Hawaiian beer braised chicken tacos are made with insanely flavorful shredded chicken that is cooked with pineapple, BBQ sauce, beer and a blend of spices. Top the tacos with super easy to make Avocado Lime Crema that is CRAZY good!! Make a delicious pineapple slaw by tossing some Avocado Lime Crema with shredded cabbage, cilantro and pineapple to add fresh crunch to the tacos! Recipe includes instructions for cooking the chicken in the slow cooker, instant pot and on the stovetop!
I use my slow cooker and instant pot ALL the time to cook meat because they are both just so convenient, and the meat always comes out juicy and tender. Hawaiian Beer Braised Tacos are proof of that! So so good! The slow cooker and instant both make the shredded chicken a breeze to cook up. Toss the chicken in with pineapple juice and chunks, BBQ sauce, beer and a tasty blend of seasonings and the chicken comes out so flavorful! It has a touch of sweet and a touch of savory - the best combination.
If you want to go that extra step, caramelize the shredded chicken under the broil to get little crispy, juicy pieces of meat. To do this, simply line a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer the meat (leaving the juices behind) to prepared baking sheet, and broil for about 5 minutes, or until the chicken is caramelizes and slightly crispy. So so good.
Whatever you do, don't skip the Avocado Lime Crema because it is AMAZING! It's similar to guacamole but, dare I say it, better! It's super creamy, super flavorful, and just super good. It's made with a lot of similar ingredients as guacamole.. avocado, lime juice, garlic, cilantro. But, where it differs is the addition of pickled jalapeños and sour cream. The pickled jalapeños add a nice little tangy kick to the crema without being spicy (but feel free to add more jalapeños if you want to kick up the heat), and the sour cream makes it smooth and creamy. The key is to blend all the ingredients together!
To add a little crunch to the tacos (which is always needed), mix a big scoop of the Avocado Lime Crema with shredded cabbage, cilantro and pineapple chunks. It's incredible. I was eating it straight out of the mixing bowl.
Chicken. I like to use chicken breasts, but you could also use chicken thighs. The recipe calls for thawed chicken, so if you use frozen chicken increase the cook time. Also note that frozen chicken will create my liquid in the sauce, so the sauce won't stick to the chicken as well.
Pineapple juice & chunks. Make sure you buy the pineapple chunks in 100% pineapple juice. Don't buy the pineapple in syrup. You an also use fresh pineapple for the chunks!
Beer. Just your favorite kind of beer. I recommend a light or medium bodied beer.
BBQ sauce. Use your favorite kind or whatever you have in the fridge.
Seasoning. A blend of simple seasoning to amp up the flavor of the shredded chicken.
Avocado. I recommend using one large or two small avocados.
Sour cream. I like to use full fat. You can also use greek yogurt, if you prefer.
Lime juice. Fresh or from a bottle. Either is fine.
Cilantro. You'll just need one bundle of fresh cilantro.
Pickled jalapeños. I like the mild zip that pickled onions add to the crema, but feel free to use fresh jalapeños, if you prefer.
Garlic. I use garlic powder to make the chicken and fresh garlic to make the crema. Feel free to swap one for the other.
Cabbage. You'll only need half a head or one small cabbage. Nothing exact.
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Slow Cooker Hawaiian Beer Braised Chicken Tacos
- 2 pounds chicken breasts
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- 1 ½ cups pineapple chunks
- ½ cup of your favorite beer (or chicken broth)
- ½ cup of your favorite bbq sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- corn or flour tortillas
Avocado Lime Crema
- 1 large avocado
- ½ cup sour cream (or greek yogurt)
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- 4-5 pickled jalapeno slices (or more to taste)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ head of cabbage, thinly sliced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 cup pineapple chunks, roughly chopped
- salt to taste
Hawaiian Beer Braised Chicken
- Slow cooker: Add the chicken breasts, pineapple juice, pineapple chunks, beer, bbq sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, and salt to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 4-6, or until the chicken is done and you can shred it.
- Instant pot: Add the chicken breasts, pineapple juice, pineapple chunks, beer, bbq sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, and salt to the instant pot. Seal and cook on high for 30 minutes. Quick release when it's done and shred the chicken.
- Stovetop: Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet with tall sides and sear both sides of the chicken over medium-high heat, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low heat and add the pineapple juice, pineapple chunks, beer, bbq sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, and salt. Cover and simmer for about 45-50 minutes, or until you can shred the chicken. If needed, add more beer to thin out the sauce so that there's always liquid in the skillet.
- If desired, transfer the shredded chicken (leaving the juices behind) to a parchment lined baking sheet and broil for about 5 minutes to carmalize and crisp the chicken. Watch closely! Then add the chicken back to the sauce.
- Stuff the chicken into a warmed tortilla and top with slaw and more avocado lime crema!
Avocado Lime Crema
- Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Toss together the cabbage, cilantro and pineapple with about ⅓ cup of Avocado Lime Crema. Season with salt.