Hawaiian Chicken is a sweet and savory chicken recipe that’s also an easy family dinner. Top these boneless chicken breasts with ketchup, brown sugar, and, of course, pineapple for a delicious family meal.
It’s important to me to have some easy dinners in my arsenal. This pineapple chicken is a go-to meal in our home because of its versatility and the fact that everyone likes it. I can’t say that about all foods in a home full of picky eaters.
One recipe that is quick, easy and delicious is Hawaiian Chicken. I don’t know if it’s really from the state of Hawaii, but it does have pineapple in it. Don’t you notice that a lot of recipes with pineapple are called “Hawaiian”. I digress…
I typically use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but you could easily substitute another cut of chicken. The tender chicken pairs beautifully with the tangy sauce. It’s such an easy recipe for the whole family.
The sauce is a blend of crushed pineapple, brown sugar, soya sauce and ketchup. It sounds a little strange, but it works wonderfully together. It’s not as sweet as you’d think it would be either. I love the tropical pineapple flavour! If you close your eyes and take a bite, you can imagine yourself on a tropical island. Well, maybe not quite that, but you get my drift.
Why You’ll Love This Delicious Hawaiian Chicken
- Cooking time is 45 minutes and you can get dinner on the table in under 1 hour.
- Perfect for busy weeknights.
- Made with simple ingredients.
- Perfect combination of sweet and sour.
- Leftovers taste delicious the next day.
- Pairs with a variety of side dishes.
The full printable recipe card with measurements and instructions is found at the bottom of the post.
- Crushed pineapple – Don’t drain the can. You’ll need the pineapple juice for the recipe.
- Brown sugar
- Soy sauce
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Green onions
How to Make Hawaiian Chicken
- Step One: Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
- Step Two: Add pineapple, ketchup, brown sugar, soya sauce, cornstarch and salt to a small saucepan. Stir. Heat to boiling and reduce heat to low for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- Step Three: Place chicken breasts in a 9×13 inch casserole dish and pour sauce over top. Cover. Bake for 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer reaches 165℉ for the internal temperature.
- Step Four: Top with sliced green onions. Serve on top of a bed of rice, if desired.
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What to Serve with Pineapple Chicken
- White rice
- Brown rice
- Cauliflower rice
- Coconut rice
- Chicken fried rice
- Grilled pineapple
- Hawaiian macaroni salad
- Grilled corn on the cob
- Hawaiian sweet rolls
Variations and Substitutions
- Use a can of pineapple chunks or pineapple rings instead of the crushed pineapple. You can also use fresh pineapple, but you’ll need a bit of pineapple juice as well.
- Add some veggies like bell peppers. Yellow peppers or even green pepper is good.
- Use bbq sauce instead of the ketchup.
- For a bit of heat, add 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
- Try other chicken pieces instead of the chicken breasts like skinless chicken thighs or boneless chicken thighs. You can also use whole chicken breasts.
- Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
- Add more spices like garlic powder and onion powder or even fresh ginger.
- Use teriyaki sauce instead of the soy sauce.
- Use granulated sugar or honey instead of the brown sugar.
- You can omit the salt if you find your soy sauce on the salty side
Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven when ready to serve again.
Can I Freeze Hawaiian Chicken?
Yes! You can freeze Hawaiian chicken for later if you like. Let it first cool to room temperature and place in freezer bags. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When ready to serve again, thaw in the fridge overnight. Heat in the oven or microwave until fully heated.
How to Reheat
- Oven: Place Hawaiian chicken in an oven-safe dish or on a baking sheet. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350F for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove foil during the last few minutes of baking.
- Stovetop: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a small amount of extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil to the pan. Place the Hawaiian chickne in the pan and cook for a few minutes until heated through.
- Microwave: Place the pineapple chicken on a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on medium power (50%) in short intervals of 1 to 2 minutes at time. Stir the sauce on the chicken at each interval to ensure even heat until chicken is heated through.
Slow Cooker Instructions
Do you prefer to make Crockpot Hawaiian chicken? Here’s how to do it:
- Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients (pineapple with juices, ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, cornstarch and salt. Pour mixture over chicken breasts.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Don’t drain the can of pineapple You’ll need the juice in the can for the recipe.
- Use a meat thermometer to tell when the chicken is cooked to the proper temperature. It should reach 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breast.
- Serve with rice to soak up all that delicious sauce.
Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. It won’t be as hot and will be juicier.
Yes, definitely! I prefer chicken breasts since I usually have those on hand, but you could use chicken thighs or drumsticks.
Yes, fresh pineapple is delicious. Just make sure you also use about 1/4 cup of pineapple juice as well since you won’t have the can with fresh.
Pineapple + chicken = AMAZING! Not only does it taste fantastic, but the pineapple also has an extra tenderizing effect on the chicken. It has an enzyme, bromelain, that breaks down protein leaving your chicken tender and juicy.
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- 1 can crushed pineapple 14oz can, undrained
- ½ cup ketchup
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- green onions for garnish (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
- Add pineapple, ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, cornstarch and salt to a small saucepan. Stir. Heat to boiling and reduce heat to low for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- Place chicken breasts in a 9×13 inch casserole dish and pour sauce over top. Cover. Bake for 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer reaches 165℉ for the internal temperature.
- Top with sliced green onions. Serve on top of a bed of rice, if desired.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.