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This sweet and tender pulled barbecue Hawaiian Chicken can be prepared in the Crock Pot or in the Instant Pot for an easy dinner recipe with just 5 minutes of prep! Loaded with bacon, pineapple and onion, the flavorful meat tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen!

Overhead image of two bowls of Hawaiian Chicken and rice

You know those really perfect meals that are not only easy to prepare, but every.single.member of your family loves them, eats them happily, and tells you how great they are?

Well, this easy pineapple chicken is one of those dinners. It has become a regular staple in our meal rotation because the flavors just blend really well together. Plus, it’s versatile and can be served in so many different ways!

Front view of bowl of Hawaiian Chicken piled high on rice with sliced green onion on top

How to Make Hawaiian Chicken:

You can prepare this Hawaiian BBQ Chicken in both the slow cooker and in the Instant Pot pressure cooker, so choose whichever method is most convenient for your schedule.

First, place the chicken breasts in your Instant Pot or in your slow cooker.

Chicken breasts in an Instant Pot

Top the chicken with cooked, diced bacon, crushed pineapple, and diced onion. I often purchase pre-cooked bacon from the grocery store for a shortcut, but you can certainly fry your own bacon at home if you prefer.

Bacon pineapple and onion for Hawaiian chicken

Next up: the sauce!

Barbecue Sauce and soy sauce for Hawaiian chicken

Pour the barbecue sauce and the soy sauce over everything and your work is done. So simple, right?!

Pouring barbecue sauce into Instant Pot

Seal the lid and cook the chicken for 10 minutes in the Instant Pot, or in the slow cooker on HIGH for 2-3 hours or on LOW for 4-6 hours.

Barbecue sauce in Instant Pot for Hawaiian Chicken

When the chicken is done, remove it from the pot, place it on a cutting board, and shred with two forks. Return the shredded meat to the pot and stir to combine with the rich Hawaiian barbecue sauce!

Pineapple and bacon pulled Hawaiian Chicken in an Instant Pot with wooden spoon

Can you freeze Hawaiian Chicken?

If you have any leftovers, they freeze beautifully. Allow the chicken to cool to room temperature, package in an airtight container or Ziploc freezer bag and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat, defrost the meat overnight in the refrigerator. Microwave thawed chicken until it reaches desired temperature, or warm in a saucepan over low heat on the stovetop.

Overhead shot of blue and white bowl with hawaiian chicken and pineapple

What goes with Hawaiian Chicken?

As I mentioned above, this Hawaiian Chicken recipe is incredibly versatile and can be served in a variety of ways:

  • Make Hawaiian Chicken and Rice (as shown in these photos) or for a lighter option, try Cauliflower Rice.
  • Create a Hawaiian Chicken Salad by topping a fresh green salad with the Sweet Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken. Add some diced fresh pineapple, sliced green onions, chow mein noodles, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, crumbled bacon, and diced celery for a flavorful and satisfying salad.
  • Serve a Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich on big fluffy rolls, or make smaller Hawaiian Chicken Sliders on mini buns. Either way, this finger-friendly lunch or dinner option is a delicious way to enjoy the meat! Top the sandwiches with melted cheese, pickles, fresh pineapple rings, cooked slices of bacon, or just some fresh lettuce and tomato!
  • Assemble a Hawaiian Chicken Pizza by spreading barbecue sauce and the pulled barbecue chicken on top of a pizza crust. Finish it off with shredded cheese, fresh pineapple, sliced red onion, and crumbled bacon or ham! Then just bake in a 425-degree F oven until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Hawaiian Chicken Sides:

Wondering what sides to serve with your Hawaiian Chicken? Here are a few good ways to round out your meal:

Front view of Hawaiian Chicken on top of a bowl of white rice

COOK’S TIPS AND RECIPE VARIATIONS:

  • Be careful not to overcook your chicken breasts. I find that the chicken breasts have the best texture when cooked in my slow cooker on HIGH for about 2 hours or in the Instant Pot for 10 minutes. That keeps them moist and juicy, and prevents them from drying out. If you would like a dish with a longer cooking time, try using 2 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of the breasts. The thighs tend to stay juicy when left in a Crock Pot for extended periods.
  • Also remember — every slow cooker runs at a slightly different temperature (which is why the recipe gives you general time ranges, rather than exact times). Since my slow cooker tends to cook at a relatively high temperature, I find that the meal is best when cooked on HIGH for about 2 hours or on LOW for about 4-5 hours. Just get familiar with your pot and adjust accordingly.
  • Garnish with sliced green onion or chopped fresh parsley! These add the perfect bright flavor, color and texture to the finished dish.

Other easy Hawaiian chicken recipes that you might enjoy:

Front view of Hawaiian Chicken on top of a bowl of white rice

Hawaiian Chicken {Slow Cooker + Instant Pot}

4.17 from 6 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4 - 6 people
Calories 406 kcal
This sweet and tender pulled barbecue Hawaiian Chicken can be prepared in the Crock Pot or in the Instant Pot for an easy dinner recipe with just 5 minutes of prep!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts (or substitute with boneless skinless thighs)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 cooked bacon strips, chopped (plus additional for garnish, if desired)
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (18 ounce) bottle barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup less sodium soy sauce
  • Optional garnish: cooked, crumbled bacon; sliced green onions

Instructions

SLOW COOKER METHOD:

  • Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper, and place at the bottom of a slow cooker that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Top chicken with bacon, onion, and pineapple. Pour barbecue sauce and soy sauce over top of everything.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or on LOW for 4-6 hours.
  • Remove chicken to a cutting board and shred with forks. Return chicken to the pot and toss with sauce.
  • Serve chicken on top of rice, on top of salad, or in sandwich buns. Sprinkle with additional cooked, crumbled bacon and sliced green onion, if desired.

INSTANT POT METHOD:

  • Spray Instant Pot insert with cooking spray. Place chicken in Instant Pot. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Top chicken with bacon, onion, and pineapple. Pour barbecue sauce and soy sauce over top of everything (do NOT stir – you want the sauce on top of the chicken to prevent scorching on the bottom).
  • Seal the release valve, place the lid on the Instant Pot, and turn to lock the lid.
  • Press the “Manual” button on high pressure, and then set the timer to 10 minutes.
  • It will take about 10 minutes for the pot to heat up and build up pressure, then the chicken will cook for an additional 10 minutes. Once the 10-minute timer is done, quick release the pressure from the pot, sliding the steam release handle to the “Venting” position, releasing all of the steam until the float valve drops down.
  • Open the lid and press the “cancel” button.
  • Remove the chicken and allow to rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes before slicing or shredding. Return shredded chicken to the pot, toss with sauce, and serve.

Notes

  • Be careful not to overcook your chicken breasts. I find that the chicken breasts have the best texture when cooked in my slow cooker on HIGH for about 2 hours or in the Instant Pot for 10 minutes. That keeps them moist and juicy, and prevents them from drying out. If you would like a dish with a longer cooking time, try using 2 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of the breasts. The thighs tend to stay juicy when left in a Crock Pot for extended periods.
  • Also remember — every slow cooker runs at a slightly different temperature (which is why the recipe gives you general time ranges, rather than exact times). Since my slow cooker tends to cook at a relatively high temperature, I find that the meal is best when cooked on HIGH for about 2 hours or on LOW for about 4-5 hours. Just get familiar with your pot and adjust accordingly.
  • Garnish with sliced green onion or chopped fresh parsley! These add the perfect bright flavor, color and texture to the finished dish.
  • Make Hawaiian Chicken and Rice (as shown in these photos).
  • Create a Hawaiian Chicken Salad by topping a fresh green salad with the Sweet Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken. Add some diced fresh pineapple, sliced green onions, chow mein noodles, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, crumbled bacon, and diced celery for a flavorful and satisfying salad.
  • Serve a Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich on big fluffy rolls, or make smaller Hawaiian Chicken Sliders on mini buns. Either way, this finger-friendly lunch or dinner option is a delicious way to enjoy the meat! Top the sandwiches with melted cheese, pickles, fresh pineapple rings, cooked slices of bacon, or just some fresh lettuce and tomato!
  • Assemble a Hawaiian Chicken Pizza by spreading barbecue sauce and the pulled barbecue chicken on top of a pizza crust. Finish it off with shredded cheese, fresh pineapple, sliced red onion, and crumbled bacon or ham! Then just bake in a 425-degree F oven until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the Hawaiian ChickenCalories: 406kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 36gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 1113mgPotassium: 864mgFiber: 2gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 190IUVitamin C: 12.3mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 1.4mg
Keyword: Hawaiian Chicken, instant pot chicken recipe, Pineapple Chicken, Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American/Tropical
Author: Blair Lonergan

This post was originally published in July, 2014. It was updated in February, 2019.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This sounds so good. Pinning for use soon! Thanks for sharing at What’d You Do This Weekend.

    Linda

  2. I love crockpot recipes. This looks amazing! Cannot wait to try it. I am always looking for easy weeknight meals. ;-D

  3. 5 stars
    Me and my slow cooker are besties! I love this recipe. Will definitely be adding to my slow cooker rotation:)

    1. Adrian! Me and my slow cooker are besties, too! 🙂 I’m actually working on 2 new crock pot recipes as we speak! I’ll share if they work out!

      1. Delicious, fast and easy. Second time I’ve made it. Family loves it. But why season liberally with salt and pepper and then specify low-sodium soy sauce? Plus, there’s plenty of salt and other seasoning in the bottled barbecue sauce. No additional seasoning needed. I used my Instant Pot. Great recipe.

  4. I can’t wait to try this one!! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

  5. This sounds like a recipe i need to try right away! Thanks for sharing at Happiness is Homemade Linky!

  6. 5 stars
    Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you enjoy your New Red Plate and have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen

  7. Hi Blair!

    This sounds so good. Do you think this would be able to last for a little over 8 hours in the pot on low instead of 6? I work a normal 9-5:30 job so I’m not home by the 6 hour mark. Would the chicken get too dry and overcooked? I guess this same question also pertains to some of your other slow cooker recipes as well.

    Thank you for any response in advance!

    Alyssa

    1. Hey, Alyssa! Most slow cookers have a setting that allows you to set the time and then the pot automatically switches to the “warm” mode when it’s done. So if you set the pot to 6 hours, it will switch over to the warm setting for the next two hours until you get home to eat. That’s one good option!

      You can also try using chicken thighs instead of the chicken breasts. The thigh meat tends to stay juicier with a longer cooking time, so they would hold up better at the end of the day. 🙂

  8. 4 stars
    Yet another great recipe, I made this last week and followed the directions. I made it again yesterday and changed it. I added Green Pepper halfway through, and split the pineapple between half, crushed and half sliced. It came out just as awesome as the first time except the green peppers gave it a small twist towards the sweet and sour side of things, and you got some sliced pineapple in every bite.

  9. I followed recipe as written USING Instant Pot. First response was “meh.” After two days in fridge, it was AMAZING. I was going to have the last of it today for lunch. DD knocked it on the floor while reaching for something else. She doesn’t believe in moving things. Wasn’t sealed properly. Broken hearted. I’ll make it again.

    1. Oh, no! I’m sorry about the mess on the floor, but I’m glad that you’ll get to make it again. Thanks, Christine! 🙂