I simply love drawing inspiration from the Pacific Islands. They merge fresh, tropical ingredients with Asian seasonings to make delicious meals. This naturally dairy-free pineapple chicken reminds me of Hawaiian plate lunches. But it’s healthier and can be made almost anywhere. If you have fresh pineapple, use it! If not, canned will still be delicious.
Enjoy a Taste of the Tropics with this Pineapple Chicken
I went to the experts when looking for the perfect pineapple chicken recipe – Dole. They sell all types of produce, but have a particular passion for pineapple. This version is adapted slightly from their latest healthy recipe. I also have a few options in the FAQs below.
What Can I Substitute for the Cornstarch?
In stir fries, arrowroot starch is typically the best substitute for cornstarch.
How Can I Make this Pineapple Chicken Sugar-Free?
It can’t be completely sugar-free since pineapple contains natural sugars. But you can substitute coconut sugar for the brown sugar if you want it to be refined sugar-free, use sugar-free brown sugar alternative if you want it to be added sugar free. Another option is to omit the brown sugar, but use pineapple juice instead of water.
What Other Vegetables Will Work in the Recipe?
We like regular chopped cabbage or bok choy as alternatives to the broccoli and sliced carrots in place of the bell pepper.
Is there a Good Substitute for the Rice Vinegar?
If you can, I recommend getting rice vinegar. It’s usually with the vinegars or in the Asian section in most grocer stores. But, you could substitute pineapple juice or apple cider vinegar in a pinch. The flavor will be a little different.
What Can I Substitute for the Chicken?
This dish is also delicious with pork or tofu. Pork tenderloin or boneless center cut pork work great. For tofu, I recommend using extra-firm tofu, or a pre baked or fried tofu.
Special Diet Notes: Pineapple Chicken
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
For soy-free dairy-free pineapple chicken, substitute coconut aminos for the soy sauce. Coconut aminos sauce has a similar vibe, but is sweeter and less salty than soy sauce.
For a vegan option, see the pineapple tofu option in the FAQs above.
- 1 cup dry white or brown rice
- ¼ cup soy sauce (use gluten-free tamari, if needed)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1½-inch pieces
- 1 medium red bell pepper, halved, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 cup small broccoli florets
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup chopped pineapple
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- Cook the rice according to the package directions or using my favorite method. While that cooks, make the stir fry.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, water, vinegar, and ginger.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the chicken and stir fry for 7 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer the chicken with a slotted spoon to a plate.
- Add the pepper and broccoli to your skillet, and stir fry for 4 minutes, or until crisp tender. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add the pineapple and cooked chicken, and cook for 2 more minutes, or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
- Whisk the sauce, and add it to your skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thickened, stirring frequently.
- Serve the pineapple chicken over rice and sprinkle with the green onions.