This sweet & tangy pineapple chicken stir fry is full of pineapple chunks, chicken breast & veggies stir fried together in a tangy pineapple teriyaki sauce!
This pineapple chicken stir fry is a favorite summer time meal since pineapples are in full season! It's full of colorful vegetables and fresh chunks of summer pineapple that add sweetness to this tropical stir fry!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- It's full of pineapple flavor - this recipe uses both pineapple chunks and pineapple juice. Use fresh or canned pineapple to make this a year round recipe.
- The sweet and tangy pineapple sauce is used as both a marinade for the chicken and the stir fry sauce.
- The Chinese style sauce is a tangy pineapple teriyaki sauce that uses pineapple juice, rice wine vinegar, and brown sugar. It's sweet, tangy, and savory!
- It's versatile so switch up the protein or the vegetables. The pineapple sauces goes with everything!
Ingredients you'll need
For the stir fry:
- Pineapple chunks - I used fresh Hawaiian pineapples since they were in season but you can use canned as well.
- Chicken breast - I opted for a leaner cut of chicken to make this a bit healthier but you can use chicken thighs as well.
- Red and yellow bell peppers - adds color and crunch to this tropical dish
Sweet & tangy pineapple teriyaki sauce:
- Pineapple juice - I used canned pineapple juice; if you're using canned pineapples, reserve the juice.
- Rice wine vinegar - adds the tangy flavor to this dish
- Brown sugar - adds sweetness and caramel flavor
- Soy sauce and oyster sauce - for a savory element with lots of umami
Step by step instructions
- Mix the pineapple sauce together and stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
- Add a spoonful of the sauce to the chicken to act as a marinade. The pineapple juice will help tenderize the chicken breast. Meanwhile, prep the vegetables.
- Stir fry the chicken until fully cooked and then set it aside.
- Stir fry the vegetables until it's tender but still crisp.
- Add the chicken and pineapple chunks to the pan.
- Add the tangy pineapple teriyaki sauce to the pan.
- Stir fry everything together until the pineapple chicken sauce gets thick and glossy.
- Remove it from the heat and sprinkle on sesame seeds and chopped scallions. Then serve it over rice.
Frequently asked questions
You can use fresh or canned pineapple. I used Hawaiian pineapple as it's always sweet and juicy whenever it's in season. Seasonal summer pineapple is preferred but if it's not available, you can definitely use canned. Reserve the juice in the canned pineapple to add to the sauce.
I like to serve this over fresh steamed rice but you can also serve this over noodles. This recipe has a generous amount of sauce so you can spoon this over rice or noodles.
Yes, pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain that breaks down protein and tenderizes the meat. It's great for chicken, pork, and beef.
Yes you can freeze this recipe. I recommend slightly undercooking the vegetables since freezing and thawing them can softened their texture.
Store it in a freeze safe container and keep it in the freezer for up to one month.
Storing & reheating leftovers
Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it and keep it in the freezer for up to 1 month. Microwave leftovers to reheat it.
Ingredient substitutions & variations
- Protein - this recipe will work with pork, shrimp, beef, and firm tofu. If using tofu, I like adding deep fried tofu because it soaks up all that sauce.
- Vegetables - other vegetables you can add are sugar snap peas, carrots, mushroom, green beans, zucchini, bamboo shoots
What to serve with pineapple chicken:
More chicken stir fry recipes:
- Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken
- Panda Express String Bean Chicken
- Panda Express Mushroom Chicken
- Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry
- Red Curry Chicken Fried Rice
Sweet & Tangy Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry
Stir Fry Ingredients:
- 1 cup pineapple chunks - fresh or canned; use a 20oz can of pineapples and reserve ¾ cup of the juice
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast - cut into 1½ inch pieces
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
- ¾ cup red onion - chopped into 1½ inch pieces
- 1 ½ cups broccoli florets
- ½ large red bell pepper - chopped into 1½ inch pieces; about ⅔ cup
- ½ large orange bell pepper - chopped into 1½ inch pieces; about ⅔ cup
- 2 stalks scallions - chopped; for garnish
- 1 Tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds - for garnish
Pineapple Chicken Sauce Ingredients:
- ¾ cup pineapple juice - drain the juice if using canned pineapple chunks
- ¼ cup brown sugar - packed
- ¼ cup water
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons corn starch
- 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon ginger - grated
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Mix the pineapple chicken sauce
- Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a medium size bowl and stir it until the brown sugar dissolves. (Note: this recipe makes a generous amount of sauce. Reduce the amounts if you prefer less sauce)
- Add one tablespoon of the sauce to the chicken breast to use as a marinade. The pineapple juice will tenderize the chicken. Meanwhile, prep the vegetables.
Make the stir fry
- Heat a pan on medium high heat and add oil to the pan. Add the chicken breast to the pan and stir fry the chicken pieces until it's cooked through (about 3 to 4 minutes). Be careful not to heat the pan too high as the sugar in the marinade can burn easily. Once it's cooked, remove it from the pan and set it aside.
- Add the red onion, broccoli, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper to the same pan and stir fry it until the broccoli is tender but still crunchy (about 3 to 4 minutes).
- Add the pineapple chunks and cooked chicken breast back to the pan.
- Stir the sauce once more as the cornstarch can settle. Then add the sauce to the pan and combine everything together. When the sauce starts to simmer, it should turn thick and glossy. Continue to mix everything together for one more minute and then remove it from the heat.
- Sprinkle the chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds over the top and serve it over rice.
- Leftovers - Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze this for up to 1 month.
- Freezing - If you plan on making this ahead to freeze, I recommend slightly undercooking the vegetables since freezing and thawing them can softened their texture.
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.