This Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken dish is both sweet and spicy, and so simple to make. This cheap chicken recipe is a weeknight dinner superstar. With only 4 ingredients, this tasty and super quick dinner couldn't get any easier!
👩🏻🍳 Why You'll Love This Recipe
This crockpot Hawaiian chicken is an absolute gem of a recipe. Only 4 ingredients, so easy to prepare, and it turns out delicious every time! If you're looking for a super simple weeknight meal and want to avoid sacrificing flavor and nutrition, this cheap chicken recipe is definitely for you.
If you want another easy and cheap chicken recipe like this one, you may also like this tasty Mediterranean Chicken Bake. It's loaded with Greek flavors and it’s absolutely delicious!
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- chicken thighs - stay tender and juicy thanks to the slow cooking process.
- pineapple chunks - add a nice sweetness (be sure to save about ¼ cup of pineapple juice).
- sweet and sour sauce - pairs perfectly with both the chicken and pineapple.
- red pepper flakes - pack some extra heat.
- Place pineapple chunks with juice, sweet and sour sauce, and red pepper flakes in a bowl.
- Stir until well combined.
- Place chicken thighs in slow cooker.
- Pour pineapple mixture over the chicken and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Serve over rice.
Raw chicken is perfectly safe to put in the slow cooker as long as you're sure to cook it all the way through!
Low and slow is typically the better choice for cooking chicken in the crockpot. Even though you're adding liquid, if you cook it too hot you'll dry out the chicken. A lower temperature for longer ensures the chicken stays moist and tender.
Pineapple juice not only sweetens and flavors your chicken, but it also contains certain enzymes that naturally tenderize your chicken and make it more moist without making it mushy or breaking it down into mush.
💭 Other Helpful Tips
- If you add vegetables to your Hawaiian chicken and you find they come out mushy, add them closer to the end of the cooking time.
- At the end of cooking, you can also shred the chicken to give you more of a pulled chicken meal, perfect to serve on rolls!
- For a thicker sauce, dissolve about about 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in warm water and add this to your crockpot half an hour or so before serving your chicken.
This cheap chicken recipe is perfect to make in large batches and keep for leftovers or use for meal prepping. It also makes a great weeknight meal; prepare in the morning and come home to dinner already made. That's the beauty of crockpot recipes!
- For additional sweetness, you can add some brown sugar and/or honey to the pineapple mixture.
- For even more nutritional value, include frozen pepper and onion strips with the chicken when you cook it.
- Serve this cheap chicken recipe over brown or white rice, or on top of your choice of pasta.
- This recipe also works with other kinds of meat like beef chunks, ribs, or pork.
- Other ingredients that will up the heat factor are jalapenos, cayenne pepper, or some hot sauce.
🥗 Suggested Side Dishes
Served over rice or noodles, this Hawaiian chicken already makes for a great meal, but pair it with a side like Air Fryer Green Beans to really knock it out of the park.
This Chipotle Lime Edamame is another great option, or you could serve it with this Quinoa Chickpea Salad.
Love bacon? Try serving your Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken with these Crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Bacon on the side!
This sweet and savory dish pairs well with so much, so don't be afraid to experiment!
🍗 More Chicken Recipes
- Creamy Crockpot Chicken with Cayenne - Another easy and spicy chicken dish.
- Instant Pot Chicken Curry - SO simple to make in the Instant Pot, this chicken curry is a fantastic comfort food!
- Pan Fried Chicken Thighs with Green Beans - An all-encompassing meal that will give you all the flavor and nutrition you could ask for.
- Honey Garlic Chicken Breast - This recipe from RecipeTin Eats is the perfect balance of sweet and savory!
Crockpot Pineapple Chicken (Cheap Chicken Recipe)
Love this recipe? Awesome! Please give it a 5 star ⭐ rating below! And if you make this, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram. You can find me at DizzyBusyandHungry or #dizzybusyandhungry!
📋 Recipe Card
Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 10-12 ounces sweet and sour sauce (1 jar)
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more if you like more kick)
- 20 ounces pineapple chunks in juice (1 can, drained, reserve ¼ cup of juice)
- 14 ounces pepper and onion strips - optional (1 bag)
- Place the chicken thighs in the slow cooker.2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- In a medium bowl, combine the sweet and sour sauce, crushed red pepper, pineapple chunks, and pineapple juice. Also add the pepper and onion strips if you are using them.10-12 ounces sweet and sour sauce, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, 20 ounces pineapple chunks in juice, 14 ounces pepper and onion strips - optional
- Pour pineapple sauce mixture over the chicken.
- Cook on low for 6-7 hours. Serve over rice.
- Try adding your vegetables toward the end of the cooking time if they come out mushy.
- Shred the chicken before serving for a slightly different take on this cheap chicken recipe.
- Dissolve 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in some warm water and stir it into the crockpot about 30 minutes before serving for a thicker sauce.
Nutritional information is an estimate. The nutritional values for your final dish may vary based on measuring differences and products used.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in June 2014, but was republished with tips, step by step photos, and a recipe change in October 2021.
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What do you do with the reserved 1/4 cup of pineapple juice?
Hi Sue, in step 2 you mix it in along with the sweet and sour sauce, crushed red pepper, and pineapple chunks. However, I have many times forgotten to reserve the juice and so I just skip it and mix together the other 3 ingredients. I hope that helps!
Thank you. For some dumb reason, I had it in my mind that all but the 1/4 cup was added to step 2, and maybe the rest was to make the thickener. duh!!
Such an easy and delicious weeknight dinner! Everyone loved this..and made great leftovers for lunch the next day too 🙂
the hawiian chicken how much sweet and sour do you add to the mix
Hi Carol, I usually add about 10 ounces of sweet and sour sauce.
Any meal I can make in the crock pot and I'm sold! This is total comfort food and I can't wait to make this again!
Enjoyed this for dinner last night and it was a hit all around the table! Easy, delicious and perfect for a busy weeknight, indeed!
Love this sweet and spicy chicken recipe. Thanks for sharing
I love super easy slow cooker recipes and this one was absolutely perfect for our family! It was filling, satisfying, flavorful and the chicken turned out tender and juicy!
This is so satisfying and flavorful! My family loved this slow cooker chicken and asked for it again!
Helen at the Lazy Gastronome
I love cooking in my crockpot~ Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party!