An easy set-it-and-forget-it crock pot recipe that your family will love even more than takeout! Juicy chicken cooked in a sticky sweet sauce with pineapple and peppers.
During my busiest times, the last thing I want to think about is what to put on the table for dinner. Instead of overspending on DoorDash, I lean into my repertoire of “dump and go” crock pot recipes.
This Hawaiian chicken cooked in a sweet and tangy homemade sauce has been one of my go-to’s since college. It’s comfort food that takes minimal effort to put together and pleases adults and kids alike.
The chunky pieces of bell pepper and pineapple cooked with the chicken really make me feel like I’m eating take-out, without decimating my budget.
And throwing all the ingredients in the crock pot before running errands, then coming home to dinner ready to serve is even more convenient than waiting for food delivery!
- Chicken – I use chicken thighs because it is a more flavorful cut, but chicken breast is a fine substitute.
- Bell Pepper – Any color(s) of bell pepper will work. Red and yellow are sweeter than green.
- Pineapple – I use canned pineapple chunks and the juice from their can. If using fresh pineapple, I recommend adding a few extra ounces of OJ.
- Soy sauce – Soy sauce or coconut aminos.
- BBQ sauce – Use your favorite bbq sauce. I like Sweet Baby Rays.
- Brown sugar – You can substitute honey, reduce, or omit entirely if you don’t want a sweet sauce.
- Orange juice – Fresh squeezed or store-bought both work. I recommend no-pulp.
- Sesame oil – Any neutral tasting oil will work. I sometimes use avocado oil.
- Rice vinegar – White vinegar is a good substitute.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic or “jarlic” are both fine.
- Ginger – I recommend using freshly grated ginger. I use a microplane to make it easy.
- Garnish – Green onions and white sesame seeds.
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How to make
Add all of the ingredients, minus the garnishes, to a slow cooker. Seal with the lid and set on high for 2 hours (or low for 4 hours).
When chicken is cooked through (165°F temperature), garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, then serve.
What to serve with
- Rice – White rice, brown rice, or for extra tropical flavor try Instant Pot coconut rice.
- Tortillas – Use tortillas to serve this dish as a taco or a quesadilla.
- Noodles – I’m particular fond of having it over copycat Panda Express chow mein. For a lighter choice, zucchini noodles are great.
- Want breaded chicken? Coat the chicken pieces in cornstarch, then pan-fry for a few minutes on each side before adding to the crock pot.
- For a thicker sauce, add a cornstarch slurry during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
- Like it spicy? Add sliced jalapeños, habaneros, or other hot peppers.
- Tweak the sweetness to your liking. Add more or less brown sugar depending on how sweet you want your sauce to be.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container placed in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
2-pounds chicken thighs or breast, cut into chunks
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks with juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
Green onions and sesame seeds (optional garnish)
Add everything but the garnishes to the slow cooker.
Set on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours.
When the chicken is cooked through, serve with a sprinkle of green onions and sesame seeds.