Pomegranate Pineapple chicken is the perfect dinner. Juicy chicken cooked in a pomegranate pineapple marinade is very delicious.
Winner winner, chicken dinner. Do we ever have enough chicken recipes? I don't think so. But if you're looking for out of this world flavors for your next dinner, give this pineapple chicken a try! Other favorite chicken recipes are zereshk polo morgh (Persian barberry rice with chicken) and Sweet and Sour Chicken Wings.
Baked pineapple chicken
I'm always looking for extra flavors when it comes to cooking. This flavor can come from a new ingredient or spice or maybe even a new way of cooking. In this case, it was adding some pomegranate molasses to a pineapple chicken marinade. It adds that extra tang to the chicken that will kick it up a notch. This pineapple chicken is different from the other ones you've had thanks to the addition of pomegranate molasses.
I love this baked chicken recipe because it require very small effort and the oven does most of the work. The flavors are on point and it's a very good alternative to the usual chicken dishes out there. topped with some pomegranate arils, this chicken dish can be a showstopper at your next party's dinner table.
Pineapple chicken ingredients
You need a few ingredients to make this tasty and easy baked pineapple chicken:
- Chicken thighs: bone-in and skin-on
- Pomegranate molasses: available at many supermarkets as well as ethnic food stores. Learn how to make pomegranate molasses at home.
- Brown sugar, ketchup and honey: to balance the flavors
- Canned pineapple: make sure to separate the juice and the fruit as each will be used separately.
How to make pineapple chicken
Start by making the pomegranate pineapple sauce. In a sauce pan, mix pomegranate molasses, brown sugar, ketchup, honey and pineapple juice. Cook over medium heat so that the flavors are well combined. Slice the onion and mince the garlic. Place them at the bottom of an oven safe dish and place the chicken thighs on them.
Pour the pomegranate pineapple sauce over the chicken and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Flip and cook for another 25 minutes until they're fully cooked. You can test a bit to make sure the chicken thighs are cooked completely, or use an instant thermometer which should register at 165°F if inserted into the meat. Turn on the broiler to crisp the skin and serve baked pineapple chicken warm with your favorite side dish.
Do I need to marinade the chicken?
It's always best to marinade the chicken ahead of time. I have tried both approaches for this baked chicken recipe and the marinated chicken always results in a more flavorful dish. You can make the marinade by cooking it over medium heat for a few minutes and let it cool, then add it to the chicken thighs and marinade for a few hours to overnight. Once ready to cook, follow the instructions in the recipe to bake the chicken in the oven.
Can I use chicken breast for this recipe?
Both chicken thighs and breast would work for this recipe. For pineapple chicken breast recipe, the cooking time will be about 40 minutes, but check for doneness before serving and if the chicken is not cooked completely, cook it a bit longer.
Instant pot chicken thighs
It's so easy to make this easy chicken recipe in the instant pot. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the instant pot and press "saute" function. Sear the chicken thighs in the instant pot for about 4 minutes on each side and set aside. Add all the ingredients for the pineapple sauce to the instant pot and cook using the saute function for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken thighs, onion and garlic to the instant pot. Lock the lid and press the "pressure cook" function and set the timer for 10 minutes. Do a natural release for 5 minutes and then a quick release.
Slow cooker pineapple chicken recipe
To make pineapple chicken in crockpot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute chicken thighs on both sides until it's golden brown, about 10 minutes total. Make the pineapple sauce as instructed in the recipe and transfer the chicken thighs, onion, garlic and the pineapple sauce to the slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. Check to make sure the chicken is cooked completely.
What to serve with baked chicken and pineapple
I love serving this delicious and easy baked chicken dish with some white rice or brown rice. A side of garlic mashed potatoes would work as well. Side salads such as cucumber tomato avocado salad compliment this dish very well, too.
Notes and tips to make this chicken recipe
- You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken thighs or breast cut into chunks. Cooking time may vary.
- Make this into a spicy pineapple chicken dish by adding 1 ½ tsp sriracha to the pineapple sauce.
- If you have time, sear the chicken in some olive oil over medium high heat to brown the skin before adding the sauce. This step is not necessary but it adds more flavor to the dish.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to two days. I don't recommend freezing this chicken dish when it's fully cooked. However, you can marinade the raw chicken in the sauce and freeze it up to 2 months with the marinade. To cook, let it thaw in the fridge overnight and the cook according to the recipe.
Pomegranate Pineapple Chicken Recipe
- 8 chicken thighs bone-in skin-on
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 can pineapple juice and fruit pieces separated
- 1 onion sliced
- 3 garlic gloves minced
- 1 ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Mix pomegranate molasses, brown sugar, ketchup, honey and pineapple juice in a sauce pan, cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes until flavors are fully combined.
- Lightly coat an oven safe dish with non stick spray and spread the onion slices at the bottom of the dish.
- Place the chicken thighs (skin side down) on top of the onion slices and pour the sauce on them.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, flip the chicken thighs and pour some sauce on them.
- Bake for another 25 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. pour the sauce again.
- Serve hot with white rice.
- For more flavor, sear the chicken thighs for about 5 minutes on each side before adding them to the sauce.
- You can marinade the chicken ahead of time and then bake it in the oven. This won't require sauteing.
- You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts. Cooking time may vary.
- Instant pot pineapple chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the instant pot and press "saute" function. Cook the chicken thighs in the instant pot for about 4 minutes on each side and set aside. Add all the ingredients for the pineapple sauce to the instant pot and cook using the saute function for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken thighs, onion and garlic to the instant pot. Lock the lid and use the "pressure cook" function and set the timer for 10 minutes. Do a natural release for 5 minutes and then a quick release.
- Slow cooker pineapple chicken recipe: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cook chicken thighs on both sides until it's golden brown, about 10 minutes total. Make the pineapple sauce as instructed and transfer the chicken thighs, onion, garlic and the pineapple sauce to the slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.