One bite into Hawaiian Chicken and your mouth will be bursting with flavor! Bite size chicken breast pieces that are cooked and coated in a sweet pineapple, barbecue, soy sauce mixture.
Then toss in some sautéed bell peppers and pineapple tidbits and serve the entire mixture over white rice. It is a delicious dinner recipe that takes all of the flavor and texture of sweet and sour chicken and combines it with the taste of pineapple chicken.
With as much flavor that this dish holds, it is hard to believe that it can be ready and on the table in just 30 minutes. That is one of the reasons why this recipe has become one of my new weeknight favorites!
However, it could be made even faster if you do any type of meal prepping for the week. I was never a big fan of meal prepping in the past, however, I have learned to love it as it saves me both time and money when going to the grocery.
I now do it once a week and it allows me to spend less time at the grocery store, less time wasted in the kitchen, and most importantly, it has allowed me to decrease the cost of my grocery bill. See this article on How Meal Prepping Once A Week Can Save You Money.
So if you like to save time and money follow these Make Ahead Tips for this Hawaiian Chicken recipe.
Make Ahead Tips & Tricks
1. Prepare Your Chicken Breast In Advance
This recipe calls for boneless, skinless, chicken breasts. Therefore, up to 3 days ahead of time, trim any excess fat from the chicken breast and dice in bite size pieces.
Then place the chicken pieces in a large resealable plastic bag and remove the air and seal. Let it sit in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and use as instructed in the recipe.
2. Prepare Your Bell Peppers & Pineapple
One day before you plan on making this Hawaiian Chicken Recipe, prepare both your bell peppers and pineapple. Start by removing the stem, ribs and seeds from the bell peppers.
Then roughly chop them into 1/4 – 1/2 inch size pieces. Store them in a closed container for 24 hours.
Now remove the stem and cut off both a top and bottom slice of a fresh pineapple so that it sits evenly on a cutting board. Then, with the pineapple in the upright position, run a sharp knife down the edges of the pineapple to remove the rind.
Once you have exposed the flesh, it is time to remove the core and cut the pineapple into pieces. Place the pineapple back in the upright position and run a sharp knife to the outside edge of the core.
Then turn and repeat the process until the core has been removed. Discard and cut the pineapple into tidbit shapes.
Finally, place the entire amount pineapple that you just cut in a large bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator so that some of the juices can be released overnight.
3. Make The Sauce Ahead of Time
You can also make the sauce ingredients one day prior to making the actual recipe. Start by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Continue to whisk until the brown sugar is dissolved. Add the corn starch and continue to whisk until no clumps or white powder are visible.
Cover and place the bowl in the refrigerator until ready to use. Although these make ahead tips are not required, it will save you even more time when you go to make dinner.
However, without any preparation at all, this recipe can still be made and on the table in just 30 minutes!
Hawaiian Chicken Recipe
*Specific measurements and complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to continue to read the tips and tricks to making this recipe below.
- 2 pounds Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil, divided
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups diced Sweet Bell Peppers
- 3 cups fresh Pineapple, diced
- 1/4 cup Sweet & Spicy Barbecue sauce, or your favorite barbecue sauce
- 3 cups cooked White Rice, for serving
- 3 tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 1/4 cup Pineapple Juice
- 3 tablespoons packed Brown Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
- ½ teaspoon ground Ginger
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Corn Starch
The first step in making Hawaiian chicken is to cut the chicken in 1/2 inch bite size pieces. Then place a skillet over medium high heat and add half of the olive oil.
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper then add them to the skillet with the hot oil. Brown the outside of the chicken pieces until no longer pink.
Although the chicken will not be fully cooked at this point, remove the chicken from pan and place in a shallow bowl. It is okay to add the liquid that the chicken created in the bowl with the chicken pieces.
Then add the remaining olive oil to the skillet. Once hot, add the chopped bell peppers to the pan and saute for 3-5 minutes until tender. Remove the peppers from the pan and set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together the sauce ingredients (soy sauce, pineapple juice, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ground ginger, garlic and corn starch) and pour to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
Now add the chicken back in the skillet with the sauce and cook on medium-low heat, until the chicken cooks through and the sauce reduces and thickens. When the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F when checked with an instant read digital thermometer, add the peppers and barbecue sauce to the skillet and toss to coat.
Cook for an additional 3-4 more minutes, tossing frequently to coat the chicken and peppers into the sauce. During the last minute of cooking, add the pineapple tidbits and toss to coat.
Serve the Hawaiian chicken over cooked white rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I use canned pineapple tidbits instead of fresh?
Although I prefer the flavor of fresh pineapple, you can substitute pineapple tidbits. Use the same amount as fresh pineapple and reserve the juice for the sauce.
2. Why is my Hawaiian Chicken sauce runny?
The thickness of the sauce with vary depending on the ingredients and brands used. Some barbecue sauces are thicker than others and the liquid content in pineapple varies significantly.
However, if you are wanting a thicker sauce, add a slurry of cornstarch and water to the sauce by mixing 1 part cornstarch to 2 parts water. For example, for every 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, mix in 2 tablespoons of water.
3. How do I store and reheat leftovers?
Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It is best to store leftover rice separate from the Hawaiian chicken so that it doesn’t become soggy.
Reheat in a skillet placed over medium heat until warmed through. Or microwave individual portions on high power for 60-90 seconds.
4. What can I make with the leftover pineapple?
Besides eating fresh pineapple as a snack, side dish or as part of a fruit bowl, one of my favorite recipes that uses fresh pineapple is this Sweet and Spicy Honey Sriracha Pineapple Shrimp recipe.
Of course you can always add it to on top of your pizza along with some diced ham and red onion as well. The choice is up to you!
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- 2 pounds chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 2 cups diced sweet bell peppers,
- 3 cups fresh pineapple, diced
- 1/4 cup sweet & spicy barbecue sauce
- 3 cups cooked white rice
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Heat half of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper then add to the skillet with the oil. Brown the outside of the chicken until golden brown on both sides. Remove the chicken from pan and place in a shallow bowl along with the juices from the skillet.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and when hot add the chopped bell peppers to the pan and saute for 3-5 minutes until tender. Remove the peppers from the pan.
- Add sauce ingredients (olive oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ground ginger, garlic, pineapple juice and cornstarch) to a small bowl and whisk until combined. Pour the sauce into the skillet and bring to a simmer. Add chicken back in the skillet with the sauce and cook on medium-low heat, until the chicken cooks through and the sauce reduces.
- When the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F when checked with an instant read digital thermometer, add the peppers and barbecue sauce to the skillet. Cook for 3-4 more minutes. Add the pineapple and toss to coat and cook for 1 minute.
- Serve the Hawaiian chicken over cooked white rice.
To thicken the sauce even more mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water and whisk to combine. Pour into the sauce and let it heat through and thicken.
Recipe provided by Make Your Meals
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 543Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 1087mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 3gSugar: 31gProtein: 51g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.