Juicy pieces of chicken, fried up with peppers, onions and pineapple chunks in a simple, sweet and savoury stir-fry sauce.
This is my go-to recipe when I've got a hankering for a sweet and sour style dinner, but I haven't got the time to coat and fry up chicken pieces.
Everything gets added to the wok in stages so it's easy to prep as you go, without getting in a fluster.
It's easy to get stuck in a rut with stir-fry type recipes. I most often go back to my simple chicken stir fry, because it's the one that comes into my head first, but there are so many ways you can jazz up a stir fry:
- Add in heat with chilli flakes, chilli sauce or fresh chillies
- Swap out vegetables - mange tout, sugarsnap peas, extra fine green beans, tenderstem broccoli, carrots chopped into matchsticks, fine asparagus and chopped mushrooms are all good options that can be stir-fried quickly.
- Swap out the protein for pork tenderloin, thin strips of ribeye steak or go for vegetarian options such as quorn strips or marinated tofu.
- Change the flavour profile by adding in Cajun spice, peanut butter or sesame oil (plus a sprinkling of sesame seeds). I'd recommend adding on one, not all three at once! Although I do wonder how that would taste 😁
- Add fruit - such as chopped plums (see my chicken plum stir fry), strips of mango or like this recipe - chopped pineapple.
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Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.
👩🍳PRO TIP You can use sliced boneless chicken thighs if you prefer. I find chicken breasts a little less fiddly to slice up, so it's quicker for me to use them in this recipe. The dusting of cornflour on the chicken breast pieces will help to ensure the chicken stays juicy and moist when frying.
⬇️ The recipe card with full instructions is just below these extra recipe suggestions.
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Sticky Pineapple Chicken
- 3 chicken breasts - (approx 525g/1.1lbs altogether) chopped into bitesize chunks
- 2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch in USA)
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp oil
- 435 g (15oz) can of chopped pineapple in juice
- 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato puree (paste in USA)
- 1 onion - peeled and chopped into wedges
- 1 red bell pepper - chopped into chunks
- 2 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- Place the chicken breast chunks in a bowl and sprinkle on the cornflour and salt & pepper. Mix with your hands to cover the chicken in the cornflour.3 chicken breasts, 2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch in USA), pinch of salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over a high heat.3 tbsp oil
- When the oil is hot, add in the chicken. Cook on a high heat, moving the chicken around occasionally with a spatula, until the chicken is golden on all sides (about 5-6 minutes).
- While the chicken is cooking, make the stir fry sauce by combining the pineapple juice from the tin of pineapple with the brown sugar, soy sauce and the tomato puree in a bowl. Mix together and put to one side.435 g (15oz) can of chopped pineapple in juice, 2 tbsp soft brown sugar, 3 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp tomato puree (paste in USA)
- Add in the onions and peppers to the wok, and fry with the chicken for 2 minutes.1 onion, 1 red bell pepper
- Add the pineapple chunks, from the tinned pineapple, into the wok and cook for a further two minutes.435 g (15oz) can of chopped pineapple in juice
- Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for a further minute.2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp minced ginger
- Add the stir fry sauce you made earlier to the wok.
- Continue cooking on high, allowing the sauce to bubble and reduce down, whilst stirring occasionally. It should take about 5-6 minutes on a medium-high heat to reduce down and start making the chicken look darker and caramelized.
- Once cooked, turn off the heat and serve over boiled rice. Sprinkle with coriander and serve.Coriander (cilantro), Boiled Rice, Sriracha
Reheat by heating a tablespoon of oil in a wok, over a medium heat, then adding the pineapple chicken to the wok. Move it around the pan often, using a spatula, until piping hot throughout. It will take about 10 minutes to heat through.
You may need to add a splash of water to loosen it up a little when reheating. Can I freeze it? I don't recommend freezing this recipe as the peppers and onions are likely to go a little soggy. Ingredient swaps
- Swap the chicken for chopped pork tenderloin pieces, or go vegetarian and swap for quorn pieces.
- Add in extra vegetables - mange tout (snow peas), roughly chopped spring onion, mushrooms, asparagus and tenderstem broccoli pieces all work well and have a similar cooking time to the peppers.
- Add 1 tsp chilli flakes or 1-2 chopped fresh chillies or 1-2 tsp sriracha for a spicy kick.
- Add ready-cooked egg noodles at the end and cook for a further 2 minutes (until piping hot) for a pineapple chicken noodle stir fry. Saves having to cook rice to go with it!
This recipe was first posted July 2015. Updated May 2023 with new photos, video, extra detail in the instructions and a bit of housekeeping.
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