Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken

Ooooh, I ate good for lunch today! 🤤 I whipped up this really easy Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken, spooned it over some rice, and fixed a little broccoli for the side. I absolutely love skillet chicken dishes because the browning action that you get in a skillet makes super flavorful pan sauces without the need for a million ingredients. This sauce combines sweet pineapple, tangy BBQ sauce, and the savory chicken drippings for a to-die-for sauce. So easy and delicious, so little needed.

I’ve had a thing lately for super thinly sliced fresh jalapeños, so I added those to the dish at the end, but they are entirely optional if you don’t want a spicy dish.

Also, you can totally do this with chicken breasts instead of thighs. I do suggest pounding the chicken breast to an even thickness first to help them cook evenly (You don’t want the tip to get tough and rubbery before the thick part cooks through).

P.S. I used regular BBQ sauce in effort to make a “base” recipe but as I was standing in the sauce aisle at the grocery store my mind was spinning with all the fun BBQ sauce flavors that would go great with this. Or maybe it was spinning because I had just gotten out of a really hard circuit training class. Either way, there are a lot of options!

Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken

A quick pan sauce drenches tender chicken thighs and thick pineapple slices in this easy Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken. BudgetBytes.com

A quick pan sauce drenches tender chicken thighs and thick pineapple slices in this easy Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken. BudgetBytes.com
5 from 10 votes
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Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken

A quick pan sauce drenches tender chicken thighs and thick pineapple slices in this easy Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken. 

Total Cost $9.12 recipe / $1.52 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.02
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs* (about 2.3 lbs.) $6.85
  • Pinch Salt and pepper $0.05
  • 20 oz. can Pineapple slices in juice $1.19
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce $0.68
  • 1 jalapeño (optional), sliced thinly $0.08
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.25

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot add the cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. While waiting for the skillet to heat, season both sides of the chicken thighs with a pinch of salt and pepper.

  2. Once the skillet is hot and the oil is shimmering, add the chicken thighs and cook until golden brown on each side and cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken to a clean plate.

  3. While the chicken is cooking, drain and reserve the juice from the canned pineapple slices.

  4. After removing the chicken from the skillet, turn the heat down to low and add about 1/2 cup of the reserved pineapple juice. Stir to dissolve and loosen the browned chicken bits from the bottom of the skillet. Once everything has been loosened from the skillet, add the BBQ sauce and stir until a thick sauce forms. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed. If your sauce gets too thick, simply add another splash of the reserved pineapple juice.

  5. Add the cooked chicken thighs and pineapple slices to the skillet, dredging both sides in the pineapple BBQ sauce.  Spoon any excess sauce over the chicken.

  6. Adjust your oven's rack so that the skillet will be about 6 inches from the broiler unit and turn the broiler on to high. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil for about 5 minutes, or just until the BBQ sauce caramelizes on the edges of the chicken and pineapple. If you don't have an oven safe skillet** you can transfer the chicken, pineapple, and ALL of the sauce to a casserole dish for broiling, or skip the broiling step and enjoy as is.

  7. After broiling, sprinkle the sliced jalapeño and green onion over top, and then serve.

Recipe Notes

*Boneless, skinless chicken breasts can also be used, but should be pounded to an even thickness before cooking.

**Do not place teflon skillets or skillets with plastic handles under the broiler.

A quick pan sauce drenches tender chicken thighs and thick pineapple slices in this easy Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken. BudgetBytes.com

A quick pan sauce drenches tender chicken thighs and thick pineapple slices in this easy Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken. BudgetBytes.com

Step by Step Photos

Raw Chicken Thighs

Heat a large skillet over medium, then add a tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the skillet. While waiting for the skillet to heat, season both sides of six boneless, skinless chicken thighs with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Brown Chicken Thighs for Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken

One the oil is hot and shimmering, add the chicken thighs and cook until golden brown on each side and cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken thighs to a clean plate.

Drain Pineapple Slices

While the chicken is cooking, drain and reserve the juice from a 20 oz. can of pineapple slices (packed in juice, NOT heavy syrup).

Deglaze Pan with Pineapple Juice

After removing the chicken from the skillet, turn the head down to low and add about 1/2 cup of the pineapple juice. Stir to dissolve the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. You want to stir and gently scrape until it all comes off the skillet and is floating around in the liquid.

Add BBQ Sauce to Pineapple Pan Sauce

See how the appearance of the pineapple juice has changed after all the chicken bits are dissolved into it? Add 1/2 cup BBQ sauce and stir until a thick sauce forms. 

Pineapple BBQ Pan Sauce

If the sauce is too thick (say, if the skillet was too hot and the juice reduced too much), you can add a splash more of the reserved pineapple juice. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed. The chicken I used was heavily brined, so that seemed to season the sauce well enough with salt. And when I say brined, that’s like when you look at the package and it says “contains up to 15% broth” or “sodium chloride solution”. That’s basically a brine that makes the meat super tender and juicy.

Dredge Chicken and Pineapple Slices

Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet along with the pineapple slices, dredging both sides of both in the pineapple bbq pan sauce. Adjust your oven’s rack so that the skillet will be about 6 inches from the broiler unit, then turn the broiler on to high. If your skillet is not oven safe, you can put everything in a casserole dish or just skip the broiling part (it’s still quite delicious at this point!).

A quick pan sauce drenches tender chicken thighs and thick pineapple slices in this easy Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken. BudgetBytes.com

Broil the chicken and pineapple for about five minutes, or until it’s caramelized on top and the edges. Sprinkle thinly sliced jalapeño and green onion over top, then serve! 

A quick pan sauce drenches tender chicken thighs and thick pineapple slices in this easy Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken. BudgetBytes.com

Seriously though, that pan sauce… And I can’t lie. If you sprinkled some Monterey jack cheese over the skillet pineapple BBQ chicken before broiling, it would be like a BBQ chicken pizza minus the crust. 

A quick pan sauce drenches tender chicken thighs and thick pineapple slices in this easy Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken. BudgetBytes.com