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Front view of Hawaiian Chicken on top of a bowl of white rice
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4.17 from 6 votes

Hawaiian Chicken {Slow Cooker + Instant Pot}

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!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American/Tropical
Keyword Hawaiian Chicken, instant pot chicken recipe, Pineapple Chicken, Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4 - 6 people
Calories 406kcal
Author Blair

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 Chicken | Calories: 406kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1113mg | Potassium: 864mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 190IU | Vitamin C: 12.3mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1.4mg