There is no better way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken than this Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich recipe. This sweet and savory sandwich is quick, easy, and a great way to change up the flavors for something new to put on the dinner table. You can also mix up the meat and pack it with the bun separately for an easy lunch to take to work or on the go.
I am excited to share another easy dinner recipe using rotisserie chicken today. This one shouldn’t even be called easy. It should be classified as crazy easy recipe, or even a stupid easy recipe. It is almost so easy I didn’t blog it, but sometimes even if something is really easy, the beauty of blogging it is just passing on the idea and giving it a little place on the internet so I can save it (or you can save it on Pinterest!) so that when inspiration is running low, it is a little reminder of a yummy thing I should make again.
With that said, let me tell you what I have for you today… a Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich. A little bit sweet, a little bit savory and quite a bit delicious. I make this super easy by using rotisserie chicken. I have been making something similar in the crock pot for years, which I do love, but takes quite a bit more preplanning than this. Let’s just call this the cheater version (that is every bit just as good, and arguably even better!)
You can use leftover rotisserie chicken or pick up one at the store on the way home and both options are super easy. You can also use other leftover shredded or cubed chicken as well. They will all work equally well, you just need something that has a fairly neutral flavor to make this work well, so just don’t use anything that was already heavily seasoned or flavored, unless it was barbecue, in which case it would work beautifully.
So these sandwiches work great when you are low on time obviously, but the best part is that they are different. So when you feel bored, uninspired and in a rut (6 out of 7 days around here!) then use this to get a meal together quickly with some fun new flavors that will make dinner more delicious i.e. something to look forward to and less blah.
You can have this on the table in roughly 5 minutes, maybe up to 10 if you have to pull the chicken off the bones. For a super quick weeknight meal, I like to pair it with chips and some veggies (peppers, carrots, celery, etc) and ranch. If you have a bit more time you could do corn on the cob, baked fries, a green salad, potato salad, or fruit salad. Whatever strikes your fancy really!
Another great option is mixing the meat up the night before, but just leave it cold instead of heating it then, and portion it out into individual containers (like these) then put a bun and toppings in separate ziplock bags. You can easily take it to work with any of the above sides and heat up the meat in the microwave then pop it on the bun, add any toppings you want and *BOOM* you have a hot delicious lunch in minutes.
Hawaiian Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich Recipe- Step by Step
I will walk through this recipe step by step below and share all of my thoughts, tips and tricks. If you are short on time and just want the quick version, then scroll down to the recipe card, but if you have questions on anything, check here because I usually answer most of the things people might be uncertain on in this section.
- 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken- As I mentioned above, you can use a fresh chicken you pick up, or left over chicken. You can also use other chicken that isn’t rotisserie as long as it doesn’t carry a strong flavor. Use white meat, dark meat, or a combination, just make sure there are no little bone pieces in there.
- 1 cup barbecue sauce- You can use more or less to taste. I usually use Sweet Baby Rays, but use any kind or brand that you love!
- 1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained with 1 tbsp reserved. Make sure to save a little juice when you drain the pineapple, but otherwise try to get out as much liquid as you can. I prefer to buy the pineapple in 100% juice because I think it tastes the most fresh and true to the fruit.
- 2 green onions, chopped (optional)- I think this little addition is delicious, but when I make it for my kids I leave it out since I know they will complain about it.
- 4 small Hamburger buns- This recipe is sized for a heaping 1/2 cup of meat mixture on each bun. If you want to use bigger buns, you can use this recipe to make 3 or double it to up the amount of meat for each sandwich.
Use any or all of these as you like or add your other favorites! If you have any great ideas, let me know in the comments below!
- Red onion
- Provolone cheese
- In a medium sized bowl mix the chicken, barbecue sauce, pineapple, pineapple juice, and onions together until everything is evenly distributed. Feel free to use your discretion here to add more or less sauce, pineapple, onions, etc. It is a very forgiving recipe so if you like more or less, just go for it!
- Heat the meat mixture on the stovetop or in the microwave until it is heated through. If you are using a fresh rotisserie chicken, you probably won’t need to heat it much, but if it is leftover chicken out of the fridge it will need a few minutes of heating. I love how things taste on the stovetop so it would probably be my first choice, but if you are short on time, the microwave works just fine! Just make sure to give it a couple of 30 sec-1 minute bursts, stirring in between. Don’t over do it because the chicken can get tough if it is over microwaved.
- Toast buns if desired, then put a heaping 1/2 cup of the meat mixture on each bun and top with your preferred toppings and serve immediately. In a perfect world I would lightly butter the buns, then put them on a hot griddle and grill them up nice and toasty, but again, when you are short on time just throw it on a bun and it will be just fine!
- You can serve this with any of your easy favorites. Veggies with ranch, side salad, chips and salsa, fruit, whatever you have on hand to just round out the meal.
I hope that this meal saves you some time and lets you get something yummy on the table on a day that you don’t have much time. If you are able to make it, I would love for you to leave me a message in the comments below. It makes my day when people try out my recipes! Enjoy!
Hawaiian Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich
Yield 4 Sandwiches
- 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained with 1 tbsp of juice reserved
- 2 green onions, chopped (optional)
- 4 small Hamburger buns
- Red onion
- Provolone cheese
- In a medium sized bowl mix the chicken, barbecue sauce, pineapple, pineapple juice, and onions together until everything is evenly distributed.
- Heat the meat mixture on the stovetop or in the microwave until it is heated through.
- Toast buns if desired, then put a heaping 1/2 cup of the meat mixture on each bun and top with your preferred toppings and serve immediately.