This Hawaiian Chicken with Coconut Rice is loaded with pineapple chunks, chicken breast, peppers and onion all tossed in a homemade sweet & sour sauce. Bring the tropics to you with this easy & delicious meal!
While I've never been to Hawaii (don't worry, it's on the list), I believe a recipe like this Hawaiian Chicken with Coconut Rice can transport you there even if it's just through dinnertime. The flavors and colors of the dish are bright and vibrant with a sweet and tangy flavor. All that's missing is a Mai Tai (or 2) to make your tropical dinnertime experience complete!
There is a controversy when it comes to pineapple on savory foods, such as pizza. Some people love it and some people think the only way to serve pineapple on pizza is to throw it right in the trash. I happen to love the sweet flavor and juiciness that pineapple adds to dishes. I especially love it in this Hawaiian Chicken. As the pineapple cooks along with the chicken, peppers and onions, it releases more juices to add flavor as well as tenderizes the meat. Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that helps tenderize meat and gives it it's tangy flavor. The result is a sweet & tangy dish that makes the perfect weeknight meal.
Ingredients For Hawaiian Chicken
The ingredients needed for Hawaiian Chicken include:
- Chicken breasts - about 1 ½ pounds will make the right amount to feed a family of four. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces keeping in mind the bigger they are, the longer they will take to cook.
- Bell pepper - about 1 total. I like to use a couple different colors to add a variety to the dish. Cut these into bite size chunks.
- Red onion - adds some great flavor. Cut into chunks comparable to the peppers.
- Pineapple - fresh or canned can be used. A 20 oz. can will be the perfect amount, about 2 ½ cups. This makes this dish perfect to make year round!
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
One of the best parts of this recipe is the homemade sweet and sour sauce that everything is tossed in. This recipe has the perfect amount of sweet and tang. What you'll need for the sauce includes:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Brown sugar
- Garlic salt
- Soy sauce
- Ground ginger
How To Make Hawaiian Chicken
Making this Hawaiian Chicken is as simple as throwing everything on the sheet pan and into the oven! While it's cooking, you'll make the sweet & sour sauce.
- Season the chicken chunks with salt and pepper. Then place it along with the peppers, onions and pineapple in a single layer on a sheet pan. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, combine all the sauce ingredients except cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and add cornstarch. Whisk until the sauce thickens, just a minute or so. Remove from heat.
- Once the 20 minutes is up remove the sheet pan from the oven and pour over the sweet and sour sauce. Toss until everything is well coated, then place back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
The Best Coconut Rice
Coconut Rice is without a doubt my favorite way to eat white rice. Cooking the rice in a mixture of water and coconut milk gives the rice a thick, rich texture with just a hint of coconut. The coconut flavor is not overwhelming, but adds just a little something to the otherwise boring rice. The flavors of Coconut Rice go perfectly with the Hawaiian Chicken!
While the Hawaiian Chicken is cooking, start on the Coconut Rice. That way everything should come together at about the same time. In a saucepan combine water, coconut milk, white rice and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to sit for a couple minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork.
To serve, place a bed of Coconut Rice on a plate and top with a generous helping of Hawaiian Chicken. Garnish with sliced green onions, if desired.
Can I Use Other Proteins Besides Chicken?
Yes! Other proteins such as pork or shrimp would be great substitutes to chicken. A pork loin cut into chunks would work great and would take about the same about of time. If using shrimp, I would recommend cooking the pineapple, peppers and onions on their own for 15 minutes, then adding the shrimp and sauce to finish cooking for another 10 minutes. The shrimp takes very little time to cook so adding it later on ensures it doesn't get overcooked and chewy.
Can I Add Other Veggies?
Absolutely! Other veggies such as broccoli, pea pods or zucchini would be great additions! Make this dish completely vegetarian by loading up on the veggies and even adding tofu to make a nice, filling meal.
Hawaiian Chicken with Coconut Rice for Meal Prep
Another great idea for this Hawaiian Chicken with Coconut Rice is to split it up into separate meals for lunch throughout the week. These meal prep containers are microwave and dishwasher safe making them the perfect option for a reusable lunch container. Start the week off right by having your lunches portioned out and ready to go. The only downside is you might have to bring one for your co-workers after they see it!
Other popular main dishes:
Hawaiian Chicken with Coconut Rice
- 1 ½ # chicken breasts cut into chunks
- 1 bell pepper cut into chunks
- 1 red onion cut into chunks
- 2 ½ cups pineapple cut into chunks
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup coconut milk canned
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white rice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Season chicken breast chunks with salt and pepper. Place on a sheet pan along with pepper, onion and pineapple chunks. Spread into an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes
- While chicken is cooking, in a small saucepan combine vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic salt, soy sauce and ginger. Bring to a simmer and add cornstarch. Whisk well until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
- After baking for 20 minutes, take the sheet pan out of the oven and pour sauce over. Toss everything well and spread back out into a single layer. Place back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
- In a saucepan combine water, coconut milk, rice and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to sit for a couple minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork.
- To serve. place a bed of coconut rice on a plate. Top with a nice helping of pineapple chicken and garnish with chopped green onions, if desired.
Helpful Equipment & Ingredient Links
- 1 ½ pounds of chicken is equal to about 2 large chicken breasts
- I like to do half a red bell pepper and half an orange bell pepper to add more color to equal one whole pepper.
- Canned or fresh pineapple can be used. If using canned, use a 20 oz. can for the right amount.