This Instant Pot pineapple chicken recipe is an easy weeknight dinner recipe that kids will love! This Hawaiian chicken inspired recipe is packed with chunks of pineapple in a sweet sauce. Serve over rice for an easy meal the whole family will adore.
Better than takeout, and sooo dang simple, this instant pot pineapple chicken is the easy weeknight dinner solution your crazy schedule needs. With a sweet and savory sauce, juicy pineapple and tender chunks of chicken, this incredibly flavorful meal is kid-friendly and so easy to make.
You can’t go wrong with this instant pot pineapple chicken!
How to Make Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken
This meal is easy-peasy to make! You only need a little bit of prep work to get this meal from the kitchen and onto the table!
To make this meal, all you need to do is:
- Dice the chicken and season with salt and pepper
- Place the chicken into your instant pot.
- Whisk together the sauce and add the sauce, the pineapple (and juice) to the instant pot.
- Pressure cook on high for 6 minutes.
- Allow to naturally release for 10 minutes, and then do a quick release to remove the rest of the pressure.
- Remove to a serving bowl and top with cilantro. Serve with rice!
Optional: You could totally add in a chopped onion and pepper if you want extra veggies!
How to prep Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken Ahead
You don’t need a whole lot of prep time for this pineapple chicken recipe, but there are a few things you can do to make dinner time prep even faster:
- Dice your chicken ahead of time.
- You can mix up your sauce and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge up to 2 days head. Give it a good shake before adding it to the instant pot.
- Use microwave ready rice pouches to cut down on cooking time, or at least measure out your rice ahead.
Should you use fresh or canned pineapple in this recipe?
This recipe works great with either fresh or canned pineapple! I do usually use canned here since you need all the juice in the can for the sauce. You could substitute with chicken broth or water if you need the extra liquid.
How to thicken the sauce
If you need your sauce a little thicker, you can make a cornstarch slurry to add into the pot after the pressure has been released.
- Mix 3 TBSP of cornstarch with 3 TBSP of the hot liquid inside the instant pot.
- Remove the tray from the instant pot and dump the chicken into the sauce.
- Turn the instant pot back on and to “saute” mode.
- Add the cornstarch slurry back to the pan and stir. Allow the sauce to bubble for 1 minute, or until thicker.
How to Serve Pineapple Chicken
This Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken is a great family meal to serve any night of the week. Serve this family style with white or brown rice, allowing each family member to serve themselves.
Allowing kids to choose how much of each food goes onto their plates and where helps them feel like they are more in control of what they eat, which means they are more likely to eat it!
How to make Instant Pot Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken Kid-Friendly
Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken is a great kid-friendly weeknight dinner. With mild and pleasing flavors, and tons of fruit that kids love, this meal is sure to be a winner-winner-chicken-dinner!
Dinner Conversations with Kids about Pineapple Chicken
Dinner can be so much more than micromanaging every bite your kids take! Bringing a more analytical discussion and thinking about your food helps to take the pressure on “you have to like this” and helps think about the why.
Try these conversion starters:
- Mention about the smells in your meal.
- Talk about the textures on your plate – what is the difference in how the pineapple, the chicken, and the rice feel?
- Discuss the flavors of your meal – use words like sweet, earthy, juicy, etc.
Sign up for The Tasting Trek Challenge to lean more about incorporating more conversations about food into your meals!
And also check out my collection of other easy Asian dinner recipes for more inspiration!
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Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken Recipe
- 2 lbs chicken breast
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 3 teaspoons White Pepper
- ½ cup brown sugar
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 20 oz can of pineapple chunks in juice
- ¼ cup Cilantro
- For serving: white rice
- Optional: 3 TBSP cornstarch for thickening of sauce.
- Dice chicken breast into approximately 1 inch squares and season lightly with salt and white pepper.
- In a medium bowl whisk brown sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, and soy sauce.
- Place chicken pieces on the trivet in your instant pot as best as possible to avoid burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Dump the entire can of pineapple chunks with juice over the chicken, along with the sauce you mixed.
- Place the lid on the instant pot and turn on.
- Pressure cook on high for six minutes.
- Allow to naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.
- Add all ingredients to a serving bowl, top with cilantro, and serve with rice.
Remove the tray from the instant pot and dump the chicken into the sauce.
Turn the instant pot back on and to “saute” mode.
Add the cornstarch slurry back to the pan and stir. Allow the sauce to bubble for 1 minute, or until thicker.