Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken is a sweet and tangy recipe that brings a whole new burst of flavor to your palette. With just a few simple ingredients, you can pop this in the crockpot in the morning and come home to a delicious, juicy Hawaiian chicken that’s ready to eat!
Reasons to Make Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken
- Crockpot Hawaiian chicken is easy to make. You don’t have to be good at cooking to throw some ingredients into your crockpot and let it cook.
- Tender and juicy would be an understatement! This chicken comes out perfectly tender, juicy, and bursting with flavor.
- Dinner is ready when you get home. Coming home after a long day at work to cook doesn’t sound like fun. This recipe cooks while you’re gone so you don’t have to when you’re exhausted.
Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken
I am a big fan of my crockpot! As a working parent, it can be tough to gather up the energy to make a delicious and nutritious meal for my family after a long day. But, there are tons of great crockpot recipes like this Hawaiian chicken recipe that really liven up our dinner options. Once you figure out just how delicious and easy everything is in your crockpot, you may never use the oven again.
How do You Make Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken
This recipe is so easy, you might not even need to refer back to it every time you make it. But, I encourage you to come back for some side dish and dessert options! My Pineapple Upside Down Cake is a delicious treat to have after you enjoy this for dinner!
Please keep in mind that the full printable recipe, with exact measurements and instructions can be found at the bottom of this page. This portion is just for discussion, tips, and answering common questions you may have about the recipe.
What You Will Need
- Chicken thighs: You will want boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken recipe. You can also use chicken breasts, but I think darker meat comes out juicier and more flavorful.
- Olive oil: You’ll need a little olive oil to give your chicken thighs a good searing.
- Pineapple chunks: It’s not Hawaiian if there’s not any pineapple. You just need a 20 ounce can with juice.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar is what helps give this Hawaiian chicken a sweet and tangy flavor as it adds to the tanginess of the pineapple.
- Vinegar: You may not know this, but vinegar is a natural meat tenderizer. Along with it’s tangy flavor, it really helps to make your chicken super tender.
- Veggies: You’ll want to add a few veggies which include bell peppers, yellow onion, and green onion.
- Seasoning: Garlic, ginger, and ketchup are all used to add more of a Hawaiian flavor to your chicken.
- Cornstarch: You will have a thin sauce once your chicken is done. The cornstarch helps to thicken the sauce.
In addition to the above ingredients, make sure you have the following supplies:
Steps To Take
To hold juices and give your chicken that golden grilled look, you will first sear your chicken in a frying pan. Season your chicken with salt and pepper, then sear it for a minute or two in a frying pan with olive oil.
Next, you will want to mix the pineapple juice, brown sugar, vinegar, bell pepper, green onion, garlic, ginger, and ketchup together in a bowl.
Place your chicken in the crockpot and pour the pineapple mixture on top of it.
Once you have the sauce and chicken in the slow cooker, all you have to do is let it cook. Cook it on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. When there’s only about 30-minutes of cook time left, mix together the reserved pineapple juice with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Then, gently stir it into the crockpot to help thicken the sauce.
Top your delicious crockpot Hawaiian chicken with green onions or sesame seeds and serve it over rice!
Tips For Making Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken
- Leave the thighs whole. You don’t need to cut up your chicken. Leaving it whole is easy and allows the chicken to cook soft so it easily tears apart.
- Apple cider vinegar is best. You can use regular vinegar or apple cider vinegar. I prefer apple cider as I feel it gives the chicken a little more flavor.
Common Questions and Answers
Do I have to sear the chicken first? Absolutely not! I sear the chicken because it adds an extra layer of crispiness and keeps the chicken nice and juicy. If you don’t have time, you can just plop it all in the crockpot for the same delicious flavor.
Can I add vegetables to this dish? You sure can! I would recommend adding them in the last cooking hour so they don’t disintegrate. You could add in broccoli, carrots, or any other hawaiian vegetable you enjoy.
What can I use instead of ketchup? If you don’t have ketchup, you could always substitute it with barbecue sauce. BBQ sauce would give it a little more of a sweeter flavor.
How do I store leftovers? If you have leftovers, allow the dish to fully cool. Then, cover it well with tin foil, plastic wrap, or put it in a tupperware container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Or, you can use this meal as a freezer meal. Place it in a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Great Recipes
If you enjoyed this Hawaiian chicken crockpot recipe, I have more great recipes for you to try.
Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs approximately 2 pounds
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 20oz can pineapple chunks or tidbits WITH juice reserve 3 Tablespoons for the cornstarch mixture at the end
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1 bell pepper coarsely diced
- 1 yellow onion coarsely diced
- 1 clove garlic pressed
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 cup green onions finely sliced
- Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper. Sear the chicken quickly on high heat (both sides) in a frying pan using 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Do not cook through. Then place it in the slow cooker. You can absolutely skip this step and just go straight to placing the raw chicken into the slow cooker, I just prefer to sear my chicken a bit to add that golden, grilled look!
- In a bowl, mix pineapple with juice (reserve 3 Tablespoons for later) brown sugar, vinegar, bell pepper, green onion, garlic ginger, and ketchup. Pour this mixture over the chicken
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. See the next step regarding the last 30 minutes of cook time.
- Mix together the reserved 3 Tablespoons of pineapple juice with the 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. During the last 30 minutes of cook time, gently stir this into the crockpot. It will help to thicken up the sauce.
- Top with green onions (and sesame seeds if you choose) and serve over rice.