A couple months back, I finally caved and bought my first slow cooker. It was only twenty dollars at Target and I couldn’t wait to get home and start making delicious barbecue and one-pot meals with it that I didn’t have to worry about during the day. Well, typical me only made one meal with it (the day I bought it) and then promptly forgot about my shiny new Crock Pot.
That is, until I came across this recipe for Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches by Tasty Kitchen member myretrokitchen. The recipe was incredibly simple (basically just dump everything together in the crock pot, turn it on and six hours later you have dinner!) and turned out to be absolutely delicious. The pineapple chunks give the barbecue a delightful sweet surprise and using chicken was a nice change of pace from typical pulled pork.
Here’s what you need!
Simple, right? Just chicken (I used thighs for more flavor), your favorite barbecue sauce, a can of pineapple and an onion. Love it.
The recipe says to first put the chicken at the bottom of the Crock Pot…
Then, cover it with diced onion.
Followed by a can of pineapple chunks.
Amie says you can either save the pineapple juice to add to the sauce at the end for sweetness, but I prefer a more savory barbecue sauce so I tossed mine.
Next comes my favorite part: adding the sauce! Coming from the South, I love me some tangy vinegar based barbecue sauce, but for this recipe I chose my tomato-based favorite—Stubb’s.
You can never have too much barbecue sauce, no matter what anyone tells you.
All that only took about four minutes and now all there was left to do was turn the slow cooker on low and let ‘er stew!
At the end of the day, after the chicken had been slowly cooking for about seven hours, I removed the meat from the sauce and shredded it before adding it back in to soak up all the yummy barbecue goodness.
Delicious! I ate barbecue for dinner and then lunch the next day. Even my boyfriend, who claims to hate pineapple, absolutely loved this meal and devoured two sandwiches in the speed of light.
Thank you to Amie for providing such an easy and delicious weeknight dinner! Visit her blog, My Retro Kitchen, for more home-cooked, sit-down family dinners.
This is easily my most requested recipe. Each time I make it, I am always asked to provide the recipe so friends can make it themselves at home. It really is yummy, and the best part is it takes about 3 minutes to prepare, a couple additional minutes to shred the chicken once cooked and then back in the crock pot it goes to finish soaking up the goodness! Easy-peasy, but oh sooo good!
- 3 pounds Boneless Chicken Breast, Thighs Or A Combo Of The Two
- 1 whole Onion (large), Sliced Into Chunks
- 1 can (20 Oz. Size) Pineapple, I Recommend Nibblits Or Crushed, Drained But Reserve The Juice If Using (See Note)
- 1 bottle (18 To 20 Oz. Size) BBQ Sauce Of Your Choice (Our Favorites Are Sweet Baby Ray's Or Open Pit If We Want To Give It A Little More Of A Kick)
- Hamburger Buns Or Kaiser Rolls
If you use frozen chicken, make sure it is completely defrosted. If you cook it frozen, it will indeed cook but it will make a very “wet” sauce. Place your chicken in the bottom of the crock pot. Top with onions, then pineapple. Pour the entire bottle of BBQ sauce over the whole thing.
Note: If you want a sweeter BBQ, add up to half a cup of the pineapple juice you drained, depending on how sweet you want it. This is optional.
Turn your crock pot on LOW and cook for 8–10 hours (or on HIGH for 4–6).
An hour or two before it is finished cooking, carefully remove the chicken from the crock pot and shred it using two forks. Watch out, it will be hot! Place chicken back in the crock pot and stir well to combine. Finish cooking an additional hour or two so the chicken can absorb most of the sauce. Serve on hamburger buns and top with coleslaw if desired.
Note: When I had made it with Sweet Baby Ray’s and pineapple juice, it was a very sweet Pulled Chicken. It was great, and everyone loved it. But I have to say, using Open Pit BBQ Sauce and no pineapple juice was hands down our favorite! It had just the right amount of sweet and vinegar that we love in a good BBQ.
If you are making this for kids, children tend to like the sweeter variety.
Jenna is a food writer who has worked as a pastry chef and bread baker. Her blog Eat, Live, Run has great recipes, travel stories, and the perfect slogan: “Celebrating life, one crumb at a time.”
Comments are closed for this recipe.
Head Chefs on 8.19.2011
thanks a lot! i made two just now and it tastes great!!! my friend and i loooooove it!!
Valerie on 8.4.2011
Can you make this without a crock pot? Any suggestions would be really appreciated!
Nerissa on 7.25.2011
Made this the other night – FANTASTIC!
Also, the next day we used the leftovers to make a BBQ chicken pizza – it was even more delicious.
Abigail on 6.15.2011
Ummm this was amazing and soo easy!! Thanks Jenna!!:)
Lindsay (Young Married Mom) on 6.1.2011
This stuff is delicious! We had leftovers upon leftovers, just making it for two people, so I stored some in the freezer. Yesterday I thawed it in the fridge and then in a saucepan over medium low heat, then served on slider buns with colby-jack cheese. I think it was even better the second time around!
carrie on 6.1.2011
Can anyone tell me if i just use a Boston Butt would I do the same thing and would it work?
Sandy Delkamp on 5.28.2011
We tried the Hawaiian BBQ pulled chicken yesterday and it is unbelievably good. We used two crock pots, two roasting hens, cut-up. We used crushed pineapple with most of the juice removed. Made our own favorite barbeque sauce, but then only put about a cup of it on – we add more just before we eat it. It only took about four hours, and it fell off the bone. It is so moist and wonderful tasting. My husband then made beautiful homemade buns and his own special cole slaw. Amazing!
Thanks for a winner! We’ll use this again and again.
Abigail on 5.21.2011
Wow, this sounds soo amazing… especially for the holiday weekend coming up!! How many pounds of chicken did you use Jenna??
sweetcs on 5.20.2011
This looks awesome and so easy. I’m will have to give this a try real soon.
Judy S. on 5.20.2011
This sounds delicious, but I can’t get the link to the printable recipe to work. It just keeps taking me back to the blog and photos. Any ideas?
Sue on 5.14.2011
Oh Yes, yes indeed. This is a good one.
In winter I use the slow cooker for soups and stews to warm us up. In the summer I cook in my slow cooker for the convenience, and I take it outside and plug it in on the porch to cook away all day without adding any heat to my kitchen.
Thanks for the new summer slow cooker recipe.
Betty on 5.12.2011
I made this the other day, and it is definitely a winner!!! Love,love, love it! So easy! As good as any pulled pork.
Sarah on 5.10.2011
I think I’ll be trying this tomorrow, but use crushed pineapple instead. I don’t know if I could handle the honkin’ huge pineapple chunks.
And you tossed your pineapple juice??? You can totally drink it! Or add it to orange juice or a smoothie or freeze it for later or you can try this yummy spicy Senegalese drink by adding a ton of powdered ginger to the juice and drinking it at room temperature. Yum!
Krista on 5.10.2011
I made this recipe this past week. It was great as a bbq sandwich but then I took the left overs and made a bbq chicken pizza with it! I added red onion and mozzerella. Thank you for the easy, yummy recipe.
Monette on 5.7.2011
I got all the ings. and I am definitely making this tomorrow!!!!!!
Monette on 5.7.2011
I got all the ings. and I am definitely making this tomorrow!!!!!!
Nell O on 5.5.2011
Tried this with Bone Suckin Sauce and used pork, absolutely the best I have ever had!!!!!! Next time I will use crushed pineapple!
cartegroves on 5.4.2011
I made this for dinner yesterday and it was a huge hit with the family.
I omitted the onion since my Mother cannot handle cooked onions. I also used crushed pineapple and I drained it for over an hour. I used skinless chicken thighs as well and I also used Stubbs Original BBQ sauce. It was more expensive at the store but well worth it.
I cooked on low for 8.5 hours and the meat fell off the bone. I used a fork to separate the chicken chunks.
I fixed cole slaw and used the Hawaiian bread rolls and this was heavenly!
Easy and delicious, especially for a weeknight. You can’t beat that.
caroline11 on 5.4.2011
Just made this for dinner last night. My husband and I loved it. We left out the extra pineapple juice and it was perfect — not too sweet.
lam on 5.3.2011
I made this for dinner tonight. They were a big hit.
Amy on 5.3.2011
This was amazing! I loved it. So simple and delicious!! Absolutely making it again and again.
Melissa H from So. Fla. on 5.2.2011
I made this tonight and it is fantastic. I highly recommend it. I might try it with a little more chicken next time. Oh, and crushed pineapples.
Thanks for much for sharing.
Amy @ A Little Nosh on 5.2.2011
I have a hate/hate relationship with my crock pot. But I may give her another shot for this recipe. I can practically smell it through my computer screen!
Holly on 5.2.2011
This is in the crock pot on High now and it smells so good. Can’t wait until dinner time! Thanks for this super easy dinner, I’m sure my picky 21 month old will love it.
Carrie on 5.2.2011
Made this over the weekend . It was delicious and so easy. House smelled great all day! Girlfriend called Sunday morning for the recipe because it smelled so good when she stopped by! Got two meals out of it so and extra day of no cooking is great!
AnneC on 5.2.2011
Think I can use crushed pineapple instead of pineapple chunks? It’s all I have in the pantry right now..
The Church Cook (Kay Heritage) on 5.1.2011
Great recipe! And I love your step-by-step tutorial, Jenna!!
Mary Connealy on 5.1.2011
Love the pork idea. My husband thought it was pork. It was dark enough and barbeque enough.
I’ll try pork next.
jolynn715 on 5.1.2011
I just made this, It tastes amazing. I didnt put any onions in it since the bf doesnt like onions or garlic. Its nice to have simple recipes that taste amazing!
Mina on 5.1.2011
Made these last night and they were a HUGE hit! I added a little coleslaw to the bun and it was delish!
denise1963 on 5.1.2011
This was great, it tasted great thanks for the great recipe.
bcubed55 on 5.1.2011
I made this yesterday, with a 1 big modification. I used pork. I know this recipe is for chicken, but pork and pineapple just sounded great together to me.. So, I got a bone in pork roast, about 5.5 lbs. Cut it into about 3 pcs,sliced up 1 med onion and simply laid on the onion slices on the pork, with a little season salt, cooked it in my slow cooker on Hi for 6 hrs. Meat absolutely fell off the bone. I separated the meat with 2 forks, took off all the extra fat, poured off the drippings, put the pulled pork back in the slow cooker.. Then I put another relatively fine chopped onion, the can of chunk pinapple pluse most of the juice, and 1 jar of a cheap brand of honey BBQ sauce. Left the slow cooker on HI, stirred the mixture maybe 3 times in the next 5 hrs.. Oh man.. talk about good! We don’t like spicy/hot foods, kinda on the weeny side in our house, so sweet and sweet worked out great. The meat was fall-apart tender, BBQ’y, sweet and pineapply. May not be as easy as the chicken breasts, but almost. My family loved it, will def be making it again! Great recipe for one of those busy days when you need something good, but dont have the time to fuss. Smelled great while the pork was cooking, smelled ever better when the BBQ sauce was cookin…. Thanks for the idea!
alisoncwfc on 5.1.2011
So simple yet delicious. I usually use Hoboken Eds BBQ sauce. . .I am sure it will be delicious! Thanks for the inspiration. . .I was just thinking about making a few slow cooker dishes this week. It will be great with a coleslaw and I have tons of cabbage to use up!
lauren in arkanssas on 5.1.2011
I made this last night and it was terrific!
Diane Conn on 4.30.2011
Looks mighty tasty! I will have to try that this weekend!
Also, don’t toss the pineapple juice! It’s 100% juice, not sugar water like some fruits are canned in. Pour it over some ice and enjoy it while you cook!
Esther on 4.30.2011
This reminds me of my mom’s Hawaiian Sweet and Sour Pork. It used big chunks of pineapple, green peppers and pork chops. The sauce was pineapple jc, water & cornstarch to thicken. She would also use the sauce to make Sweet and Sour Cabbage – YUM!
Mary Connealy on 4.30.2011
I made it. With the chicken breasts it was fantastic. YUM!!!
This is going to become a standard at our hour.
I had it cooking on HIGH for five hours. It was perfect.
If I’d used LOW from morning it should be great.
Katherine S. on 4.29.2011
I am excited to make this! It looks incredible! (And incredibly easy!)
Sonia (the Mexigarian) on 4.29.2011
I have been on the lookout for Hawaiian BBQ dish. Can’t wait to try this out and feed the hubby.
Mellie on 4.29.2011
This looks divine!
Decaf Debi on 4.29.2011
I made this a couple of weeks ago and loved it. But as always happens, when I try to use pineapple in something, my hubby hated it. Sweet and sour, Hawaiian BBQ, fruit salsa…it doesn’t matter. He hates it. So I had enough BBQ chicken left over to feed a small army. Or me for the next two months. At least I know it freezes well!
daniella @ runner at heart on 4.29.2011
I am definitely going to try this recipe. I have made something similair with pineapple salsa and fresh pineapple but the bbq sauce sounds even better!
Melissa on 4.29.2011
I thought I was the only person who does this. LOL What I do though is mix bbq sauce (sweet baby ray’s), italian dressing, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, onion and pineapple together for the sauce. It’s deeeeeelicious!
Marian (Sweetopia) on 4.29.2011
Oh my! This looks so amazing! I have to try it this weekend! Thanks for sharing!
Mary Connealy on 4.29.2011
I actually left work adn rushed home to make this for supper.
I didn’t have a thawed chicken so I was worried about it getting done in time(I had a frozen whole chicken) so I used chicken breasts. I hope I don’t lose too much flavor.
I’ll try it again and do it RIGHT. I swear, even if it doesn’t come out good I won’t give up.
My husband phoend about two hours later and said, “What’s this cooking?” I left before him this morning so he knew it wasn’t there. Then I went home and left again (truly four minute prep time, amazing!)
I think he suspected elf involvement in the cooking.
Andrea Rayna on 4.29.2011
but did you really pour out your pineapple juice?
mixed with pink lemonade, over ice, it makes a peachy colored drink fit for a toast to the Royal Couple !
Kelly H on 4.29.2011
I am going to make this for dinner tomorrow night. We are having another couple over for dinner but we both have busy days so it will be nice to throw this in the crockpot in the morning. What should I serve it with?
myretrokitchen on 4.29.2011
Yay! I am so glad you enjoyed my recipe!! How funny that the EASIEST recipe in the whole world is also one of everyone’s favorites. Try it next time with a little coleslaw on the sandwich- it gives a great crunch!
kitchen-concoctions on 4.29.2011
I love Stubb’s BBQ Sauce! Love a good BBQ sandwich!
Amy | She Wears Many Hats on 4.29.2011
Doesn’t get much yummier than this!