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Tropical Chicken with Grilled Pineapple is heaven from the BBQ. Make it for an easy dinner or cook it at the game when tailgating. 

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I love grilled pineapple. It’s pretty dreamy–the juicy, smokey flavor and the caramelized bits. It’s so versitile as well, great for savory meals like this tropical chicken or sweet desserts like my Grilled Pineapple with Praline Caramel.

Soy and ginger marinated tropical chicken with grilled pineapple on green cutting board

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This chicken and pineapple is so easy it’s great to pack up and cook when tailgating, make for a party or even a simple weeknight dinner when you need to get out of a rut. A soy and ginger marinade makes this tropical chicken and pineapple extra delicious.

Bone in or boneless chicken?

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are one of the easiest ingredients to pull out of the freezer, season and cook up for dinner. But sometimes those lean breasts are dry and get overcooked quickly on the grill.


A soy and ginger marinade makes this tropical chicken and pineapple extra delicious!


Unlike boneless breast, bone-in chicken won’t dry out quickly. Legs, wings, thighs and even breasts with the skin and bones actually come out really perfect on the grill. As the chicken cooks over the flame the bones inside heat up as well and help cook the chicken evenly from the inside. You still don’t want to fire them like cave men – Grill parts over medium, not high, heat for juiciest results.

The result is juicy chicken and flavorful, crisped skin. You can eat the skin or discard it and still have moist, tender chicken. The skin simply adds moisture and protects the lean meat from drying out over the hot coals.

Soy and ginger marinated tropical chicken with grilled pineapple on cutting board

The recipe is simple. I mince some garlic (try this garlic press!) and grate fresh ginger on a microplane grater to get all the juice and pulp, then mix them with soy sauce, lemon juice and brown sugar. I add some red pepper flakes for a little kick. It’s really the best chicken marinade around.


The flavorful chicken marinade makes this dinner easy and delicious. Make it ahead so it’s ready to grill when you are!


The chicken marinade is also one of the great reasons this tropical chicken is good for tailgating. Simply throw the marinating chicken in the cooler and head to the game. It needs time to soak up all the great flavors and you’ll be ready to grill when you get there.

You can buy your pineapple peeled and cored, or use this handy tool to do it yourself in a flash. The slices cook quickly and are the perfect side to this tropical chicken.

5 from 2 votes
Tropical Chicken with Grilled Pineapple
Work Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
8 hrs

A soy and ginger marinade makes this tropical chicken and pineapple extra delicious. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pineapple, tropical chicken
Yield: 4 people
Calories: 229 kcal
  • 8 pieces bone-in chicken (breasts, legs and thighs)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 peeled pineapple
  • sugar
  1. In a zip-top bag or a nonreactive bowl, combine soy sauce, garlic, grated ginger, lemon juice, brown sugar, red pepper flakes and canola oil. Marinate chicken in the mixture in the fridge for 3 to 8 hrs.

  2. Heat grill to medium and discard marinade; grill chicken skin side down over direct heat for 5 to 6 min. Turn and cook 6 to 8 min more.

  3. Slice pineapple into 1/2-inch rings and sprinkles each with 1/2 tsp sugar. Grill, turning once, until marked and just soft, about 3 min; serve alongside chicken. 

Recipe Notes

Make this ahead so the chicken has time to marinate. Then dinner is easy to throw together. 

Nutrition Facts
Tropical Chicken with Grilled Pineapple
Amount Per Serving
Calories 229 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 1643mg 68%
Potassium 336mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 38g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 28g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 8.6%
Vitamin C 135.5%
Calcium 4.8%
Iron 8.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

For more fantastic tailgating ideas, check out these recipes from my food blogging friends!

Jalapeño Cheddar Corn Dog Bites
Football Game Day Cookies
Sun-Dried Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
Sloppy Joe Sliders
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
Homemade Soft Pretzels with Mustard Cheese Dip
Bruschetta Turkey Burger Sliders
Bacon Cheese Ball
Red Potato Salad with Bacon
Easy Pizza Kabobs
Deviled Eggs


Recipe by Tara Teaspoon. Photography Peter Ardito. Food styling Cyd Raftus McDowell. Prop styling Paige Hicks. Originally published in LHJ 6/10.



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