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Pineapple Barbecue Chicken Thighs

Juicy, tender, and flavorful, these Pineapple Barbecue Chicken Thighs are one of my favorite easy weeknight dinner ideas. And that pineapple BBQ sauce may be the best thing you’ve had this season!

Pineapple barbeque chicken thighs.

Chicken thighs are one of my favorite chicken dinner ideas to make. They are a little under rated, in my opinion, but they have a ton of flavor. They’re usually way cheaper than chicken breasts, too! I like to serve boneless skinless chicken thighs with interesting sauces and glazes. This pineapple BBQ sauce is a personal favorite. The flavors will make you feel like you’re at a Hawaiian Luau without leaving your house!

Why You’ll Love This Chicken Thighs Recipe

  • Sweet and tangy. The success of this chicken thighs recipe is all about the pineapple BBQ sauce! It creates a delicious glaze that coats the chicken thighs and adds a burst of sweet and tangy flavor. And the pineapple rings add some delightful freshness and contrast to the savory meat.
  • So juicy. It always surprises me that chicken breasts are more popular than boneless skinless chicken thighs. Dark meat is more flavorful and is much juicier when cooked! And since we’re cooking these in the skillet, the crispy crust keeps seals in all those delicious juices.
  • Simple and quick. You only need one skillet and a few pantry staples to make this dish. And it comes together in less than 30 minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends. Look no further for easy recipes using chicken thighs!
Pot filled with bbq chicken thighs

Why I Use Pineapple Juice in this Recipe 

Pineapple juice contains an enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain softens the tissue of the meat before you cook it so, it helps to tenderize your chicken. We all want our meat tender, right? Additionally, pineapple juice is so packed with flavor! I just love everything it brings to this recipe. 

Ingredients for Pineapple Barbeque Chicken Thighs

  • Chicken: Grab some boneless skinless chicken thighs.
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, onion powder, sweet paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Pineapple: You’ll need to get some pineapple rings in juice (or fresh if they’re in season) and pineapple juice.
  • BBQ Sauce: I like to use a low sugar barbeque sauce since the pineapple adds a lot of natural sweetness.
  • Green Onions

How to Make Chicken Thighs With Pineapple BBQ Sauce

  • Prep. Start by heating your olive oil in a large 12-inch skillet over medium. Season your chicken thighs with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and sweet paprika.
  • Cook. Add the chicken thighs to the heated oil and cook them for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, flip the chicken thighs over, add butter, and continue to cook until they are done. This will take about 6 to 7 more minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
  • Pineapple BBQ sauce. In the same skillet, reduce your heat to medium-low and slowly whisk in the pineapple juice, picking up all the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Increase the heat to medium and add the barbecue sauce to the skillet and whisk until combined. Cook for 2 minutes or until sauce thickens. If the sauce is too thick, add more pineapple juice until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Combine. Add the chicken thighs back to the skillet and spoon the sauce over them. Add the pineapple slices to the skillet and continue to cook for 2 more minutes or until heated through.
  • Serve. Remove the skillet from the heat. Garnish the entire dish with green onions and serve.

Recipe Tips and Variations

  • Try different cuts of chicken. You can use chicken breasts, drumsticks, or wings instead of thighs. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly, and check the internal temperature of the chicken to make sure it’s done.
  • Add some spice. If you like a bit of heat like I do, you can add some red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or sriracha sauce to the barbecue sauce mixture. You can also sprinkle some chopped jalapeños over the finished dish for an extra kick!
  • Use fresh pineapple. If fresh pineapples are in season, this is a great option instead of using canned. Cutting fresh pineapple is really easy especially if you have a cutter that cores it automatically for you. And if you have a juicer, you can get enough juice from the core and inside of the skin!
Chicken thighs finished in a pineapple BBQ sauce.

Serving Suggestions

This barbeque chicken dinner goes great with a fresh cilantro lime rice! For a lighter option, try riced cauliflower. Mashed or roasted potatoes would also be great. These crispy oven roasted potato wedges would be delicious with chicken thighs. I also really like green beans, corn on the cob, or grilled peppers on the side. Don’t forget, cornbread goes great with barbecue anything!

How to Store Leftovers

I doubt you’ll have any leftovers, but if you do, you can store them in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3-5 days. I love to shred my leftovers, add more barbecue sauce, and enjoy as a pulled chicken sandwich! If you made a double batch, you can also freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Pot filled with bbq chicken thighs

More Chicken Dinner Ideas

Pot filled with bbq chicken thighs
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Pineapple Barbecue Chicken Thighs

Juicy, tender, and flavorful, these Pineapple Barbecue Chicken Thighs are one of my favorite easy weeknight dinner ideas! 
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: boneless skinless chicken thighs, chicken dinner ideas, chicken thighs recipe, pineapple bbq sauce, recipes using chicken thighs
Servings: 4
Calories: 354kcal

Ingredients

  • tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 (about 1.5 to 2 pounds) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple rings in juice
  • ½ cup pineapple juice (use the pineapple juice from the can)
  • ½ cup low sugar barbecue sauce
  • sliced green onions, for garnish

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat.
  • Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and sweet paprika.
  • Add chicken thighs to the heated oil and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Flip over the chicken thighs; add butter and continue to cook until done, about 6 to 7 more minutes.
  • Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly whisk in the pineapple juice.
  • Whisk and stir, picking up all the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  • Increase heat to medium and add barbecue sauce to the skillet and whisk until combined; cook for 2 minutes, or until sauce thickens. If sauce is too thick, add more pineapple juice until you reach desired consistency.
  • Add chicken thighs back to the skillet and spoon the sauce over them.
  • Add pineapple slices to the skillet and continue to cook for 2 more minutes, or until heated through.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Garnish with green onions and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 169mg | Sodium: 545mg | Potassium: 538mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 332IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg

13 Comments

  • Dorothy Reinhold
    Feb 27, 2020 at 1:33 am

    I love that you used chciken thighs. They have so much flavor! This is going on the menu!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Mar 1, 2020 at 12:30 pm

      I hope you enjoy it!! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Cathy
    Feb 27, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    The combination of pineapple and bbq sauce is to die for!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Mar 1, 2020 at 12:29 pm

      I think so too! It’s my favorite! Thank YOU!! 🙂

      Reply
  • Suzy
    Feb 27, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    5 stars
    Boneless chicken thighs are so flavorful but really loved how you added pineapple and bbq sauce!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Mar 1, 2020 at 12:28 pm

      Thank you, Suzi!! 🙂

      Reply
  • Toni
    Feb 27, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    5 stars
    I really loved it! The flavors are really amazing! So yummy!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Mar 1, 2020 at 12:26 pm

      Thank you SO much, Toni! I am very happy you enjoyed it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Sara Welch
    Feb 27, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    5 stars
    Nothing like the flavor of chicken with pineapple; I can practically taste it by just looking at it!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Mar 1, 2020 at 12:27 pm

      Thank you, Sara!! 🙂 The flavors are amazing!

      Reply
  • Barbara Kaminski
    Oct 8, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Can I use breasts? also can I use crock pot?

    Reply
  • Kim Millership
    Nov 22, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Are these low-carb?

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina
      Nov 23, 2020 at 3:19 pm

      No, this is not considered low carb since there is about 18 grams of carbs per serving.

      Reply

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