Grilled Huli Huli Chicken

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Grilled Huli Huli Chicken will transport your taste buds to the tropical islands! Chicken thighs are marinated with pineapple, soy sauce, and brown sugar then grilled to perfection.

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken is delicious grilled chicken bursting with pineapple and Hawaiian flavor.

You guys, this Huli Huli Chicken is so delicious and a total must-make. It’s the first recipe you need to try when you dust off your grills! The marinade is really simple to whip up and so easy. As we ate this I felt like I was back on Maui enjoying some yummy Hawaiian food. I served ours with fried rice, grilled pineapple and fresh broccoli. My entire family gobbled it right up. 😀 

I will note that this recipe makes a TON. Perfect for a big barbecue or outdoor get together. If you’re not feeding that many you can easily divide the recipe in half. Also, I did use chicken thighs and it was wonderful, but they are fattier than chicken breasts. (That’s why they taste so dang good!) By all means, if you’re not a big lover of chicken thighs you can totally use boneless, skinless breasts. That’s what I am going to try next time!

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken is delicious grilled chicken bursting with pineapple and Hawaiian flavor.


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Grilled Huli Huli Chicken is delicious grilled chicken bursting with pineapple and Hawaiian flavor.
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4.89 from 35 votes

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken

This chicken will transport your taste buds to the tropical islands! Chicken thighs are marinated with pineapple, soy sauce, and brown sugar then grilled to perfection.
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 16 minutes
Servings 12
Author Holly


  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 ½ teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • 24 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 4 pounds) OR 4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together juice, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, broth, ginger and garlic until combined. Reserve 1-1/3 cups marinade for basting. Cover and refrigerate. Divide remaining marinade between two large resealable plastic bags. Add 12 chicken thighs to each; seal bags and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
  • Drain and discard marinade from chicken. Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack.
  • Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.; baste occasionally with reserved marinade during the last 5 minutes.


Serve chicken with fresh slices of pineapple (grilled is amazing) and sliced green onion, if desired.



Grilled Huli Huli Chicken is delicious grilled chicken bursting with pineapple and Hawaiian flavor.
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Recipe Rating

83 thoughts on “Grilled Huli Huli Chicken

  1. That is awful people feel the need to cuss and to be rude. It is easy for some people to be nasty behind their computer screens without any repercussions. I doubt any of them would have the balls to say it to your face. Cowards! Anywho this recipe looks delicious! We are supposed to get snow in Michigan tomorrow, but maybe we can get out grill out soon haha.

    1. I know it’s crazy how people feel the need to be so hateful. And I agree, it’s easy to be a jerk behind a computer! lol Thanks for your sweet comment! xoxo

      1. 5 stars
        Holly, please don’t take it personal in any way. There can be a story about a couple that just found out they are expecting after trying for 5 years which is a very happy event, however, you would not believe what some people would say to this couple. I just don’t understand it.
        Anywho….:) I want to tell you I love your blog, recipes (I have one in the crock pot now), your meal planner. Please continue on. You have a lot of fans!!

        1. 5 stars
          Sandra, you damned right, how people can be so damned rude, I am going through crap at work right now and it is assault, but I too as Holly will “SURVIVE IT ALL” and I am 80 yrs young!!!!

      2. 5 stars
        Holly, pay no attention to the ars-holes, they probably don’t the cooking from a hole in the ground. I back you and you keep up the great work, keep the recipes coming.

    2. 5 stars
      Danielle: I agree, people on these post and at the work place the same way. IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING GOOD TO SAY NOTHING AT ALL. They do that for attention!!

  2. 5 stars
    I love all your recipes! Everyone I’ve tried turned out great 🙂 I will be adding this one. Yummy!

  3. Hi Holly,

    I just found your blog several weeks ago and it has changed my family’s life!! Take that, you rude commenters!! Honestly, my kids are just eating more and better every day because of these beautifully presented recipes. I am SOOOO excited to finally be able to make the yummy food that I used to just see at other people’s houses! Anyway, thank you so much for doing this. I am super impressed with the time and energy you put into it. Anyone who feels the need to be rude, well, that’s just sad. There is absolutely no point in it. Anyway, I wasn’t even going to comment because I try not to be too wordy on the internet (oh well! haha!) but I really want to counter anything negative with some positive words! Thank you again! p.s. The shamrock shakes were a HUGE hit!! Have not made this grilled chicken yet but when I do I will come back!

    1. Ha ha! Sarah, thank you so much for your kind comment. And I am so happy you found my blog and loving the recipes. Thank You! xoxo

      1. Holly yummy huli huli Chicken. I grew up in Hawaii and we always had this for special occasions hang in there.

  4. I love huli huli chicken. I will try your recipe the next time I make it. My recipe calls for 1/2 cup frozen pineapple juice concentrate instead of 1/3 cup chicken broth and only 1/2 cup of brown sugar. The rest of the ingredients are the same. Where I live now, I have a hard time finding frozen pineapple juice concentrate. Your recipe sounds like the answer to my problem. Thank you ! I don’t understand why so many people are mean and rude these days. Try not to let it get to you. What you are doing for the rest of us is greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Patty! I feel so bad because I honestly did forget to add the pineapple juice in the list of ingredients. I feel terrible! But it does call for just the juice, not the frozen concentrate so that should be a lot easier to find. And thanks for your sweet comment! xoxo

      1. Thanks Holly, this is perfect. I have no problem finding regular pineapple juice in a can. Your suggestion to serve the chicken with grilled fresh pineapple is spot on. For adults, I marinade my fresh pineapple slices for one hour in 2 c water, 1/2 cup rum, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar. If children are present, I omit the rum, increase the dark brown sugar to 1/2 cup, and add 1 Tbsp cinnamon. It is good either way.

        1. 5 stars
          I think I might add MORE rum for the kids. Then you can stand the against a tree and have a great time! I’m honestly joking, I have grandkids that are the loves of my life. Great Blog and recipes Holly! Thank you!

  5. Hello Holly!

    Very upsetting that people feel the need to be so rude!
    All that I have to say is that I absolutely LOVE everything that you put up on your blog!
    I have been coming to your blog every week now for quite some time. Seriously 90% of my family’s meals comes from your blog. And we have loved every single recipe that I have made!!
    So thank you for being you. A mom that likes to cook for her family using easy to re-create recipes with ingredients that aren’t out of this world lol

    P.S. This chicken looks amazing!! We will be trying it soon!

    1. I know, it’s hard to come on and read such hateful comments, but ya know, the general questions and kind comments I get from people like you make it all worth it! xoxo

  6. Holly,

    I absolutely love your blog – the great recipes, the beautiful photos – you are truly amazing! And now I have another thing to admire: the graceful way you called out the haters! Way to put out an awesome recipe & blog post, and keep it classy! God bless you & your family!


  7. This sounds amazing! I’m going to try subbing Mango nectar for the pineapple as I’m highly allergic, but I cannot wait to try this and a couple of other recipes I’ve seen on here:) Thanks so much for posting:)

  8. There is absolutely no excuse for people to behave in the manner you indicated above. The fact that you take your time to share such wonderful recipes is to be commendable. I have tried several and have never been disappointed. Please continue doing what you’re doing as there are so many of us that truly appreciate you. For those people that feel the need to be nasty and negatively critical and cruel, perhaps they should simply avoid your blog as I’d certainly hate to see you get discouraged and decide to discontinue it.

    Thank you for sharing!

  9. We resenrly had family bbq and I have a bunch of uncooked chicken thighs and I think your recipe will be just what I ‘m looking for. My mesquite recipe is great but I feel the need for something different and this sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing with us!!!

  10. 5 stars
    We only have a charcoal grill and I didn’t feel like messing with it last night, so I cooked this meal in a cast iron skillet. I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and they were overcooked and tough, and seriously… it was still awesome! This recipe is yummy yummy yummy! Next time I will pound out the chicken. It seems to be the only way I’m capable of getting it cooked through without turning it to rubber.

    You are my all-time favorite food blogger! I’ve always loved cooking, but had lost my inspiration until I ran across your site. It’s amazing that you can come up with a recipe so good that I can’t even ruin it with overcooked chicken. =) You rock!

    I also want to add to the love and say how terrible it is that people would cuss you out because they didn’t like a recipe. Those people lead a sad existence and I hope you don’t let them get you down. I can’t imagine how tough it must be to read such things. Hang in there, girl. Your recipes are amazing.

  11. Thank you for this recipe. I had the conversation yesterday with my husband that I wish I could find the BBQ recipe for the chicken I had at TED’S on the North Shore and here it is. I’m super excited to give it a go. Thanks again and I’m sharing the recipe and the blog with family and friends.

  12. 4 stars
    It looks amazing and yes I would it cuz is different!! I do tend to get in recipe rut my self so always looking for something different!! Great job on photos too!!!

  13. I can not wait to try this. Hubby and I were stationed in Hawaii when we were first married, and we had Huli Huli chicken all the time. I cheated though, and bought the sauce pre made. It is still one of my favorites 30 years later! Thanks for this recipe!!

  14. 5 stars
    I have not tried this recipe yet but regardless how it turns out it gives no one grounds to disrespect you. I pray you see those people for exactly who they are and know it has nothing to do with you! I hope you will continue to post recipes. Best regards, Sophia

  15. I made this tonight and it was amazing! I decrease the recipe to 1/4 since I’m just cooking for 2. I also added peppers onions and carrots. It was VERY good. Thank you!

  16. 5 stars
    I haven’t tried this yet, bit I definitely will. As to the comments issue. My Mama told me if you don’t have anything nice to say. KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. Just my opinion. Feeling for ya.

  17. Made this recipe about a month ago. Hubby and I love it. I did cut the recipe in half. Getting ready to make it again. Very flavorful. I like to use chicken thighs. Thanks for the great recipe.

  18. 5 stars
    This recipe is a big hit with all my friends and family. Last time I made this, I made a batch for around 15 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs. At my house we like it when I add a whole seedless diced Jalepeno for one recipe. Just gives it a nice flavor.

  19. Can’t wait to try this recipe! I am Hawaiian and love huli huli chicken. This recipe varies from what is considered traditional huli huli chicken, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t yummy or worth trying. And just a lil fun fact: huli huli means turn turn. Traditionally this chicken is cooked on spinning spits, but it can be grilled, too! Thanks for this recipe! Just got a new grill and can’t wait to throw this on there!

  20. This recipe is amazing! I had Huli Huli chicken at a restaurant in Waikiki 20 years ago and thought it was the best chicken I’ve ever had. So I was excited when I seen this recipe and I tried it last night using boneless skinless chicken breast. And I had that same feeling that I had in the restaurant. it is amazing! The next time I make it I think I’m going to do it as a shish kabob along with pineapple and onion. But I’m pretty sure it’s going to taste good no matter how I prepare the chicken

  21. 5 stars
    I love your blog and every recipe I have cooked has been good the first time takes a little longer because of the first time no one should cuss at you and put you down but someone should be able to leave a negative comment regarding the recipe and that is where you come in with suggestions
    Them the rest of us can see what their issues were and comment on the recipe that’s how we all learn the tricks of the recipe

  22. 5 stars
    I made this last night for dinner and OMGEE so good!! I didn’t have 6 hrs to marinade it so it only got about 3 hrs but it was still very good. Everyone loved it! Thanks!

  23. Hi Holly,

    It makes me sad that people use social media as a weapon. I don’t know what happened to being Godly and kind to one another. If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. Anyway, this is the first time I’ve ever looked at your blog and I’m excited! This recipe looks delicious. Can’t wait for the weather to get a little warmer so we can try it. I’m sure it will be a big hit with my family. Looking forward to seeing more of your recipes!

    Thank you!

    1. 5 stars
      Misti: Society today is all screwed up, even in the work place!!!! Holly is a great blogger and I do follow with her recipes, she just needs to let it flow off like water off a ducks back. “PEOPLE NOW ARE SO DAMNED CRUEL AND THAT IS MAY BE HOW THEY WERE BROUGHT UP”!!!!!!

  24. Can’t wait to try this , looks amazing- I’m always looking for tasty options that are low sodium!
    I think it would be great with a side of coconut rice.

  25. I made this last night and it was amazing!!! We will definitely be making this again and I shared the recipe with a few friends

  26. 5 stars
    Wow…just, wow! Why, on EARTH would someone act like a rude low-life over a r-e-c-i-p-e! Yikes! My mother always told me to ‘Consider the source’!
    I am so glad I found this recipe! Soooo beautiful! I go in KNOWING my finished dish will look AND taste NOTHING like the picture & recipe! Hey…as long as it tastes good, I’m ok with it! No one to blame but little, ol’ me if it doesn’t turn out!
    My husband & I spent a month on Oahu in ’04 & the little town of Haleiwa(haw-lay-EVA)had THE best Huli-Huli Chicken! We went back several times, and, we were sad they only did this on weekends! After the first time sharing, we each got our own! Sorry…not gonna share, it’s too freakin’ yummy to share! We’re going back in 2 years with our granddaughter, who will be 12, & introduce her to this amazing treat! Believe me!…it WILL be better than ANYTHING I can make! Thanks for this recipe! Making it soon!

  27. 5 stars
    I just added to the Weight Watchers website and gave credit to your blog. If you substitute the chicken thighs for breasts, it is only 4 point dinner and that includes ALL of the marinade on the chicken. Because you discard the most of the marinade before grilling, it is likely closer to 2 points! Nice recipe and good luck with your blog.

  28. Just a quick note. I love your recipes, comments and experiences! Please keep them coming and ignore the idiots. Lol easier said than done I know

  29. You are never going to get away from mean people.Especially with the internet.Just know that their are many of us who appreciate you posting your recipes.Thank you.

  30. I jjust added milk mayo mix to pasta and it seems to be quite soupy. Will this eventually thicken up? Did everything according to directions.

  31. Simply amazing chicken!!! Had a party of about 50 people and make skewers with this marinade. Rave reviews. Don’t listen to the haters!!

  32. 5 stars
    Yesss! I was raised in Waimea, Big Island and miss the huge huli huli fundraisers at church. (Smell it for miles around!) I want to thank you for a perfect recration of my child hood favorite. I grilled and used a re-dip method i learned from my Chamoru Army buddy. Had some thickened sauce on the side to coat final batch. Added a lot pinapple juice to get carmalization and sweeter taste. Much apprechiated! Ono grindz!

  33. 5 stars
    Holly, you just hang in there, when I see a comment I try to destroy it.. You know what I mean.. Keep up the great work and as I don’t use this language just “F” them.. They probably don’t know how to cook any how. I am 80 yrs young and I have been cooking for one hell of a long time for my family and now myself and my SERVICE DOGGIE.. I AM A VETERAN AND I TALK STRAIGHT TALK!!! Just don’t pay no shit what negatives say they are in another world. “IT IS THE PUNK WORLD”!! Excuse my language. “LOVE YOU BLOGGER”..

  34. love your recipes, your stories, your positive attitude. while reading your stories, it makes me smile and remember when I a kid, watching my mom cook. She would make the best cookies and cakes, my brother and I would argue over who would get the bowl and who would get the spoon when she was done… thank you for being you.

  35. 5 stars
    If I reduce the amount of chicken by half, should I reduce the marinade ingredients by half too?
    Btw I’ve saved this recipe a while ago and it was the first thing I cooked on my grill this summer after knocking the dust off! This is by far may favorite way to celebrate summer. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  36. 5 stars
    Someone may already have asked this question, but….
    This recipe looks AWESOME, and I’m wondering if raw chicken can be mixed with marinade, portioned, and frozen.

  37. 4 stars
    thank you so much for this delicious rendition of Huli Huli. I have made different versions of this several times and have decided that I like the version without the ketchup. not sure if ketchup makes it more authentic but we all do that don’t we, tweak it just a little bit to our specific taste.

  38. 5 stars
    This chicken is simply amazing! A friend made it and I loved it. Made it at home and everyone loved it and I am a cook and make it at work and it’s a hit! It’s so tender and flavorful! If you double the marinade recipe you can use it to make the rice. I can’t rave enough about this chicken!

  39. 5 stars
    So sorry to read that some people never developed kindness or manners. THE CHICKEN was delicious . Thank you for posting.

  40. 5 stars
    Excellent! A can of pineapple has almost 1 C. of juice–so I used that and grilled up the pineapple to serve with the chicken. I ONLY MARINATED FOR ABOUT 1 HOUR and it was good. For a side, I made coconut jasmine Rice (1c. Jasmine rice, one can coconut milk–add water to reach 2c. liquid, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbs. grated ginger). Everyone loved the chicken!!

  41. 5 stars
    Great recipe, followed marinade as is – delicious and authentic. Used 2.5 lbs of frozen chicken breasts, dethawed in the marinade over 4 hours. While the grill was warming up I drained the marinade and reduced over the stove, separated that Into two portions, one to baste on the grill and the other to baste the end result and drizzle over rice. Grill ran a little hot, around 500*, forced to flip frequently and basted at every turn. Think THIs actually resulted in a little bit better end result, and the marinade caramelized beautifully. Turned the left overs into frozen meal preps, turned out great as well. Thanks for the recipe, definitely a keeper!

  42. Wow! So sorry to read how people have abused you for simply sharing your recipes! You certainly dont deserve Such behavior. However, i hope you dont let it deter you from doing what you love to do, allow me to thank you on behalf of all of us out here searching for new, delicous meals!

    Remember what they say opinions are like…

  43. Holly,

    Please don’t let people get you down. I have found so many great recipes from your site and have recommended it to many of my friends and family. There will always be people who don’t like something or have nothing better to do than complain. Life isn’t perfect. There might be some recipes that don’t interest you. That’s OK. Find one that does. so many recipes that I have tried from what you have posted are phenomenal and have become some of our favorites! Please continue to share your recipes with us. I am always looking for the next new favorite. I can’t wait to try the huli huli chicken!

  44. Holly, I HAVEN’T read through the reviews.But I know this Chicken recipe is a keeper.I make it all the time.Thanks to you.Matter a fact Ive tried a lot of your recipes and mY husband loves to eat and no complaints from him.Don’t change a thing.Thanks for making me look good in the kitchen. Sorry about the caps.Something is going on with my phone.

  45. Thank you for all your recipes! I’m always shocked by how rude people can be hiding behind their keyboards. Please ignore them and keep sharing. Some of the recipes you have shared have become our favorites, Your Monday meal plans have changed my meal planning (for the good XOXO) Thanks again!

  46. I am trying this recipe tonight but I want to say how sorry I am that you have received such negative comments. I just recently started coming to your website and have shared it with others. Thank you for all your hard work. Don’t get discouraged with those folks. They can only make you stronger if you don’t let it get under your skin.

  47. This is by far one of our favourite chicken recipes, and is one of the few that we repeat throughout the year. in fact, I have taken to making large batches of marinade to keep on hand. Thank you so much for sharing!
    I have been meaning to try using chicken breast instead of thighs, but I worry they may be too dry. Did you ever try this recipe with leaner chicken, and if so, how did it turn out?

  48. I look forward to trying this recipe. I’ve been following you since I found you accidentally many months ago! Thank you so much for sharing your tried and true recipes! For those that would have the mannors of a gorilla, please keep away from good people who never would do you any harm! Holly, you are so sweet to share what you make to me! Thank you! Jean

  49. 5 stars
    It’s a shame that people feel the need to try and ruin a good thing. I love your site and all the recipes I have tried so far have not been a disappointment! whatever the downer Debbies say, don’t you let them steal your thunder! You have a great website, don’t let anyone make you think you don’t (sorry this is all in caps, not sure as to why since my caps lock isn’t on.)

  50. 5 stars
    LOVE THIS RECIPE!! We will be bbqing in the desert this veterans day and serving with mac salad. This recipe is a special request by family and friends!! Thanks Holly!!

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