I’ve always loved Teriyaki Sauce! It gives grilled food such a wonderful, savory flavor. But when I went gluten free for health reasons and did an overhaul of my diet, I discovered that most commercial Teriyaki contains both wheat and corn syrup…two ingredients that are no longer welcome at my table. It’s too bad, because Teriyaki is such an easy marinade! Luckily, it turns out that it’s also easy to make at home. This recipe for Teriyaki Chicken with Grilled Pineapple uses a healthier version of homemade Teriyaki sauce and organic free range chicken, grilled and served on a bun with fresh grilled pineapple, avocado, tomato and lettuce. So tasty!
I’m not sure what took me so long, but I’d never really thought of making Teriyaki sauce at home. When I decided to try it, I found a great recipe at A Cozy Kitchen that is both simple an healthy! Just a few easy ingredients are all you need. Start with some organic tameri sauce, which is a healthier option to soy sauce. Tameri is darker, has a deeper flavor, and is made of 100% fermented soy (traditional soy sauces usually contain wheat and other additives). Add some organic sweet rice wine or rice vinegar, brown sugar or rapadura, and a touch of honey and whisk it up. Then, stir in some finely grated fresh ginger root some crushed garlic. Delicious! If you want to thicken it up, add a bit of glucomannan powder stirred into some water, or some organic corn starch. You’ll have to bring your sauce to a boil and stir it until it thickens if you use the corn starch. Have you heard of glucomannan? It’s a great way to thicken your food without adding carbs. It also thickens without heat, which makes it a great way to keep all the nutrients and enzymes in your food. Just mix a teaspoon of glucomannan powder into some water, then blend it with the sauce and set it aside to thicken up.
One last tip about the sauce…if you double the recipe you can freeze your homemade sauce in an ice cube tray to use later. Just pop a few cubes into an airtight container with your meat or vegetables, and let it sit in the fridge overnight to thaw!
Once you’ve got your sauce mixed up, you can start on the chicken. I buy my chicken frozen, and I’ve found that cutting it before it’s completely thawed really makes it easy to slice thin cuts of chicken. I cut some organic, free range chicken breasts in half and then carefully cut them them horizontally so that they absorb more sauce and cook faster. This trick is particularly helpful when you are making chicken for sandwiches, as the pieces will all be about the same size and shape and will be easier to stack with your other ingredients. Place your cut chicken in a container with the Teriyaki and let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight if you can.
When you’re ready to grill, cut a fresh pineapple into 1/2 inch thick slices. Feeling a bit intimidated by all those spines? Here’s a video on how to choose and cut a fresh pineapple. It’s not as hard as it looks! Grill the chicken over medium high heat, until the center is white and the juices run clear. Move them to the top rack of the grill (or a foil covered plate) and, if you’d like, add a slice of Swiss cheese on top. Toss the pineapple slices on the grill and grill them for 3 minutes on each side.
Now you’re ready to assemble your sandwiches! On a toasted bun (gluten free, sprouted wheat…whatever you like) layer the chicken, some red onion, avocado, lettuce, tomato and a slice of pineapple. A tower of deliciousness, ready for dinner! These sandwiches are so good, you’ll wish you had room for more (but you probably won’t…they are huge!). If you double the recipe, you can chop the leftover chicken and pineapple and serve it with some extra sauce over rice for dinner another night. I love it when you can make one recipe do double duty!
- ½ cup organic Tamari sauce (like this)
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 2 Tablespoons organic sweet rice wine (or rice vinegar)
- 2 Tablespoons organic brown sugar, or rapadura
- 3 Tablespoons organic raw honey
- 1 clove organic garlic, pressed
- 2 teaspoons organic ginger root, zested
- 1.5 pound organic free range chicken breast, thinly sliced (about 3 breasts)
If you'd like extra sauce, double the recipe and thicken ½ of the sauce with 1 teaspoon glucomannan powder mixed with 1 Tablespoon water. Set aside to thicken. Or, mix the sauce with 2 teaspoons corn starch mixed with 1 Tablespoon water, and simmer until thick.
- 4 organic, sprouted wheat buns (or gluten free)
- 1 organic pineapple, peeled and sliced in ½ inch rounds
- 1 organic avocado, sliced
- 2 organic Roma tomatoes, sliced
- 4 leaves organic lettuce, washed and dried
- 4 slices organic Swiss cheese (optional)
- ½ organic red onion, thinly sliced
- Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside (if you're making extra sauce to serve on the sandwiches or for later, thicken as described above and set aside).
- Place the cut chicken and the Teriyaki sauce in an airtight container and allow to marinade for at least 2 hours (or overnight).
- Peel and slice the pineapple into ½ inch thick rounds, set aside.
- Grill the chicken over medium-high heat until it's white on the inside and the juices run clear. Remove and keep warm on the top rack of the grill, or on a plate covered with foil. If you're using cheese, put the cheese on the hot chicken to melt.
- Grill the pineapple for 3 minutes on each side.
- Serve on toasted buns, layering the vegetables, chicken, and pineapple. Serve with extra Teriyaki sauce, and mayo if you'd like!
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Do you like Teriyaki? What’s your favorite Teriyaki recipe?