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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  • Carrie

    Would it be ok to cook on high for a bit to speed it up? Normally I do shredded chicken in the crockpot on high for 4 hours.

  • Joni Spring

    I made this for a summer cookout yesterday and it was delicious and a hit. Would make it again. The grilled pineapple makes this awesome.

  • Allison

    Is there a reason for the boneless skinless breasts? With a slow-cooked recipe, I would normally use the cheapest chicken possible, like a whole bird or leg quarters, then skim off fat at the end. Have you tried other chicken cuts?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I haven’t but you definitely could if you’d like. I just always have chicken breasts on hand :).

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  • Jaclyn

    Anonymous – yes I think this would do well frozen then thawed overnight in the refrigerator and reheated the next day. I would recommend that you freeze it in the individual serving sizes you want so you don’t thaw it all at once (unless you will be eating it all at once). Also, I would highly recommend to you that you make the lasagna roll ups listed on my site, those are a great make ahead and freeze meal and everyone loves them. Another thing I love to make and freeze is home made been and cheese burritos, so simple yet they are amazing when fried in olive or veggie oil, they are like chimichangas and you can easily jazz them up with a little sour cream, guacamole and salsa and serve with a side of rice and you have a meal in no time. I have like 2 dozen in my freezer =). If you do make those I have a recipe for bean dip listed on my site, you just reduce the amount of water in the beans if making refried beans. Oh and thaw the burritos before frying, you can also heat them in the micro rather than frying. Sorry I’m going on and on =). Potato soup would probably be another good on to freeze, I always see it in the frozen foods section and want to do my own at home. I also have a recipe for that here.

  • Anonymous

    Could this be frozen once made? I am looking for some great make ahead recipes for my college age kids . Any suggestions?

  • Anonymous

    We gave it a try tonight but found it too salty and too sweet for our palates but otherwise it had good texture, tenderness and big flavors. With a bit of flavor balancing on my part I am going to nail this recipe next time ;)