Pineapple Chicken


Pineapple Chicken can be baked or stir fried then smothered in sticky sweet pineapple sauce with a ginger Sriracha kick that is WAY better than takeout.   


This Pineapple Chicken recipe might just become your favorite chicken – ever.  Every bite is a an explosion of tropical flavor paradise and you can customize it with any veggies, rice, noodles/zoodles, etc! There are so many ways to eat these delicious Pineapple Ginger Chicken!

baked Pineapple Chicken on a bed of white rice.

Sticky Pineapple Chicken Recipe

Since I started blogging last year, I have discovered the best and hardest part for me are the food pictures.  “Best” because I now love taking pictures (it’s been quite the learning curve from never picking up a nice camera before – evidence in all my early pics to these Pineapple Chicken pics).   “Worst” because I have to look at the pics and then I get hungry.

Guys, like I’m hungry all the time.

Or maybe hungry isn’t the best word — I am craving all the time.  I’m usually craving whatever I am posting next because as I sit here and decide what pictures to post, and relive the flavors of every bite so I can try and describe them (but never do them justice), my mouth begins to water and my belly begins to yearn.  Yearn for Sticky Pineapple Chicken.

Another thing about being a food blogger is we are always concocting and perfecting new recipes so once they get photographed and posted, its onto something new because the weeks keep coming and we need to keep posting.  Its always a bittersweet “goodbye” of deliciousness.  But not this time.  Not you Sticky Pineapple Chicken, I just love you too much to part!

And this is when I proceeded to stop writing and make my Pineapple Chicken –  again  –

Hello gorgeous.  I missed you.

sticky Pineapple Chicken with chopsticks.

It felt so freeing to feed my cravings.  My cravings for sticky sweet pineapple sauce concocted of tropical pineapple juice, pineapple preserves, soy sauce, sweet brown sugar, tangy red wine vinegar, garlic and a kick of ginger and sriracha.  I love this sauce.  

I love this sauce smothering every nook and cranny of baked chicken breaded in spiced flour with ginger, paprika, garlic and onion so every bite is an explosion of tropical flavor paradise.  Far better than any restaurant as far as my critic is concerned.  I agree with my critic on this one.

I used my traditional preparation method of breading and baking chicken for tender, flavorful crispy morsels BUT the aforementioned time I interrupted this post to make it, I stir fried the chicken after shaking in some cornstarch and the spices instead.  The chicken doesn’t get crispy, but it is still out-of-this-world nestled in a soft spiced breading.

So, if you are short on time or patience, I recommend the stir fry method, which I have also included in the recipe instructions.  Either way, just make this Pineapple Chicken.  LOVE this chicken. Repeat.  Repeat often so I can live vicariously through you.  Aaaannd  you can live vicariously through me for all the recipe posts you haven’t made yet. Win. Win.  And even bigger win when you make this chicken.

Sticky Chinese Pineapple Chicken.  Don’t keep her waiting.

Pineapple Chicken in a pineapple.

Baked Pineapple Chicken Ingredients

In about 30 minutes, you’ll be ready to dive into a homemade pineapple chicken bowl! Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • Chicken breasts: Need to be pounded thin and cut into even-sized pieces.
  • Eggs: The chicken is dipped in an egg wash first so the breading sticks to it easily.
  • Coconut oil: You can use olive oil if desired, but I think coconut oil complements the pineapple flavor nicely.
  • Flour: If stir frying, use extra cornstarch rather than flour.
  • Cornstarch: Makes the chicken super crispy.
  • Spices: I used a blend of garlic powder, paprika, ground ginger, and more to flavor this dish!
  • Pineapple juice: You can find canned pineapple juice at any grocery store.
  • Pineapple preserves:  Adds multidimensional fruity sweetness and intense pineapple flavor.
  • Soy sauce: Use reduced sodium soy sauce to control the amount of slt in this dish.
  • Red wine vinegar: Adds a fruity tang which complements the pineapple juice.
  • Brown sugar: Adds a little sweetness and balances out the tang of the pineapple juice.
  • Garlic: Just three cloves flavors the sauce nicely.
  • Ginger: I used a combination of fresh and dried ginger to amp up the flavor.
  • Asian hot red chili sauce: Something like Sriracha would be perfect.
showing how to make Pineapple Chicken by mixing it in a glass bowl with the sauce

How to Make Baked Pineapple Chicken

This sticky pineapple chicken is a breeze to make! Here are the basic steps:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons water together.
  2. Combine the breading ingredients in large freezer bag.
  3. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg wash, let excess drip off, then place chicken in the flour mixture and shake until evenly coated.
  4. Evenly space chicken on a cooking rack that’s been set on top of a baking sheet and lightly spray chicken with cooking spray.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes then move baking sheet 8-10 inches away from broiler and broil to desired crispiness.
  6. While the chicken cooks, make the pineapple sauce. Coat the chicken in the sauce when done.
top view of Pineapple Chicken Recipe with green onions and white rice.

Tips for Making Chinese Pineapple Chicken

  • Use clean hands.  I love using a bag to shake the chicken in the breading because it keeps the chicken from becoming a gooey mess.  Just make sure your hands are clean and dry when you remove the chicken.
  • Don’t chop chicken to small.  The chicken should be chopped 1” thick, erroring on the side of larger so that it doesn’t overcook and dry out.
  • Bread the chicken in small batches.  By adding only half of the chicken to the flour, it is able to move around and shake around better to become fully coated.  If you notice any of the chicken isn’t fully coated when you’re removing it, give it another toss in the flour with a clean hand.

Recipe Variations to Try

If this baked pineapple chicken recipe isn’t exactly how you want it, MAKE it how you want it! It is easy to customize the sauce by:

  • add sweet heat with sweet chili sauce
  • spice it up with additional chili sauce or red pepper flakes
  • make it tangier by adding additional red wine vinegar
  • amp up the garlic and/or ginger for a stronger punch of flavor
Pineapple Chicken Recipe smothered in a delicious sauce in a pineapple

Can I Prep Sticky Pineapple Chicken in Advance?

Even though this homemade pineapple chicken is quick to make, you can still prepare it in stages if that works better for you.

  • Pineapple Sauce:  Whisk the pineapple sauce ingredients together but do not simmer/thicken.  Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 
  • Breading:  Whisk the flour breading ingredients together in a Ziploc freezer bag.  You can store the breading for weeks or proceed to dredge chicken then refrigerate.
  • Chicken:  Prepare chicken through dredging and place on a greased cooking rack placed on a baking sheet. Cover the chicken tightly with foil or plastic wrap.  Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking.  

How to Store Chinese Pineapple Chicken

This sticky pineapple chicken recipe is best served fresh because it is at peak crispiness, sauciness and the chicken is the juiciest.  You will find leftover chicken is not quite crispy or as flavorful.  However, leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

How to Reheat Baked Pineapple Chicken

  • How to reheat on the stove:  Leftovers are best reheated on the stove, even if they are small portions.  To reheat, heat a drizzle of vegetable, canola or peanut oil over medium heat.  Once hot, add the chicken, stirring occasionally until warmed through. 
  • Reheating in microwave:  Microwaving leftovers is not advised as the chicken can become rubbery and the breading will definitely not be crispy.  It is better to reheat in the skillet.    

Can I Freeze Baked Pineapple Chicken?

If you are making baked pineapple chicken specifically to freeze, then I recommend freezing the chicken and sauce separately so the chicken doesn’t get soggy. 

TO FREEZE CHICKEN WITHOUT PINEAPPLE SAUCE:

  1. Cook chicken according to directions.
  2. Let chicken cool to room temperature (on the baking sheet) then transfer baking sheet to the freezer.
  3. Let freeze for 1-2 hours or until the chicken is solid. This prevents the chicken from clumping together.
  4. Add chicken to a freezer size bag, squeeze out excess air and label.
  5. Add pineapple sauce to a separate airtight container.
  6. When ready to use, defrost chicken and sauce in the refrigerator overnight.
picking up baked Pineapple Chicken with chopsticks in a delicious pineapple sauce with white rice.

What to Serve with Sticky Pineapple Chicken

For me, pineapple chicken and rice is the best combination! However, you can make pineapple chicken bowls a few different ways:

RICE OPTIONS

  • Rice. I like jasmine rice or brown rice but any rice will work.  Just pop the rice in your rice cooker for a hands’ off, easy side. You can also use microwave rice pouches if you’re making a serving for one or meal prep.  
  • Low carb.  Cauliflower rice, quinoa, broccoli rice or a blend of brown rice and any of the aforementioned options.   You can also use low carb noodles such as zoodles or spaghetti squash.
  • Noodles.  Ramen, soba noodles, rice noodles or even linguine are a fun way to mix things up! 

IN ADDITION TO RICE, YOU CAN SERVE Pineapple CHICKEN WITH:

piece of baked pineapple chicken being held aloft by chopsticks

More Easy Asian Dinner Recipes:

Pineapple Ginger Chicken Recipe on a bed of white rice.

Pineapple Chicken

Pineapple Chicken can be baked or stir fried then smothered in sticky sweet pineapple sauce with a ginger Sriracha kick that is WAY better than takeout. This Pineapple Ginger Chicken recipe might just become your favorite chicken - ever. 
Servings: 4 -6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts pounded thin, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 eggs -skip if stir frying**
  • 2 tablespoons water -skip if stir frying**
  • nonstick cooking spray -skip if stir frying**
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil (may sub. olive oil)

Chicken Breading

  • 1 cup flour -replace with ½ cup cornstarch if stir frying**
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tsp EACH garlic pwdr, paprika
  • 1/2 tsp EACH ground ginger, onion pwdr, salt, pepper

Pineapple Ginger Sauce

Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy cleanup) and place a cooking rack on top; lightly spray cooking rack with cooking spray (if you don’t have a cooking rack, you can place chicken directly on foil that has been greased).
  • In a large bowl, whisk 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons water together. Combine Chicken Breading ingredients in large freezer bag. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg wash, let excess drip off (dabbing with paper towel if necessary) then place chicken in the flour mixture and shake until evenly coated. Evenly space chicken on cooking rack and lightly spray chicken with cooking spray.**
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes then move baking sheet 8-10 inches away from broiler and broil to desired crispiness (approximately 5-10 minutes). For extra crispiness, flip chicken over and broil the other side of chicken to desired crispiness, being careful not to burn chicken.
  • While the chicken is baking, heat ½ teaspoon coconut oil/olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and saute for 30 seconds. Add the remaining Pineapple Ginger Sauce ingredients and whisk to combine. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens (approximately 3 minutes). Taste and add additional Sriracha if desired.
  • In a large bowl, toss baked chicken with Pineapple Ginger Sauce using a spatula until evenly coated. Serve with rice.

Notes

**If you want to stir fry the chicken instead of bake (not crispy but still delicious), then skip egg/water wash and add a heaping ½ cup cornstarch (INSTEAD of 1 cup flour) to a freezer bag along with Chicken Breading ingredients and mix to combine. Add chicken and toss until evenly coated. Heat 2 tablespoon olive/coconut oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add chicken and let cook 2 minutes undisturbed then continue to stir fry until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.

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58 Comments

  1. [email protected] says

    Oh boy…these look INCREDIBLE!! The stickiness…that sauce….forget stir frying, I’m making these properly in the oven! I want the FULL CRUNCH! 🙂

    • Jen says

      LOL! You always do it right Nagi! Full crunch with that stickiness is a winning combo! Reminds me of all your glorious crunchy, sticky wings! mmmm! I SO wish we were neighbors! or at least lived i the same country 🙂

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Thao! For some reason everything “sticky” photographs so well – I think its all that sticky glorious reflection 🙂 These are my kind of flavors too – I need to try and diversify but I always come back to tropical/Asian 🙂

  2. Melissa says

    Um, yum, yum, yum, and more yum! And I love your creative plating of the dish inside a pineapple! Pineapple is my favorite, so I’m pretty sure I will be making this as soon as I can get my hands on some pineapple marmalade!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Melissa! The creative plating was actually a fluke but it worked out 🙂 I had a ripe pineapple that really needed to be used and so I thought of it at the last minute – that’s why I cut off the top because it was so wilted 🙂 I am so excited for you to make this! As soon as I discovered pineapple marmalade existed it has changed my world. I’ve already used it in 3 recipes. its SO Good! ENjoy!

  3. Whitni says

    Your pictures make me drool. This looks amazing!

    • Jen says

      You are too kind Whitni! Thank you so much!

  4. Carla says

    just made your baked pineapple chicken and it was amazing! Such a great recipe and easy too. Even the littlest member of the family loved it! This is such a better way to make crispy chicken without a ton of clean up. Thank you, thank you for sharing!! I can see why you crave it so much, I’m already looking forward to left overs for lunch tomorrow!

    • Jen says

      Hi Carla, I am so glad your family loved this recipe – even the littlest – yay! I always love it when others love a recipe as much as me – even the leftovers 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment and make my day! Have a great weekend!

  5. christel says

    For a shortcut, (don’t curse me for frozen food)could I buy frozen breaded popcorn chicken, deep fry then add sauce? I am a busy working mom and out of food ideas. This looks great but would like to shortened some steps if I could.

    • Jen says

      Hi Chrstel! Shortcuts are always welcome! Yes, you could certainly do that! Enjoy!

    • J-Marie says

      Hello Christel, Just wanted to give you a pointer that I use due to me being a single mother and working a 45+ hour a week job. I do not like to feed my kids the processed foods but had fallen in the rut of having it out of a necessity. So in my attempt to save some money I started buying in bulk. Then when I would get home from shopping on one of my two days off I would have to repackage the family packs or the larger packs of meat from Sam’s Club. When I do that I would put one meal in a freezer ziploc bag. It dawned on me that when you marinade meat you usually throw it and the marinade in a ziploc bag and throw it in the fridage for a day, or whatever LOL. I decided to start adding dry seasoning, marinades, regular BBQ sauce, Salad Dressings, etc in the bag with the meat and throwing it in the freezer. WORKS GREAT! You can even take this one step further and cut your chicken in to strips or chunks and season with maybe the ginger and possibly some pineapple juice. When you want to make it can be easily defrosted either that morn before work or when you get off from work. Hope this helps! Good luck to one tired mom from another tired mom!!

      • Deb Blecha says

        I love to cook, but most days I am overloaded with work and too tired to play in the kitchen. I am now an old lady on my own. I LOVE THE IDEA, of having a cooking day and putting into small portions so even “just me” can enjoy a variety of delicious, home cooked selections from sale items. Using my store specials to direct the meals of the week—I add two to the rotation each week, I am enjoying dinner at my house.

        Thanks for this wonderful idea.

        • Jen says

          What a great idea for the specials to direct the meal of the week and to create your own small portions! It’s so fun to open the refrigerator and see something you Want to eat all ready for you!

  6. Kristin says

    This looks a great meal for this week, I have a question….it looks like there is some diced pineapple in it too, did you add some for extra or was that part of the preserves used in the recipe? I am going to try out the stir fry cooking method as we are having some warm weather…I do miss the oven and all the cool weather foods in the summer!! This looks so delicious! We have enjoyed so many of your recipes!

    • Jen says

      Hi Kristin! I am so happy you have enjoyed so many of my recipes – that makes my day! I added the pineapple to the pics for presentation so feel free to add them to your chicken 🙂 Enjoy!

  7. Sonia Roy says

    OMG, this is so good. I just made this for dinner and my husband, who is a very finicky eater, loved it. He said it was better than take out. The only thing I did different was to use rice vinegar instead of red wine vinegar and that’s only because I didn’t have any.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Jen says

      YAY! I am so happy both you AND your finicky eater loved this recipe – that is the ultimate compliment – THANK YOU! I hope you find more to love here!

  8. Linda Heil says

    We just finished eating dinner. Made it per the instructions and it turned out perfecty My
    husband and I thought it was delicious.

    • Jen says

      So happy to hear that Linda, thank you! I hope you find more recipes to enjoy here!

  9. Lorrie says

    I’m having a hard time finding pineapple preserves. What brand do you use? Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Lorrie! I use Smuckers and find them at my local Albertsons. Sorry you are having a hard time finding them! Good luck!

      • Jenn says

        I too can’t find any pineapple preserves but I was able to find a pineapple mango marmalade. I’m going to try using it. Thoughts?

        • Jen says

          Hi Jenn, I’m sorry you can’t find them either – I didn’t know they would be so hard to fine 🙁 The Pineapple Mango sounds divine though – I think it will be delicious!

    • Stephanie says

      I couldn’t find it either, but did find an easy recipe to make it from scratch.

  10. Riss says

    I’m so stoked!! I went to one more store called Moms Organic.. And Wegmans..I found coconut aminos along with pineapple jam!!
    Just finished making this! It is Delicious!! Even my 8 year old loves it!! So much easier than I could have dreamed….this will be on my list from now on

    • Jen says

      Wahoo! So thrilled you found the pineapple preserves and even more happy that it was worth it! So happy even your 8 year old loves it! Thanks so much Riss!!!

  11. Mariah Horonzy says

    Thank you SO much for the amazing Baked Pineapple Ginger Chicken recipe! It is absolutely delicious and just became one of my new favorites!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Mariah! I honored it qualified as a “new favorite” – wahoo! 🙂

  12. Heather says

    So, I just found this recipe. Made it for dinner last night. Absolutely delicious!! I ended up broiling the chicken a bit longer on both sides to get the desired crispiness, but everything was still super easy! And by the way, your photography is awesome! It tasted just as great as it looked! Thank you!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Heather, I am so happy to hear it was as good as it looked – and thank you so much for the photography compliments! I hope you find more recipes to love here!

  13. Judy T. says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I live in a senior apt. complex. Shared the oven version with my neighbor and we both LOVED it. To those who can’t find pineapple preserves I understand. They probably live in rural areas of Ohio, West Virginia or Kentucky. Lived in southern Ohio for 15 years and couldn’t find a lot of easily found ingredients that I now an able to get at the neighborhood supermarket now that I’ve moved back to Michigan. To make up for this lack I made my own pineapple preserves out of crushed pineapple.

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Judy, thank you for your comment! I am so happy you loved it so much and thanks for the tip on making your own pineapple preserves – great idea!

  14. Lauren says

    Recipe sounds amazing can’t wait to try. Like the details of the instructions and method you’re using to prepare chicken. However, I would also like to comment that the use f cooking sprays ruins nonstick cookware. I would not recommend you use this or suggest it to your followers. I work in cookware and the polymers in the spray adhere to the pan and prevent the nonstick coating from functioning properly henceforth.

    • Jen says

      Thanks Lauren! Yes, I definitely never use nonstick cooking spray on my nonstick cookware, but this is just for spraying the chicken on the baking sheet. Enjoy!

  15. Bri says

    Made this last night and it was delicious! I couldn’t find pineapple preserves at the store so I bought crushed pineapple and sugar and made it into a glaze and it worked perfectly!

    • Jen says

      I am so happy you loved it Bri and that you were ingenious enough to make your own pineapple preserves! I will have to make a recipe just with crushed pineapple and sugar – also sounds delicious!

  16. Joni says

    Loved it!! Easy and delicious!! First attempt takes a little more time to make, but worth every minute. Just trying to figure out the calorie content. Thank you for this great dish!

    • Jen says

      Hi Joni, I am so happy this was worth the effort! Thank you so much!!

  17. Nikayla says

    Made this for dinner tonight, followed the recipe exactly (except using olive oil instead of coconut oil) and I must say it, it came out AMAZING! So far, this is my favorite recipe of 2017 🙂 Nothing I would change, but I definitely plan on using the pineapple ginger sauce for other meat combos 😉 If one asked me to rate out of 10, I’d rate 100.

    • Jen says

      Wow Nikayla, what an incredible comment/compliment, thank you so much! I am so flattered and thrilled this is your favorite recipe of 2017! You have inspired me to make another recipe with this sauce – we’ll see what I come up with! Thank you again for taking time to make my day!

  18. Kym says

    This was excellent! Thank you. Followed the
    directions and it was well worth the effort. 3x
    better than frozen or delivery.

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Kym, I’m so happy you loved it so much!

  19. Layne says

    I just have to say, this was REALLY tasty. Out performed my usual bag of Trader Joe’s easy frozen version. Thanks Jen!

    • Jen says

      Definitely takes a little more effort than Trader Joe’s but SO worth it! So happy you love this one, thanks Layne!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for including me Stephanie!

  20. Kirsten says

    FYI this method for breading and sauce works amazing with tofu, too! Use extra-firm tofu and let it drain between a heavy plate and a paper towel until extra moisture is removed, then prepare according to recipe. This was a huge hit the first time I made it and tonight I am making it again—this time a double batch. Yum!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for the breading tofu tip Kirsten! I’m so happy this was a hit!

  21. Joan Z. says

    This recipe had made it into frequent rotation in our house. I bake pre-breaded popcorn chicken just to save time…the sauce is amazing. Thanks!

    • Jen says

      I love hearing that, thanks Joan! And what a great idea to bake the popcorn chicken ahead of time!

  22. Sonya says

    Fantastic recipe! I was too frugal to buy pineapple preserves but I had some peach chutney I wanted to use up and it worked perfectly. We always love your recipes !

    • Jen says

      What a great idea to use peach chutney! I love the sound of that!

  23. Mech says

    How many calories per serving?

  24. Deena says

    Um this was AMAZING. I couldn’t find pineapple preserve but I did find pineapple & red pepper preserve which I thought was just too perfect for this!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Deena, I’m so pleased it was a hit!