Macadamia Crusted Chicken with Pineapple-Jalapeno Salsa

Macadamia Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Jalapeño Salsa takes you on a tropical summer vacation in your kitchen in only 30 minutes!

This easy Chicken Recipe is full perfect for summer! It has light, fruity flavors just like Chicken Piccata, Applesauce BBQ Chicken, and Buttery Lemon Garlic Baked Chicken.

Macadamia Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa in bowl with rice and avocado

The flavors of Hawaii will put you in the mood to hula when you try this incredible (and incredibly easy) crusted chicken dish. The seasoned panko macadamia crust is the perfect crispy base for the sweet, spicy salsa. The tangy citrus of pineapple and lime, along with sweet honey in the salsa, mellows out the kick from the jalapeño, and cilantro adds an herby freshness to the party.

This recipe is for the crusted version of this dish, but you can simply grill the chicken as well and serve with the salsa for a healthier take. Sometimes in the summer it is nice to just make a simple grilled chicken with a fruit salsa. You can also make the leftovers into a delicious main course salad and re-purpose the salsa into a dressing! This Tropical Luau Macadamia Chicken Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette recipe will show you how!

This recipe is fantastic served over white rice, or you can put it on a bed of greens for a fresh salad. You can also serve it with a traditional Hawiian Macaroni Salad and Sweet Hawaiian Bread on the side.

Macadamia Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa Collage of preparation steps

How to Make Macadamia Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Jalapeño Salsa

  • Add ¼ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp of pepper to the flour in a bowl. Set up a dredging station, one with eggs, one with the flour mixture, and one with the mixture of macadamia nuts and panko.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Don’t pound chicken with a mallet, instead score it, as you can see in the pictures. This is great to do with most breaded chicken, especially fried chicken, because you’ll find that the breading adheres really well into the scored sections of the chicken.
  • Dredge the chicken with the flour, then in eggs and finally into the panko mixture. Press the panko into the chicken then very gently remove it from the bowl and put onto a baking sheet. Repeat with all the pieces of chicken. Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium heat. Cook the chicken in the pan for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
  • Remove to a cooling rack. Don’t put it onto paper towels because the crust will get soggy.
  • To make the salsa, combine all the ingredients and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
Macadamia Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa Collage of salsa steps

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use different proteins for this Macadamia Crusted recipe?

Yes! Try it with your favorite fish such as Salmon, Mahi Mahi, or Tilapia, or with pork cutlets. You can even use pressed tofu for a vegetarian option.

What if I don’t like Pineapple?

Substitute the pineapple in the salsa with chopped up mango, papaya, or any other tropical fruit you prefer.

Can I make this less spicy?

If the jalapeño is too hot for you, swap it for a milder pepper such as green or red bell pepper, just use half of one. Likewise, you can make it hotter by using a more spicy pepper such as serrano or habanero.

How to Store Macadamia Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Jalapeño Salsa

  • Serve: Do not leave cooked chicken at room temperature longer than 2 hours before refrigerating.
  • Store: Store chicken and salsa in separate airtight containers for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: The cooked chicken breasts can be stored in the freezer, wrapped tightly with parchment between pieces, for 2-3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on a wire rack over a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 to crisp back up. Serve with a fresh batch of salsa.
Macadamia Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa in bowl with rice and avocado

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Macadamia Crusted Chicken with Pineapple-Jalapeno Salsa

Macadamia Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Jalapeño Salsa takes you on a tropical summer vacation in your kitchen in only 30 minutes!
Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American Fusion
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

Macadamia Crusted Chicken

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 large eggs , (beaten)
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 pound chicken breasts , sliced in half into thin filets and scored (see photo)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa

  • 2 cup pineapple , diced into ¼ inch chunks
  • 2 scallions , green parts only, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno , deveined and deseeded, chopped finely
  • 1 juicy lime , (juice and zest)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup cilantro , chopped

Instructions

Macadamia Crusted Chicken

  • Add ¼ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp of pepper to the flour in a bowl.
  • Set up a dredging station, one with eggs, one with the flour mixture, and one with the mixture of macadamia nuts and panko.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Dredge the chicken with the flour, then in eggs and finally into the panko mixture.
  • Press the panko into the chicken then very gently remove it from the bowl and put onto a baking sheet.
  • Repeat with all the pieces of chicken.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium heat.
  • Cook the chicken in the pan for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
  • Note: Remove to a cooling rack. Don't put it onto paper towels because the crust will get soggy.

Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa

  • To make the salsa, combine all the ingredients and let sit for at least 30 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 623kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 154mg | Sodium: 277mg | Potassium: 712mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 366IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 4mg
Keyword: Macadamia Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa

Macadamia Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa Collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Macadamia Chickens

 

Grilled Chicken

 

Chicken cut

 

Cooking

 

Pineapple Salsa Ingredients

 

Pineapple Salsa

 

Macadamia Chickens

 

Salsa, perfect for grilled meats or chips! Made with pineapples, jalapenos, lime, honey and cilantro! Refreshing!
 
This chicken dish is crusted with macadamia nuts and topped with pineapple jalapeno pasta. Go on a tropical summer vacation in your kitchen! In only 30 minutes!
 

 

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. Hi!
    Do you think the chicken could be baked instead of fried?
    Erin
    PS You need to update the third paragraph in your “About the Author” section. Your cookbook is not upcoming, it is out!

  2. I insta-pinned this! This looks amazing i am not a fish fan like that but with this amazing recipe with the pineapple jalepeno I must try!!!

  3. Alright, so my FIL doesn’t eat chicken… I know… Lame. So what meat do you suggest I sub this with because I have to make this for them while we’re visiting…

  4. My mouth is watering right now. This looks absolutely delicious, the pineapple jalapeno salsa sounds heavenly. The flavors must just pop!

  5. Heaven help me, but I literally just wrote down the few ingredients I need to make this tonight!! SO full of yum!

  6. Showing my age here, I can remember when the Food Network first started and their were like 6 shows in rotation and none of them were fancy like they are now. I grew up watching Julia Childs and even watched all her old episodes in black and white on reruns. I just adored her. I don’t have cable now so I either watch the shows available on Netflix or Hulu or watch the PBS Create channel. Some great cooking shows there. We do have an antenna so i can get a few local channels.

  7. While the chicken sounds great, that salsa is what has me interested. I have to try the combo of sweet and spicy for myself.

    1. The salsa is great! I’ve put it on so many things. I even once put it in a grilled cheese sandwich with cream cheese as the cheese. It was ridiculously good.

  8. Chicken’s been on sale lately. Even if I have to pay the regular price, I am anxious to try the Macadamia Crusted Chicken recipe. It looks delicious.

  9. Your recipes have had me drooling! I love the creativity behind this one (and wish macadamias were cheaper!)

    1. Clinton had a great alternative he mentioned during the show. You can also use cashews and the flavors would be great!

  10. I really like that the fresh salsa cuts the heaviness of a breaded chicken. The combination sounds wonderful and very tasty!

  11. This is such a cool recipe! That sweet/spicy salsa sounds so good, especially with some perfectly seasoned chicken.

  12. Oh this looks so good. I haven’t ever had macadamia chicken before. This would be a completely new one for us and I’m pretty sure We’d all love it!

    1. My oldest loved it, I bet your kids would too! The flavors are not too strange for kids and the panko keeps the chicken so crispy!

    1. Before this I had only enjoyed them alone, with chocolate or in a cookie. This is a great savory way to try them!

  13. That sounds amazing. I love the combination of the sweetness of the pineapple and the heat of the jalapeno.

  14. I think I just fell in love with chicken again. At least a little bit anyway. Can’t wait to make this with a cooler salsa. (my wife is allergic to jalapenos.)

  15. This sounds absolutely delicious, I can’t wait to try this recipe. I love macadamia nuts but I’ve never used them like this.

    1. Thanks! They have such a great flavor because when you cook the chicken, they toast a bit in the pan too! And it smells FANTASTIC!