Hawaiian Grilled Chicken and Pineapple — Transports you to Hawaii with every bite of this tender, juicy chicken and the grilled pineapple seals the deal!! EASY, HEALTHY, ready in 10 minutes, and perfect for summer parties, barbecues, and casual weeknight dinners!!
Grilled Pineapple Chicken For Summery Meals
This pineapple chicken breast recipe tastes like a trip to Hawaii minus the airfare. Okay kidding, sort of.
I called this recipe Hawaiian chicken because the chicken has notes of soy sauce but with hint of brown sugar to mellow the saltiness along with lemon juice and ginger. The chicken is so tender, juicy, and full of awesome flavor.
This is perfect summer outdoor barbecue and hanging out with friends food. And it’s also perfect for casual summer dinners when anything more than 10 minutes sounds like too long or too much work. I can relate.
It’s naturally healthy and gluten-free (use GF soy sauce if this is important to you). Plus anything that has pineapple as a key element of the main course is bound to be popular with the kiddos or picky eaters.
The grilled pineapple is where it’s at for me. This is not the first time I’ve grilled pineapple. This Grilled Pineapple Lemonade Sangria comes to mind and would be perfect with this meal!
What’s In the Hawaiian Grilled Chicken?
You may just have everything in your fridge and pantry to make the Hawaiian chicken marinade because it’s so simple:
- Soy Sauce
- Brown sugar
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Ground ginger
- Salt and pepper
With marinades, I like to keep things simple, fast, and easy. After all, that’s what grilling should be about.
In addition to the Hawaiian marinade ingredients, you’ll also need chicken breasts (duh), fresh pineapple, and green onions for garnishing.
Can I Use Canned Pineapple?
I have not experimented using canned pineapple rings. The issue is that it’s softer than fresh pineapple and I worry it may not stand up to the heat of the grill. Plus, it’s very juicy and all that juice (sugar) could burn more easily. I recommend using fresh pineapple.
How to Make Hawaiian Grilled Chicken
This is such an easy Hawaiian chicken recipe! Simply add the chicken breasts and the Hawaiian chicken marinade ingredients to a zip-top bag and let that marinate for about an hour.
Then, all you have to do is fire up the grill and cook the chicken and pineapple! I used a medium-sized fresh pineapple. Simply clean it, and in the coring process you should have long spears as a result of getting the core out.
Cut the spears so that they’re about 1 to 1 1/2-inches wide. You don’t want skinny spears. They will fall apart or fall through the grill grates. Or burn. None of which would be good.
Can I Make Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple in the Oven?
I have been asked quite a few times if this Hawaiian chicken with pineapple recipe can be made in the oven and the answer is yes.
But of course it will lack the flavor you get from grilled chicken, the pineapple won’t be the same either, and visually you’ll be missing those love char marks.
As long as you know that going in, you can try baking it in a 400F oven for about 20 minutes or until done.
How Long to Marinate Chicken Before Grilling?
I like to marinate my pineapple chicken overnight for the full and tenderizing effects, but if you’re running short on time then 30 to 60 minutes will do.
Tips for Making Grilled Pineapple Chicken
As a shortcut, I used thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts. Their thinner size makes for faster grilling times and much more even cooking.
This recipe would be even faster with chicken breast tenders or sometimes called breast cutlets or medallions, but as it is with the thin-sliced breasts I only needed to grill them 5 minutes per side and they were done.
Many times with large chicken breasts on the grill, I struggle to keep the outside from becoming overly dark before the interior is fully cooked through but with either thin-sliced or breast tenders, you don’t have to worry about that. You can see that the inside is perfectly cooked, without being overcooked.
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- 1 1/2 pounds thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts (I had 4 breasts)
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 fresh pineapple, cleaned, cored, and sliced into about 8 one-inch wide long spears
- thinly sliced green onions, optional for garnishing
- To a large zip-top plastic bag, add all ingredients except the pineapple and green onions, seal, and smoosh around to evenly coat chicken. Place bag in fridge for at least 30 minutes, or overnight, to marinate.
- Lightly oil grill grates and preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken, place chicken on grill, and dunk the pineapple spears into the bag with the marinade, and place them on the grill. Discard the bag with the marinade.
- Grill the chicken for about 5 minutes on the first side with lid closed, flip, and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes on the second side with lid closed, or until chicken is cooked through and as done as desired. The pineapple can be rotated every 2 to 3 minutes, making that all sides touch the grill grates at some point during the cooking process (ensures that you kill the bacteria associated with the raw chicken marinade).
- Optionally garnish the chicken with green onions and serve immediately.
Chicken and pineapple will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 479Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 1507mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 55g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate and in this recipe, since you're not using all the marinade and because that's a significant source of the calories (ketchup, olive oil, sugar), I believe the stats are artificially elevated, but I am not a dietician and this is my opinion.
More Grilled Chicken Recipes:
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Grilled Sriracha Lime Chicken – EASY, ready in 10 minutes, and the chicken is SPICY, tender, and juicy!! Put this HEALTHY chicken recipe on your summer menu when you want to kick things up a notch!!
Grilled Lime Cilantro Chicken – EASY, ready in 10 minutes, and the chicken is so TENDER, juicy, and full of Mexican-inspired flavor!! Put this HEALTHY chicken recipe on your summer menu rotation and it’ll be a hit with everyone!!
Spicy Garlic Grilled Chicken – An EASY homemade marinade made with everyday ingredients that produces super FLAVORFUL, juicy chicken!! If you’re looking for a NEW marinade to jazz up grilled chicken, this is the one!!
Grilled Lemon Chicken – EASY, ready in 10 minutes, and the chicken is so TENDER, juicy, and full of LEMON flavor!! With grilled broccoli on the side, this is a HEALTHY recipe perfect for swimsuit season that tastes AMAZING!!
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Peach Chili Grilled Chicken – Tender, juicy, and full of flavor from the sweet peach preserves and chili garlic sauce! The perfect contrast! Easy, healthy, ready in 10 minutes, zero cleanup, perfect for backyard barbecues or easy weeknight dinners!
Foil Pack Barbecue Chicken – Ready in 15 minutes and such an easy way to enjoy barbecue chicken on the grill! A delish and healthy meal made in a foil pack with zero cleanup!
Grilled Chicken With Watermelon Mango Mint Salsa – The chicken is tender, juicy, and the EASY salsa made with watermelon, mango, and mint adds so much fresh FLAVOR!! Healthy, FAST, EASY, zero cleanup, perfect for backyard barbecues or easy weeknight dinners!!
Grilled Tandoori Chicken – Recreate this Indian favorite QUICKLY and EASILY at home!! If you’re looking for a new spin on grilled chicken, this is THE recipe to try! Super juicy, flavorful, and you’ll LOVE IT!!