A taste of the tropics: Gluten-free Pina Colada Chicken

A taste of the tropics: Gluten-free Pina Colada Chicken | www.cheapeasyglutenfree.com

Now that springtime is here, it’s time for some lightened-up gluten-free recipes! Leave the hearty stews and soups of winter behind and focus on meals that incorporate fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies.

Since I’m kinda lazy in the kitchen, I prefer meals that are quick and easy to make, with lots of ingredients I already have on hand. There’s always chicken, peppers, onions, and canned fruit in my kitchen, so naturally, I love this super-simple recipe for Pina Colada Chicken. This recipe is written by Melissa Joulwan, who wrote the cookbooks Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat, and Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat.

Melissa’s cookbooks were inspired by her own journey with food and weight loss—for a long time, she’d been yo-yo dieting and seeing food as the enemy. But after a thyroidectomy, she adopted the Paleo diet, which helped her eliminate cravings and reduce emotional eating. She began to truly love food and flavor, and it shows in her cookbooks, which are packed with fun, tasty recipes that are always well-seasoned and often full of delicious, meaty goodness. If you’re looking for a delicious, filling recipe with a tropical twist, you’ll love Melissa’s Pina Colada Chicken recipe, which is naturally gluten-free!



from Well Fed 2

by Melissa Joulwan


Serves 2-4 | Prep 15 minutes| Cook 35 minutes



  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 cup canned chunk pineapple, packed in its own juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons Jerk Seasoning
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (choose a gluten-free brand like McCormick)
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk



First, brown the chicken.

  • Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes.
  • Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil and allow it to melt.
  • Brown the chicken – cooking in batches, if necessary – until golden all around, about 3-5 minutes per side.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan as it browns and place in a bowl to catch the juices.

Then get saucy!

  • Add 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil to the pan.
  • Sauté the onions, peppers, and arrowroot until the vegetables are just-tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Drain the juice from the pineapple chunks and add them to the pan; stir-fry until they begin to brown, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and Jerk Seasoning, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the lime juice and stir, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the vanilla and coconut milk, stirring to combine.
  • Place the chicken in the sauce and pour in any accumulated juices.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.


Jazz up your meal with these naturally gluten-free additions!

Avocado: Top your plate with diced avocado and a spritz of lime juice.

Toasted nuts: Sprinkle your plate with crushed toasted pecans or macadamia nuts.

Cauliflower rice: Serve on a bed of oven-roasted cauliflower rice.


Thank you to Melissa Joulwan for sharing this recipe! For more of Melissa’s scrumptious recipes, check out her cookbooks Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat, and Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat.


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