A Whole30 version of Hawaiian Chicken made in the Instant Pot! It’s sweet, sour, and absolutely delicious! Perfect served over caulirice or white rice!

Whenever I used to order Chinese takeout I would ALWAYS get Sweet & Sour Chicken. It’s my jam. So clearly I needed to re-create a version with squeaky clean ingredients that still has ALL the taste. This is a super easy recipe to make in your Instant Pot…and if you don’t have one, what are you even doing with your life? JK, I don’t have an air fryer yet….so we’re even. But seriously, the IP has been a game changer for my kitchen, time, and overall life. Just in case you haven’t jumped on that train yet, I’ve included stove top directions!

This is one of those meals that works well with any type of boneless chicken. I tested it with both boneless/skinless thighs AND chicken breasts. Tenders would also work!

You can get most of the other pantry ingredients on Thrive Market – like the arrowroot starch, coconut aminos, fish sauce, and Whole30 approved BBQ sauce (there’s a few different ones on there – The New Primal, Tessemae’s and Primal Kitchen are all great!). Using any of these links will get you a 30-day free trial and 25% off your order! You can place an order and cancel within the 30 days if you’re not interested in a membership (but I totally think it’s worth it!)

You certainly don’t need to serve it in a pineapple, but if you’re lookin to get a little fancy, go for it! This chicken is great over cauliflower rice or regular rice if you’re not on a paleo diet or doing a Whole30.

And if you’re looking for more Instant Pot recipes, check out my Instant Pot Chicken, Broccoli, & “Rice” Casserole, or my Instant Pot Unstuffed Cabbage soup!

Happy Cooking!



*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Mary’s Whole Life! 

Whole30 Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken (paleo, stove top directions)

This 30-minute, one-pot, sweet and sour chicken is a healthier version of your favorite Chinese takeout dish! 
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  • 2 lbs chicken breasts , cut into 1.5 inch cubes (you can also use boneless skinless thighs or chicken tenders!)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • ½ onion, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 20 oz can pineapple chunks in 100% juice, reserve 1/4 cup of the juice
  • ¼ cup Whole30 approved BBQ sauce, ketchup will work if you don't have BBQ
  • cup coconut aminos
  • ½ tsp Red Boat fish sauce , *sub 1 tsp sea salt if you don't have this
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger, or 1 tsp dried/powdered ginger
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder


  • Press the "saute" button on your Instant Pot and add in the sesame oil. Let it heat up for a minute, then add in the cubed chicken pieces along with the minced garlic. Stir for 5-7 minutes until beginning to brown. 
  • Add all remaining ingredients (except for the arrowroot powder and the reserved 1/4 cup of pineapple juice). Stir well to combine. 
  • Lock the lid, turn the knob to sealing, and hit "manual" pressure for 5 minutes. Once the timer goes off, let it slow release for 10 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, stir the arrowroot powder into the reserved 1/4 cup of pineapple juice until it forms a slurry. 
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken, onion, pineapple, and red pepper pieces from the Instant Pot and place them into a bowl. Set aside. Hit the "saute" button and bring the sauce to a boil. Stir in the arrowroot/pineapple juice slurry. Let the sauce cook and thicken for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken and vegetables back into the pot and stir. Serve over rice of choice and top with green onions and/or sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Stove top Instructions:

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame oil and let it heat up for 1-2 mins. Add the chicken and the minced garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add the onions and peppers. Stir for an additional 2 minutes. Add in the remaining ingredients (except for the arrowroot and 1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix the arrowroot powder and reserved 1/4 cup pineapple juice to create a slurry. Remove the chicken and veggies using a slotted spoon and place in a separate bowl. Bring the sauce to a boil and add the slurry. Stir over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Add the chicken and veggies back in and give it a stir. Serve over rice of choice and top with green onions and/or sesame seeds. Enjoy! 


Calories: 251kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 97mg, Sodium: 643mg, Potassium: 660mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 743IU, Vitamin C: 28mg, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 1mg