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Sweet, tangy and so delicious, this Hawaiian Chicken is easy-to-make and will be loved by both kids and adults alike. Bite-sized chicken is cooked up along with onions, bell peppers and pineapple chunks in a sweet and sour style sauce.

This recipe uses common pantry ingredients and it just so happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free and Paleo!

Hawaiian Chicken

Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken

It’s almost hard to believe that this healthy and flavorful chicken recipe only takes about 30 minutes to get on the table, but it’s true! This Hawaiian Chicken recipe uses simple ingredients such as fresh pineapple, chicken and bell peppers and is made using simple instructions. Trust us, your whole family will love this sweet and sour dish!

What we love about this recipe, aside from how quickly it comes together, is that it is sweet and savory and has a good balance of protein and veggies. This dish gives us a tropical feel that is perfect all year round, but especially as the weather starts to cool down and you need a meal that’s going to brighten up your day.

Serve it with your favorite side, but we suggest coconut rice.

Sliced Pineapple

Ingredients Needed

We love this Hawaiian Chicken because it’s one of those magical recipes that is so easily made paleo and with other dietary restrictions in mind by simply using real whole ingredients. Fresh pineapple chunks and pineapple juice is the main player in this dish, giving it a bright, bold flavor.

It also calls for BBQ sauce, and since this is a weeknight dish, we recommend using store-bought. If possible, look for a sugar-free version, that way you get to control the amount of sweetener added into the dish. We always use the Unsweetened Classic BBQ Sauce from Primal Kitchen, which is commonly found at the grocery store these days!

Here is an overview of the ingredients used:

  • Chicken Breast
  • Onions + Peppers
  • Garlic + Ginger
  • Unsweetened BBQ Sauce (make sure to use a BBQ sauce that you actually like the taste of, because it definitely will show up at the end of the dish)
  • Pineapple Chunks + Juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Honey
  • Tapioca Starch (this helps thicken the dish)
  • Red Pepper Flakes and Green Onions (for garnish)


Chicken: You can make this recipe with chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts

Pineapple: Don’t have access to quality fresh pineapples? You can use canned pineapple chunks in juice, which is convenient because then you also have the pineapple juice, as well! Just make sure there is no added sugar in the brand you buy.

Honey: If you are doing a Whole30, feel free to leave the honey out. The dish is already sweet, so it won’t affect it too much. But do be careful that you use a compliant BBQ sauce.

Vinegar: In a pinch, you can use lime or lemon juice in place of the apple cider vinegar.

Tapioca starch: This is essential for making the dish thicken up quickly, without needed to simmer the sauce for a long period of time. It can likely be swapped out with arrowroot or cornstarch in a pinch.

Pineapple chicken in a skillet.

What can you serve with this Hawaiian Chicken?

We served ours with coconut rice, but it would also go well with:

Will this work for meal prep?

Yes! This is a great dish for meal prep! It will keep well about 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

Hawaiian Chicken

If you like this quick weeknight chicken dinner, check out these others:

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Hawaiian Chicken

Hawaiian Chicken over Coconut Rice

5 from 3 votes
Sweet, tangy and so delicious, this Hawaiian Chicken is easy-to-make and will be loved by both kids and adults alike. Bite-sized chicken is cooked up along with onions, bell peppers and pineapple chunks in a sweet and sour style sauce. This recipe uses common pantry ingredients and it just so happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free and Paleo!
Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast diced into 1” pieces
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 bell peppers cored and diced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 ” piece ginger peeled, and grated or minced
  • 1/4 cup bbq sauce we recommend unsweetened
  • 1-½ cups diced pineapple
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch optional, for thickening
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Scallions sliced, for garnish


  • Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot, brown chicken, in batches if necessary, for 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Remove chicken and set aside. If the pan is dry, add a splash of oil. Add in the onion, bell peppers and salt and cook, stirring occasionally until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  • Add bbq sauce, pineapple juice, pineapple chunks, vinegar and honey and bring the mixture to a boil. Add back in the chicken and cook until the sauce has thickened and the chicken has cooked through, about 5 more minutes.
  • Whisk together the tapioca and the water to create a slurry, then add half of the mixture to the pot. Stir together, until the sauce thickens. If needed, stir in 1 teaspoon more of the slurry at a time until the sauce has reached the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt as necessary.
  • Serve chicken immediately with sauce from the skillet over coconut rice.


Recipe originally published in 2015, but updated with a new recipe and new photos in 2020.


Calories: 501kcalCarbohydrates: 71.5gProtein: 30gFat: 12.4gSaturated Fat: 4.1gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 372mgFiber: 3.1gSugar: 27g
Keyword: Hawaiian Chicken
Course: Dinner
Author: Lexi's Clean Kitchen

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Star Market. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was perfect! Both sweet and savory, very reminiscent of sweet and sour chicken. We will definitely add it to our keepers!

  2. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight! Added a jalapeño & served it over spinach (only bc I realized too late I forgot to make rice 😂). Will definitely be adding to the weekly rotation! 🥳

  3. This looks delicious and was going to make it tonight, but I’m confused about the paragraph describing the dish and the ingredient list. In the ingredients needed paragraph it says you use bbq sauce, so to be sure you use one you like the taste of. But I don’t see in the actual recipe how much or when to add the bbq sauce. Thank you

    1. Hi Leslie, we had a glitch in the site, but it’s all fixed now and the correct recipe is showing up. Please check again!

  4. Love Hawaiian Chicken and your’s looks delicious! How much onion and bell pepper do you use and when do you add them? I also don’t see how much and when you use the BBQ sauce. Thanks!

  5. My kids would LOVE this … and I have almost all of the ingredients on hand already!