Weeknight style Slow Cooker Braised Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken Tacos…with spicy Yum Yum Sauce and crunchy slaw. Because loaded tacos are just better. Shredded chicken in a sweet, spicy, and tangy Hawaiian style Hula sauce stuffed into warmed tortillas to make the best saucy tacos. All made in the slow cooker (along with instant pot and stove-top variations). Serve each taco with a creamy, spicy yum yum sauce, and a crunchy Asian inspired sesame slaw. This perfect weeknight dinner comes together in no time, and is so delicious too! Bonus, this saucy Hawaiian Hula chicken is equally great when eaten leftover with steamed rice the following day.
Switching things up today with your new favorite “fusion” style tacos. These surely are not traditional, and they’re definitely a little on the different side. But these tacos are fun and oh so delicious. The truth is, with all this “pantry cooking” I’ve found myself gravitating towards rice and pasta pretty much every single day. Don’t get me wrong, you know I live for a good pasta dish. And rice is something I’ll never ever tire of, but I needed to change it up.
Sometime last week I just got bored. This happens from time to time when I’m developing recipes. When the boredom hits, I know it’s time to really switch things up and share a recipe that’s a little more outside my current box. Enter these tacos. I’ve had the idea for a Hawaiian…ish style taco for some time now. I just couldn’t put the full recipe together in my head. I knew I wanted a saucy shredded chicken, and I knew I really wanted pineapple involved.
You all know I love a sweet and spicy combo more than anything, so I took my favorite flavors and put them into a Hawaiian inspired chicken taco. Not only are these super easy to make, but they’re delicious, and fun to enjoy any night of the week. Especially if you’re looking for a fun for dinner to distract you from all the craziness going on throughout your day.
This is that “magic” taco. It’s easy. It’s fun. And it’s oh so good.
To make these Hawaiian pineapple chicken tacos…
First, pick your cooking method. I used the slow cooker, but honestly cooking in the instant pot or on the stove are equally easy and delicious. It all comes down to how much time you have, and or what your preferred cooking method is. So take your pick.
Next, simply combine all of the ingredients. Chicken, lots of pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, honey, and then some pineapple chunks too. Toss everything together in the bowl of the slow cooker and cook until the chicken is falling apart. Simple. Simple.
This next step is key. Remove the chicken from the sauce, lightly shred it, then place it under the broiler. Cooking the chicken under the broiler allows the chicken to have a chance to caramelize and even become a bit crispy on the edges. It’s extra delicious with this sweet, spicy, and tangy sauce.
Yes…it’s an extra step, but I do think it’s worth it.
Finish these tacos up.
Just before the tacos are done cooking, mix up a quick “yum yum” sauce and crunchy Asian inspired slaw. For the yum yum sauce, just mix Gochujang sauce (Korean style chili paste) with your choice of yogurt, sour cream, or mayo. Personally, I like to use yogurt, but use what you and your family love most. Either way, this sauce is beyond good and slightly addicting. It’s my recommendation to double it.
For the slaw, I kept it very, very simple. Shredded cabbage, additional pineapple, and jalapeños. Then toss everything together with a couple of spoonfuls of the spicy, creamy “yum yum” sauce. And that’s it. It looks like a lot…and it kind of is…but it all ends up coming together effortlessly.
So, to assemble?
Just stuff the shredded saucy chicken inside warmed tortillas. Top with slaw, sauce, and then add one extra special ingredient, crunchy Asian chow mein noodles. Yes, crunchy noodles on your tacos. I told you these were different, but in the best way. You must trust me here and give this a try. The noodles add a nice crunch with every bite. We’re just layering on that texture and flavor here.
And a few notes…
Again, this is a very different taco, but trust me, these tacos are going to become part of your monthly line up. Or at least that’s my hope.
The chicken can slow cook all day, then everyone can build their own tacos for dinner. Easy, fun, and all-around good. Excited to have these tacos in my rotation.
Also, a meal prep tip for you all. You can easily make a big batch of this chicken on a Sunday or Monday night. Then just serve it up throughout the week. You can use the chicken in tacos, incorporate into salads for lunch, or my personal favorite…serve the shredded chicken over steamed rice. Can’t go wrong either way.
And finally, you can easily swap the chicken for a pork shoulder or butt, that would be delicious too.
Looking for other weeknight tacos? Try these:
If you make these slow cooker braised Hawaiian pineapple chicken Tacos, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Slow Cooker Braised Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken Tacos
Calories Per Serving: 466 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, thighs, or a pork shoulder/butt
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons organic ketchup
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1-2 tablespoons sambal oelek
- 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks (or 1 can pineapple chunks)
- 3-4 tablespoons Gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, or olive oil mayo
- juice from 1 lime
- 3 cups shredded cabbage
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- warmed tortillas, crunchy Asian noodles and toasted sesame seeds, for serving
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- 1. In the bowl of your slow cooker, combine the chicken, pineapple juice, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, ketchup, garlic, ginger, sambal oelek, and 1 cup pineapple chunks. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Once done cooking, switch the slow cooker to high. Cook, uncovered for 30 minutes, to thicken the sauce slightly. 2. Preheat the broiler to high. Remove the chicken from the sauce to a baking sheet. Lightly shred, then transfer to the broiler. Broil for 1-2 minutes, until the chicken caramelizes. Watch closely!3. Stir the caramelized meat back into the sauce. 4. Meanwhile, make the yum yum sauce. Combine the Gochujang sauce with the yogurt and lime juice. Season with salt. This is the "yum yum" sauce. 5. To make the slaw, add the cabbage, remaining 1 cup pineapple chunks, cilantro, and jalapeño to a bowl with a few spoonfuls of the yum yum sauce and toss to combine. Season with salt.6. Stuff the chicken into the warmed tortillas. Top with slaw, additional sauce, then add the crunchy noodles and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Enjoy!
- 1. In the bowl of your instant pot, combine the chicken, pineapple juice, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, ketchup, garlic, ginger, sambal oelek, and 1 cup pineapple chunks. Cover and cook on high pressure/manual for 8 minutes. Once done cooking, use the natural or quick release function and release the steam.2. Preheat the broiler to high. Remove the chicken from the sauce to a baking sheet. Lightly shred, then transfer to the broiler. Broil for 1-2 minutes, until the chicken caramelizes. Watch closely! 3. Switch the instant pot to sauté and cook 8-10 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Stir the caramelized meat into the sauce. 4. Follow the directions as directed above for steps 4-6.
- 1. In a large pot set over medium-high heat, combine the chicken, pineapple juice, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, ketchup, garlic, ginger, sambal oelek, and 1 cup pineapple chunks. Cover and simmer the chicken for 30-45 minutes. If the sauce gets too thick, add water to thin the sauce out. 2. Preheat the broiler to high. Remove the chicken from the sauce to a baking sheet. Lightly shred, then transfer to the broiler. Broil for 1-2 minutes, until the chicken caramelizes. Watch closely! 3. Stir the caramelized meat back into the sauce. 4. Follow the directions as directed above for steps 4-6.