Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken made in just 30 minutes, with minimal prep work! All you have to do is dump and cook all the ingredients!
Easy Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken
Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken is ready in just 30 minutes! This delicious recipe is one of the easiest and tastiest you can make in your pressure cooker. I am a huge fan of making Asian recipes in my Instant Pot and this Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken is my latest obsession.
The recipe requires minimum prep work and you don’t have to sauté the meat. You dump all the ingredients into the pressure cooker and cook for 5 minutes. The chicken is tender and sweet, with a tasty tropical flavor and a delicious aroma from the fresh ginger.
The brown sugar and pineapple juice make the most amazing sauce, that you will just want to pour it over rice.
Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken Recipe Tips:
- I used organic chicken thighs. However, this recipe also works with chicken breast. You don’t have to adjust the cooking time.
- Brown sugar works great in this recipe. But if you really want to substitute, a healthier alternative would be 1/3 cup of honey.
- You can also use 1 1/2 cups of fresh cubed pineapple and 1 cup of pineapple juice.
- Using fresh ginger will add amazing flavor to the dish. But if you don’t have any on hand, use 1 teaspoon of ground ginger powder.
- Cornstarch is a key ingredient in here, do not try to replace it with flour, the results will not be the same.
- When it comes to adding the cornstarch, you have to mix it with pineapple juice until dissolved and add the slurry to the Instant Pot at the end to thicken the sauce. Do NOT add the cornstarch by itself to the Instant Pot, it will create a sauce full of lumps.
- If the sauce is too runny, mix another 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch with the same amount of water and add it to the Instant Pot. Please note, that the sauce will get thicker with time, so definitely wait a bit before adding more cornstarch.
- You can add a touch of heat to this recipe if you prefer, by adding some Sriracha sauce or more red pepper flakes.
- Using garlic will add amazing savory flavor to the overall sweeter dish, you can use more or less.
Can you make Pineapple Chicken in the Crockpot?
Yes! This recipe can be easily made in the Crockpot. Follow the below steps:
- Lightly coat a 5-quart or larger slow cooker with baking spray and arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer on top. Then, drain the pineapple juice in a separate bowl, and whisk together with the cornstarch. Next, stir in the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Pour over the chicken. Add the pineapple chunks and red pepper.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours or HIGH for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until cooked through.
What is a 10 Minutes Natural Pressure Release?
A Natural Pressure Release means that the pressure is released gradually. For a Natural Pressure Release, you click on Keep Warm, and wait 10 minutes, after which you open the valve and let any leftover pressure to release. Another option is to Turn Off/Unplug the pressure cooker, wait 10 minutes and after that open the valve.
A natural release is usually used when cooking soups, meat in a large amount of sauce, pasta or steel cut oats. This method prevents any foam from the dish to shoot out through the valve, which can happen during a Quick Pressure Release.
Tools/Ingredients I used to make the Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken Recipe:
- Instant Pot – I use it all the time, I have the 6 quarts one.
- Cornstarch – I prefer using cornstarch instead of flour to thicken sauces, and this organic brand is my favorite.
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes Total time: 30 mins
Dump & Cook:
- 2 lbs chicken thighs (cut into 1-2 inch pieces)
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 20 oz can pineapple chucks (do NOT drain)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon ginger grated
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 green onions sliced
- Sesame seeds
- Slivered almonds
- Open the pineapple can, set aside 1/4 cup of juice, the rest will be added to the pressure cooker.
- Add all the ingredients from the "Dump & Cook" section to the Instant Pot: chicken, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and canned pineapple chunks with juice (except the 1/4 cup).
- Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
- Close lid, make just the pressure cooker is sealed. Select the Poultry function and adjust the time to 5 minutes on High Pressure. Or just select Manual, and select 5 minutes on High Pressure.
- Use a 10 minute Natural Release. Turn off the heat. Release the remaining pressure. Open the lid.
- Select again the Sauté function, on LOW.
- In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice, whisk until all combined with no lumps.
- Add the mixture to the Instant Pot and gently stir to combine. Cook on Sauté function for a few more minutes, stirring gently, until the sauce thickens.
- If you want the sauce even thicker, mix one more tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of juice and add it to the pressure cooker.
- Let the chicken stand for 5-7 minutes, the sauce will thicken more.
- Serve over rice and garnish with fresh chopped green onions, sesame seeds and slivered almonds.