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 45 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
    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!

  2. 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 :)

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 5 stars
    Made this tonight with coconut milk rice and it was sooooo delicious. Boyfriend loved it too. Easy to follow

  8. 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!

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. I’m making this tonight and am using fresh pineapple I cut up yesterday, so unfortunately I don’t have any of the leftover juice. Do you think orange juice or lemonade would be an ok substitute?

  12. 5 stars
    This recipe was approved by the whole family. The chicken was so tender! If you are vegetarian/vegan you can easily prepare the recipe using only pineapples and maybe add some bell peppers. Thanks a lot!

  13. I’m really looking forward to trying this tonight! I tried Pineapple Chicken for the first time a few weeks ago. A new Chinese Food Restaurant that opened near me, and had it for a special. Today I got a craving for it, but they are close. So I started looking up recipes and this one looks the best. So far I’ve liked every recipe of yours that I’ve tried, and I’m sure this is gonna be the same! Thank you for such amazing recipes!

    1. Yay! I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying Just a Taste, Billy! Looking forward to hearing your results :)

  14. 5 stars
    This is fantastic! Wife and I tried this and added 2 tsp of cayenne pepper – wow. First you get the salty from the soy sauce then the sweet and tangy from the pineapple then comes a smooth warmth from the cayenne. We will have this many times over. Also, we served with brown rice which adds a little texture if you don’t have the cashews.

  15. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! I have made it a bunch of times. The recipe can easily be multiplied and adjusted to taste. Made the latest dish with red cabbage and thinly sliced carrots to add different textures and colors. You can swap out sesame seeds for cilantro, too! The family love the different ways I add and subject. Amazing!

  16. Trying this tonight! i like heat, so I plan to add that.
    Would you consider a ‘Jump to Recipe’ button? It does get buried in all the text…

  17. 5 stars
    Went down a treat! What a great recipe!
    I also didn’t add the sugar & served it with some fresh chopped chilli, it was so delicious… Thank you for sharing… zx

  18. 5 stars
    I have made this twice in a week! My 2 and 4 year olds eat it with absolutely no hesitation! This receipe is here to stay! Thank you for making simple yet very tasty recipes!

    1. You are so welcome, Nancy! I’m thrilled you and your family have been enjoying the recipe!

  19. 5 stars
    Very good! Skimped the sugar and glad I did (and I have a big sweet tooth). I also coated the chicken in cornstarch and I dunno, maybe it kept it tender (I used breasts)?? Didn’t make it crunchy like I hoped but it didn’t need it. Except for the sugar adjustment, SO good. Oh, and I added a shot of sriracha I think it honestly needed. Otherwise a big huge keeper. Thank you!

    1. Hi Shane – I’ve never tried freezing this recipe, but my initial thought is that it *should* work. Let me know if you give it a shot!

    1. Hi Sarah! 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!

  20. 5 stars
    Wonderful recipe! This sauce is to die for. I will use it in many stir fry dishes to come. We did add bell pepper & green onions, and it was superb. Thanks for posting.

  21. 5 stars
    This is a very tasty recipe! If you have someone who’s allergic to the nuts but you still want some crunch, substitute diced water chestnuts or some jicama that is in a small- to medium-sized dice. Thanks for a easy meal dish!!

  22. 5 stars
    Fantastic! Didn’t have pineapple juice so subbed tamarind concentrate with water, added red bell peppper and scallions, too! Served with Japanese rice. Thought we’d have leftovers but hubby took care of that!

  23. Hey Kelly!

    We’ve made this recipe several times before and love it! Any recommendations on making it in the instant pot? We’re getting ready for a new baby and so are looking for any time savings we can get :)

    1. So glad you’re enjoying the recipe, Cassie! I haven’t made this in an Instant Pot, but my guess is you could sauté then cover/cook just like you would any other chicken recipe.

    1. Hi Megan – I’ve never tried this, but I’ve read you can use equal amounts of ketchup and molasses as a substitute for hoisin sauce. Let me know if you give it a shot!

  24. Tried this and didn’t put in sugar or stock, and it was fine, so if you want to reduce the amount of sugar and salt for health reasons you can do it this way. Also added some lightly steamed veggies tossed into the mix and simmered for a little while to infuse the flavours of the soy and hoisin into them. Also replaced chicken with , stir fried hard soy cubes that were stir fried until golden brown with a bit of crunch to make this a vegan.vegetarian friendly dish. Perfect! :)

  25. I made the sticky chicken in the pineapple tonight,we loved it and I just added some veggies to the rice and served it with cottage cheese topped with fruit.It was delicious!!!!

  26. I’m about to try this right now!!! We are a family of three, and very light eaters… so I’m only using 2 chicken breasts, should I refuse the sauce amounts? Or just not put it all in? Thx!!

    1. Hi Julie! You can adjust the ingredient measurements by hovering your cursor over the SERVINGS above and sliding the bar right or left.

  27. 5 stars
    I have made this many times for my family of twelve. Always a delight, including the grandchildren, which is sometimes challenging. First try I thought I’d try putting it into the pineapple shell, but as nice as that looks, it was never practical. I usually make it with coconut rice.

    1. Hi Kristy – The ingredient list and directions are underneath the last image of this post. :)

    1. I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Shaylin! And if you happen to be on Instagram, you can share your culinary creations with me by using the hashtag #justatasterecipes :)

  28. 5 stars
    The first time I try a new recipe, I make it as written. The next time, I tweak it to make it better. This is my new favorite meal, and it was perfect as is! However, I am wondering if you would happen to have any experience making this in an Instant Pot?

    1. Hi Maureen – I’ve never tried this recipe in an Instant Pot so I’m not sure what the results would be. Let me know if you give it a shot!

  29. I made this with out the fresh pineapple, I didn’t have any time to get some before dinner time. It was still really yummy.

  30. This looks delicious. I’m pescetarian, I’m wondering if shrimp or a specific fish would do well in place of the chicken? Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

  31. 5 stars
    I just made this for dinner because I was sick of making the same old chicken dishes. My husband loved it and told me to save the recipe. I followed the recipe as written other than adding some water chestnuts I had on hand. I used chicken breast and it was not tough at all. I will be making this again soon.

  32. 5 stars
    Hello!

    I came upon your cooking video on a social network a few weeks ago and thought this looked yummy.

    Then I couldn’t get my mind off it, so this evening, when I realized I forgot the vanilla for a chicken curry, I said what the heck, let’s switch recipe!

    I followed your instructions, and only added an apple that I had already started cutting and replaced the cashews by peanuts because I already had a jar full of blended peanuts and my 8 month old toddler is scared of the noise of the blender :)

    Anyway, the result was gorgeous, the texture was tantalizing, and my husband asked me to keep the recipe for the next time my in-laws would be visiting (which is a huge compliment from him)!

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!

  33. 5 stars
    This recipe looks AMAZING and I am going to be making it next week in bulk. My question is this – what would be a couple of ideas for side dishes for this recipe other than rice? I am serving it to some folks who do not care for rice and will not eat it. I thank you in advance for any input and I thank you for sharing your recipes!!

  34. Does this freeze well? Or can you prepare the sauce some time in advance? I am cooking for a church youth camp and would love to make this (minus the fancy pineapple bowl…too many people to feed!).

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Jessica! I’ve never tried freezing this recipe, but my initial thought is that it should work. However, I’d recommend testing it out before your youth camp just to be sure. Would love to hear your results if you give it a shot!

  35. 5 stars
    My 12 year old daughter and I made this for dinner tonight, including hollowing out the pineapple for serving! We went really heavy on the black pepper when we seasoned the chicken, because we prefer strongly seasoned foods as opposed to bland (not that this was in any way bland!) The result was incredible! My daughter couldn’t stop raving about it – she says it’s as good or better than Panda Express! The sticky sauce is perfect, the cashews add just the right flavor and texture, and the extra pepper kicked it up just a bit more. Thighs get a bad rap, but they’ve got so much more flavor than the breasts. Definitely a keeper!!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Randy! I’m thrilled you and your daughter enjoyed making (and eating!) the recipe.

  36. 5 stars
    I’ve been looking for a new and exciting recipe for chicken and this one’s a winner! I just made this for dinner and it was delicious! I prepped the chicken last night and cut up breasts thin and soaked them in some pineapple juice with a splash of soy sauce to keep the meat juicy and get them tender – worked great.

  37. Way easy and oh so good!! Made it tonight added the pepper flakes as well, very very good!! I even made the pineapple boat for flair!! It make my family smile!!

    BTW…..I made the Carmel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies for desert!! Oh so good as well!! It was a Just A Taste night!! Love your website!!

    1. Thank you so much, Trey! I’m SO thrilled you enjoyed the Sticky Pineapple Chicken and the Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies!

  38. 5 stars
    Made it tonight! Felt like I was having Panda Express right in my apartment! Added some red pepper flakes for a little bit of kick. Would definitely make again!

  39. Going to try this but confused…Maybe cause Im a guy. Ingredients say Hoisen sauce. Directions say soy sauce. Does it matter because Hoisen sauce is a bit thicker?

  40. 5 stars
    This recipe is a keeper, loved the sauce. I added onion and broccoli left everything else the same. I know I will be making this often! Thank you!

  41. 5 stars
    This is truly delicious! I also added lots of vegetables but the sauce is divine. Making this for my husband when he gets back from a business trip. Yum.

  42. 5 stars
    Hi, your recipe looks so delicious. I followed you on Instagram and like a lot of your photos. Everything just seems so delicious. Thank you for sharing your delicious recipes.

  43. 5 stars
    I’ve never made a stir fry recipe I did not severely doctor—until now. OK, I did add some veggies, 1 green pepper, one onion, and two sliced carrots, but the sauce was tasty as is! I usually, at the very least, end up reaching for a bottle of stir fry sauce to salvage the day. Not this time! Very pleased.

  44. 5 stars
    Hi There! This recipe has become an instant favourite in my household. Thanks so much for sharing!

    I’m having my vegetarian father over for dinner and would like to make this for the meat eaters but would love to adapt it for him to enjoy as well. Any ideas or suggestions on how to make this meat free?

    Thanks!

    1. Thrilled you’re enjoying the recipe, Victoria! Tofu would be a delicious alternative and you could use vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock.

      1. 5 stars
        Thanks for suggestion! Unfortunately he’s a picky vegetarian and tofu is a no go *sigh. Do you think cucumbers would hold up well?

    1. Hi Lisa – You can find the nutrition facts by clicking the purple Estimated Nutritional Data button found under the recipe.

    1. Hi Crystal! Did you bring it to a boil? The cornstarch has to boil in order for it to work as a thickening agent.

    1. Hi Karen! I’ve never tried this recipe without the brown sugar, but you’d definitely need to replace it with some sort of sweet component to balance out the flavors of the dish and ensure the sauce has a nice, thick consistency.

  45. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe Kelly! I made it this evening and everyone loved it. Like Stephanie I like spicy food too so I added a green Jalepeno pepper (sliced thinly crosswise) to the mix which gave it a perfect heat level and another attractive color to the presentation. I also reduced the sugar by half – you can always add more later…

  46. Has anyone actually made this recipe? If you need the nutritional data, use a recipe program or app that figures it our for you based on the amount of each ingredient.

    I am care about the feedback from people who have made this recipe.

  47. I’d love an option to make the chicken a little spicy, without taking from the delicious flavor of the pineapple sauce. Any suggestions?

    1. Yes! You can add crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce once it’s finished boiling. I’d start off with either 1/2 teaspoon of 1 teaspoon then taste and add more as needed :)

  48. This looks amazing – and just perfect for a summer supper! Love the presentation!

  49. My hub isn’t a fan of “plain rice”. Could you suggest a rice that will go along with this dish (and I intend to serve it in the pineapple :-) )