Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple

Dinner that reminds me of dining outdoors in Hawaii with my toes in the sand and gentle waves crashing in the background is my kind of dinner.

Especially if it’s ridiculously easy because my slow cooker does the work.

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple - Tender chicken with lots of pineapple makes you feel like you're eating dinner on a Hawaiian vacation without leaving home!! Ridiculously easy, packed with flavor, and a hit with everyone!!

I just love pineapple and while I usually think of using it as a dessert ingredient or in smoothies or cocktails (although I’ve gone savory with pineapple), this recipe incorporates pineapple three ways along with juicy, moist, and tender chicken.

There’s pineapple chunks, pineapple juice, and pineapple jam along with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, ketchup, brown sugar, sesame oil, Asian chili-garlic sauce, ginger, and cilantro, and green onions.

So many layers of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors will have everyone asking for seconds. It reminds me of a pineapple cousin to my Slow Cooker Orange Chicken but with a slight kick from the Asian chili-garlic sauce I used. I used 2 heaping tablespoons but you can decrease the amount if you prefer milder flavors.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple - Tender chicken with lots of pineapple makes you feel like you're eating dinner on a Hawaiian vacation without leaving home!! Ridiculously easy, packed with flavor, and a hit with everyone!!

There’s plenty of cooking sauce leftover in the bottom of the slow cooker which I spoon generously over the chicken, rice or noodles, and vegetables.

Please note I haven’t made this recipe without a slow cooker so can’t give specifics about how to tweak it if you don’t have a slow cooker. I have other chicken recipes listed in the Related Recipes below that you can try until you can make this with a slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple - Tender chicken with lots of pineapple makes you feel like you're eating dinner on a Hawaiian vacation without leaving home!! Ridiculously easy, packed with flavor, and a hit with everyone!!

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple

Dinner that reminds me of dining outdoors in Hawaii is my kind of dinner especially if it’s ridiculously easy because my slow cooker does the work. The recipe incorporates pineapple three ways along with juicy, moist, and tender chicken. There’s pineapple chunks, pineapple juice, and pineapple jam along soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, ketchup, brown sugar, sesame oil, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, cilantro, and green onions. So many layers of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors will have everyone asking for seconds. There’s a slight kick from the Asian chili-garlic sauce and I used 2 heaping tablespoons but you can decrease the amount if you prefer milder flavors.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup pineapple preserves or jam
  • one 20-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained; set aside pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Asian chili-garlic sauce (found in the Asian aisle of most major grocery stores; sriracha may be substituted)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced or pressed with a garlic press
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.75 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, finely minced for garnishing
  • 3 tablespoons green onions, sliced into thin rounds for garnishing

Directions:

  1. To a large bowl, add the pineapple preserves, pineapple juice (save and set aside the pineapple chunks), ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, chili-garlic sauce, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, and whisk to combine; set sauce aside.
  2. Line a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker with a liner if using one. I prefer to use liners for easy cleanup.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over bottom of the liner or slow cooker; set aside.
  4. To a large, gallon-sized ziptop plastic bag, add the chicken, cornstarch, seal bag, and toss to coat chicken evenly. Add chicken to slow cooker, evenly distributed.
  5. Add the pineapple chunks over the chicken, evenly distributed
  6. Pour pineapple sauce mixture over the top, using a spoon to distribute the sauce if necessary, making sure all pieces are coated.
  7. Cook covered on high for about 2 hours or on low for about 4 hours. If cooking on high, start checking at 90 minutes (mine was done at 1 hour 40 minutes) and if cooking on low, start checking at 3 hours. All slow cookers vary so cook until chicken is done (reaches 165F on an instant read thermometer).
  8. Add chicken and pineapple to a plate with as much extra cooking sauce spooned over the top as desired, garnish with cilantro, green onions, and serve immediately. Dish is best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat gently as desired.
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42 comments on “Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple”

  1. I love all your different flavor twists for slow cooker chicken and pineapple is one of my favorite tropical fruits. I might have to hunt a bit for pineapple jam–I don’t recall seeing that at Kroger but sometimes they surprise me.

    • I just used Smuckers. It’s been around forever. I remember eating it as a kid! Not often but it’s been around. This sauce was so good! I think you’ll love it!

    • Another great dinner Averie–we loved this too! Your slow cooker chicken recipes are becoming a regular Friday thing for us☺. I couldn’t find pineapple preserves at Kroger so I used apricot. It worked just fine but I’d like to get the pineapple and make it again. It has to be somewhere in this city–I’ll probably end up finding it at Target or Wal-Mart!

      • I had another reader say she found it near the ice cream toppings section and another one said she used orange marmalade. Apricot was a good idea, too! I use Smuckers and it’s kept right where all the other jams and jellies are at my Ralph’s (Kroger chain) but all stores are different as we know! Glad you guys loved this and the Friday slow cooker recipes are a regular thing!

  2. How did you know I need a vacation? This looks like the perfect escape, and I love how easy it is!

  3. Pineapple and chicken are two of my favorite foods. My mouth waters just looking at the pictures of this dish. So gorgeous. Yum.

  4. Who would want to make it without a slow cooker?? It’s so easy this way, I can’t wait to try it! It’ll remind me of my favorite place. :)

  5. Oooh, yum!

  6. Hi!  I just found your site – and ready to try this pineapple chicken!  But I had no luck finding the pineapple jam anywhere, what do you suggest as a sub?  Thank you!

    • I used the Smuckers brand and it’s available at so many regular grocery stores in my area. Ralph’s (Kroger), Vons and Alberton’s (Safeway), and more. But if you can’t find it or another brand, you could maybe try orange marmalade.

      I just posted the recipe 12 hours ago and am impressed you’ve already been out to the stores looking for jam!

  7. Ha!  I stumbled on your site just as I was meal planning…pre-errands.  We don’t have those stores here, but couldn’t find it a Hannaford, Stop&Shop or Target!  Do we not eat Pineapple jam in the northeast?!  It sounds delicious!  Anyway thanks for your response, I will give it a go in the morning with Orange :)

    • That’s crazy you don’t have pineapple jam! Even at a Target. It’s right next to the Smuckers Strawberry, Grape, Raspberry, etc. in my grocery store. But try it with orange and see how it goes!

  8. This sounds delish!! I’m a huge fan of pineapple… And in the slow cooker makes it even better!!

  9. Another great recipe. Thank you , Averie.

  10. This looks like something my kids would love.  A little bit sweet is always a hit!

  11. I found it at my store next to ice cream toppings! Who knew? Making it tonight! Thanks!

  12. oh yummy!

  13. Loving the sweet and spicy combo! Plus it’s made in a slow cooker – winner winner! 

  14. Averie, thank you for these hawaiian inspired recipes with pineapple. Sound so tasty and easy! Going shopping tomorrow. :-):-):-)

  15. Pineapple flavor with chicken..sounds yummy. We usually add pineapple combination while we make biriyani’s.this is really new to me. Thanks for sharing its ingredients.😘

  16. Wow this looks so yummy! I’ve fallen in love with making freezer/ slow cooker meals. Prepping everything on Sunday and dropping it in the crockpot before I leave for work is heaven! Do you think I could prep the sauce ahead of time? Or even freeze it separate?! 😍

    • Honestly the sauce literally takes 5 minutes to stir together before dumping it over the chicken in the slow cooker. I think it would be more work to prep it, then refrigerate and store it, than just making it on the spot. So easy and fast, promise!

    • I would pull the ingredient’s (for the sauce) out and put them on the counter next to the bowel you will use because that is what takes the most time. Then in the morning it will only take you 5 or so minutes. Good luck..

  17. Can’t wait to try but!!! I am having problems with finding white wine vinegar, any suggestions or a substitution that can be used would be helpful. thank you..

    • It’s rice wine vinegar, not white wine vinegar, and rice wine vinegar is usually found in the Asian aisle of the grocery store and it’s a VERY common item. Check there and you should be able to find it. I know Trader Joe’s has their own version and there are many brands at regular markets as well to choose from.

  18. This looks so good. Have you tried making it in a skillet? Do you think I would need to add cornstarch to the sauce ingredients if I cooked it on the stovetop?

  19. I couldn’t find pineapple jam so I used Orange Marmalade. couldn’t find that size pineapple so had to buy 2 cans of smaller size (I only buy organic) and I made sure to not use all that juice but still ended up like I was cooking the chicken in liquidy broth so guess I used too much. BUT I will say it turned out tasting really good! The chicken was really most! Don’t see why there was a need to coat the chicken with corn starch though?

    • Corn starch will thicken sauces generally speaking. However sounds like you added additional liquid so it probably wasn’t going to thicken up all that much. Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  20. oops..i meant the chicken was MOIST!

  21. Oh my goodness, this dish looks so beautiful. I actually had chicken planned for dinner tonight. What luck that i found this just in time before i started my prep because i love tossing a chicken in the slow cooker and letting it do its own thing all day. I’m always looking for ways to jazz up a simple chicken because even though my kids love it any way it comes out (even plain with no seasoning whatsoever) my red meat devouring husband gets bored with chicken easily.
    I always wonder about recipes that call for seseme oil though. does it really affect the taste of the dish? because even though i love cooking meat with pineapple and always keep it on hand the seseme oil is not readily available in my area. could i just sub it out for olive oil or would that make everything taste way different? honestly, I’ve never used it before so i have no idea how it affects a dish.

    • Sesame oil has a VERY distinct flavor and often sesame oil (along with soy sauce) create a distinctly Asian-vibe that you really cannot get without it. Olive oil won’t give you the same taste, at all. You could use it, knowing that you won’t end up with the flavor the dish was intended to have, it’s not like it will ‘ruin’ the dish but I say order some on Amazon to keep. A small bottle will last you a long time.

  22. Looking forward to trying this! I had to hunt for the pineapple jam, but finally found it at a grocery store in the Toronto area called Sobey’s (for all your GTA readers!).

  23. I found my pineapple preserves at Giant. Giant has their own brand of jam and preserves and I found it under their label. They didn’t have the Smuckers version of it, even though they had a ton of different varieties.

  24. Has anyone tried doubling this recipe? Would I cook it for the same amount of time?

    • I haven’t ever made a large-batch of this. It would depend on your slow cooker’s size if you need to increase cooking time. Unless you have a really large slow cooker, yes you probably will have to increase the cooking time since you are cramming way more chicken into an average sized cooker, if that’s what you have.

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