Grilled Huli Huli Chicken

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Grilled Huli Huli Chicken is a five star recipe! The marinade is quick and easy and full of such amazing flavor! You will make this again and again!

Grilling season is coming and I could not be more excited! Grilling can bring out the best in foods, try these favorites, Chicken, Asparagus, and Shrimp!

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken on a plate with grilled pineapple and garnished with green onions.

Huli Huli Chicken Recipe

This Huli Huli Chicken has been on my list of things to make for years now. I am kicking myself for not making it until now. We loved it so much we grilled it three nights in a row. Huli Huli originated in Hawaii and has quickly become a restaurant staple. Now you can make this at home. When my hubby took his first bite of this chicken he said it tastes exactly like our favorite restaurant. It is honestly one of the best things that we have grilled to date.

The marinade is quick and easy with a few ingredients and the flavor will blow your mind. I marinaded the chicken overnight so that it could soak up all that delicious flavor. You reserve some of the sauce to baste the chicken with while it grills. The sauce is thick and delicious and coats the chicken perfectly as it grills. We love to grill at our house and this recipe needs to be at the top of your list! It was incredibly grilled with our favorite grilled pineapple recipe. This recipe is easily a five-star recipe that you will make again and again. We already can’t wait to make it again!

What You Need for Grilled Huli Huli Chicken

Everything can be found at your local grocery store, look for fresh ginger in the produce section.

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs: You can use chicken breasts but they can dry out and not be as flavorful.
  • Unsweetened Pineapple Juice: You can find this in the canned fruit section sometimes as well as the juice section of your grocery store.
  • Soy sauce: Low Sodium soy sauce will work here too.
  • Brown Sugar: The sugar will caramelize the chicken and gives it a beautiful flavor.
  • Ketchup: This will add flavor and richness.
  • Chicken Broth: Adds flavor to the marinate, look for low sodium if you desire.
  • Fresh Ginger Root Grated: I can often find the ginger in the produce section of my grocery store.
  • Minced Garlic: Fresh minced garlic is best but you can used jarred to save a bit of time.
  • Green Onions: Sliced for garnish.

Let’s Make Some Grilled Chicken!

Super simple and easy, but big on flavor, this is going to become a staple in your grilling rotations.

  1. Marinate: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, chicken broth, ginger, and garlic. Reserve 1 cup sauce for basting. Add the chicken thighs and sauce to a ziplock bag and marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  2. Grill It: Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Baste occasionally with reserved marinade during the last 5 minutes. Garnish with green onions if desired
Chicken thighs sitting in a bowl of marinade.

The Best Huli Huli Chicken Tips

With all grilled foods there are some do’s and don’ts to make sure it is the best tasting chicken you have ever had.

  • Chicken: What kind of chicken you use matters. When you are grilling the possibility of losing moisture is more likely. You want to cook your chicken to 165 degrees without drying it out. It is best to use chicken thighs because they have dark meat which is naturally moister and has a bit more fat. You can use breasts but you want to pound them out the same thickness so they cook evenly and pull them off the grill when they are about 162, they will continue to cook while resting.
  • Rest Your Chicken: To help the chicken retain its moisture and flavor you want to let your chicken rest after it is done cooking. This gives the chicken time to redistribute the juices, leaving more inside than on your plate. This is true for any meat you grill. Let it rest covered with foil for about 10 minutes.
  • Marinade: Make sure you reserve marinade to baste the chicken once on the grill. Do not use the marinade the raw chicken sat in. It will spread bacteria and possible food poisoning.
  • Do Not Have A Grill? No worries, you can still enjoy this incredible dish by cooking the chicken in the oven at 400 for 20 min or in a pan on the stovetop.
Basting chicken as it grills.

Popular Sides For Huli Huli Chicken

Grilled main dishes are a great spring and summer staple. Add sides that compliment your dish and highlight the season. Here are some tried and true recipes to try when serving your Huli Huli Chicken.

Grilled Huli Huli chicken and pineapple on a plate.

Storing and Using Your Huli Huli Leftovers

I love this recipe, because you make a lot and they make the best leftovers! It is like it tastes better the next day.

  • Store leftovers tightly covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can freeze the chicken in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
  • Use leftovers to top some of your favorite salads, like Broccoli Ramen Salad, or add to a Buddha Bowl.
Diced grilled chicken ready to eat.

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken

4.86 from 21 votes
Grilled Huli Huli Chicken is a five star recipe! The marinade is quick and easy and full of such amazing flavor! You will make this again and again!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 10 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs chicken breasts also work
  • 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • green onions sliced for garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, chicken broth, ginger and garlic. Reserve 1 cup sauce for basting. Add the chicken thighs and sauce to a ziplock bag and marinate at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Baste occasionally with reserved marinade during the last 5 minutes. Garnish with green onions if desired

Video

Notes

Updated on April 25, 2021
Originally Posted on May 1, 2016

Nutrition

Serves: 10

Calories288kcal (14%)Carbohydrates17g (6%)Protein36g (72%)Fat8g (12%)Saturated Fat2g (10%)Cholesterol172mg (57%)Sodium907mg (38%)Potassium544mg (16%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar15g (17%)Vitamin A85IU (2%)Vitamin C3mg (4%)Calcium33mg (3%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword grilled huli huli chicken, huli huli chicken
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

A Reader’s Review

“Absolutely delicious! Easy and many ways to eat it. Last evening we skewered the chicken!” -Tricia

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. 5 stars
    This may be the best darn chicken grill recipe I’ve ever had. The marinade caramelized as the chicken grilled. I cut up zucchini, red and yellow peppers, onion, broccoli, carrots & mushrooms and grilled them with a soy, garlic and fresh ground ginger.
    The pineapple makes this very special. Before serving, I drizzled the reduction over the chicken and it really made the complexity of flavors pop. Don’t leave off the green onion garnish.
    Every single person at the party begged for the recipe. Big hit.

  2. 5 stars
    So glad your recipe has included pineapple juice. Most Huli Huli recipes leave it out. We love this meal and have made it dozens of time.

  3. 5 stars
    The recipe gets 5 stars, the ads? Seriously? Corporate sites don’t have as much detritus and distractions.

  4. 3 stars
    One of the other comments said “so glad you included pineapple juice”. Just because a dish is Hawaiian doesn’t mean it has pineapple in it. Most traditional Hawaiian dishes don’t have pineapple in them. The rest of the marinade seems to be very good and the chicken looked very good.

    1. 5 stars
      “Just because a dish is Hawaiian doesn’t mean it has pineapple in it”… family is from the Big Island; most people put pineapple in it. Also I wouldnt really call this a traiditional dish as it was first created in the 30s when cultures started blending because of all the people that came to work in the cane fields.

      Great recipe! Reminds me of home.

    2. Tim, you can say that about every ethnic recipe. There are some dishes that just work better with that “special’ ingredient. Huli Huli is one of those meals. Creole vs Cajun for example. Creole recipes use a lot of tomatoes but not Cajun recipes. But there are some Cajun recipes that do call for tomatoes and it would not be the same if excluded.

  5. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Easy and many ways to eat it. Last evening we skewered the chicken!

  6. It looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it. Just one question: Do you think it would turn out ok if you put the chicken and marinade in a bag and froze it? I am working ridiculous hours and need things in the freezer I can grab and air fry. Any thoughts?
    Oh, and thank you for a great website! I love to see your emails in my in box! Always find something so tasty and quick!

    1. This is my go to camping dish when I serve a big meal for the group – 20 people- I make it in advance, put the chicken and marinade in big zip locks, freeze it and then it it also acts like a freezer block in to cooler as well. Take it out to thaw before you cook. Still tastes awesome. I save some of the marinade and reduce it to baste with. Winner winner chicken dinner.

  7. 5 stars
    Made this over the weekend and was well received by the entire family. The mixture of flavours in this dish makes you wanting more.
    Will be making it again. Love it!

    1. Yes, I recommend cooking it on the grill for the best flavor and texture but if you need it in the oven you can bake it at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 20 minutes and flip over until it is cooked until the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

  8. 5 stars
    Made it with chicken breast and with tofu. Both excellent.
    Prefer the chicken but that’s usually the case for me, anyway.

  9. 4 stars
    Although I love the flavors of your recipe this is not truly Huli Huli chicken. Huli Huli means turn turn in Hawaiian. The name Huli Huli chicken comes from the chicken is cooked over a Spicket that turns. Original recipe is a secret but in Hawaii you can find very close recipes.

  10. Haven’t tried this one yet, and literally have the Grilled Hawaiian BBQ Chicken foil packets cooking in my oven as I type this! Would you willing to update this recipe for a foil packet? Our family LOVES foil packet meals! Keep up the great work!!

  11. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. However, I cooked mine in the oven. Saw the note saying -no grill not a problem. Bake 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Mine took 25 minutes but they were fantastic. Last 5 minutes I basted. So great.

  12. 5 stars
    WOW!!! & AMAZING!!! Super simple recipe w/ HUGE flavours for the taste buds & the longer the marinade the better the flavours come out…I used Maggie’s sauce instead of regular Soy sauce & the taste was incredible…BIG hit @ Sunday dinner !!!Mmmmmmm paired it w/ the Parmesan garlic potato foil pks & was an instant hit & now a fam fav❤️

  13. 5 stars
    This is so good! I had been making Huli Huli Chicken for a few years but I was using a different recipe that has more steps and is more work than this one. Because of that I decided to use this recipe but didn’t expect to like it as much. I was so wrong! This recipe is delicious! It is now one of my all time favorite recipes. I used chicken breast and thighs. The thighs were tastier but I like to add more lean protein to our meals. I replaced the brown sugar with Splenda Brown Sugar to cut down on some of the sugar. My family likes spicy food so I added 2 teaspoons of sriracha to the marinade.

  14. Made this last week. Husband said it was one of his new favorites! Absolutely delish! Served with grilled pineapple and grilled zucchini. Thanks for another great recipe!

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