This tasty Hawaiian Chicken was made in the Instant Pot.
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4.84 from 6 votes

Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken

Enjoy the mouthwatering deliciousness of the Hawaiian islands with the sweet, savory and tangy explosion of tropical flavors that this Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken has to offer.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time6 mins
NPR4 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Keyword: Chicken, Hawaiian, Pineapple, Pineapple Chicken, Pressure Cooker
Category: Poultry
Cooking Method: Instant Pot
Difficulty: Not Too Tricky
Development Status: Finished
Servings: 12
Calories: 412kcal
Author: Valerie Cooper


  • 4 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs quartered, approximately 12-16 thighs
  • 2 cups sweet onion rough cut
  • 2 cups red bell pepper(s) rough cut
  • 2 cups yellow bell pepper(s) rough cut
  • 1 can pineapple chunks 20 oz, in 100% pineapple juice
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup macadamia nuts raw and untoasted
  • 1 ¼ cups pineapple juice
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsps coconut oil
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar tightly packed
  • 2 tbsps corn starch


  • Turn the Instant Pot on Sauté. Allow it to heat up for a few minutes so that it’s really nice and hot.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the Instant Pot and allow it to heat up.
  • Once the coconut oil is hot, add the half cup of chopped macadamia nuts into the pot and sauté, stirring often, until they begin to brown very slightly (no more than a few minutes). Be careful because they can begin to burn easily. IMPORTANT: When purchasing the macadamia nuts, make sure to get raw, untoasted nuts. The toasted nuts end up burning too easily.
  • Add the 2 cups of roughly cut onion to the pot and mix well into the macadamia nuts. Sauté the onions until they have turned translucent and begin to get golden around the edges (usually 4-6 minutes). Mix periodically.
  • Add the 2 cups of roughly cut red pepper and 2 cups of roughly cut yellow peppers and sauté until they begin to get tender-crisp (4-6 minutes). Mix periodically.
  • While the vegetables sauté, begin quartering the chicken thighs.
  • Remove the vegetable mixture from the pot and set aside.
  • Add 1 more tablespoon of coconut oil to the Instant Pot and allow it to heat up.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the chicken thighs to the pot and allow them to start browning on the bottom. Do not move them around so that they will brown more easily.
  • After a few minutes of browning, add the ¾ cup of of soy sauce to the pot. Mix into the chicken well so that all of the chicken pieces are covered in the soy sauce. Now is a good time to deglaze the bottom of the pot to make sure that no chicken pieces are stuck to the bottom.
  • Allow the chicken to cook in the soy sauce while preparing the pineapple sauce.
  • To prepare the pineapple sauce measure 1 cup of pineapple juice and add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1 cup of tightly packed dark brown sugar and 4 cloves of minced garlic. With a whisk, mix all the ingredients very well.
  • Add the pineapple sauce to the Instant Pot and mix into the chicken.
  • Open the can of pineapple chunks and reserve ¼ cup of the pineapple juice from the can. Discard the rest of the pineapple juice from the can and add the pineapple chunks to the pot. There is no need to mix the pineapple chunks into the chicken. Just allow them to sit on top.
  • Prepare a thickening agent by adding 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the ¼ cup of reserved pineapple juice and mix well.
  • Pour the cornstarch mixture over the top of everything. IMPORTANT: Do not mix the cornstarch mixture into the liquid in the pot. Just pour it over the top. It will naturally mix into the pot during the cooking process. This will help prevent the sauce in the pot from thickening too quickly.
  • Turn off the Sauté feature, close the pot, move the pressure release valve to Sealing and set the Instant Pot on Manual / Pressure Cook, High Pressure for 6 minutes.
  • After the 6 minute cooking time has completed, allow for a 4 minute NPR. This will allow any foam that may have built up in the pot from the cornstarch to settle before releasing the pressure. Additionally, to further ensure that you avoid a mess, after the four minute NPR, do a slow and controlled release. To do this, give the pressure release valve a half turn instead of opening it up all the way.
  • Once the pressure has been fully released and the float valve has dropped, open the pot and set it to Sauté once more. Allow the contents in the pot to start to come to a boil. This should only take a minute or two.
  • Once the pot has started to boil, add the vegetable mix back into the pot the cook for an additional 5 minutes. This will help soften the vegetables a little bit more and allow the sauce to continue thickening.
  • Once the vegetables have finished cooking for 5 minutes, turn the Sauté setting off.
  • Serve this delicious Hawaiian Chicken over your favorite rice and enjoy!


Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 971mg | Potassium: 723mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 890IU | Vitamin C: 85.8mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2.6mg