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Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken Rice Bowl with Pineapple Salsa

Slow Cook­er Pineap­ple Chick­en Rice Bowls are a par­ty in your mouth! It’s a tan­ta­liz­ing mix of savory and sweet with a mild­ly spicy kick. We love it served as a chick­en rice bowl with Pineap­ple Sal­sa. It’s gluten free and slow cook­er sim­ple. Your new favorite chick­en recipe!

Pineapple Chicken Rice Bowl with Pineapple Salsa in a white ceramic bowl on a marble countertop with turquoise and white checkered napkin
Post may con­tain affil­i­ate links. See my Affil­i­ate Disclosure.

Slow Cook­er Chick­en Breasts with Pineap­ple Sal­sa is such a sim­ple dish that it bog­gles the mind it could pack such a punch of flavor. 

Nut­ty, chewy brown rice forms a deli­cious bed for the spicy, light­ly sweet, but deeply savory sauce and the ten­der juicy chick­en. (To change up the fla­vor pro­file, you can serve Slow Cook­er Pineap­ple Chick­en over a bed of my Easy 10-Minute Mex­i­can Rice.) Del­ish!

Fresh pineap­ple sal­sa on the side adds the per­fect con­trast of tem­per­a­ture, tex­ture and acidic sweet­ness. Chick­en rice bowls nev­er tast­ed so good! Add this to your list of favorite healthy recipes.

Pineapple Chicken Rice Bowl with Pineapple Salsa in a white ceramic bowl on a marble countertop with turquoise and white checkered napkin

This melt-in-your-mouth ten­der pineap­ple chick­en is easy to prep. Toss the ingre­di­ents for the sauce into the slow cook­er. Nes­tle the bone­less skin­less chick­en breasts down into the sauce. Set the slow cook­er chick­en with pineap­ple sauce on low and let the crock pot do the work.

You’re only two and a half hours from a slow cooked chick­en sensation! 

The pineap­ple sauce is slight­ly sweet, but most­ly savory and picks up heat from the more mild­ly spiced poblano, some gin­ger and a seri­ous kick from Asian chili gar­lic sauce.Just adjust the heat up or down by adjust­ing the amounts.

Cook­ing the chick­en direct­ly in the sauce ingre­di­ents helps make the it super fla­vor­ful and ten­der­izes the meat. Adjust­ing the slow cook­ing time to be per­fect for chick­en leaves the chick­en juicy. 

My slow cook­er pineap­ple chick­en ticks off every box for healthy recipes and being a win­ning chick­en din­ner! I know you and your fam­i­ly are going to flip for this deli­cious chick­en rice bowl recipe!

Multiple Serving Possibilities

Pineapple Chicken on a Platter with Pan Sauce ready to make Pineapple Chicken Rice Bowls

We love Slow Cook­er Pineap­ple Chick­en in a chick­en bowl with rice and pineap­ple sal­sa (recipe in recipe card notes), but the recipe cooks up beau­ti­ful, whole bone­less skin­less chick­en breasts that can be sauced and served as the main dish next to any of your favorite sides. 

It would be great with noo­dles, mashed pota­toes or cau­li­flower mash. Or, oh my holy heav­en! !t would be scrump­tious­ly com­ple­ment­ed by sweet pota­toes.

A chopped veg­gie sal­ad, broc­coli ramen coleslaw or a cran­ber­ry apple sal­ad would be deli­cious, too.

Plus, the left­overs would seri­ous­ly make a piz­za that your fam­i­ly would swoon for. Delish!

Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken sliced on a plate and drizzeled with pineapple pan sauce

No mat­ter how you slice it, you’re going to be blown away by this juicy, ten­der and taste-bud tan­ta­liz­ing Hawai­ian chick­en style dish.

Use it as a main with dif­fer­ent sides. Or serve it as a com­plete meal in a scrump­tious chick­en rice bowl. Add slices to your favorite green sal­ad for a hearty and sat­is­fy­ing lunch. Or even chop some pineap­ple chick­en and add it to que­sadil­las to serve with pineap­ple salsa. 

You could also chop the chick­en breast and mix it with the pineap­ple sal­sa and a lit­tle Greek yogurt or mayo for some out-of-this-world chick­en sal­ad sand­wich­es! You’re only lim­it­ed by your imag­i­na­tion with the serv­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties when using my new slow cook­er chick­en with pineap­ple sal­sa recipe.

The Ingredients

ingredients for slow cooker pineapple chicken bowl sauce to make slow cooker chicken rice bowls

For the Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken

  • Pineap­ple Juice
  • Tamari Sauce
  • Raw Unfil­tered Honey
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Poblano Pep­pers
  • But­ter
  • Fresh Minced Gar­lic — you could sub gar­lic powder.
  • Fresh Gin­ger
  • Black Pep­per
  • Salt
  • option­al, 1 — 2 tea­spoons Viet­namese chili gar­lic sauce
  • Bone­less Skin­less Chick­en Breasts
  • Corn­starch
  • Water
Pineapple Chicken on a Platter with Pan Sauce

For the Rice

  • Quick Cook­ing Brown Rice (see below)
  • water
  • option­al, reserved pineap­ple juice from salsa

For the Pineapple Salsa

pineapple salsa ingredients: pineapple tidbits, red onion, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, cucumbers, garlic, limes, fresh parsley
  • Canned Pineap­ple Tid­bits — can sub in fresh. See note below.
  • Eng­lish Cucum­ber or Mini Cucum­bers — a thin skinned vari­ety that won’t need peeled or have a lot of seeds
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Red Onion
  • Poblano Pep­per
  • Fresh Pars­ley
  • Minced Gar­lic — I pre­fer fresh, but you could sub gar­lic powder.
  • Fresh Lime Juice and Zest
  • Salt and Pepper

Long Cook Rice vs Minute (Quick Cook) Rice

instant brown rice infographic

I serve my Pineap­ple Chick­en Rice Bowls on brown rice. If I’m going to eat the carbs, I want the nutri­ent and fiber ben­e­fit. If you pre­fer white rice, it would def­i­nite­ly work in this recipe.

The debate over long cook or quick cook (minute) rice is one that’s set­tled for me. The con­sen­sus, after an inde­pen­dent study, is that there is no appre­cia­ble nutri­tion­al dif­fer­ence between long cook­ing brown rice and quick cook­ing brown rice. See more info here and here.

Quick Cook Rice is reg­u­lar rice that has been par­boiled, mean­ing par­tial­ly cooked. Then it is dehy­drat­ed again. This allows us to be able to com­plete the cook in about 1/4 of the nor­mal time! The nutri­tion­al loss is neg­li­gi­ble and the time gain is HUGE! That’s an easy deci­sion for me.

What is Tamari Sauce?

tamari sauce in a bottle

Tamari is a Japan­ese sauce made from fer­ment­ed soy­beans. It is essen­tial­ly a pre­mi­um soy sauce.

Tamari is thick­er and has more bal­anced, deep fla­vor than tra­di­tion­al Chi­nese soy sauce. It’s veg­an AND allows me to make my chick­en rice bowl recipe 100% gluten free.

You can find tamari in your local gro­cery stores in the eth­nic food aisles or you can order it online [affil­i­ate link].

What is Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce?

jar of chili garlic sauce

Chili Gar­lic Sauce usu­al­ly con­tains chilies, salt, gar­lic and dis­tilled vine­gar. The exact ingre­di­ent list may vary slight­ly from brand to brand. Some may include gin­ger or veg­etable oil. Com­mer­cial brands usu­al­ly con­tain some sort of thick­en­er and a preservative.

It adds a very spicy kick to chick­en rice bowls recipes. It only takes a small amount. I use two tea­spoons because we enjoy the heat. Use less for milder kick.

If you’re look­ing for a recipe to make it home­made, try this Home­made Chili Gar­lic sauce recipe.

Fresh Ginger vs Ground Ginger

microplane and grated ginger on a cutting board

It boils down to a mat­ter of pref­er­ence. I had fresh gin­ger on hand and used it to cre­ate this recipe. You could sub­sti­tute a scant 1/4 tea­spoon of ground gin­ger in this recipe, if it’s more convenient.

  • Since it’s dried, ground gin­ger has few­er essen­tial oils than fresh. 
  • Fresh gin­ger has more sweet­ness than dried.
  • Dried gin­ger con­tains more shogaol, which is what makes gin­ger spicy and pungent.
  • Ground gin­ger is more shelf sta­ble and can with­stand high­er tem­per­a­tures than fresh.
  • Pow­dered gin­ger is more often used in bak­ing and fresh gin­ger in savory dish­es, though that is not always the case.

Canned Pineapple vs Fresh

canned pineapple in the can - 100% pineapple juice is circled

Again, this is deter­mined most­ly by pref­er­ence and con­ve­nience. I used canned pineap­ple in the pineap­ple sal­sa recipe. That wouldn’t be my nor­mal go-to. 

How­ev­er, because the fresh pineap­ples avail­able to me in Nebras­ka this time of year are sim­ply awful, I opt­ed for juicy, fla­vor­ful canned pineap­ple tidbits. 

Be sure you get the ones packed in 100% pineap­ple juice. If you have access to ripe, in-sea­son pineap­ples, you can eas­i­ly sub­sti­tute 4 cups of diced fresh pineapple.

FAQs About Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken Rice Bowls

Is there a sub­sti­tute for tamari in this chick­en rice bowl recipe?

Yes. If you don’t need the recipe to be gluten free, you can use soy sauce. If you need a dif­fer­ent gluten free option, you can try coconut aminos.

Can I leave out the poblano pep­pers so the dish isn’t spicy?

You can def­i­nite­ly omit the poblano pep­per from the dish, though they are gen­er­al­ly fair­ly mild. The real heat in the dish comes from the Asian Chili Gar­lic Sauce. If you want milder chick­en, I would omit the gar­lic sauce and leave in the poblano. If you want no spice at all, elim­i­nate them both.

How to Make the Chicken

Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken ready to slice for Pineapple Chicken Rice Bowls with Pineapple Salsa
  1. Grate the gin­ger. Mince the poblanos and garlic.
  2. Add all the sauce ingre­di­ents for the Slow Cook­er Pineap­ple Chick­en to your slow cooker.
  3. Arrange the bone­less skin­less chick­en breasts in the sauce.
  4. Set the slow cook­er on low and cook for 2 1/2 hours or until the chick­en reach­es an inter­nal tem­per­a­ture of 160°.
  5. Remove the chick­en from the slow cook­er to a plate, so that it can rest. From the resid­ual heat, it will con­tin­ue cook­ing until it reach­es the safe tem­per­a­ture of 165° rec­om­mend­ed by the USDA. This will give juices time to redis­trib­ute, as well, so your chick­en is ten­der and juicy.
  6. Mix the corn­starch with cold water and whisk the slur­ry into the sauce left in the crock­pot. Turn the slow cook­er to high and allow the sauce to cook and thick­en for about 5 min­utes. This is the scrump­tious gravy/sauce you will use in your chick­en rice bowls or for driz­zling over slow cook­er pineap­ple chick­en used as a main dish.

How to Make the Salsa

pineapple salsa in a glass mixing bowl
  1. Drain the pineap­ple and reserve the juice.
  2. Chop all the fresh veg­eta­bles for the salsa.
  3. Mix the drained pineap­ple, chopped cucum­bers, bell pep­pers, onion, poblano, pars­ley, lime zest and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  4. Add salt and black pep­per, to taste.
  5. Refrig­er­ate until ready to use.

Making the Rice

  1. Place the reserved pineap­ple juice from the sal­sa into a liq­uid mea­sur­ing cup and fill with water to bring the lev­el to 4 cups.
  2. Add the pineap­ple water, with a pinch of salt, to a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boil­ing add 4 cups of quick cook­ing brown rice, cov­er the pot with a tight fit­ting lid and reduce the heat to a sim­mer. Cook for ten min­utes or until all liq­uid is absorbed.
  4. Remove from heat and serve.

To Assemble the Pineapple Chicken Rice Bowls

Pineapple Chicken Rice Bowl with Pineapple Salsa in a white ceramic bowl on a marble countertop with turquoise and white checkered napkin
  1. Place a serv­ing of rice in each indi­vid­ual serv­ing bowl just like you would when you serve teriya­ki chicken.
  2. Top the rice with a gen­er­ous amount of the pineap­ple chick­en thick­ened sauce.
  3. Slice each chick­en breast into thin slices, cut­ting across the grain.
  4. Place 1/2 of each breast on top of the rice in each bowl. Driz­zle the chick­en with more sauce.
  5. Add a gen­er­ous serv­ing of pineap­ple sal­sa along the side of the bowl.
  6. Serve the chick­en rice bowls.

If you love rice bowls, be sure to check out my Easy Egg Roll Bowls recipe, too.

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Pineapple Chicken Rice Bowl with Pineapple Salsa in a white ceramic bowl on a marble countertop with turquoise and white checkered napkin

Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken Rice Bowls with Pineapple Salsa


  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 serv­ings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Chicken:

  • 2 cups pineap­ple juice
  • 1/2 cup tamari sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Poblano pep­per, minced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 Table­spoon fresh gar­lic, minced
  • 2 tea­spoons fresh gin­ger, grat­ed (or scant 1/4 tea­spoon ground ginger)
  • 2 tea­spoons black pepper
  • 1 tea­spoon salt
  • option­al, 1–2 tea­spoons Asian chili gar­lic sauce
  • 46 bone­less skin­less chick­en breasts ( 45 pounds)

To Thick­en Sauce:

  • 5 Table­spoons cornstarch
  • 5 Table­spoons water

 


Instructions

  1. Grate the gin­ger and mince the garlic.
  2. Add all the sauce ingre­di­ents (except corn starch and water) to the slow cooker.
  3. Sub­merge the chick­en breasts into the sauce.
  4. Cook on low for 2 1/2 hours or until the inter­nal tem­per­a­ture of the chick­en is 160° in the thick­est part.
  5. While chick­en is cook­ing, make the pineap­ple sal­sa.  Refrig­er­ate until serv­ing time. (Recipe in Notes, below.)
  6. Remove chick­en to a plate to rest.
  7. Whisk corn­starch and cold water until the corn­starch is com­plete­ly dis­solved.  Add the corn­starch slur­ry to the sauce in the slow cooker.
  8. Turn the slow cook­er to high and allow to cook for 5 or 10 min­utes while the chick­en rests and you mak­ing the quick cook rice.
  9. Make the rice.  Cook accord­ing to pkg. instruc­tions.  I use the reserved pineap­ple juice and water to cook my rice.  I use 4 cups of liq­uid and 4 cups of quick cook­ing brown rice.
  10. Assem­ble the Slow Cook­er Pineap­ple Chick­en Rice Bowls and serve.

Notes

Pineap­ple Sal­sa Recipe

  • 2 (20 oz.) cans pineap­ple tid­bits, drained (juice reserved)
  • 1 Eng­lish cucum­ber or 3 mini cucum­bers, diced small
  • 1 large red bell pep­per, diced small
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 1/2 Poblano pep­per, minced
  • 2 Table­spoons fresh parsley
  • 1 Table­spoon minced garlic
  • 3 limes, juice and zest (1/4 to 1/3 cup of juice)
  • Salt and pep­per, to taste
  1. Com­bine the pineap­ple, cucum­ber, bell pep­per, pars­ley, red onion, minced poblano, gar­lic, lime zest and juice in a mix­ing bowl.
  2. Taste and add salt and pep­per, if desired.
  3. Cov­er and refrig­er­ate until ready to use.

Use the reserved juice to cook the rice for rice bowls or freeze to use in recipes, later.

  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 min
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Chick­en, Main Dish
  • Method: slow cook­er
  • Cui­sine: Amer­i­can

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Juicy Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts

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