Hawaiian Baked Chicken marinated in a garlicky-pineapple juice mixture is the most flavorful chicken you will ever make! It’s an easy and healthy recipe the whole family will love!
Baked chicken breasts can be used to make some of the easiest, family friendly recipes you can think of! For more recipe ideas, check out this classic recipe for Juicy Oven Baked Chicken Breasts, these Hasselback Tuscan Baked Chicken Breasts and one of my favorites, Easy Cheesy Baked Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms!
Sweet & Savory Hawaiian Baked Chicken
Winner winner, chicken dinner (again!). This is my go-to recipe for an easy chicken dinner that just so happens to be jam-packed full of awesome. All the similar sweet and savory, tropical flavors of a Hawaiian pizza, in the form of a healthy pineapple chicken recipe! You really can’t go wrong.
This Hawaiian baked chicken is so flavorful. It’s zesty, it’s garlicky, it’s pineapple-y. Made a little smokey with a dash of paprika. Everyone in our family absolutely loves this recipe. It’s like a tropical vacation in food form; something about the freshness of it just puts us in summer mode! I make this recipe all year round, whenever I’m feeling like an easy weeknight meal.
Here are the key ingredients you’ll need to make this sweet and savory Hawaiian baked chicken:
For the Marinade
- Chicken: I use chicken breast halves for this recipe as they’re a little thinner and bake more evenly.
- Pineapple Juice: For the marinate, you’ll use the juice from one can of prepared pineapple chunks. Set aside the pineapple itself for the topping.
- Garlic: 3 whole cloves, minced.
- Lemon Juice: For an extra boost of acidity.
- Lemon Zest
- Salt & Pepper
For the Pineapple Topping
- Pineapple: One can of pineapple chunks, less the juice used in the marinate.
- Butter: For a rich depth of flavor.
- Dijon Mustard
What Kind of Chicken Should I Use?
Boneless, skinless cuts like chicken breasts or chicken thighs are the best to use for this recipe. These cuts are easy to halve or butterfly in order to cook more evenly – not to mention more quickly. And evenly cooked chicken is the key to tender chicken! Chicken tenderloin is also a decent substitute.
How to Make Hawaiian Baked Chicken
Here’s how to make this Hawaiian chicken dish in 5 easy steps and with minimal prep:
Prep the Chicken: First, you’ll need to lightly pound your boneless chicken breasts, emphasis on lightly! We don’t want flattened chicken – just tenderized a bit.
Marinate the Chicken: Combine the chicken breasts with the marinade ingredients in a large sealable bag. Close it up and leave it to marinate for a few hours in the fridge.
Transfer to a Pan: Remove the chicken from the bag and transfer the pieces to a lightly greased baking pan. Discard any excess marinade and set the chicken aside while you mix up the pineapple topping.
Prepare the Pineapple Topping: In a pan with melted butter, stir in the pineapple chunks and topping ingredients to cook for a couple of minutes until bubbly. Remove the mixture from the heat and spoon it generously over the chicken breasts.
Bake: Pop the baking pan into a preheated oven and bake until the chicken is tender and juicy. Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature if needed! Once it’s ready, remove your pineapple chicken from the oven and serve!
Tips for Success
- Marinate the Chicken Long Enough: I recommend 3-4 hours for this recipe, but you can also prepare the marinade the day before and leave your chicken to marinate overnight before baking. You can make the whole meal ahead by prepping the pineapple topping, too. Then all you need to do is cook, assemble, and bake!
- Prevent the Topping from Burning: If you find that the pineapple is caramelizing too quickly in your oven, or becoming a little too dark, you can cover the baking dish with foil for the remainder of the baking time.
- Drain the Pineapple Well: Make sure you get as much liquid out of the pineapple chunks before cooking, to make sure the dish doesn’t get overly watery.
- Don’t Overcook the Chicken: Overcooked chicken will become dry, so keep an eye and use a meat thermometer if you have one! The chicken is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
This Hawaiian baked chicken is just so easy to dress up for a family meal! I like amping up the tropical flavors and serving this Hawaiian chicken with a side of light Coconut Cauliflower Rice. It’s also delicious with this zesty Lemon Rice that really brings out the lemon in the marinade.
Enjoy this tasty chicken recipe next to these other summer-y, easy side dishes:
- Melon Pineapple Fruit Salad with Berries
- Instant Pot Jasmine Rice
- Sweet and Spicy Carrots and Green Beans
- Sesame Cucumber Salad
- Refreshing Watermelon Salad
You can also use any leftovers in sandwiches, on top of homemade pizza, or in chicken wraps (either the regular kind or chicken lettuce wraps!).
How to Store Pineapple Chicken
Leftover Hawaiian chicken can be stored all together, or divided into single-serving portions. Store in an airtight container or resealable bag in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
This chicken reheats really well if popped into the microwave, or in the oven covered in foil for a few minutes until heated through.
Can I Freeze This?
You can freeze both cooked and uncooked Hawaiian chicken for up to 2 months.
- To Freeze Uncooked Chicken: Prep the marinated chicken and pineapple topping, then combine them in a freezer-safe dish to store frozen. Thaw frozen pineapple chicken in the fridge and then bake as usual.
- To Freeze Cooked Chicken: Let the baked pineapple chicken cool completely and then divide the pieces into freezer-safe containers in single portions to freeze. Reheat the portions from frozen in the oven or microwave.
More Easy Chicken Dinners to Try
- Asian Glazed Chicken Thighs with Rice
- Honey-Mustard Teriyaki Chicken and Peach Kabobs
- Beer Marinated Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Oven Fried Chicken Breasts
- Chicken Pasta Primavera
- Grilled Chicken with Orange, Grape, and Feta Salsa
Hawaiian Baked Chicken
- 4 chicken breast halves
- 1 can (20-oz) pineapple chunks, juice reserved
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 can (20-oz.) pineapple chunks
- Lightly pound chicken just enough to even it out; do not pound it thin.
- In a large plastic ziploc bag, combine chicken breasts, pineapple juice, minced garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, and paprika.
- Seal bag and place in fridge for 3 to 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Lightly grease a baking pan with cooking spray.
- Remove chicken from bag and shake off any excess; discard marinade mixture.
- Transfer chicken to prepared baking pan; set aside.
- In a frying pan, melt butter over medium-high heat.
- Add mustard, honey, and pineapple chunks; stirring occasionally, cook for 2 minutes, or until bubbly and fragrant.
- Remove from heat.
- Spoon pineapple mixture over chicken.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until chicken is tender.
- Remove from oven.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.