This Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken is a one pot rice dish that comes together with a 5-ingredient sauce!
Ingredients in pineapple chicken
Weeknight dinner woes?
This Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken has GOT YOUR BACK!
I love simple dump dinners like this, and with the exception of the fresh veggies this is basically a pantry dinner – you should have most of the ingredients on hand already and from there it's just about adding some fresh veggies.
Here's what you need to make it (full ingredient amounts are at the bottom of the page):
- chicken breasts
- pineapple (fresh or from a can)
- rice vinegar
- brown sugar
- low sodium soy sauce
- chicken broth
- jasmine or white rice
- red, green and yellow bell pepper
- green onions
How to Make Sweet and Sour Chicken
It's so easy to make this rice dish! Here are the steps below:
- Add olive oil, chicken, pineapple, rice vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, garlic, soy sauce, broth and rice to Instant Pot in that order. Cook for 5 minutes on high pressure.
- Do a quick pressure release and remove lid. Stir in bell peppers, then replace lid and let sit another 5-10 minutes so it can absorb the extra liquid and cook the peppers.
- Remove lid again, then divide among four bowls. Top with green onions, then serve and enjoy!
Making this dish on the stovetop
You can easily make this dish on the stovetop if you don't have an Instant Pot. I would not advise using a slow cooker.
- Add all ingredients (minus the peppers and green onions) to a large pot on the stove. Bring to a boil, then cook for about 20-25 minutes or so until rice has absorbed all liquid.
- Stir in green peppers, then cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Garnish with green onions, then serve and enjoy!
Fresh vs canned pineapple
Whether you have fresh pineapple on hand or are just digging into your pantry to pull out of a can of diced pineapple, you really do need to include it to get that signature flavour.
It doesn't matter too much whether you use fresh or canned as the flavours will be very similar. However, you really do want to ensure that any canned pineapple you buy does not include extra sugar.
This recipe is super versatile and you can make a number of substitutions. Here's what you have flexibility with:
Chicken – Feel free to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in place of chicken breasts.
Rice – I highly recommend using white, jasmine or basmati rice in this recipe as I have not tested it with any other type of rice. That being said, I've heard of others doubling the chicken broth and the cook time for brown rice so if you feel comfortable experimenting, you can try that.
Soy sauce – Tamari or coconut aminos can be used to make this recipe gluten-free.
Brown sugar – Sub in coconut sugar, white sugar, honey or maple syrup for the brown sugar.
Rice vinegar – You can use apple cider or white wine vinegar in place of the rice vinegar.
Pineapple – You DO need pineapple in this recipe. However, you can use fresh or canned. Just make sure the canned stuff doesn't have extra sugar.
Bell peppers – You can always cook another veggie like broccoli while this dish is coming to pressure and then stir it in in the end.
Storing and reheating
Leftover pineapple chicken will keep in the fridge up to 5 days. Sprinkle some water overtop to avoid drying out the chicken and rice, then reheat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through.
You can also reheat this dish in a skillet on the stovetop. I still recommend adding some extra water to avoid the dish drying out.
Can you freeze pineapple chicken?
Yes you can! Freeze in individual servings in glass bowls up to 3 months, and then defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating. You can also reheat from frozen for 6-7 minutes, making sure to sprinkle some water overtop and stirring partway through.
More Asian-inspired Instant Pot recipes
Tools to make this recipe
- The Instant Pot DUO Plus 60 is the version I use in this recipe.
- Grab some Glass meal prep bowls if you plan on packing this sweet and sour chicken up for lunch!
- And of course I get all my free-range chicken breasts from Butcher Box!
Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb chicken breasts, diced into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup diced pineapple (fresh or from a can; I used fresh)
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup dry white or jasmine rice
- 1 each red, green and yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 4 green onions, sliced
- Add olive oil, chicken, pineapple, rice vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic, broth and rice to Instant Pot in that order leaving rice to float on top of other ingredients. Place lid on and cook for 5 minutes on high pressure.
- Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure then cooks on high pressure for five minutes. Do a quick pressure release and remove lid when safe to do so. The rice may appear to be uncooked or crunchy looking at this point but it's crucial that you stir in bell peppers, then replace lid and let sit another 5-10 minutes so it can absorb the extra liquid. It does get fully cooked after sitting for a bit, I promise!
- Remove lid, then divide among four bowls. Top with green onions, then serve and enjoy!