Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken is made with tender chicken thighs soaked in a sweet and savory sauce that is bursting with pineapple flavors. This is a super easy recipe to follow with only 15 minutes of prep time!
Slow Cooker recipes are some of the easiest to make because you simply dump the ingredients in the pot and wait to do its magic. My all-time favorite crockpot dishes are Corned Beef with Cabbage, Pineapple Pork Loin, and Lamb Stew.
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken
This Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken is bursting with flavors and aromas. Made with chicken thighs, pineapple, bell peppers, and brown sugar this dish will definitely impress you. And the best part about it is that you can make it during those busy days with pretty much no effort.
It requires only 15 minutes of preparation time. So, you can quickly prepare the ingredients in the morning, and let them slowly cook for 7-8 hours. Then, when you come home from work, you will be rewarded with a flavorful and delicious dinner.
This dish is similar to Sweet and Sour Chicken but it is lighter and heartier. It is perfect to serve over white rice or brown rice. Alternatively, it makes a great sandwich and is perfect for family dinners, game day, or larger gatherings.
What is Hawaiian Chicken?
It is a sweet and tangy dish that is made with pineapple chunks, chicken meat, brown sugar, and some type of veggies like bell pepper. In addition, this is a healthy meal that is also gluten-free and dairy-free. Usually served over white rice.
How to make Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken?
- Prepare the meat: I use chicken thighs as they are the most flavorful and succulent. When cooked for a longer period, the meat is tender and extra juicy. However, you can also go with boneless chicken breast or even drumsticks. Place the thighs in the crockpot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients: Next, add the rest of the ingredients on top, along with brown sugar.
- Cook: Place the lid on the slow cooker, and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours, or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
- Add the cornstarch slurry: During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the cornstarch slurry to the pot. Simply whisk cornstarch with one tablespoon of water and add it to the slow cooker. Then, close the lid and let it cook for 30 more minutes.
- Serve: I recommend serving it warm over some white or brown rice, or some veggies on the side.
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken Recipe Variations:
- Make it with other meats: Instead of chicken, feel free to use beef, ribs, pork, or turkey. The cooking time will be the same.
- Add other veggies: Want more veggies? Then, do not hesitate to add some to the mix. Go with what you like here. If going with other vegetables, I would recommend adding them during the last hour of cooking. This will prevent them from getting mushy.
- Spicier: To add some heat to it, chop some jalapeno pepper and add to the pot. Also, you can use dried red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper,
- Omit brown sugar: For a healthier version, you can substitute brown sugar with honey altogether.
- Add bbq sauce: Barbecue sauce can be used as well. It will add a nice smokey flavor to this meal.
How to make Hawaiian Chicken in the Instant Pot?
This recipe can also be easily made in the Instant Pot. Follow these steps:
- Prepare the ingredients: Slice the meat, and veggies into smaller and uniform pieces.
- Cook: Then, combine the chunked ingredients into the pot and set the Instant Pot to cook under high pressure.
- Make the sauce mixture: Whisk together cornstarch and orange juice. Next, pour the sauce on top and gently stir. Saute the ingredients for another 3 minutes with the lid open.
- Serve: Serve warm over rice.
See the full Instant Pot version here.
How to make Hawaiian Chicken in the oven?
Check out this post for the oven version.
What to serve with Hawaiian Chicken?
This recipe is quite healthy and flavorful and goes well with plenty of side dishes. Some of my favorite ways to enjoy it is with:
How to store leftovers?
To refrigerate: First, let leftover completely cool. Then, transfer it to an air-tight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To freeze: Let the dish completely cool. Use a freezer-safe dish to freeze it for up to 3 months.
Thaw: You can thaw it overnight, and then heat it up using the microwave.
More delicious slow cooker recipes:
- If time allows, brown the meat in a skillet for about 2-3 minutes on each side. This will lock in the flavors and make it even more delicious.
- Also, you can marinate the meat for about 30 minutes prior to slow cooking it. This will make it extra tender and even more flavorful.
- Pork chops can be used instead of poultry here as well.
- Double the ingredients if you want to double the recipe. The cooking time will be the same.
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken
- 2 lbs chicken thighs (boneless and skinless - cut into 1-2 inch pieces, or chicken breasts)
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 20 oz can pineapple chunks (do NOT drain)
- 1 red bell pepper (cut into 1-inch chunks)
- 1 yellow bell pepper (cut into 1-inch chunks)
- 1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon ginger (grated)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 4 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 green onions sliced
- Sesame seeds
- Slivered almonds
- Place a large skillet over high-heat and add some oil, once hot, sear the chicken pieces until browned.
- Place the thighs in the crockpot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients on top.
- Cover with the lid on the slow cooker, and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours, or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
- During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the cornstarch slurry. Close the lid and let it cook for 30 more minutes.
- Serve it warm over some white rice and veggies on the side.