The tropical flavors of this Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken will transport you to the islands, even in winter! Made with chicken thighs, pineapple and bell pepper, everything is cooked in your slow cooker for an easy weeknight dinner recipe.
This Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken has the power to make you feel like you’re sitting beachside with the sun on your skin, even in the dead of winter. Made with a sweet and sticky sauce, juicy pineapple, peppers, and tender chicken thighs, it has everything you need to make you feel those distinct tropical vibes.
Here’s the thing: chicken thighs are never not delicious. Whether you grill, bake, pan-sear, or air fry them, chicken thighs always turn out so juicy on the inside and crisp on the outside. They’re always my top choice over other cuts.
Slow cooker Hawaiian chicken cooks the thighs low and slow over several hours so the meat has time to break down and soak up the sweet and sticky sauce. It’s such a low-maintenance recipe and the juices, meat, pineapple, and peppers served over rice taste unlike anything else!
- Each bite is out-of-this-world sweet, sticky, juicy, and tangy.
- The ingredients are simple and loaded with tropical flavors.
- Set it and forget it! Everything is tossed in a crockpot so you don’t have to stress.
- Chicken thighs - Boneless and skinless chicken thighs don’t take as long to cook as bone-in and are less likely to dry out, unlike chicken breasts.
- Pineapple - Fresh pre-cut or canned pineapple are great time-saving options. Make sure to drain the liquid from the canned pineapple beforehand.
- Peppers - I like the pop of color from red peppers but you can use any color of bell pepper you like.
- Coconut sugar - Brown sugar is traditionally used in a Hawaiian chicken recipe but coconut sugar lightens it up a bit.
- Soy sauce and honey - This is where the Hawaiian chicken gets its signature sweet and savory flavor. Feel free to use tamari instead of soy sauce to make this recipe gluten free.
- Arrowroot starch - Cornstarch works just as well.
Step 1: Season the chicken. Season each chicken thigh with salt and pepper on all sides.
Step 2: Cook in the crockpot. Whisk the soy sauce and honey together in a bowl. Place the chicken, peppers, onion, pineapple, garlic, ginger, and coconut sugar in the crockpot. Pour the soy and honey sauce over top, then cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours.
Step 3: Make the starch slurry. Whisk the arrowroot starch and water together in a bowl and pour it into the crockpot after the 4 or 5 hours are up. Stir it all together and continue cooking.
Step 4: Serve with rice. Serve the slow cooker pineapple chicken over rice or with your favorite vegetables, and garnish with green onion. Enjoy!
Expert tips and FAQs
- Want to make this a smidge lighter? Serve the pineapple chicken over broccoli rice or cauliflower rice instead.
- You’ll know the chicken thighs are ready when they reach an internal temperature of 165ºF.
- Don’t skip the starch slurry. It will thicken the sauce so it can stick to the chicken and rice.
What does pineapple do to chicken?
The enzymes in pineapple actually help break down the fibers in the meat, creating outstanding pieces of tender and juicy chicken. Not to mention, the sweet and tangy pineapple juices pair so well with dark meat.
Can I use a different cut of chicken?
This recipe works with bone-in chicken thighs as well but they’ll need a little extra time to cook. Chicken breasts also work but they take less time. When in doubt, use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the cut has reached 165ºF before serving.
What to serve with Hawaiian chicken?
To serve, scoop the chicken over white or brown rice, leafy greens, coconut rice, cauliflower rice, quinoa, or roasted vegetables. You can season each bowl with green onion or even kimchi for a little spice. Cucumber salad, honey sriracha brussels sprouts, and sauteed asparagus would be great on the side.
- Refrigerator - Keep leftover crockpot Hawaiian chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat them for a few minutes in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove until warmed through.
More weeknight chicken dinners
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken
- 2 lb. chicken thighs boneless, skinless
- salt and pepper
- 2 red bell peppers sliced, seeds removed
- ½ cup yellow onion diced
- 2 cups pineapple cut into small cubes
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- ¼ cup coconut sugar or sub brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce or sub tamari
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 ½ tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
- 1 ½ tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoon green onions or more to taste; chopped
- Spray your crockpot with nonstick spray. Then, season the chicken with salt and pepper and place it into the bottom of the crockpot.
- Add the bell peppers, onion, pineapple, garlic, ginger, and sugar to the crockpot as well. Next, whisk the soy sauce and honey together in a small bowl, then pour that over top of the chicken and veggies.
- Cook the chicken on LOW for 4-5 hours. Then, whisk the arrowroot/cornstarch and water together to create a paste, and pour it into your crockpot, giving everything a good stir. Continue cooking for 30-40 more minutes until the sauce as thickened.
- Serve chicken over rice or with your favorite vegetables and garnish with green onions. Enjoy!