Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken is always a hit!! Made with a quick teriyaki style marinade, this chicken comes out sweet and spicy thanks to the combination of brown sugar, ginger, soy sauce, and pineapple juice!

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken and Grilled Pineapple.

Recently I had a craving for a sweet and spicy grilled chicken and classic macaroni salad. There’s just something about summer and wanting these classic foods. But I wasn’t able to find these foods anywhere! Which meant that I needed to make them on my own. So I spent some time fumbling around in the kitchen, researched different types of Hawaiian chicken, and settled on making a version of a Huli Huli Chicken. And y’all! It hit the spot!! It’s sweet, spicy, grilled, and bonus: it’s easy to make! Not to mention, it pairs perfectly with some Classic Macaroni Salad

What is Huli Huli Chicken?

Huli Huli chicken was first introduced in Hawaii in the 1950s. It is a recipe that was shared by Ernest Morgado, and it was a recipe his own grandmother would prepare. The chicken is cooked in a teriyaki style sauce. The word Huli is the Hawaiian word for turn, because he cooked the chicken on a grill on a spit, rotating the chicken like a rotisserie while it cooked. 

Bag filled with chicken and Huli Huli marinade to make Hawaiian Chicken.

How to make Huli Huli Chicken Marinade?

The Huli Huli Sauce is made of pantry ingredients:

  • light brown sugar
  • soy sauce
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • ketchup
  • hot sauce (we use sriracha)
  • worcestshire sauce
  • and Pineapple juice!

Prepare the marinade and add to the chicken. I love using large ziploc bags when I marinade chicken, but you can also add the chicken and the marinade to a large bowl or shallow dish also.

Place the chicken in the refrigerator and let marinade for at least 3 hours. I don’t recommend leaving this marinade for overnight, due to the pineapple juice, it can make your chicken turn out mushy.

Turn the chicken about half way through the marinade time if needed to ensure that all of the chicken is getting soaked in the sauce.

Cut Huli Huli chicken with a fork.

I made some Grilled Pineapple to have with the chicken. Because it really just completed the dish! Since you’re grilling anyway, it’s so easy to toss some on. I love taking a simple approach and just sprinkling a bit of honey or brown sugar on the pineapple, or NOTHING AT ALL, and quickly grilling.

And of course, if you don’t have a grill, this dish can easily be made in a large skillet.

More Recipes you may enjoy!

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken and Grilled Pineapple.

Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken

Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken is always a hit!! Made with a quick teriyaki style marinade, this chicken comes out sweet and spicy thanks to the combination of brown sugar, ginger, soy sauce, and pineapple juice!
5 from 5 votes


  • 2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha, or other hot sauce of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce



  • Prepare the marinade by combining the sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, pineapple juice, ketchup, hot sauce ad worcestshire sauce together, add ingredients to a medium size bowl or dish.
  • Add the chicken to the marinade make sure chicken is coated in marinade, cover, and store in the refrigerator to let marinate for 3-6 hours. 
  • After marinating time, preheat a grill or large skillet on a stovetop.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill or cook the chicken for about 5-7 minutes. Then flip and cook the other side for another 5-7 minutes. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 to be considered cooked according to FDA regulations.
  • Once chicken is fully cooked, remove from grill or skillet. Set on a cutting board. Let it rest for a few minutes to cool slightly.
  • Chop or shred the chicken. 



Serving: 1, Calories: 584kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 38g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 222mg, Sodium: 839mg, Potassium: 574mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 215IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 2mg
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