Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (Slow Cooker Recipe)

Published June 13, 2012. Updated March 25, 2024

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Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches combine the sweet flavors of Hawaii with the tangy bite of BBQ chicken. Sweet and saucy chicken is added to the slow cooker for tender shredding later, then served on your favorite bun with juicy pineapple to boot. 

This should be called “The Sandwich of Summer.” I made this recipe because I love pulled pork so much so I wanted something similar but entirely its own. Basically I wanted something delicious, out of the ordinary that will make people say “wow.”

Another huge win from this recipe is that during the hot and busy summer months, a crockpot recipe makes it so easy to get dinner ready after a day at the pool or summer camps without heating up the entire kitchen with the oven or stovetop.

Crockpot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Of course I made it a slow cooker recipe because that’s what I love and that’s what everyone else seems to love. This sandwich is bursting with the flavors of the islands (especially when served along with fresh, glazed/grilled pineapple). It inspires me to want to host a luau party in my backyard.

Don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients, most of them, if not all of them, you probably already have in your fridge and cupboard. If you are looking to try a new dish that is enticingly delicious and fully amazing your going to want to try this sandwich! Share and enjoy!

Serve it with or without green onions (I liked it with).

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Other Island-inspired Recipes

Sometimes you want to bring that vacation energy to your kitchen table—even when you can’t put your toes in the sand. Here are some dishes I might make alongside these sandwiches, or anytime I want to pretend I’m in the islands:

These recipes and others on my site would be perfect for a luau, tropical-themed events, or beach or pool parties! Enjoy!

16 Quick & Easy 30 Minute Recipes! (plus weekly recipe updates)

Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches (Slow Cooker Recipe)

The perfect summer sandwich, sweet and saucy hawaiin chicken served in a bun with pineapple.
Servings: 6
Prep20 minutes
Cook5 hours
Ready in: 5 hours 20 minutes


Glazed Pineapple

  • 6 fresh pineapple rings (cut about 1/2" thick)
  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar , divided
  • 1 Tbsp butter , divided


  • Place chicken in a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker. In a mixing bowl, whisk together ketchup, pineapple juice, low sodium soy sauce, honey, molasses, liquid smoke, coconut extract, ginger, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper. Pour sauce over chicken in slow cooker, cover with lid and cook on low heat for 5 - 6 hours. 
  • Remove chicken from slow cooker, shred and set aside. In a medium saucepan, whisk together cold water and cornstarch, pour in sauce from slow cooker and add tomato paste. 
  • Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently, then reduce heat and simmer 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until thickened. Return chicken to slow cooker (or the mixing bowl) and pour sauce over chicken, toss to evenly coat. Serve warm on hamburger buns, along with optional glazed or grilled pineapple and optional diced green onions (grilled red onions would be good too).

Glazed Pineapple

  • Working in 2 separate batches, melt 1 Tbsp butter in a 10 inch non-stick skillet. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp brown sugar among one side of 3 pineapple rings (about 1 tsp per each), add pineapple to skillet (brown sugar side down) and saute over medium high heat until golden on bottom about 3 minutes. 
  • Sprinkle another 1 Tbsp over the tops of pineapple rings in pan (again 1 tsp per each), then flip and cook opposite side until lightly browned about 3 minutes. Repeat this process with remaining 3 pineapple rings.


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  • Christag_banners

    Thanks for the recipe. I made this today, simple and very yummy. Next time I’m thinking I’m going to add in some crushed red pepper flakes to give it a little kick to suite my husband’s need for the HOT. Other than that my family LOVED it.

  • Franchise Brisbane

    It looks beautiful on photos, so tasty! I was looking for something fast-making for today, this sandwich recipe looks exactly what i need :)

  • Jaclyn

    Anonymous – there aren’t really substitutes for these those ingredients (other than imitation coconut extract), so my recommendation would be to purchase them or omit them (although I think they give the sauce a subtle yet excellent flavor). The liquid smoke I think was about $1.50 and the coconut extract was about $4. If you do buy it you can use the coconut extract for the coconut cupcakes listed on my site and the liquid smoke for Paula Deen’s pulled pork sandwiches I also have posted. I even added it to the mac and cheese posted on here too. Enjoy.
    northeirthanthough- yeah I’m excited to try the sauce over other things like ribs and grilled chicken/pork.

  • Anonymous

    what could you use as substitution for the liquid smoke and coconut extract? this recipe looks so yummy but I don’t have the ingredients

  • MyFudo™

    Something I would want anytime of the day…The pineapple in the sandwich is really awesome!

  • Jaclyn

    I hope all of you love these sandwiches! Thanks for the comments!
    Brittany – it’s what we had for dinner too =), I hope you thought it was delicious!