I love preparing this Asian chicken recipe for family dinners! It is a little sweet, tangy, and savory. It takes 30 minutes to make, and it is pretty much a guaranteed crowd pleaser. You can serve it with your favorite carb. I like rice or macaroni salad. This is one of my favorite Asian chicken recipes, it's absolutely delicious and super easy!
This dish is a great healthy dinner option. It has fruit, veggies, and Asian chicken thighs. There is no sugar added, aside from the natural sugars found in the pineapple juice, and 2 tbsp of honey. I love that this meal has it all, and I can feel good about serving it to my family!
Why You'll Love This Asian Chicken
- Nutritious Eats – This recipe is full of protein, vitamin a, vitamin c, and antioxidants. The base of the sauce is pineapple juice, and there is no cane sugar added, just a little honey in the sauce. Unlike most sticky Asian chicken dishes, this has no sugar or brown sugar!
- Ditch the Dishes – This entire recipe is prepared using only one pan. It is so convenient, and cuts down on the number of dishes you will need to clean at the end of the night. Plus, preparing the sauce in the skillet with the leftover juices from the chicken helps to add an extra layer of flavor.
Ingredients You'll Need For the Chicken
- Olive Oil – Just a little oil for frying!
- Chicken Thighs – For this Asian chicken recipe, I chose to use chicken thighs. The thighs can be a great source of protein, iron, and zinc!
- Pineapple – Known as nature’s cough syrup, for its impressive doses of vitamin c and bromelain, pineapple is decongestive, anti-inflammatory, and it fights bacteria and infections. Plus, it tastes amazing! This recipe uses both pineapple rings, and pineapple juice. So if you opt for canned pineapple, be sure to save both. If you choose fresh, make sure that you either juice some or buy juice as well.
- Zucchini – This dish is colorful and healthful with the inclusion of beautiful, green zucchini.
- Garlic Powder – You will use garlic powder to season the chicken. It provides a great base flavor that is nicely complemented by the tangy sauce added at the end.
- Onion Powder – The onion powder in this recipe is also for seasoning the chicken thighs. It really helps to layer the flavors.
- Smoked Paprika – Smoked paprika adds a little bit of zest to the flavor of your chicken.
- Salt and Pepper – Last, but not least, you will need salt and pepper to season your chicken thighs before cooking.
Ingredients You'll Need For the Sauce
- Coconut Aminos – When it comes to making your sauce, you need a salty, umami component. Coconut aminos are a great way to tie the dish together. You can also use soy sauce if you prefer.
- Honey – Pineapple juice makes up the majority of the sauce. It is naturally sweet, so this recipe only requires a little extra honey to sweeten it. Substitute agave if needed!
- Dijon Mustard – Dijon mustard is milder and less vinegary than yellow mustard. It also gets its flavor from its white wine content. This adds a subtle note to your sauce. If you don’t have Dijon, you could try a small splash of white wine and either white wine vinegar, or rice vinegar. You may need a little extra honey if you do it this way.
- Lime Juice – Lime juice really helps to bring out the flavor of the pineapple in the sauce. Plus, limes are high in vitamin c and antioxidants!
- Pineapple Juice - see above!
How to Make Asian Chicken
1. Evenly sprinkle the front and back of chicken thighs with garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, pepper and salt.
2. Sautee chicken thighs over medium heat in olive oil in skillet for 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on thickness of chicken.
3. Remove chicken from pan, for later use, leaving the juices.
4. Stir the soy sauce, pineapple juice, honey, mustard and lime juice into the pan. Bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes, then lower heat. Return cooked chicken thighs to the pan along with the sliced zucchini and pineapple rings. Simmer for 10 minutes, occasionally spooning the sauce on top of the chicken. Garnish as desired and serve warm with rice or macaroni salad.
Step by Step Instructions
First, season your chicken. Measure out your salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders, and smoked paprika, and sprinkle your seasonings evenly over the front and backs of all of your chicken thighs. Next, it is time to cook the chicken. Heat a pan with olive oil over medium high heat. Sautee your chicken thighs for 3-5 minutes on each side, until chicken is cooked through.
Once your chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and set aside. Leave the juices in the pan for the next step.
Next, prepare your sauce. Mix your coconut aminos or soy sauce, pineapple juice, honey, Dijon mustard, and lime juice in the pan. Stir until combined and then allow the liquid to come to a boil. Boil for 3-5 minutes, until sauce has just begun to thicken. Then, lower your heat.
Finally. return your cooked chicken thighs to the pan of sauce. Add your sliced zucchini and pineapple rings. Simmer for about 10 minutes. While your pan simmers, occasionally spoon the sauce over top of the chicken.
Garnish with sliced green onions, red pepper flakes, or fresh lime wedges if desired. Coat the chicken with the sauce and serve warm with jasmine rice or macaroni salad!
- Leftovers may be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Reheat them by microwave for 60-90 seconds.
- This dish may be frozen for up to 4 months in an airtight container or bag.
- Reheat by stovetop or instant pot for 10 minutes on high pressure. If you enjoy a little extra spice, try adding red bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, or a small amount of diced habanero to this dish.
- I prefer thighs over chicken breast because it's much more moist and flavorful. It does however have more saturated fat than chicken breast so if you're opting for a leaner meat you can use it.
- If you like the flavor of sesame chicken, you can add a few drops of sesame oil to the dish for a wonderful aroma, but I love the way the recipe as is.
Pineapple pairs well with chicken, pork, ham, or seafood. For a meatless option, it also tastes great with tofu. To prepare this dish with tofu instead of chicken, simply drain a block of extra firm tofu. Freeze the tofu for a few hours and then drain again. Slice into small cubes and drizzle lightly with soy sauce or coconut aminos and toss to ensure all cubes are evenly coated. Prepare your seasoning blend according to the recipe, but add 3 tbsp of cornstarch. Toss your tofu cubes in the seasoning blend. Cook your tofu on high and flip, until both sides are crispy. Then prepare the rest of the recipe as listed.
Fresh pineapple juice contains an enzyme called bromelain, which tenderizes meat. Marinating meat in fresh pineapple juice for long can break down too much of its structure, causing it to be mushy and unpleasant. For this recipe, pineapple juice is added to the sauce that is used after the meat is cooked, so it is not a concern.
Looking for more Asian delicious dinners? Try these:
Asian Chicken Recipe
For the Chicken
- 1 tbs Olive Oil
- 4-6 small Chicken Thighs boneless & skinless
- 1 cup Pineapple Rings
- 1 cup Zucchini sliced
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tsp Onion Powder
- ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
- ¼ tsp Pepper
- ¼ tsp Salt
- Optional Garnish-Sliced Green Onions Fresh Lime, Red Pepper Flakes
For the Sauce
- 2 tbs Coconut Aminos or Soy Sauce
- ⅓ cup Pineapple Juice
- 2 tbs Honey
- 1 tbs Dijon Mustard
- 1 tbs Lime Juice
- Evenly sprinkle the front and back of chicken thighs with garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, pepper and salt.
- Sautee chicken thighs, over medium high, in olive oil in skillet for 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on thickness of chicken.
- Remove chicken from pan, for later use, leaving the juices.
- Stir the soy sauce, pineapple juice, honey, mustard and lime juice into the pan. Bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes, then lower heat.
- Return cooked chicken thighs to the pan along with the sliced zucchini and pineapple rings. Simmer for 10 minutes, occasionally spooning the sauce on top of the chicken.
- Garnish as desired and serve warm with rice or macaroni salad.
-May be frozen for up to 4 months in an air tight container or bag. Reheat by stove top or instant pot for 10 minutes on high pressure.