Add this whole30 friendly Oven Baked Pineapple BBQ chicken to your weekly menu and it is sure to be a hit with the family. I can’t think of anyone I know who doesn’t like BBQ chicken, whether it is cooked on a grill or in the oven. I make some kind of large batch chicken dish at least once a week and this one has quickly become a favorite with the kids. I love using drumsticks because they are so kid friendly. My kids just pick them up and take juicy bite after bite until it is all gone. And they do go really quickly.
Making your own Caribbean Style Pineapple BBQ sauce
Most Guyanese people whip up homemade BBQ sauce by combining ketchup, Chinese sauce (a locally made hoisin type sauce) and some citrus or acid (vinegar). To create this whole30 friendly sauce, I combined whole30 approved ketchup, coconut amino, spices, pineapple juice and orange juice. The result was a flavorful sauce unlike any store bought BBQ sauce I have tried. It was delicious.
Marinate your chicken over night
Most Caribbean people I know use green seasoning (a sofrito/pesto type of marinate) in every dish. I am not one of these people but I use it when I am baking chicken. I believe that every dish should have a flavor unique to the dish and sometimes green seasoning can be over powering. However, in this case adding green seasoning to the chicken and marinating it over night adds great flavor of the chicken. Of course you can add the seasoning and then bake the chicken immediately after, but I don’t recommend it.
Adding the Pineapple BBQ Sauce to the chicken
I remove my chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before I am ready to bake and let it sit out on my counter so that it can come up to room temperature. Then I add half of the bbq sauce, ensuring to brush it over all of the chicken thighs. Once the chicken is coated in BBQ sauce we are ready to get it to the oven.
When making oven baked BBQ chicken, I cover the baking dish with aluminum foil for the first half of the baking process. This allowing the chicken to cook in its juices which creates a really juicy and tender chicken. Then I remove the aluminum foil and allow the juices to cook down to a delicious and thick BBQ sauce.
After removing the aluminum foil I let the chicken cook for 30 minutes, then I turn all of the drumsticks over and brush with the remaining pineapple bbq sauce. Add this point I also add some chunks of pineapple to the dish. I don’t add the pineapple at the beginning of the cooking process because something about the pineapple sitting in the raw chicken juices just doesn’t make sense to me. But you can add it at the beginning if you like.
What makes this oven baked pineapple bbq chicken Whole30 friendly?
The BBQ sauce in this dish is whole30 friendly as it doe not have any added sugar. To make this recipe whole30 compliant you must use a compliant ketchup or you can make your own ketchup at home and skip the sugar. I also used coconut aminos as a substitute for soy sauce and brought the dish together with pure fruit juices. Want to learn more about the whole30 and why I am doing it? Check out my post The Whole30 and me.
The Printable Oven Baked Pineapple BBQ Chicken Recipe:
- 5-6 lbs of chicken drumsticks
- 1 cup of pineapple chunks
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ yellow onion
- 4 green onions
- 1 bundle of fresh thyme (leaves removed from the stem)
- 6 cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup of parsley
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 cup of whole30 compliant ketchup
- ½ cup of coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon of onion powder
- ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon of Chinese Five Spice
- ½ cup of pineapple juice (no sugar added)
- 1 teaspoon of whole30 compliant spicy brown mustard
- ½ an orange, juiced
- 1 tsp salt
- To make the green seasoning, combine all the green seasoning ingredients into a food processor and process into a smooth paste
- Wash and dry chicken drumsticks, then season with a teaspoon of salt and all of the green seasoning. Cover and let marinate for at least 30 minutes but over night is best
- Next make the BBQ sauce: In a small sauce pan combine all of the BBQ sauce ingredients. Cook on medium heat, continuously stirring until a thick sauce forms. Should take approximately 10 mins
- If marinating chicken over night, remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking and allow the chicken to come up to room temperature
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Add marinated chicken to a baking dish large enough for all of the chicken. Use two baking dishes if necessary
- Brush chicken with ½ of the homemade pineapple BBQ sauce and reserve the other half for later
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour
- Remove the foil and increase the heat to 450°F and bake chicken for 30 minutes
- Then turn chicken drumsticks over and brush with remaining BBQ sauce
- Next add the pineapple chunks
- Bake for an additional 20 minutes, then using a turkey baster baste with pan juices, cook for an additional 10 minutes then remove from the oven
- Let rest for a few minutes before serving
Love this recipe? Try my Roasted Chicken (Caribbean Style) that is also Whole30 Friendly