Crock-Pot Hawaiian Chicken Chili

Hawaiian Chicken Chili

I mentioned last week that I noticed some major love for crock pot roasts when I asked what your favorite crock-pot meal was, but I didn’t tell you about the other thing that I learned while reading your responses. Ranked just below roast beef, chili took a close second when it came to your favorites. I had so many people talking about chili that it got the wheels in this brain of mine twirling. I already have a basic chili recipe that I lurrrve, but once one reader started talking about how Hawaiian chicken chili was their favorite, I quickly looked up a recipe and…died.


This death was not because I disapproved of their choice, but for the fact I had never heard of it before and I was mad at the chili gods for not introducing me sooner. Pineapple. In Chili.– Sweet. BBQ-saucy. Chili.


I finally came to and decided to stop my sulking and just get in the kitchen. It was a good choice. I decided to mix and match a few recipes that I had found and made my own unique take on this odd idea for chili. The pineapple compliments the slightly spicy chili so nicely and I love the smoky undertones from the BBQ sauce mixed with the classic flavors from the chili powder and cumin. We topped ours with a dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips and it made for a unique dinner that we’ll definitely be having again.

Start by browning 2-3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts in a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I’m fairly certain the chicken these breasts came off of was related to Dolly Parton. I’ll just leave it at that.

Place your chicken in the bottom of the crock pot and top with onion,  bell pepper, and a few cloves of garlic.

You’ll then top it off with some beans (black and kidney), BBQ sauce, diced tomatoes, and pineapple juice. Oh, just typing the word pineapple juice makes me a little giddy inside.

Season it up with some cumin, chili powder and ground ginger…

Give it a stir…

And let cook, cook, cook until the chicken is tender. Remove chicken, shred into bite-sized pieces and stir into the chili along with some canned pineapple chunks and EAT!

Crock-Pot Hawaiian Chicken Chili
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 2-3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 C onion, diced
  • 1 C green pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained w/ juice reserved
  • 1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel Tomatoes, or diced tomatoes w/ green chiles
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14. oz) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 C prepared BBQ sauce
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and brown in olive oil just until they have some color but are not cooked through.
  2. Place chicken in crock pot and top with onion, bell peper, tomatoes, beans, BBQ sauce, and ¾ C of the reserved pineapple juice.
  3. Stir chili powder, cumin, and ginger into the chili and set crock pot to cook on LOW for 6- 8 hours, or HIGH for 3-4.
  4. Remove chicken from chili and shred into bite-sized pieces. Return to chili and stir in pineapple chunks. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



  1. says

    This chili looks satisfying and is such a different take on a wonderful dish! I love chili and am always looking for new methods of preparing it. The ginger, bbq sauce and pineapple chunks give it such a different flavor than I am accustomed to and I’m excited to try it next time chili’s on the menu! Also love that it’s made with chicken – I typically use poultry for my chilies and avoid using ground beef. :)

  2. Tom says

    I just spotted this on a ZipList email. It looks very good to me, but I might have to surprise the gf in order to get her to try it. Thanks!

  3. says

    What an amazing combo of flavors. Usually I am not the biggest fan of pineapples but this looks like a great time to use it to balance all of the flavors.

  4. Caryl says

    Just like Heather, I “died dead” when I saw this recipe. All the ingredients are lined up and ready for tomorrow mornings crocking experience. Hope it tastes as good as it looks. I had a fav recipe waaay back in high school that had similar ingredients. Hawaiian Chicken – not a stir fry, think farther back than that. Lost the recipe in a move and haven’t been able to recreate the sweet and tangy flavors since. I have high hopes for this. I will let you know tomorrow night!

  5. Caryl says

    This is a like, not a love. I will try again with a different style of BBQ sauce and maybe it will be better. I used what I had on hand – honey bbq. I think the spicy zip was missing and way too much sweet. Also will try crushed pineapple next time or less of them. Hubby liked it so that was good. Makes plenty for a family.

    • Kristin Gorak says

      Made this for a chili cook off with friends and it was a winner. I used sweet baby ray’s regular and only about 1 tablespoon of chili powder and it was wonderful. Not too sweet like some suggest and not as spicy as it could have been if I used the full measure of chili powder. I used 20 oz can of pineapple chunks and it was perfect..using crushed as someone suggested would put pineapple throughout and take the surprise out of discovering what the big chunks are. That is what everyone loved and if you don’t get into the pineapple then the chunks are big enough to ignore.

  6. Julie says

    Do you recommend any particular type of BBQ sauce? Plain? Sweeter? Spicier? Planning on making this for football watching food on Sunday…….. Thanks!!

  7. Mellonz says

    This dish is absolutely delicious! I am making it again this evening, I do reduce the chilli as my husband doesn’t like it too spicy. I left it cooking on low overnight, the flavor just got better and better. Highly recommend this dish! :)

  8. StephanieH says

    The only problem with this recipe is that I did not make enough! My family of 4 was fighting over every last drop. I followed the directions exactly and it was awesome!!

  9. S.W. says

    I love this recipe! I used pork tenderloin instead of chicken. My husband and I entered it into a chili-cook-off and won 1st prize!

  10. Em and Nate says

    We loved this chili, we also used for a chili cook off at work and took 1st place after losing for years! Everyone wanted to recipe!
    We will be making again for the family.

  11. Joanna says

    This is delicious, and I love the twist on a classic chili! I modified a bit for my family, who don’t like their food as spicy as me. In place of Rotel, I added about 1 oz of mild green chili peppers (and still a can of diced tomatoes per the recipe). I reduced the chili powder to 1 tablespoon. It was delicious. Next time, I plan to serve it over rice. Yum and thanks!

  12. Sean says

    I’m in a small studio apt w/. no stove or hotplate. And I have a work chili cook off coming up and want to stun my co-workes with this! Can I brown the chicken IN the crockpot as well? Then put the rest of the stuf over top once its browned? And THEN pull it out, tear it, and minx back into the crock? In other words… I can use ONLY the Crockpot for the entire thing? Thanks!

    • Daniel says

      I think you could probaly use any prepared meat. If I was in your situation, I would probably just go buy a cooked chicken from the store and put it in there, or any other meat you prefer. I loved it with pulled pork.

  13. Daniel says

    I used the recipe exactly as written, except I replaced the chicken with my own homemade “Kahlua Pig”. I have to say this was amazing! Thanks for the great recipe, I am sure it will be a hit at work when I make a batch at the chili cook-off!


  1. […] 25. Crock-Pot Hawaiian Chicken Chili This doesn’t make a soupy chili, but rather one that is thick and chunky, and almost looks like you could eat it with a fork. Pineapple is often used to Hawaiian up a meal, and that’s one of the factors of this recipe. You’ll also see that they’re using cumin, ginger, and Ro-Tel tomatoes so it’s not going to lose its chili identity. The use of BBQ sauce will give it a smoky flavoring and familiar flavor, and help to round things off. The list of ingredients is full of foods that will be beneficial to the body, so you can’t go wrong with this choice. […]

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