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Best Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken

Easy Instant Pot Hawaiian chicken is pineapple sweet with a bit of a kick. Served on top of rice like our Ninja Foodi Pineapple Chicken or by itself it’s one of our favorite pressure cooker dinners with a thick savory sauce with a little spicy kick.


Let me share this easy Instant Pot Hawaiian chicken recipe with you! If you’re looking for a protein packed dinner with pineapple chicken pieces with a bit of a kick to it you will love this! It’s our favorite quick Instant Pot recipe. (affiliate links present)

Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken Breast

Most people don’t know this about me but I was born and raised for the first 6 years of my life in Hawaii! Crazy right?? It is true and I guess that is where my love of all of these bold flavors came from. You can make this as a Ninja Foodi recipe, in a Crockpot Express, Mealthy or any other brand. All these pressure cookers work very similarly so no worries.

We used boneless skinless chicken breasts this time but thighs are quite delicious as well. I use what is on sale or I have on hand. You just throw everything together and your bite size pieces are smothered in pineapple sauce you’ll love.

If you are new to pressure cooking we have a lot of easy one pot meal recipes for you here. To begin with let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have (a 6 quart) and use for all recipe creations.

star wars instant pot

Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken with Frozen Chicken

This is How to Cook Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot by itself with medium size breasts that have been separated. If fresh and diced into small pieces as directed in the recipe card below you need 6 minutes. If they are right out of the freezer you wouldn’t be able to slice. NO problem. There are 2 ways you can do this still:

  1. Either cook the meat until it is tender enough to shred under high pressure with 1 cup broth for 12 minutes with a 1 minute natural release.
  2. Then drain liquid in pot
  3. Shred chicken and leave in IP
  4. In a bowl whisk together the Hawaiian sauce ingredients until smooth
  5. Turn the pot to saute
  6. Pour in your sauce and allow everything to bubble for a few minutes so it thickens and serve once warmed.

If you wanted to cook the meat in the sauce I would still follow above steps except for 6 minutes, drain liquid and proceed as directed below with the sauce to continue cooking the meat with it.

I LOVE rice with everything. Growing up everything had pineapple in it, and soy sauce was always a must. Still to this day I can have a snack or almost dinner with just Instant Pot brown rice and soy. I’m in heaven. Of course adding protein is a plus. Once I made this I had my girls ask for it over and over again.

instant pot hawaiian chicken 2

If you’ve never tried easy pineapple chicken before it is great! Not only do you get the sweetness of this delicious fruit, but it’s countered by a bit of heat from the Sriracha you’ll add. It is up to you just how spicy you make this pressure cooker pineapple chicken. The below recipe is very mild, so adjust as you wish.

How long does it take to cook Hawaiian chicken in Instant Pot?

It only takes 6 minutes to cook on high pressure, so about 15 minutes total including the time it takes to reach pressure. Meaning…quick dinner for sure! If you want a bit of heat red pepper flakes could be added. We like it sweet sweet though so we didn’t do that. 

How do you make Hawaiian chicken spicy?

You can easily increase the heat level with some red pepper flakes, diced jalapenos, dry sriracha or chili powder. I would only add a bit when cooked, taste, and adjust when it is cooked as it is hard to tone it down if you make it too spicy.

Is Huli Huli chicken Hawaiian chicken?

Huli Huli is a popular chicken thighs recipe cooked in and with teriyaki. You may refer to it as Hawaiian chicken but the two are different recipes entirely. The latter has a rich sauce made with pineapple and soy sauce. Both are amazing dishes.

pressure cooker hawaiian chicken

What is Hawaiian Chicken Sauce made of?

There’s no need to marinade it overnight but I suppose you could. You just dump it in and go! You could even use this same sauce to cook with Instant Pot Hawaiian pulled pork if you wanted, or use it to pour on top of leftovers. Main ingredients for this sweet style Hawaiian bbq chicken:

  • Mix together:
    • brown sugar
    • minced ginger
    • minced garlic
    • ketchup
    • soy sauce
    • rice vinegar
    • pineapple juice
  • Chicken
  • Pineapple chunks or tidbits
  • Onion
  • You could add bell pepper diced too if you chose to.

What are some good side dishes to go with Hawaiian chicken?

I serve it on top of Instant Pot white rice. I make it in my Instant Pot mini so it’s all done at the same time. You could alternatively serve it along with more fruit for the kiddos or with a side of vegetables or a side salad for a more low carb meal.

pressure cooker pineapple chicken

How to Make Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken Tacos

I mean there are so many ways to enjoy this. Using small tortillas you can spoon some in, top with cole slaw even for some crunch and enjoy. Want sliders? It would be messy but go for it with a dollop in between Hawaiian rolls.

Can you use chicken thighs to make Hawaiian chicken?

Of course There are many choices as to what you could use to make any of our Instant Pot chicken recipes. If I buy meat in bulk I use what I have on hand that needs to be cooked soon. Meat on sale at your store? Use what is less expensive y’all and you might find a new favorite.

  • Use boneless skinless chicken breasts for the leanest cut
  • Or you could use boneless skinless chicken thighs which is what I prefer because it is the most tender. It does have a bit higher fat content but so worth it in the end friends.
  • Either type you choose I would definitely remove the fat and trim each piece before cubing it.
  • Then dice into bite size pieces. Remember that the smaller they are the faster it will cook. Too small though and it may dry out.

You do not precook your chicken, it’s put in raw with the sauce and it all cooks together. That is why I love making it this way, I mean you can’t get any easier right? Really very little prep and no sauteeing at the beginning. This is how it looks once it’s done!

instant pot hawaiian chicken 3

How to Make 3 Ingredient Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken

If you want to do a sort of cheater version of this with store bought ingredients, a sauce already made you could. We actually call this Instant Pot orange chicken with barbecue sauce and a can of pineapple. I mean I guess you could call it from Hawaii and a great option if you are short on time, our 3 ingredient Ninja Foodi chicken breast is similar too.

Pressure cooker chicken and rice is a family favorite cooked in just a few minutes. You can add 1 1/2 cups or more protein and it’s great if you have leftovers to use up. I wouldn’t add fruit to this one as it wouldn’t go well with the condensed soup.

  1. Instant Pot sesame chicken has a similar feel to this one but different.
  2. Spicy honey Instant Pot chicken has been pinned over 100K times and gets rave reviews.

If you’re still looking for more this Hawaiian pork roast with pineapple recipe is on our list to try. You can eat this with Ninja Foodi rice or shred it and throw it inside some tortillas to make tacos. Any way you slice it it’s delish.

Need directions for Slow cooker Hawaiian chicken? We have that for you too! It has a longer cooking time but I like to pass along as many variations as possible for all of you. 

instant pot pineapple chicken 2

Let us know what your family thinks of this one. We have heard so many success stories of families making this a weekly meal so they can eat together more often and enjoy every bite. 😉

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5 from 18 votes

Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken

Easy Instant Pot Hawaiian chicken is pineapple sweet with a bit of a kick. Served on top of rice or by itself it's one of our favorite pressure cooker dinners! 
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American, hawaiian
Keyword chicken, hawaiian, instant pot, pineapple, pressure cooker
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 348kcal
Author The Typical Mom




  • Put your diced (bite size) pieces of chicken as well as all other ingredients in the list into your pressure cooker (except for the cornstarch, we will use that later).
  • Stir together so chicken is coated well.
  • Close lid and steam valve and set to high pressure for 6 minutes.
  • Do a quick release, turn off/cancel button, and then press saute button.
  • In a small bowl whisk together 3 tbsp of cornstarch + 3 tbsp of the hot liquid inside your pot. Pour this mixture in.
  • Mixture should now be bubbling. Stir and bubble for about 1 minute, then turn pot off.
  • Sauce will have thickened a bit, and will continue to thicken as it sits for a few more minutes.
  • Serve as is or on top of rice, enjoy!


Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken
Amount Per Serving (3 oz)
Calories 348 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Cholesterol 96mg32%
Sodium 1168mg51%
Potassium 847mg24%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 34g38%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 195IU4%
Vitamin C 19mg23%
Calcium 48mg5%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
instant pot pineapple chicken
hawaiian chicken recipe
5 from 18 votes
Recipe Rating

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Friday 17th of November 2023

I made this tonight... Absolutely.. positively.. wonderful... Omg. I served it over rice with Lima beans on the side... It was awesome!!


Saturday 22nd of April 2023

Followed recipe exactly. The sauce is excellent but the chicken came out dry. Going to use thighs next time.

The Typical Mom

Saturday 22nd of April 2023

May have been on the smaller side?? Haven't had that issue but for sure thighs are much more moist.


Saturday 1st of October 2022

I really like this recipe. My question is can you tell me the amounts to serve at a party for 30?

The Typical Mom

Saturday 1st of October 2022

Doubling it in one batch shouldn't be an issue. I wouldn't make more than that at once so you would need to make multiple batches.


Thursday 2nd of June 2022

Easy and delicious! Added red pepper flakes before cooking, and added bell peppers for a minute or two while the sauce was thickening. Perfectly seasoned for my taste - didn’t even need to add salt or pepper!

The Typical Mom

Sunday 5th of June 2022

Oh good!


Wednesday 27th of October 2021

Can I make this ahead of time and set the IP to “keep warm” for a couple hours before serving? Or will the cornstarch keep thickening and cause issues? Excited to try this at a potluck! Just have to figure out timing.

The Typical Mom

Wednesday 27th of October 2021

I wouldn't leave it for a few hours. It will continue cooking on warm still and meat will dry out beyond about 20 minutes on that function.

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