This sounds good to me. I will spice it up a bit with some crushed pepper but everything else will do the same.

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