Grilled Perfection

Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken…

When the sun-kissed days of late spring/early summer arrive, our tastebuds yearn for vibrant flavors that transport us to tropical paradises. This Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken recipe is the epitome of that culinary escape — a dish that combines the smoky allure of the grill with the sweet tang of pineapple and the umami richness of teriyaki sauce.

The Art of Teriyaki
Before we dive into the juicy details of this recipe, let’s explore the art of teriyaki. Originating in Japan, teriyaki is a cooking technique that involves grilling or broiling meats with a glaze made from soy sauce and sugar. The result? A harmonious blend of savory, sweet and salty flavors that dance on your palate.

The Marinade Magic
Our Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken begins with a homemade teriyaki sauce — a flavor bomb that infuses the chicken with an irresistible taste. Here’s how it all comes together:

  1. Chicken: Opt for succulent chicken thighs — they retain moisture during grilling and soak up the marinade beautifully. (Note: If you prefer chicken breasts, adjust the cooking time to ensure they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.)
  2. Pineapple: Pineapple juice adds a tropical twist to our teriyaki sauce. Canned pineapple rings work well, but feel free to use fresh or frozen pineapple chunks.
  3. Teriyaki Sauce: While store-bought teriyaki sauce is convenient, our homemade version takes it up a notch. It’s thicker, richer and more flavorful.

Grill or Bake? Your Choice!
Whether you’re firing up the grill in your backyard or cozying up indoors during winter, we’ve got you covered.

Pairing Perfection
Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken is sweet yet robust, so pair it with sides that complement its vibrancy. Among the best side options are:
• White Rice: A simple bed of fluffy white rice cradles the chicken and soaks up the luscious teriyaki sauce. (For a healthier version, use brown rice.)
• Snap Peas: These crisp, bright green peas add crunch and a touch of Asian flair.
• Bok Choy: Lightly sautéed bok choy provides a refreshing contrast to the rich chicken.
• Steamed Broccoli: Nutrient-packed broccoli florets complete the ensemble.

Final Brushstroke
As you serve your Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken, drizzle the sauce over the chicken. The glossy glaze enhances the visual appeal and intensifies the flavor. So there you have it — a taste of the tropics on your plate. Close your eyes, take a bite, and let the pineapple-infused teriyaki transport you to sun-drenched shores. Enjoy!

Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes


  • ½ cup dry sherry (see note below)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (reduced sodium preferred)
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 20-oz. can pineapple rings, plus ½ cup juice from the can
  • 4 large (about 6 oz. each) boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1½ pounds total)
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 T butter


Step 1: Whisk dry sherry, soy sauce, brown sugar and pineapple juice in a large bowl. Add pineapple rings and chicken and gently stir to coat. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.

Step 2: Preheat the grill to medium-high.

Step 3: Remove chicken and pineapple from the marinade and pat dry; reserve the marinade. Oil the grill rack.

Step 4: Grill chicken and pineapple until the chicken is cooked through and the pineapple has grill marks, 5 to 7 minutes per side.

Step 5: Add cornstarch to the reserved marinade and whisk in a small saucepan. Bring to a soft boil and cook, whisking, until reduced and thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in butter. Serve the chicken and pineapple drizzled with the sauce.

NOTE: Don’t use “cooking sherry” sold in many supermarkets. It is high in sodium and is inferior quality. Use dry sherry that’s sold with other fortified wines in the wine section. If you want more of an Asian flavor, substitute the dry sherry with mirin (a sweet rice wine).

About Terry Olson

Terry loves culinary arts, adult beverages and hiking in the North State wilderness. You may find him soaking up the sun at one of our area’s many state or national parks or sitting on a barstool sipping on a cold locally brewed craft beer.

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