Huli Huli Chicken
Huli Huli Chicken
Dive into the flavors of Hawaii with this must-try Huli Huli Chicken recipe! From its tangy-sweet marinade to the juicy, tender meat, this dish is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Fire up your grill and get ready for a tropical taste sensation that will transport you to paradise!


  • 4 to 5 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup light soy sauce
  • ½ cup pineapple juice (canned)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste or minced ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika, smoked or sweet
  • 1 can sliced pineapple rings, drained (or 1 pineapple)
  • ½ cup sliced green onions, for garnish


  1. Rinse the chicken thighs and pat them dry.
  2. In a large bowl or gallon-size Ziploc bag, combine all ingredients except for the chicken. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Set aside ½ cup of the sauce mixture for serving later.
  4. Add the chicken thighs to the remaining marinade, ensuring they are well coated. Seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (around 400°F).
  6. Lightly brush the grates with oil to prevent sticking.
  7. Place the marinated chicken on the grill and cook for about 10 minutes without turning or moving.
  8. Flip the chicken and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, approximately another 10 minutes.
  9. While the chicken is cooking, grill the pineapple rings until golden on each side.
  10. Once everything is cooked, remove from the grill.
  11. Brush the reserved marinade over the chicken. Optionally, place the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes to thicken the sauce, or heat the reserved sauce in a saucepan on the stovetop until slightly thickened, then brush it over the chicken.Garnish with sliced green onions before serving.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • For extra flavor, try marinating the chicken overnight to allow the flavors to fully penetrate the meat.
  • Don’t overcrowd the grill—make sure there’s enough space between each piece of chicken to ensure even cooking and beautiful grill marks.
  • If you’re using wooden skewers for the pineapple, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes beforehand to prevent them from burning on the grill.


  • Swap chicken thighs for boneless skinless chicken breasts for a leaner option.
  • Add a kick of heat by stirring in a tablespoon of sriracha or red pepper flakes to the marinade.
  • Experiment with different fruit juices such as orange or mango for a tropical twist.
  • Grill the chicken over indirect heat for a smokier flavor profile.
  • Use the leftover chicken to make flavorful tacos, salads, or sandwiches.
  • Mix in some chopped cilantro or mint to brighten up the marinade.
  • Substitute maple syrup for the brown sugar for a richer sweetness.
  • Try grilling pineapple spears alongside the chicken for a fun presentation.
  • Serve the Huli Huli Chicken as sliders with Hawaiian sweet rolls and coleslaw.
  • Transform leftovers into a delicious stir-fry with bell peppers, onions, and broccoli.


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