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.
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.
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
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.
Yield: serves 4 to 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: about 2 to 4 hours
Total Time: about 2 to 4 hours
- 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
- 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.
- Line a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker with a liner if using one. I prefer to use liners for easy cleanup.
- Drizzle olive oil over bottom of the liner or slow cooker; set aside.
- 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.
- Add the pineapple chunks over the chicken, evenly distributed
- Pour pineapple sauce mixture over the top, using a spoon to distribute the sauce if necessary, making sure all pieces are coated.
- 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).
- 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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