Better than takeout, this healthier Chinese-style pineapple chicken is made with boneless chicken breast, chopped red pepper, fresh pineapple, garlic, and cashews. This easy skillet dinner recipe comes together in under 30 minutes.
We are crazy about Asian cuisine in this house. If you were to ask my kids what kind of takeout they want for dinner, my son will almost always say Chinese and my daughter will usually pick sushi or Thai. Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese food are consistently at the top of my list, too. It's hard to go wrong with the flavor profiles in Asian dishes. If you haven't tried these Asian Pork Burgers, then you need to add that recipe to your "must try" list! Another family favorite is this slow cooker Coconut Curry Chicken Soup. It's healthy, easy, and delicious! Need I say more?! I love recreating my favorite restaurant dishes at home.
Here's what you'll need to make this recipe.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Red bell pepper
- Fresh pineapple
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh ginger- or ginger paste (this can usually be found in the produce section of the grocery store near the fresh herbs)
- Hoisin sauce (I used Kikkoman brand for this recipe)
- Soy sauce
- Chicken broth
- Pineapple Juice (can use fresh or canned)
- Brown sugar (can also substitute with coconut sugar)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Black pepper
- Roasted and salted cashews (I buy the halves and pieces so you don't need to chop them)
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- *Optional- chopped green onions for garnish
How To Make Pineapple Chicken
This tasty protein-packed recipe comes together in a flash. I used ginger paste instead of fresh ginger in this recipe. I love having it on hand for recipes and it's definitely more convenient than peeling and chopping fresh ginger. You can buy it in a tube or make it yourself. However, the storebought version has a longer shelf life. Homemade ginger paste will only last up to 5 days, so you'll want to be sure and use it up. If you buy fresh ginger and only need to use a little bit of the root, it does freeze well. Just put the unused portion of ginger root in an airtight freezer bag or container and freeze for up to 6 months.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat and cook the chicken for 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink.
Add the red bell pepper and fresh pineapple and cook another 4-5 minutes until peppers begin to soften. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
In a bowl, whisk together: hoisin sauce, soy sauce, chicken broth, pineapple juice, ginger (or ginger paste), and brown sugar and add to the skillet. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
Mix the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water and stir it into the sauce. Add the cashews, season with black pepper, and simmer 4-5 minutes more. Garnish with the sesame seeds and green onions, if using, right before serving.
My favorite way to serve pineapple chicken is over jasmine rice and topped with finely chopped green onions. You can also go with brown rice or serve it over cauliflower rice for a lower-carb option. Using cauliflower rice is also a great way to add more veggie power to this meal.
You can chop the chicken breasts, pineapple, and red bell pepper the night before and keep them separately in a sealed container in the refrigerator to save time on busy weeknights.
Meal Prep Tips
This healthier Chinese pineapple chicken recipe is perfect for weekly meal prep with 28 grams of protein per serving! I cook a pot of jasmine or cauliflower rice to go with it (depending on whether I want a lower-carb or higher carb meal) and portion it out into 6 meal prep containers for the week. It will last up to four days in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
Skillet Pineapple Chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 24 oz chicken breast boneless, skinless, cut into 1" chunks
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and cut into 1" pieces
- 2 cups fresh pineapple cut into 1" pieces
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced (or ginger paste)
- 3 tablespoon hoisin sauce I used Kikkoman brand hoisin sauce with great results
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup cashews roasted and salted, halves and pieces
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Heat olive oil over medium to medium-high heat and add chicken
- Cook chicken 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until cooked through
- Add red pepper and chopped pineapple and cook for 4-5 minutes
- Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute more
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, chicken broth, pineapple juice, ginger and brown sugar until mixed
- Add the sauce to the skillet and bring it to a low boil
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes
- Mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water and stir into the sauce
- Add the cashews, season with pepper, and simmer for 4-5 minutes more until sauce has thickened.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds on top before serving.