Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken – $5 Dinner Challenge


This was one of those meals that sorta came together and ended up “balancing” perfectly.  I started out with chicken and pineapple in the slow cooker.  Then as dinnertime drew closer, I decided that rice would be a nice complement, and found a side of the red cabbage apple slaw in the fridge!   (How to Shred Cabbage here.)


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Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken


  • 6 chicken thighs ($2.27) On sale for $1/lb
  • 6-8 slices canned pineapple, plus 1/2 cup of juice ($.75)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon ($.02)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper ($.02)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup brown rice and 1/2 cup rice blend, or 1 1/2 cup rice ($.80)
  • Red Cabbage Apple Slaw ($.75-ish)


  • Place the chicken thighs in the base of the slow cooker.   Top with the the pineapple slices and add some of the juice from the can into the slow cooker.  Sprinkle the cinnamon and crushed red pepper over top.
  • Set the slow cooker on low and cook for 8 hours.
  • Before dinner, cook the rice as directed on the package.
  • Serve with side of vegetables.  Any will do!

Cost $4.61

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  1. says

    I finally figured out how to make a frugal lasagna: replace the expensive cheeses that my kids don’t like with mozzarella which they do like. Making a lasagna with taco seasonings and salsa also allowed me to replace 1/2 of the meat with black beans, further reducing the cost.

    • Tabitha says

      Alea-what a wonderful idea! I love lasagna but my husband and children do not like cheese. So I rarely get to make it. But we all love tacos-that is such a great idea! Thank you!!

  2. says

    I made this today, and I wasn’t impressed with it :( The dish seemed to lack flavour — the crushed red pepper got absorbed by the pineapple and didn’t flavour the chicken :( Will try to tweak this though!

  3. says

    I made this today with a few simple tweaks that I thought worked really well.

    We used a little extra pineapple (the can had 10 slices) and all of the juice from the can. When I was almost ready to make the rice, I mixed some olive oil and garlic with about 1/2 cup of pineapple juice and 2 cut up and “mushed” pineapple slices out of the slow cooker. Then I added a little bit of chicken bouillon (which worked well as there wasn’t a lot of salt in anything else we were using).

    I used that concoction mixed with water to cook the rice in. Yum!

  4. says

    Also not a huge fan. :/ However, I can’t say I wouldn’t make it again in a pinch, especially with a couple tweaks, since it was SO easy. It was entirely edible, just needs something and felt somewhat dry and bland. Thanks for the idea. :)

  5. says

    I made this last night and it was really tasty! Even my husband who, as a rule, doesn’t like cooked pineapple took seconds! I made a small modification (as did someone above) in that I added all of the pineapple (10 slices) and juice from the can. I think I let it go a little longer than 8 hours (busy day!) and it was touch dry – but next time I’ll probably just add 1/2 to 1 cup chicken stock which I think would solve the problem.


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