30 Minutes or Less Dinner

Pineapple Chicken

pineapple chicken served with potstickers

In this pineapple chicken recipe the salty flavor of the soy sauce and sweet of the pineapple complement each other in a way that can only be compared to chocolate and pretzels. Maybe that’s a reach because let’s be honest nothing really compares to chocolate and pretzels. Pineapple chicken does however satisfy that salty sweet craving in a healthy weeknight dinner. 

Not only does this pineapple chicken recipe come together in under 30 minutes but it’s healthy and packed with tons of flavor. If you serve it with cauliflower fried rice your meal is complete and you’ve also probably reached your daily vegetable goals. 

About the Ingredients

Chicken – boneless skinless chicken cut into bite sized pieces.

Cornstarch – this is to toss the chicken in before pan frying it. It helps give the chicken a little bit of brown color and crispier texture on the outside.

Onion and green bell pepper – cut into bite sized pieces.

Sauces and seasonings – soy sauce, hoisin, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Pineapple chunks – if pineapple is ripe in your market us the fresh stuff. This recipe calls for canned chunks only because pineapple is out of season right now and canned saves a whole lot of time.

Pineapple chicken simmering in the pan

How to Make Pineapple Chicken

Start your recipe by tossing the chicken pieces in a little cornstarch to give them a light coating. Heat your oil in a nonstick pan and then pan fry the chicken until brown and cooked. Then remove it to a plate and set aside.

Now sauté the vegetables until soft. Then add the sauces and and seasonings and whisk to combine it. Using equal parts water and cornstarch make a little slurry and pour it into the sauce in the pan. Continuing whisking until the sauce begins to thicken.

Add in the pineapple chunks and simmer until everything is hot. Serve pineapple chicken over rice.

Chopsticks holding a bite of pineapple chicken

Recipe Substitutions and Variations

For some extra flavor and texture you could add cashew pieces when adding the pineapple. Roughly chop the cashews and toss them in at the end just to coat and combine them.

FAQs and Recipe Tips

What goes with Pineapple Chicken?

Serve pineapple chicken with rice to soak up the extra sauce and flavor. For an additional side dish try serving with vegetable or chicken potstickers.

Why use cornstarch to coat the chicken before cooking?

Cornstarch absorbs moisture. This is will help the chicken brown to a nice color and get a slightly crispier texture on the outside without breading or dredging it.

Pineapple chicken served with potstickers

The Recipe for Pineapple Chicken

The recipe is attached below for easy downloading and printing.  If you test it out be sure to leave a note in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you thought. Enjoy!

pineapple chicken served with potstickers

Pineapple Chicken

Takeout style Pineapple Chicken in a tangy sweet sauce. Not only does this recipe come together in under 30 minutes but it’s healthy and packed with tons of flavor. If you serve it with cauliflower fried rice your meal is complete and you’ve also probably reached your daily vegetable goals. 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 people


  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 4 chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch divided
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 onion cut into large chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper cut into large chunks
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 20 oz canned pineapple chunks drained of juices


  • Place chicken pieces in a mixing bowl. Toss with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch until all of the pieces are coated.
    4 chicken breasts, 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • Heat canola oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 7 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Remove the chicken to a plate.
    2 tbsp canola oil, salt & pepper
  • Add the onion and pepper to the pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
    1 onion, 1 green bell pepper
  • Pour in the soy sauce, hoisin sauce and garlic powder. Whisk until combined.
    ½ cup soy sauce, 3 tbsp hoisin sauce, 2 tsp garlic powder
  • In a small dish, make a cornstarch slurry by whisking 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water until smooth. Pour into the pan and whisk until sauce thickens.
    4 tbsp cornstarch
  • Add the chicken back to the pan and add the pineapple chunks. Continue to simmer until heated through.
    20 oz canned pineapple chunks


Serve with cauliflower fried rice and pot stickers. 
Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
Keyword chicken breast, under 30 minutes

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