Hawaiian Chicken is like a cross between a sweet and sour chicken and a brown sugar chicken. It has a sweet sticky sauce, and delightful chunks of pineapple and peppers, served over white rice.

Hawaiian Chicken, sweet and tangy chicken in a sticky sauce

I don’t know about you guys, but I could always use a vacation to the beautiful islands that make up Hawaii. Unfortunately, I can’t get there nearly as often as I want. But lucky for me, this unbreaded, cooked on the stove-top, easy Hawaiian chicken will have your tastebuds going on a tropical vacation in no time. It is better than take-out, and absolutely mouthwatering with both sweet and tangy notes.

The best way to describe the taste is a sweet and tangy sauce that is a cross between pineapple chicken, sweet and sour chicken, and brown sugar chicken.

The sauce ends up being this sticky, caramelized sauce of brown sugar and pineapple, with some nice tangy notes from the vinegar and BBQ sauce. In fact, the sauce on this chicken is so good I sometimes use it for grilling chicken breasts, not just to make this yummy, almost stir fry like meal.

When it is kind of gloomy, and we are stuck in the colder, darker, winter months, I love having fresh and flavorful meals that bring some sunshine and brighten the table. This is definitely one of those meals. No one is going to feel gloomy or sad when they get a taste of this meal. The flavors are absolutely mouthwatering.

Sticky sweet and tangy Hawaiian Chicken

How Do You Make Hawaiian Chicken?

One of my favorite parts of this Hawaiian chicken recipe is it is comprised of everyday ingredients that are simple to find, and totally awesome when combined. So despite the simplicity, it feels so special.

It’s so simple: sear the chicken, cook the peppers, combine the sauce ingredients, and then add all of the ingredients together.  Cook until the peppers are soft, and the sauce has thickened and glossy.  It’s that simple!

And if you are in a hurry, and don’t want to cut your chicken up, it is totally easy to customize the recipe, and just use chicken tenders, or chicken breasts. The one thing to keep in mind is that the sauce thickens and caramelizes as it cooks down, so if you plan to use whole chicken breasts, cook them a little longer before you start the sauce so they can be cooked through by the time the sauce reaches that sticky, deliciously luscious consistency. Consider pounding your chicken breasts to make them flat and even for a more consistent cooking time and even cooking across the whole breast.

Sweet and tangy Hawaiian Chicken on a plate with rice

And of course, serve it all on white rice or cauliflower rice. I love serving this with a vegetable side like this Cucumber Dill Salad.

If you are looking for other great chicken recipes for weeknight meals, be sure to check out this mega-popular Lemon Butter Chicken or this Sheet Pan Baked Greek Chicken.

Hawaiian Chicken, sweet and tangy chicken in a sticky sauce
4.86 from 77 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Hawaiian Chicken

Hawaiian Chicken is like a cross between pineapple chicken, sweet and sour chicken, and brown sugar chicken. It has a sweet sticky sauce, and delightful chunks of pineapple and peppers, served over white rice.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Rachael


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups bell peppers diced, red, orange, yellow mix
  • 1 fresh pineapple diced
  • 3 cups cooked white rice


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce
  • ½ cup pineapple juice


  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper then add to the skillet.
  • Sear outside until a nice golden crust forms.
  • Remove chicken from pan, add in bell peppers and saute for 3-5 minutes until tender, remove from pan.
  • Add sauce ingredients to pan, and bring to a simmer, add chicken back in, and cook on medium-low heat, letting sauce reduce while chicken cooks through.
  • Add peppers and pineapple to pan, and cook a few minutes more, until sauce is thick, sticky, and glossy, and peppers are tender.
  • Serve over cooked white rice.
4.86 from 77 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 704 | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 1394mg | Potassium: 1446mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 2610IU | Vitamin C: 209.8mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 2.8mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dinner
Cuisine American

More Recipes You’ll Love

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic ChickenSlow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken in a bowl

Ginger Honey Garlic Chicken Tenders

chicken tender with honey, garlic and ginger

Hawaiian chicken with writing
Hawaiian chicken on a plate with a title


, ,

Like our recipes?
Follow us on Pinterest!

Follow us on Pinterest

Recipes you'll love

About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
See more posts by Holly

Follow Holly on social media:

pinterest facebook twitter instagram

Free eBook!

Subscribe to receive weekly recipes and get a FREE Bonus e-book: Quick & Easy Weeknight Meals!

You can unsubscribe anytime by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of emails you receive.

Latest & Greatest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


    1. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out Kris!

  1. Easy to prep, easy to make, extremely easy to eat. I’ve finally found a sweet and sour keeper, delicious!5 stars

  2. I made this tonight… For something different, this is what I offered tonight…. Hubs said it had GREAT taste and the chicken was tender and juicy! (I am writing this when I SHOULD be eating!) No red peppers (we aren’t huge fans since they don’t like us either) so I used some fresh blanched green beans instead….. Oh, the SMELLS! I gotta go – he might be heading in for seconds!) PS: I snuck in before him….. Amazing……!5 stars

  3. The ingredients for this recipe are everyday, common ingredients that are easy to find. The cooking directions are also simple and very easy to follow. The flavour of this dish is not overly sweet; the brown sugar and pineapple juice add some great flavour. I will definitely make this recipe again. My family enjoyed it very much!5 stars

  4. This was sooooo good! I wondered about the need for the bbq sauce, but it was perfect. Easy to make it gluten free too!5 stars

  5. My sauce was very watery. I had to create a corn starch slurry to thicken it. I also added sliced red onion and substituted 1 20oz canned pineapple chunks.3 stars

  6. This recipe is outstanding!! The only reason I’m giving it 4 star is I didn’t follow the recipe to a T. Here’s what I did-I replaced all the ingredients for the sauce (except the pineapple juice) with Korean BBQ sauce and a little regular BBQ sauce. Just to simplify my life. So 1/2 cup SanJ gluten-free Korean BBQ, and 1/4 cup Kraft BBQ. But you could just omit the Kraft altogether and douse the whole thing in the SanJ4 stars

  7. Great flavors. I added some onions. My sauce didn’t quite thicken up how I’d want by the point I had to shut it off to avoid overcooking the chicken. I’ll cook the sauce down a little more before adding it next time, or use a slurry.4 stars

  8. Might be a dumb question but im just wondering does the calories/macros count for the rice as well?5 stars

    1. Hi Ashleigh, it does include the white rice listed in the recipe. For more accurate nutrition information we recommend using an app like MyFitnessPal or similar.

  9. Maybe a silly question but…. Is the tablespoon of olive oil used to cook the chicken or does it go into the sauce ingredients. It is listed under the heading of sauce ingredients. Or heck is it for both?

    1. The olive oil is used in steps 1 and 2 to cook the chicken and then left in the pan to cook the peppers in step 4.

  10. It’s a good recipe but mine came out saucy, I have no idea why. Was really looking forward to the thickened, sticky texture but I don’t know that any of the ingredients could actually make it thick and sticky? Suggestions? (followed the recipe exactly)3 stars

    1. I’m sorry this didn’t come out as thick as you’d hoped. If you would like to thicken the sauce further, I would suggest combining 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon cold water. Whisk it into the simmering sauce a little bit at a time until thickened.

  11. I mixed all the veggies up with the sauce and cooked it for a while. Then i chopped up some left overcooked BBQ chicken (Store bought). Then i threw it into the pot let it cook for a while. Then i got the rice to cook. I took the chicken veggie off the store and let the basmatic rice cook for about 15 minutes. (I cooked it the way chef’s plate instructs). I really wanted a recipe with cooked chicken but yours was fine only i made it differently. I bought a cut up pepper tex mex at the grocery store which i had to cut it up. I’m in Toronto, Canada so sometimes they package a stir fry or tex mex at metro or i can grab one close by a fruit & veggie stand that sells veggies. It’s awesome so you don’t have spend a lot of time cutting the veggies up with no seeds in the prepacked.i also got 30% off of it at metro. The BBQ chicken was left over. Usually when i’m too tired to cook i just buy a grain fed non gmo chicken for $12.00 or i get their deal for $15.00 with 2 sides. It was late so the deal ends at 8 pm. I also used canned tidbits no name brand from no frills. I know fresh would have been better.
    It turned out great. Thank you for this recipe.

  12. Too much barbeque sauce! Overall a descent recipe, but the half cup of BBQ sauce overpowered the rest of the dish. In the future, will use no more than 1/4 cup and add more if desired. Also, a little corn starch to thicken the sauce was helpful for thickening.

  13. Thank you, this is a great recipe. I added a bit of cornstarch to the sauce for thickening. I got the good nod from a picky eater in my family.
    This recipe is now in my recipe keeper. Thanks again.5 stars

  14. This turned out great! I didn’t have some of the ingredients so I substituted asparagus and celery for my vegetables. Orange Pineapple juice instead of pineapple juice, and picante flavored noodles in place of of rice. Thanks for the great idea my husband and I loved it.5 stars

  15. Very tasty and easy! I added a bit of sriracha sauce to give it a bit of heat, but it would have been good without it as well. I will definitely make this again. Thanks for the recipe.5 stars