This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, please read my disclaimer here.
As spring gets closer and closer, I’m finding ways to create the feeling of spring and summer without the actual warmer weather. That’s why I created this Air Fryer Pineapple Chicken recipe.
The pineapple sauce has a sweet Hawaiian flavor and is made is just 15 minutes.
This recipe a take on Huli Huli chicken made with juicy chicken right in the air fryer.
It’s incredibly easy and even our kids love it!
I am air fryer obsessed and am constantly trying to find new things to make in there.
I made this recipe in my Cosori 5.8QT Air Fryer. The square basket is perfect for making most meals in just one batch.
How to Make Air Fryer Pineapple Chicken
Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees.
I used full boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, just like my Basic Air Fryer Chicken Breast recipe.
If your chicken is thicker than 1 inch, slice them in half by holding the chicken breast down with one hand and cutting sideways slowly and carefully in a horizontal motion.
For an extra crisp on the chicken or just to change it up, you can chop the chicken up into big cubes like in this Air Fryer Orange Chicken recipe.
Add salt and pepper to the melted butter and mix. Coat each piece of chicken on both sides and place in the air fryer to cook for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway.
The chicken is done as soon as your Instant Read thermometer reads an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
The key to keeping your chicken super juicy in the air fryer is to only cook it right to 165 degrees. If you start getting into the 170s and 180s, your chicken will start to dry out.
Once the grilled chicken is cooked, leave it to rest for at least 5 minutes. This helps it stay nice and tender.
While the chicken is cooking, you can get the pineapple sauce started.
How to Make Pineapple Sauce
In a small saucepan on medium heat, add together the canned pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, minced garlic, and ginger.
Let the mixture come to a simmer and continue to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a separate small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and water to make a little slurry and add to the pineapple sauce.
Let the sauce simmer for one more minute and then remove the saucepan from the heat.
The cornstarch mixture allows the sauce to thicken so you’re not pouring soup over your chicken.
Slice your grilled chicken into long strips then place on a serving plate. You can either coat the chicken with the pineapple sauce entirely or pour the sauce over top.
We love to add chunks of pineapple into the dish for a nice added Hawaiian chicken flavor.
Can I Use Fresh Pineapple and Pineapple Juice for This Recipe?
Yes, but with restrictions.
Fresh raw pineapple juice contains an enzyme called bromelain, which will break down and tenderize meat.
While heating the pineapple will neutralize the enzyme, there is still a chance your chicken can become mushy when coating the chicken with the fresh fruit.
If you do choose to use fresh pineapple in this recipe, keep the sauce and chicken breast strips separate until serving and store leftovers separately.
How Much Sauce Does This Recipe Make?
This recipe makes enough pineapple sauce to coat the chicken fully.
If you’re looking to incorporate this recipe into a stir fry with rice and vegetables, I recommend doubling the sauce.
The Sauce is Still Too Thin for My Liking. How Can I Thicken It Even More?
The sauce will thicken as it cools, but if you find yourself still wanting a thicker sauce, mix together an additional 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 1 teaspoon of water and add it to the sauce.
The mixture needs heat to react and thicken the sauce, so let it simmer for another 1 minute while stirring.
How Do I Reheat Pineapple Chicken in my air fryer?
I recommend keeping the pineapple sauce and chicken separate if you know you will have leftovers.
Reheat the chicken in a 350 degrees preheated air fryer for about 5 minutes, flipping halfway through.
The sauce can be reheated in the microwave for 30-60 seconds while covered.
If the sauce and grilled chicken are already combined, cook in a preheated 350 degrees air fryer for 5 minutes in a pizza/pie accessory pan, stirring and flipping the chicken halfway through.
Other Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Love:
For the Grilled Chicken
- 2 raw chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
For the Pineapple Sauce
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons water
- chunks of fresh or canned pineapple (juice drained)
- Preheat air fryer to 380 degrees,
- Add melted butter, salt, and pepper to a bowl and mix. Coat the chicken breasts with butter on both sides and place in the air fryer, cooking for 10-15 minutes and flipping halfway. They are done when they hit 165 degrees internally. Let chicken rest for at least 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, start putting together the pineapple sauce by mixing the pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, minced garlic, and ginger in a small saucepan on medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Mix together the cornstarch and water in a separate bowl and mix into the sauce. Let simmer for 1 more minute while stirring then remove from heat.
- Slice rested grilled chicken breasts into long strips and either coat chicken entirely with sauce or pour the sauce over top of the chicken and serve.
- Add chunks of canned or fresh pineapple if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 503Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 153mgSodium: 1552mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 1gSugar: 47gProtein: 46g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.