Sweet and sticky Brown Sugar Pineapple Chicken is the perfect grilling recipe for your summer cookouts! This chicken is soaked in a super flavorful pineapple marinade before being coated in a warm, sticky brown sugar and pineapple glaze that you’ll want to drizzle over everything else on the plate too!
SWEET, STICKY AND DELICIOUS!
This chicken is one of my personal favorites! It packs such amazing flavor from the pineapple juice marinade, but it is especially tasty right off the grill with the added flavor from the grill marks!
Chicken: For the chicken, you can opt for chicken tenderloins or boneless skinless chicken breasts. If you use breasts, you want to make sure they’re thin. You can do this by either pounding them between some plastic wrap, butterflying the breasts in half so you have thin pieces, or just buying thin-cut breasts at the store.
Marinade: Though the list is long, the ingredients are simple. You’ll add brown sugar, pineapple juice, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, low sodium soy sauce, ketchup, dijon mustard, and sriracha (though that one is optional). Then season this marinade with some salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground ginger.
Glaze: For the glaze, you’ll simply use the marinade from this recipe and whisk in a little cornstarch.
Garnish: Garnish with orange zest, green onions, or sriracha to taste.
HOW TO MAKE BROWN SUGAR PINEAPPLE CHICKEN
STEP ONE: Start by whisking together all the ingredients for the chicken marinade in a medium-sized bowl. Once combined, put 1/3 cup of the marinade into a large freezer bag and whisk in 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the chicken to the freezer bag, seal it, and let the chicken marinate in the fridge for 2-4 hours. Reserve and refrigerate the remaining sauce from the bowl to make the glaze later on.
STEP TWO: Once you’re ready to grill the chicken remove it from the fridge and let it come up to room temperature for 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, grease and preheat the grill to medium heat. Next, remove the chicken from the marinade and pat it dry. Grill the chicken for 5-6 minutes on each side until it is fully cooked and has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
STEP THREE: As the chicken cooks, place the reserved glaze sauce in a small saucepan and whisk in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Place the saucepan directly on the grill, or the stovetop, cover it, and bring it to a simmer. Once it is simmering, remove the lid and continuously whisk the glaze until it has thickened.
STEP FOUR: Brush the glaze over the cooked chicken. Garnish the chicken with orange zest and green onions, serve warm with slices of grilled pineapple, and enjoy!
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- To make grilled pineapple to serve with the chicken, brush pineapple slices with melted butter. Pop them onto the grill alongside the marinated chicken and grill the pineapple for 2-3 minutes per side.
- Any extra glaze can be served as a delicious sauce for the rice!
- Don’t marinate this chicken for longer than 4 hours because the acid in the fruit juice will start to break down the chicken.
- If grilling isn’t an option you can cook this recipe in a skillet or grill pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes, or until nicely browned, on one side. Then turn the chicken over, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 3-5 more minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
HOW TO STORE BROWN SUGAR PINEAPPLE CHICKEN
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 5 days or you can freeze your leftovers. To freeze leftover chicken, place it into an airtight container or freezer bag. Make sure the chicken has cooled completely before placing it in the freezer. Another great thing to keep in mind is that you can also freeze any unused marinade or glaze.
HOW TO REHEAT BROWN SUGAR PINEAPPLE CHICKEN
Let’s face it, microwaved chicken is not that great! I prefer to reheat this pineapple chicken on the stove. Simply place a skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the chicken and continue to turn the pieces over until the chicken is warmed through. You can also easily reheat this chicken in an air fryer with the reheat function.
OTHER TASTY CHICKEN RECIPES
Brown Sugar Pineapple Chicken
- 2 pounds chicken tenderloins (see note)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon sriracha optional
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Green onions
- Orange zest
- Cooked white or brown rice for serving
- 12 pineapple slices canned or fresh
- ¼ cup butter melted
- Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add 1/3 cup of the marinade to a large freezer bag and whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil. Add the chicken to the bag, seal it, and let the chicken marinate for 2-4 hours in the refrigerator. Refrigerate the reserved glaze in the bowl covered with plastic wrap.
- When you're ready to grill, let the chicken sit out at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the grill to medium heat, 375 to 450 degrees F, and grease the grill.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess sauce drip back into the bag. Grill the chicken undisturbed for 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through. (165 degrees F internal temperature)
- If you're using canned pineapple, drain any liquid from the can and pat the slices dry. Then brush the pineapple with melted butter and pop them onto the grill too. Brush the other side of the pineapple with butter. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side before removing from the grill.
- Meanwhile, add reserved glaze to a small saucepan and whisk in 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Cover the saucepan and place it on the grill (or stovetop) and bring the glaze to a simmer. (This can be done after the chicken is cooked if you don't have room on your grill.) Once simmering, remove the lid and whisk until thickened.
- Brush the cooked chicken and pineapple with glaze and serve any extra glaze as a sauce for the rice. Garnish chicken with orange zest and green onions. Serve warm.