Crockpot Hawaiian chicken has only 5 ingredients! Some call this slow cooker pineapple chicken because it’s sweet with a bit of a barbecue kick to it! Easy Crockpot chicken recipes are just the best.
Crockpot Hawaiian chicken is sweet chicken breast that can be shredded for even more fun dinnertime ideas. If you love healthy, easy, Crockpot recipes too I bet this will be a hit in your home. (originally published 11/19, affiliate links present)
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken
First when I got this idea into my head I made it as a batch of Instant Pot Hawaiian chicken. This one has similar flavors but takes longer. A great one for a throw it in and be ready at the end of the day though. It was incredible and we all loved the sweet and tanginess of this dish. Now it was time to use this basic idea in a slow cooker recipe using chicken.
You just throw everything in in the morning and let it get tender while you’re away. When you’re ready just fluff up some rice or shred and serve inside tortillas as tacos. For a faster version try Ninja Foodi pineapple chicken but as for the old fashioned way, this is a hit.
FIRST – You should sign up for my free newsletter so you get new posts emailed to you twice a week and never miss out on anything! Let’s talk a little bit about slow cooking shall we?? First off I have a few different varieties and I love them all. Each one has an occasion to be used like….
- This is my favorite 6 quart programmable one with a locking lid so it’s great for bringing to a potluck too.
- If you just want to serve a few appetizers you should get this one that sit side by side one another.
- I prefer not to use liners, but rather just spray olive oil inside before adding my food for easier cleanups.
Let me give you a peek of my pretty thang I bought recently. It goes with my kitchen so I can just leave it out on the countertop all the time. 😉
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken Thighs
Once you find a great sauce you’ve gotta’ use it on all the things I say, so using whole chicken breasts were next. If you’re a super fan of thighs instead, then use those by all means. I would just use boneless skinless either way. Just makes it a lot easier to serve when done and the meat cooks more evenly without the bone-in I think.
You can plan to make these chicken breasts a few different ways. Serve them whole once done, or shred the meat once it’s fall apart tender and slap some inside tortillas for tacos! Any way you “slice it” is a winner around here.
Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken with Frozen Chicken
Ok so I am forgetful and you might be too. With that said I like to offer instructions in case yours isn’t thawed out when it is time. Believe it or not the timing is almost exactly the same! The only thing you need to make sure of with slow cooker frozen chicken thighs is that your pieces are broken apart before adding into the pot. You can do this run under cool water for a bit.
Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken with Sweet Pineapple Glaze
The sauce you get that the meat is soaking in is killer. I like to shred the meat about 30 minutes beore serving and let it sit in there for a while. Then it can soak it up more and become sweeter. If you are making them into tacos I might add pineapple tidbits on top too. Here are a few questions you might have before getting started on this:
Just as it sounds, it’s chicken cooked in pineapple and barbecue sauces. This makes for an incredible meal. It is so easy we have even used it to make our simple Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe too.
The names are interchangeable really. Kailua pork, Aloha and or Hawaiian chicken may refer to the same dish as you see here. All have the tropical flavors you love and are served over warm rice.
Setting it to low is the best way to go. Hurrying things up isn’t the best idea for this method of cooking. SLOW cooker it’s called remember. 😉 The biggest difference between the two is that meat won’t get nearly as moist and tender if cooked faster. Just dries it out y’all, a no go.
Slow cooker Hawaiian chicken
As always you can certainly make your own homemade barbecue sauce or use bottled doctored up as you see here. I like Sweet baby Ray’s since it is typically so cheap but whatever I find on sale is typically what I use. I will say that I do like a little heat in with the sweetness so it isn’t like so overwhelming.
- Chicken breasts
- boneless, skinless
- Can of crushed pineapple
- Barbecue sauce
- if you like sweet heat this is our favorite
- Brown sugar
- Garlic powder
- Soy sauce is optional but I usually add it in
- Could add large chunks of bell pepper
- Diced green onions for serving
If you want to make this a bit spicy that is yummy too. I would just use a dash of red pepper flakes or chili powder. Go light handed at first so it isn’t overwhelming, adjust at the end. Ok so this is a bit like our Crockpot bbq chicken recipe except we left the breasts whole this time and added more than 3 ingredients. That is a good one too if you want another throw together recipe.
What does pineapple do to chicken?
Pineapple is a fruit that pairs well with beef, pork, chicken and some types of fish. While giving your meat a great deal of flavor, pineapple juice helps tenderize your meat as well. A great way to get it to break down those connective tissues quickly with a killer flavor at the same time.
- Whether you use it in your Instant Pot or slow cooker it does the same thing.
- The enzyme in pineapple, digests protein which softens the tissues before cooking it.
You can use a marinade to keep it nice and moist too but typically to get the same results it would need to sit inside overnight. You may not have time for all of that.
Hawaiian Chicken Tacos
Steps to take when making this slow cooker Hawaiian chicken recipe with bbq sauce. Lay breasts or chicken thighs into your pot. Add the pineapple chunks over the top.
- In a small bowl mix together bbq sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, soy sauce and salt. Pour this over the chicken as well.
- Put lid on and cook on high heat for 4-5 hours or 6-8 hours until chicken is done to correct temperature in the middle to 165 degrees.
- Slice or shred and serve over rice or inside tortillas for tacos.
- If shredding I would shred meat, submerge in liquid, and cover for an additional 20 minutes or so to soak up more of the juices.
If you have guests coming over make a whole bar out of it with all the toppings you love. Have small tortillas there, both flour and corn. Beyond that think outside of the box. Of course salsa is great, cilantro, sour cream, I love slices of avocado on all the things so that is my go to.
Crockpot Hawaiian chicken
As for serving you can do it any way you wish. In a bowl, using lettuce to make a wrap out of it, the list goes on and on. If you’re looking for a low carb dish you can serve it as is or with a side of quinoa.
- I usually serve it with a side of white rice or air fryer roasted vegetables.
- A side of crispy brussel sprouts with bacon is great too.
- If I shred it and serve it as soft tacos I load up on avocado and sour cream on top. It’s an easy recipe to throw together in the morning and serve for taco Tuesdays in our house.
Looking for more easy chicken recipes?
- We share a bunch of easy Instant Pot chicken recipes in this post and in our menu at the top of our blog too you can find.
- These Crockpot chicken sliders are a quick meal too.
I first made this Instant Pot Hawaiian pulled pork, then with chicken. Both are winners and much faster cooking time. It’s made diced up into bite size pieces in the beginning. Both are great but this one comes out a bit saucier than the first.
Have leftover chicken? Use it in this easy chicken pot pie recipe!
You can print recipe below. Enjoy friends!
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Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken
- 4 large chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- 20 oz crushed pineapple in a can
- 1.5 c barbecue sauce
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp salt optional, can salt to taste at end if preferred
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- Lay chicken breasts into your pot. Pour pineapple over the top.
- In a bowl mix together bbq sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, soy sauce and salt. Pour this over the chicken as well.
- Put lid on and cook on high for 4-5 hours or 6-8 hours until chicken is done to correct temperature in the middle to 165 degrees.
- Slice or shred and serve over rice or inside tortillas for tacos. If shredding I would shred meat, submerge in liquid, and cover for an additional 20 minutes or so to soak up more of the juices.