A sweet and savory chicken recipe that kids will love! This Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken with Rice is super simple and comes together in less than 20 minutes.
Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken Recipe
For the past year or so, I’ve found myself increasingly ordering take-out on busy work days so I don’t even have to worry about dinner, but this little habit has come at a big price tag – just ordering take-out twice a week costs me the same as a month’s worth of groceries.
So, I’m trying to be a bit more conscientious with meal planning, using my Crockpot or Instant Pot on busy nights and maybe not always letting my food cravings run the show.
An easy way to make this transition is to recreate some of my favorite take-out recipes at home. If you’re a regular reader, you know I love my copycat recipes – and this pineapple chicken tastes just like what I order from our local Chinese take-away. Some restaurants call it Hawaiian chicken, but it’s essentially the same dish.
This Instant Pot pineapple chicken is sweet, tangy and has a gorgeous umami flavor. The juicy chicken and pineapple are coated in a luscious sauce that will make you seriously consider licking your plate. I often add in diced bell peppers, broccoli or snap peas to give this recipe a bit more texture and sneak in a few veggies.
This recipe has plenty of savory aromatics (onion, garlic and ginger) and a variety of must-have Asian sauces that give this recipe it’s amazing flavor. I use sesame oil in so many of my favorite dishes – from chicken lettuce wraps to stir-fries, and even my favorite Crab Rangoon Dip – so if this is a new purchase for you, I encourage you to buy a bottle as you can get so much use out of it and it really is essential for developing a great flavor. (However, you can skip the rice wine vinegar if you’d prefer.)
Can this Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken be made in the crockpot? Yes, you would follow the same cooking method outlined below but increase the cooking time to 4-5 hours on low, or 1-2 hours on high.
Can this pineapple chicken be frozen? Yes, this recipe freezes well. Just store in an airtight freezer container for up to one month (This set of freezer containers is a crazy bargain.)
What to Serve with Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken:
- rice (which we show how to prepare using the pot-in-pot method below)
- cauliflower rice
- sautéed or grilled green vegetables (like bok choy, green beans, broccoli or asparagus)
- serve on Hawaiian dinner rolls for a pulled chicken sandwich (grab our recipe for homemade Hawaiian rolls here)
Also, my friend Corinne just put out an Instant Pot ecookbook for just $4.99! I have tried a few of the recipes myself and they are delicious and family friendly. I highly recommend it for a reliable collection of Instant Pot recipes to help you fall in love with your IP (if you haven’t already).
Check out our quick recipe video to see how easy it is to make this Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken recipe – and then don’t forget to scroll down to grab your free printable recipe card:
Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken Ingredients
- Sesame Oil
- Chicken Breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
- Onion Powder
- Black Pepper
- Small Sweet Onion, chopped
- Garlic Cloves, minced or pressed
- Ginger, peeled and minced or shredded
- Pineapple Chunks with juice
- Soy Sauce
- Rice Vinegar
- Brown Sugar
For the Rice:
- Long Grain Rice, rinsed
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: add your favorite crunchy veggies along with the ginger and garlic to make this recipe your own.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Instant Pot <– I’m so excited to upgrade to this one with air fryer capacities soon! (You can also just buy the lid which adds the air fryer capacity to your standard IP.)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Sharp Kitchen Knife
- Spoon or spatula <–I like these spatulas because they are one solid piece and don’t have removable heads for bacteria to get trapped underneath. Plus they are heat-resistant and have a lifetime warranty.
- 6″ Baking Pan
- Trivet that Came with your IP
How to Make Pineapple Chicken in the Instant Pot
Place the sesame oil in the Instant Pot and turn on the saute mode.
Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and saute until browned (but not cooked through), about 4 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, ginger, onion and seasonings, as well as any other desired vegetables.
Saute for another minute, then turn off the saute mode.
Add in the remaining ingredients, except the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water.
Insert a high trivet (the insert that comes with the 8 quarter instant pot can be made into a high trivet by inverting the handles).
Rinse the rice and then place in a 6″ to 7″ pan that will fit inside your IP. Stir in the water and salt and then set the pan on top of the high trivet.
Secure the lid on your Instant Pot and select high-pressure cooking time for 4 minutes.
Natural release for 10 minutes.
Remove the pan of rice and trivet, set aside.
Stir the cornstarch into the water until combined, then stir into the pineapple chicken mixture.
Turn the saute mode of the IP back on and continue to cook until the pineapple sauce appears thickened.
Remove the pot from the Instant Pot and serve.
Grab your free printable recipe card for our Instant Pot pineapple chicken recipe:
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 ½ pounds chicken boneless skinless breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1-inch ginger, peeled and minced or shredded
- 20 ounce can pineapple chunks with juice (about ¾ cup juice)
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/8 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
For the Rice:
- 1 long-grained rice, rinsed
- 1 ¼ cups water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Place the sesame oil in the Instant Pot and turn on the saute mode.
- Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and saute until browned (but not cooked through), about 4 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, ginger, onion and seasonings, as well as any other desired vegetables. Saute for another minute, then turn off the saute mode.
- Add in the remaining ingredients, except the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water.
- Insert a high trivet (the insert that comes with the 8 quarter instant pot can be made into a high trivet by inverting the handles).
- Rinse the rice and then place in a 6" to 7" pan that will fit inside your IP. Stir in the water and salt and then set the pan on top of the high trivet.
- Secure the lid on your Instant Pot and select high-pressure cooking time for 4 minutes.
- Natural release for 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan of rice and trivet, set aside.
- Stir the cornstarch into the water until combined, then stir into the pineapple chicken mixture.
- Turn the saute mode of the IP back on and continue to cook until the pineapple sauce appears thickened.
- Remove the pot from the Instant Pot and serve.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 404Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 795mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 2gSugar: 28gProtein: 35g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
I hope your family loves this easy pineapple chicken recipe as much as mine does!
For more easy chicken recipes, check out our full chicken recipe collection here:
For more Instant Pot ideas, check out our full Instant Pot recipe collection here: