Simple Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken

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Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken is a quick and easy, delicious meal that transports you to the tropics. Ready in 30 minutes or less, it’s packed with Hawaiian flavor, and fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Bowl of Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken over white rice

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Served over cooked rice, it’s a meal you’ll find yourself making often.

I love the Instant Pot for quick, weeknight meals. Favorite Asian-inspired dinners like Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli and Healthy Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken are a breeze to make.

3 Favorites About Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken

Here are 3 reasons why I love Pineapple Chicken:

  • It’s pretty and festive, especially when paired with fresh pineapple
  • There is no pre-cooking or sauteing
  • Packed with fresh fruit and veggies

Okay — and one more (I can’t help but mention this too!) It makes the most amazing sauce ever to serve over rice!

Top view of Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken with chunks of fresh pineapple

Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken Ingredients

As mentioned, this Instant Pot chicken is packed with fresh ingredients. Measurements are in the recipe card below. 

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • Small onion
  • Canned pineapple chunks
  • Bell peppers
  • Fresh ginger (or ground ginger in a pinch)
  • Garlic cloves
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Soy sauce (I prefer low sodium)
  • Brown sugar (or honey)
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Cornstarch
  • Cooked rice for serving

Ingredient Notes:

Prepping the ingredients:
I like to chop the onion, peppers, and chicken in about 1-inch pieces for uniformity. Chopping, then, is accomplished fairly quickly.

Use a variety of your favorite colors. I’ve used red and yellow bell peppers.

While I prefer pineapple chunks to tidbits, both work equally well. You can also substitute 1 and 1/2 cups of fresh pineapple plus 1 cup of pineapple juice.

It doesn’t require a lot of garnishing, but fresh herbs are always a plus. I love to sprinkle fresh chopped parsley or cilantro just before serving. Green onions are nice too.

Season with salt and pepper as needed. Fresh ginger is truly amazing in this dish. But in a pinch, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of ground ginger instead.

Pineapple Chicken in the Instant Pot

How to Make Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken

The complete steps are in the recipe card below, but here is a summary:

Add all of the ingredients (chicken, onion, pineapple with juice, peppers, ginger, garlic, barbecue sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes) into the Instant Pot and stir.

Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes with a natural release of 10 minutes.

Remove the lid, select the sauté function and stir in the cornstarch slurry. Cook, stirring gently until the mixture has thickened.

Let cool for 5 minutes before serving over rice.

Closeup top view of a bowl of Pineapple Chicken

Can You Make Pineapple Chicken in a Slow Cooker?

Absolutely. Coat a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. First, layer the chicken pieces on the bottom of the crockpot. Then add the ingredients and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours or 1 and 1/2 hours on HIGH.

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Side view of Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken in a white bowl
Bowl of Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken over white rice

Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken and Rice

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes

Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken is a quick and easy, delicious meal that transports you to the tropics. Ready in 30 minutes or less, it's packed with Hawaiian flavor, and fresh fruits and vegetables. 


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 20 oz can pineapple chunks, undrained
  • 2 bell peppers, diced into into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated (or 1 tsp ground)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  1. To the pressure cooker, add the chicken, onion, canned pineapple with juice, bell peppers, ginger, garlic, barbecue sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes. Stir well.
  2. Close the Instant Pot lid, set the valve to sealing, and cook on High Pressure for 5 minutes. Once it has finished cooking, naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes before quickly releasing remaining pressure.
  3. Cancel the cooking function and select the Sauté function.
  4. In a small bowl combine the water and cornstarch until smooth. Stir the slurry into the chicken. Stirring gently, let the mixture cook for a couple of minutes, or until it thickens.
  5. Cancel the function and let the chicken cool for 5 minutes before serving over cooked brown, white, or basmati rice (or your favorite grain). Season with sea salt as needed.



Chicken thighs can be substituted for the breasts. To save time, look for pre-chopped chicken breasts at your market.


I like to garnish the chicken with:

  • Fresh chopped parsley or cilantro
  • Chopped green onions

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 412Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 863mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 30gProtein: 49g

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  1. I know this is easy, but I would like to saute the dry ingredients first and use thighs instead. How much time to pressure cook and npr? Thanks so much Stephanie for posting this recipe to use for IP. Love all the recipes you provide !

    1. Hi Jada! Thank you so much for your kind words 😍! I love to create and share recipes that are easy and delicious! For this recipe, you could saute the ingredients ahead. If using the IP, as you know, be sure to scrape any browned bits before pressure cooking. Here are cooking times for thighs:

      Boneless skinless chicken thighs (left whole): 8 minutes cooking time, 5 minutes natural release
      Frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs (left whole): 13 minutes cooking time, 5 minutes natural release
      Bone-in chicken thighs: 10 minutes cooking time, 5 minutes natural release
      Frozen bone-in chicken thighs: 15 minutes cooking time, 5 minutes natural release

  2. I substituted the chicken breasts for a pint of home canned chicken and substituted the pineapple for a pint of home canned shredded pineapple zucchini. Also I added one extra cup of water on top of one cup of rice to make a one pot meal. I ran it for the 5 minutes worth 10 npr. This was so good!

    1. Your adaptations sounds wonderful, Liz! All of that homemade goodness! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and thank you so much for trying the recipe and sharing how you made it!

  3. Hi! This was so easy to make but I will not use chicken breasts again because they got way overcooked. Thighs next time for me.

    1. Hi Heather! Thank you for trying the Pineapple Chicken. Chicken breasts definitely cook differently in the Instant Pot, depending on how big they are cut. I would definitely shorten the natural release time if the chicken is cubed smaller. Or, as you say, chicken thighs are super good too! I’m so glad you liked it.

  4. Nikki Krakauer – you are rude! Lol ….you must have yourself on a very high pedestal to make that judgement! Anyway…. thank you 31Daily for the recipe! I have always loved Hawaiian dishes but never had this recipe. I am excited to try it. 🤗

  5. I agree with you Cynthia! I need help when it comes to the instant pot, especially with new ideas. I loved the music video and a reminder of past times in Hawaii. I wouldn’t want to research the recipe or have had the idea and certainly I haven’t been around for 300 years so how would that make a difference? That is a rude comment Nikki.

  6. This is called “Sweet and Sour Chicken”, and has been around for oh, about 300 years or so, give or take a century. Don’t waste our time reinventing the wheel!

    1. Yah, but not in an instant pot. This is the first time I’ve seen a recipe like this and I just got my instant pot and I’m having trouble figuring out how to use it. This just taught me how to make this and dishes similar to it and I’ve been struggling to figure how to cook whole meals in the pot simultaneously with all the meat and vegetables. So I got a lot out of this.

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