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
4.87 from 51 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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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.
4.87 from 51 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

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

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About the author

Rachael is the creator of the food and travel blog Eazy Peazy Mealz where she shares simple to make recipes for busy families. She loves food and the power it has to create traditions, family bonds, and memories, and strives to share delicious, practical recipes with easy to find ingredients and simple instructions. Beyond food, her passion is travel, and she is regularly found away from home, with her 4 kids in tow, exploring the world. Her favorite way to experience a new place is through her tastebuds, and with hands on cooking classes. And she loves sharing what she has learned with her readers.
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Recipe Rating


  1. It tasted good but my sauce was runny too, I kept it simmering for a while and it still never became thick, sticky or glossy. The sauce looked the same as it did 15 minutes later as it did 2 minutes after mixing it all together.4 stars

    1. Sorry to hear that Kristina! I am not sure why it didn’t thicken for you :( Next time you could add a cornstarch mixture to help. Combine equal parts of cornstarch and water. Add a little bit at a time to the boiling sauce while whisking until it reaches the desired consistency. I hope that helps!

  2. We absolutely love the Hawaiian chicken! I used a spicy BBQ sauce that married very well with the sweetness of the pineapple. This recipe is a keeper!. Thank you for sharing5 stars

  3. AMAZING flavor!!! Super easy and perfect portion size… the only issue is that it turned out kind of runny( I added cornstarch and it turned out beautifully), besides that I 110% recommend this dish.4 stars

    1. I like to add water chestnuts, they work really well. I also put the rice in the mix at the end to help thicken the sauce, love this recipe

  4. For some reason I couldn’t get the sauce to thicken up. I followed the recipe exactly. Maybe it’s the BBQ sauce I used? I don’t know. Anyone else have this problem? P. S. It still tasted really good!

    1. Oh no, that’s disappointing. I can’t say for sure why it didn’t thicken for you however perhaps next time adding cornstarch would help. Combine equal parts cornstarch and water. Add a little bit at a time to the boiling sauce while whisking until it reaches desired consistency. I hope that helps!

  5. This sounds so yummy and I’d like to try it for an upcoming baby shower I’m hosting. So here’s the dumb question…the recipe says it serves 4…how would I increase the amount of ingredients to serve a boatload…I’m talking 75 plus people, without sacrificing the taste???

  6. Hawaiian chicken is a perfect slow cooker summer supper. When the weather is too warm for you to stand over a hot stove but you don’t want to sacrifice flavor, put this delicious dish on your menu. We serve with white rice, cilantro, and a dash of hot sauce. Combine 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs (trimmed of excess fat), diced bellpepper, (16oz) of barbecue sauce,
    (8oz) crushed pineapple and garlic powder in the slow cooker. Season liberally with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for six hours, or until the chicken is tender. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the chicken and serve over rice. If you want to thicker, richer sauce, you can reduce it a bit on the stove top. First transfer the chicken to warm up later. Then pour the sauce into a sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened. Enjoy!5 stars

  7. This is SO good!! I used a 20 oz. can of diced pineapple and it turned out Perfect. I have made it 3 times & is now my Go 2 quick meal. 

  8. Made this and now making it again for the 2nd time! Its super delicious, the flavors work so well together and I love feeding my family such a healthy dinner, its a win-win!! Love the pineapple with the peppers and that sauce is WOW, totally ties it all together! I used canned pineapple chunks and it worked great! Thank you for the recipe 5 stars