This chicken with pineapple Filipino recipe is a tropical dish, full of pineapple chunks, tender chicken, and cheddar cheese. Delicious on its own, this main dish soaks in a wonderful sweet and savory sauce perfect for anyone!
Our chicken with pineapple Filipino recipe brings those tropical vibes to your table, without actually going to the Philippines!
Chunks of pineapple combined in a buttered, herb sauce while the pineapple juice tenderizes the chicken full of incredible flavor!
Plus, this is a pininyahang manok recipe without milk, opting for cheddar cheese instead for a delicious blend of flavors. Anyone else getting a Hawaiian taco vibe?
This post will go over everything you need to know to create this chicken with pineapple Filipino recipe.
Recipe difficulty: Beginner level tried and tested!
This chicken with pineapple recipe is super easy to do with basic ingredients, along with the sweet, sweet bites of pineapple. Using a blend of relish, butter, herbs, and even fish sauce (patis!), these ingredients round out the sweetness of the sauce for a balanced flavor!
Sam’s Pro Tips for this Chicken with Pineapple Filipino Recipe
Cook the Chicken Only Until the Outside is Cooked
Similar to our Tangy Filipino Chicken Afritada You Need to Try | Chicken Stew, the chicken will be sautéed with the pineapple and herbs until the outside is just cooked.
The reason for this is that once the pineapple juice is added in, the chicken will continue to cook in the sauce. No one likes overcooked chicken!
Since we are using chicken breast in this pininyahang manok recipe, chicken breast cooks a lot faster than chicken thighs or drumsticks. Therefore, watch it closely as it simmers in the sauce!
Fresh or Canned Pineapple?
So short answer, you can use either. However, canned pineapple chunks are my preference! It’s quick, easy, and already prepped!
As an added benefit, you get a little extra of the pineapple juice for the sauce.
You can still use fresh pineapple, but just account for the extra prep time.
Balance the Sweetness of the Pineapple Juice
The secret to this chicken with pineapple Filipino recipe is the robustness of the sauce. It’s not only sweet, but also savory and a little tart due to the relish, fish sauce, and butter.
Finishing the pininyahang manok with cheese and butter makes for a rich finish, with a beautiful glaze on the chicken.
For those adventurous cooks, I liked to add sliced red chili pepper for some spiciness!
Key Ingredients – Chicken with Pineapple Filipino Recipe
Below are some key and optional ingredients for this recipe:
- Chicken breast: One of the main ingredients for pininyahang manok! (Fun fact – Manok is chicken in Tagalog.) Chicken breast is also quicker to cook! You can use chicken drumstick or thighs, but the cooking time will need to be adjusted.
- Pineapple chunks: Canned or fresh pineapple can be used. The pineapple will sauté with the chicken and help tenderize the meat due to the acidity of the juice.
- Pineapple juice: Surprised? So you don’t need chicken broth or water in the sauce, as the main source of liquid is the pineapple juice for this pininyahang manok recipe.
- Onion: ½ an onion will be sliced into onion rings, which will give texture pieces to this dish.
- Garlic: Only 2 cloves is needed for a hint of garlic flavor.
- Relish: This will give a tart flavor to the sauce to curve the sweetness. You can use any kind of relish you want, but 2 teaspoons will be used.
- Butter: Similar to our 5-Step Best Beef Salpicao Recipe, the butter will brown the chicken and add that rich flavor to the sauce. My trick is to brown the chicken with 1 tablespoon of butter, and then to cube a ½ tablespoon of butter to melt in the sauce.
- Cheddar cheese: So instead of adding cream or milk to this chicken with pineapple like most traditional Filipino recipes, we like to add shredded cheddar cheese! Therefore, we add this at the end of the cooking process to melt on top of the chicken.
- Fish sauce: Adds to the tart flavor of the sauce, and you can season to preference. There are many different types of fish sauce out there! For the brands we recommend, check out our Top 5 Crazy-Cheap Ingredients You Need for Filipino Cooking and Where to Find It printable in our FREE LIBRARY!
- Red chili peppers: Adding some sliced red chili peppers will give a beautiful red color to this chicken with pineapple recipe and give a mild spice. A red bell pepper can also be used for something milder, but we love the zing of the red chili pepper. No pressure!
More Variations to this Chicken with Pineapple Filipino Recipe
There are a few ways you can variate this chicken with pineapple Filipino recipe. Here’s how:
Some Great Additions!
- Add carrots: I have seen pininyahang manok recipes with sliced carrots for added color. The carrots will also taste great in the sauce and is a great way to throw some vegetables in!
- Add potatoes: I’m not kidding! For a heavier dish, diced potatoes can also be added in combination with the carrots. Plan to adjust your cooking time if you decide to incorporate this into your dish as the potatoes will need time to cook. This is another common variation and sure is unique!
- Add vinegar: If you want more of a tart flavor in the sauce, a dash of vinegar can be added to simmer with the chicken. You don’t need much as you will be using relish, and even fish sauce if decided, but the vinegar will sure take it up a notch!
What Can I Pair with This Dish?
- As this chicken with pineapple recipe is already solid by itself, incorporate some vegetables to the dinner table with our Spiced Honey Glazed Carrots Recipe with Pecans or our 10-Minute Easy Broccoli Stir Fry! Traditionally, this is eaten with white rice, but can also pair great with a side pasta!
Looking for MORE pineapple options? We love pineapple and one of our absolute favorite recipes of ALL TIME is our Ultimate Filipino Spaghetti Sauce Recipe! Hint – there is pineapple juice in the sauce!
Interested in Filipino cuisine, but don’t know where to begin? Download our Top 5 Crazy-Cheap Ingredients You Need for Filipino Cooking and Where to Find It from my free resource library!
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the meaning of manok?
Manok means chicken in Tagalog.
How long does pininyahang manok last?
Pininyahang manok will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator and should be consumed within this timeframe for optimal freshness.
What does pininyahang manok taste like?
Pininyahang manok, or chicken with pineapple, is a tropical dish with chicken and pineapple chunks simmered in pineapple juice or cream. Moreover, carrots and bell pepper can also be added.