Similar to the first time I brought home fresh kale, I felt pretty lost when I brought home my first whole pineapple. You see, I wanted something a little more special than sweetened, canned pineapple for this week’s recipe, Hawaiian Grilled Chicken Sandwiches. Why? Well, first of all, it’s not an adventure if you’re not trying something new, and second of all, well, the point of this blog is for me to work through some of the trickier parts of the adventure to make it easier for you! Am I right? So despite my hesitations, purchase the whole pineapple I did. And, as usual, it was well worth the extra bit of effort. It’s really a lot easier than it seems. First and foremost, give your pineapple a good scrub under running water. Next, slice off the top and bottom of the pineapple and carefully cut off the skin in sheets (like an apple, but bigger with thicker skin), trying to remove as little of the fruit as possible (pineapple is sweetest on the outside). Now, after all of the skin is gone, you’ll notice the hard, pokey “eyes” are left over. This part is a bit tedious, but goes by quick. With a sharp paring knife, VERY CAREFULLY, carve out the eyes (oh my, that sounds gruesome! Mwahaha!). Time to slice ’er up! I like my pineapple slices to be about 1/2 inch thick. Now, the big finale! Simply (and carefully!) cut out the core in the center of each slice using your paring knife. How pretty is that?! The whole process took about 15 minutes, and the pure, natural sweetness of the pineapple was worth every second! Anywho- as I mentioned earlier, I bought this pineapple to make this week’s recipe: Hawaiian Grilled Chicken Sandwiches! The reality is that this sandwich is about as close to Hawaii as I'm going to get this year, but hey, it tastes so good that I'm ok with that! Sweet and smoky barbecue sauce slathered over grilled chicken breasts, topped with grilled, caramelized pineapple and Swiss cheese! Need I say more?! And keep in mind, I am no Grill Master by any means, but the simplicity of this dish has the power to bring out the master chef in us all. To get started, heat your grill to medium-hot or, if using charcoal, until the coals have burned down well. Once your grill is ready, lightly coat each side of the chicken breast with canola oil. Place the chicken directly on the grill or on a piece of tin foil that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick spray (for ease of cleanup which I am all about). Grill for 6-8 minutes and then flip. Brush the top of the breast with BBQ sauce and grill for an additional 6-8 minutes. Please note, if you’re grilling directly on the grates, your chicken may cook faster. Meanwhile, place your slices of pineapple on the grill. Depending on how you like your pineapple (I like mine well done, so to speak), you’ll grill between 4-8 minutes, flipping half way between. You’ll find your own happy medium. When the chicken is just about done (after the additional 6-8 minutes), flip and slather with BBQ sauce. Cook until the chicken breast reaches an internal temperature of 165°F and the sauce has heated through. Now that everything is grilled and delicious, let’s assemble our sandwich to eat! Layer the barbecued chicken with savory Swiss cheese, sweet grilled pineapple and a dab of barbecue sauce to finish it off. If you have extra grilled pineapple, it pairs wonderfully with creamy Greek yogurt or a little scoop of ice cream for dessert J. Have you tried any other grilled fruits? Leave a comment and tell me about it!
Hawaiian Grilled Chicken Sandwich
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 4-5 oz. Weight Watchers® Chicken Breasts
- BBQ Sauce
- 4 pineapple slices
- 4 multigrain buns from our Bakery
- 4 slices Weight Watchers® Swiss Cheese from our Deli
- Lightly brush both sides of thawed breasts with oil.
- Heat the grill to medium-hot or, if using charcoal, until coals have burned down well. Once grill is ready, grill chicken breast for approximately 6-8 minutes on one side and then flip. Brush the top of the breast with BBQ sauce and grill for an additional 6-8 minutes. Flip the chicken once more and brush remaining side with BBQ sauce. Cook until the chicken breast reaches an internal temperature of 165°F and the sauce has heated through.
- Meanwhile, place sliced pineapple on the grill. Cook for 4-8 minutes, turning the pineapple once halfway through.
Place chicken breast on bun and top with Swiss cheese, grilled pineapple, and a slight drizzle of BBQ sauce.
Jenny Dahl is a Registered Dietitian (RD) with Festival Foods and is certified by the state of WI.