Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple

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Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken — This Crockpot chicken recipe is packed with pineapple flavor thanks to the combination of pineapple preserves and canned pineapple. Serve it over rice for a quick weeknight dinner! 

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple atop bed of white rice on plate with fork

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken

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.

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.

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple on white plate with rice

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken Ingredients

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

Here’s what you’ll need to make this Hawaiian chicken Crockpot recipe:

  • Pineapple preserves
  • Canned pineapple chunks
  • Ketchup
  • Soy sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Lime juice
  • Seseame oil
  • Asian chili garlic sauce
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Spices
  • Chicken breasts
  • Cornstarch
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!!

How to Make Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken

Making Hawaiian chicken in a Crockpot requires just 10 minutes of active prep on your part. Here’s an overview of how the Hawaiian pineapple chicken is made in the slow cooker:

  1. Prep the sauce: Add the pineapple preserves, juice from the canned pineapple, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, chili-garlic sauce, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper into a bowl.
  2. Dredge the chicken: To a large, gallon-sized plastic bag, add the chicken and cornstarch. Seal the bag and toss to coat chicken evenly.
  3. Assemble: Place chicken in the bottom of a greased slow cooker. Add the pineapple chunks over the chicken, followed by the sauce mixture. 
  4. Cook: Cook covered on high for about 2 hours or on low for about 4 hours. Slow cookers tend to cook at different rates (it depends on the brand, etc), so begin checking your chicken about 45 minutes before it’s supposed to be finished cooking, just to be safe. 
  5. Garnish and serve: Add Hawaiian chicken and pineapple to a plate with as much extra cooking sauce spooned over the top as desired. I like to garnish my slow cooker pineapple chicken with fresh cilantro and green onions, but they’re completely optional.
This Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken is packed with pineapple flavor thanks to the combination of pineapple preserves and canned pineapple. Serve it over rice for a quick weeknight dinner!

Hawaiian Chicken FAQs

Can this recipe be made without a slow cooker?

I haven’t made this recipe without a slow cooker so I can’t give specifics about how to tweak it if you don’t have one. I have other chicken recipes listed below the recipe card that you can try until you can make this slow cooker Hawaiian chicken recipe. 

Can you put raw chicken into a slow cooker?

Yes! The chicken will cook low and slow until it’s tender and cooked through. It doesn’t cook so slowly that you need to worry about bacteria developing or anything like that!

Should I Brown chicken before adding it to a slow cooker?

Not for this recipe, no! I like to dirty as few dishes as possible, so I always add the raw chicken and the pineapple sauce straight to the slow cooker.

Does chicken become more tender the longer you slow cook it?

No! This slow cooked Hawaiian chicken needs just 2 hours on high or 4 horus on low to cook through. Once chicken is fully cooked, it needs to come out of the slow cooker. If you cook it for longer, the meat will become tough and rubbery.

Can I use frozen chicken in a slow cooker?

You may purchase frozen chicken breasts for this recipe, but you must thaw them completely before adding to the slow cooker. Do NOT add frozen pieces of chicken to the slow cooker; the recipe will not turn out if you you do that.

What does the pineapple do in the Hawaiian chicken?

The pineapple in this recipe adds tons of flavor and texture, and the enzymes in the pineapple also help to break down the chicken and make it tender and moist.

This Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken is packed with pineapple flavor thanks to the combination of pineapple preserves and canned pineapple. Serve it over rice for a quick weeknight dinner! 

Tips for the Best Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken

When you add the sauce to the chicken and pineapple chunks, use the back of a spoon to spread the sauce into every nook and cranny of the chicken. You want the sauce to completely coat the chicken as it cooks so that you get the best flavor. 

If you hate doing the dishes like I do, I recommend investing in some slow cooker liners and using one for this recipe.

This way, you can just grab the bag of Hawaiian chicken right out of the slow cooker and put the entire machine back into your pantry right away. 

What to Serve with Hawaiian Chicken

I like to keep things simple and just serve the slow cooker Hawaiian pineapple chicken over jasmine or basmati rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa. It also pairs well with the following:

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4.49 from 101 votes

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple

By Averie Sunshine
This Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken is packed with pineapple flavor thanks to the combination of pineapple preserves and canned pineapple. Serve it over rice for a quick weeknight dinner! 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients  

  • ¾ cup pineapple preserves or jam
  • one 20-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained; set aside pineapple chunks
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 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
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.75 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, finely minced for garnishing
  • 3 tablespoons green onions, sliced into thin rounds for garnishing

Instructions 

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 505kcal, Carbohydrates: 54g, Protein: 50g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 129mg, Sodium: 1099mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 39g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

More Chicken Recipes with Pineapple:

Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Skewers — Fast, easy, and loaded with sweet-and-savory pineapple teriyaki flavor! Made with just a handful of basic ingredients, these grilled chicken skewers will be a family FAVORITE!

Jerk Chicken with Caramelized Pineapple and Mango – Easy and ready in 15 minutes! Dinner that tastes like a tropical vacation is a guaranteed hit!

Sweet and Tangy Jerk Chicken with Caramelized Pineapple and Mango - Easy and ready in 15 minutes! Dinner that tastes like a tropical vacation is a guaranteed hit!!

Grilled Pineapple Chicken — EASY, ready in 10 minutes, and the flavor of the juicy chicken makes you feel like you’re on a TROPICAL island!! Grilled peppers on the side makes for the PERFECT summer meal that’s HEALTHY and DELICIOUS!!

Hawaiian Grilled Chicken and Pineapple — Transports you to Hawaii with every bite of this tender, juicy chicken and the grilled pineapple seals the deal!!

Grilled Cajun Chicken and Pineapple Foil Packets — EASY, tasty, ready in 15 minutes, HEALTHY, and since it’s made in a foil pack on the grill, there’s ZERO cleanup!! Perfect for easy-breezy summer meals!!

Sheet Pan Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken — Fast, EASY, and loaded with fabulous teriyaki flavor! Tender chicken, juicy pineapple, and crisp-tender veggies make make for a DELISH one-pan meal with zero cleanup.

Sheet Pan Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken — Fast, EASY, and loaded with fabulous teriyaki flavor! Tender chicken, juicy pineapple, and crisp-tender veggies make make for a DELISH one-pan meal with zero cleanup.
4.49 from 101 votes (84 ratings without comment)

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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