Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken — Damn Delicious

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Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken

Everyone’s takeout favorite made right in the crockpot! The chicken is SO TENDER and JUICY bursting with so much flavor!

I’m still shopping for a new oven due to measurement issues at the new house.

Thankfully, my trusted crockpot came to the rescue.

And yes, the weather is getting warmer and Spring is right around the corner.

But let’s keep these slow cookers out of the garage and dust-free.

They should really be utilized all year long, not just for the Winter months.

Plus, this pineapple chicken needs to be made on the daily, guys.

It’s sweet, tangy and savory in every bite.

And those juicy, flavor-soaked pineapple chunks and veggies are E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 7 hours 5 minutes

Total Time: 7 hours 20 minutes

Everyone’s takeout favorite made right in the crockpot! The chicken is SO TENDER and JUICY bursting with so much flavor!

Ingredients:

  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, optional
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks, juices reserved
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, juices reserved
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions:

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side; drain excess fat and set chicken aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine pineapple juice, chicken broth, brown sugar, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, Sriracha, garlic and ginger.
  4. Place chicken thighs into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in pineapple juice mixture. Top with pineapple chunks, crushed pineapple and reserved juices.
  5. Cover and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours, basting every few hours.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup water and cornstarch. Stir in cornstarch mixture, bell pepper and onion into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 30-60 minutes, or until sauce is thickened.
  7. Serve chicken immediately, garnished with sesame seeds and parsley, if desired.

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150 comments

Boy – this sure looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it.

What do you think about making this with skinless chicken strips? Would that work?

Yes, absolutely, but cooking time may have to be adjusted accordingly.

This sounds good! I love pineapple. Do the pineapple chunks go in the oven with the chicken, or served with the chicken after it comes out of oven?

Either/or will work just fine!

Do you know the calorie difference between thighs and boneless skinless breasts?

Would this work with boneless/skinless chicken breast as well?

Any idea of nutrition? Calories, protein, carbs?

Nutritional information is provided only for select and new recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, I recommend using free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information.

can you sussitute boneless breasts?

Greaat I don’t like thighs

.how many boneless, skinless chicken breasts equivalent to 12 thighs?

Depending on the size of the chicken, it would take two to three thighs to equal one breast.

If you use fresh pineapple instead of canned, do you need some other type of liquid instead of the juice from the can? Looks so tasty.

The 1 cup pineapple juice should be sufficient.

Wonder if I can just use chicken breast for this recipe,if so, how much should I need it?

Yes, absolutely. About 2-3 thighs is equal to 1 breast.

Will it work if I make only a half recipe but still use a 6 qt crockpot? Would the cook time change? I love your recipes!

Yes, cooking time may have to be adjusted accordingly.

This looks sooo good I am drooling lol…. I’m wondering what temperature and time would you do if cooking this in oven rather than crockpot?… Thanks! 🙂

I recommend 400 degrees F, letting the chicken reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Thank you for the nice recipe.

Totally loving this slow cooker pineapple chicken! It definitely makes for the perfect make ahead dinner!

Hello – what side would suggest having with this?

My absolute favorite side dish is the garlic parmesan roasted potatoes. But please feel free to check out all of my side dish recipes here.

Rice cooked in chicken broth with an assortment of veggies should round out the meal nicely. Snow peas, mini corn and carrots add crunch and color.

I only have 4 settings on my crock pot, 4 or 6 hours on high and 8 or 10 hours on low. I’m assuming 4 hrs on high would be too long, so can I just use this setting and stop it at the 2-3 hr mark? I’ve tried to make chicken (whole and boneless skinless thighs) in the crockpot, but neither turned out well. I just showed my hubby this recipe and told him I’m gonna try to make chicken one last time in the crockpot because this recipe looks so good.

Thanks for getting back to me.

If your crock pot is an older version, try plugging it in to a timer , set your desired time and setting and give it a go. If that does not work, perhaps add a new crock pot to your wish list.

Looks delicious! When you say pineapple chunks, juice reserved, does that juice become the 1 cup the recipe calls for?

It’s actually additional pineapple juice – no need to let it go to waste, right? 🙂

My family would love this for dinner! I need to make it very soon!

Love your recipes! Have shared your website with countless friends, family, and coworkers. Question, if I want to add some bell peppers and red onion, should they go in from the beginning or later in the cooking?

I recommend adding during the last 30 min-1 hour of cooking time. Hope that helps!

Can I put everything together in a large ziploc bag (besides cornstarch and water mixture) and freeze it to use later? Thanks!

​Unfortunately, I cannot answer this with certainty as I have never tried freezing this myself – there were no leftovers left to freeze! Please use your best judgment for freezing and reheating.

I would not add the pineapple chunks if you choose to freeze the ingredients. Since prep time is so minimal, why not thaw the chicken overnight and start from the beginning?

Should I alter cooking time if using skinless, boneless chicken thighs?

Yes, cooking time may have to be adjusted accordingly.

Regarding the optional/crisp chicken thighs portion of the recipe. Are you referring to the cooked chicken thighs you take out of the crockpot?

Feeling kinda silly for asking here, but is the 1 cup of pineapple juice in addition to the reserved juice from the can of pineapple? I ask because you say to stir in the pineapple juice mixture, and then add the pineapple and reserved juice.

Yes, that’s exactly right. There’s no need to waste it, right?

Hi, I’m making this wonderful pineapple chicken dinner for the second time, I made it last week for just my husband and I it was great. This week is our prayer group so I’m making it agine, this time not in the cooker, I have used the sauce as a marinad for the chicken and I’m baking the chicken now , I’ve made
more sauce that I’ll add the pineapple too, along with green beans. I made pasta the other day so I’ll have it over the pasta.
Your sauce’s are the best,

Do you by any chance have an idea of how many calories this is per serving?

​Nutritional information is provided only for select and new recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, it is best that you use free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information.

Any idea on the calories this has…its sounds amazing!

​Nutritional information is provided only for select and new recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, it is best that you use free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information.

Can you use frozen chicken breasts?

I recommend thawing completely prior to using.

Thanks for your wonderful food blog, Chungah. I’ve made several of your recipes to the delights of my partner and friends. A few days ago, I took your enchilada orzo to a potluck and it was a big hit!

What substitute would you suggest for the cornstarch?

I’m so happy to hear that! Here is a list of possible cornstarch substitutes. Hope that helps!

Can I use coconut sugar rather than the brown sugar? I realize it won’t be as sweet, but I’m trying to cut out refined sugars.

can you please downgrade the recipe for 4 people

Marc, you can halve or third the recipe as needed. Here’s a great tutorial on cutting down recipe measurements. You can also make the recipe as is and have leftovers for work the next day! 🙂

I made this last night and I didn’t find this recipe to have a whole lot of flavor. It was decent, but not robust. Without the pineapples I wouldn’t know it was pineapple chicken. Super easy to make and prep time is minimal which I do like.

I’m sorry that this recipe did not turn out the way you had imagined. I only post recipes that have been successfully tested in my own kitchen, and as you can see from the comments here, many of these readers have had great outcomes in the final dish as well. However, I understand that we all have different taste preferences, and I really appreciate your honest feedback.

I actually just had the same experience… I followed it to a “T”, but accidentally put the pineapple juice that was in the can in as well. Do you think that may have caused all the flavorsto even out? Even the pineapples themselves didn’t seem to soak up the flavors I expected from the soy sauce/brown sugar/etc. Not critiquing the recipe, just curious if you can think of a culprit so I can try again. I did the 5-6 hour on low version.

I’m not really sure – extra pineapple juice couldn’t really “hurt” the recipe so to speak. Were the pineapples submerged in the sauce?

A little confused… If you use one can of pineapple and reserve the juice but throw the pineapple in at the same time as the reserved juice, isn’t that the same as adding the pineapple can without draining the juice?

Could it be what the canned pineapple was packed in? Sometimes fruit is packed in different (heavy sugar juices versus water) to alter calories. I have picked up the unwanted item numerous times, in error.

I made this yesterday and my family loved it!

Thanks for sharing this recipe! I used it as a starting point and made too many changes and didn’t do it justice. I shared the kitchen adventure on my blog this week: http://www.juniperinherhair.com/slow-cooker-pineapple-chicken-pineapple-chicken-fried-rice-spinach-greek-yogurt-macncheese-recap/

Have you ever used a 3-4 lb pork loin instead of chicken? I’m thinking the ingredients would marry well with pork. Just looking for an alternative to chicken. Thanks.

I actually haven’t but that sounds absolutely amazing!

I substituted the thighs with chicken breast. I’m a bit disappointed because my chicken didn’t seem to get much flavor. The sauce itself didn’t thicken or have much flavor. I’m thinking I did something wrong:( feeling bummed! Any ideas what may have happened?

Chicken breasts can be substituted for chicken thighs – however, this recipe yields the best results when chicken thighs are used.

This was perfect –we LOVED it. May add rice or something else next time, for all of that wonderful sauce. Thank you for such great recipes!

I cannot wait to try this.. Pineapple is a huge pregnancy craving for me right now 🙂 Any suggestions for side items that pair nicely with this delicious dish?

My absolute favorite side dish is the garlic parmesan roasted potatoes. But please feel free to check out all of my side dish recipes here.

Can a combination of thighs/drumsticks be used?

Are sesame seeds added before broiling?

I recommend adding after broiling as a garnish.

Do i broil chicken before i put it in the crockpot to cook or after its not. Not clear on that
Thanks
Michelle

Man, oh man….this was good! Even my picky eater downed his plate. 🙂 I used only 1/2 of the brown sugar and it was still plenty sweet. Thank you!
Also, just a note, I added an extra tablespoon of cornstarch to make it thicker so that my toddler could easily scoop it up in a spoon.
Another great recipe from you! You never disappoint. 🙂

We are a paleo family. Can Honey be substituted for the suagr?

This was my maiden voyage in the slow cooker. Mine was 4 qt and I didn’t adjust any ingredients but less chicken and more cornstarch (lol) so mine came out yummy but very gooey. Put it on pasta with some red pepper flakes and a little jerk seasoning – delicious!

Love the recipe-a-day idea! I’m always looking for something new.
Most recipes are quite easy and taste marvelous!
Thank you.

Made recipe exactly, using checken legs. My crockpot is super hot so I cooked on low for 3 hours. The chicken was moist and perfectly cooked, but no flavor from marinade at all. Any longer cooking would have dried out the chicken.

Can I add peppercorns? I like a bit of heat

I dont know what I did wrong. The flavor wasn’t as robust as I expected to be. Can I add anything else to fix it?

Oh no – I’m so sorry that this recipe did not turn out the way you had imagined.

You can try to increase the sauce ingredients as needed to suit your preferences a little better.

My 5 year old and I just put this in the slow cooker! Excited to try it in a few hours!! THANK YOU for always having amazing recipes. 🙂

This looks like an incredible recipe! Just wondering if there is a substitute for the soy sauce of if i can just omit it?

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

Use “Raw Coconut Aminos”. It is a soy-free seasoning sauce. My nutritionist told me about this years ago and I am so glad she did. I cannot have gluten, dairy or soy.

Tried this tonight in conventional oven, 350 degrees for 90 minutes, then cranked it at the end to brown it more. Very good! I also added shallots, red and green peppers. Next time I’ll add a little more soy sauce and maybe some Tabasco for heat.

Can I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead?

Mine seemed a little watery after cooking…not sure what I did wrong here. I made it work by using the excess sauce to make a batch of brown rice which I then served it over…was delicious!

Made this for dinner tonight & it was delicious. My husband said it was a KEEPER! I used fresh pineapple cubed; puréed fresh pineapple for the 1cup of juice; & used 1 1/2 TBSP of garlic powder. I don’t use a crock pot but an Emile Henry dutch oven – brought to a boil then simmered on low. Thank you for such a moist & tasty chicken dish. I can’t wait to check out your other recipes!

Just double-checking – this recipe requires 1 cup of pineapple juice AND IN ADDITION a can of pineapple chunks with juices from the can ?

Yes, but you can add as little or as much as you’d like – isn’t that the beauty of home cooking? 🙂

I put this in the crockpot at lunchtime for supper tonight. I am going to have my husband throw the thighs on the grill for a few minutes rather than put them under the broiler. Has anyone tried this?

Made it for her dinner but need the sauce to be thicker any ideas

You can add additional cornstarch as needed until the desired consistency is reached.

I followed the recipe in the slow cooker for 6 hours and the chicken is dry? What could have caused that? 🙁

The chicken may have been overcooked?

If I choose to broil the chicken, it do I broil BEFORE putting in the crock pot to cook?

If the recipe is made with chicken breasts, will it taste better with the skin on or about the same with skinless breasts? Thank You!

1. It is best to broil AFTER, not BEFORE.
2. I personally find it better with the skin-on, but this really depends on personal preference.

we followed the directions exactly. It came out like a whole bunch of liquid that was just a pale yellow color. I had to add extra cornstarch to try to thicken the sauce. the sauce just tasted like gravy. it doesn’t look anything like the picture that you show. I am kind of disappointed. The flavor just tastes like chicken broth. Maybe I should make it without the chicken broth next time?

How long do I cook it in the crock pot if I am making only 6 thighs?

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

Making this right now and followed directs but it appears very liquid-y and has been in the crock pot on low for almost 6 hours??

Yes, this is completely normal. You will be adding in cornstarch at the very end as a thickening agent.

This recipe does not specifi whether to use Pineapple in its own juices or Pineapple in Syrup. Thoughts?

Pineapple in its own juices.

I just finished this recipe for dinner. I followed the recipe EXACTLY and it had little flavor. The pineapple gave a very subtle sweetness to the dish but very bland.

I currently live in Turkey. There is no canned pineapple here and since it’s not I. Season it’s not available. Could this be omitted? 🙁

You can use fresh pineapple instead.

Since it’s nitot in season it’s not available.

This recipe is NOT good! Like many people I search for and make many recipes I find on the internet, but I won’t be making anything like this again. I do realize most people have different tastes and like different things, and wouldn’t attempt this recipe unless they like pineapple, and chicken. Although, the flavor was passable there are some major flaws with the recipe. I used some left over bone in, skin on chicken thighs, and one chicken breast. All of the chicken I used dried out and wasn’t at all Juicey. The recipe calls for you to crisp up the skin under the broiler after cooking for 4-5 hours in the crock pot. After this time the skin had disintegrated and there is little left to put under the broiler. So I just removed what was left and broke it up to put over the rice. I served it over rice and couldn’t see having just pineapple/sauce on top of rice so I added a green pepper & onion. I added the corn starch and it wasn’t getting think so I transferred the mixture to a fry pan and added a little more corn starch while boiling the mixture which did the trick. In the long run the flavor was just passable. In the end the flavor wasn’t good enough to make up for the problems with the recipe and the chicken was completely dry in your mouth.

Gosh, this looks good! Wish someone made this for me today! 🙂

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