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Easy Huli Huli Grilled Chicken [+ Video]

1 Review

Huli huli chicken on the grill is about to become one of your go-to summer grilling recipes! The marinade is so addicting, we have made it three times this week!

A photo of grilled huli huli chicken with grilled pineapple in the background.

When I was growing up we had a family that moved in next door to us who was from Hawaii. I think they had actually been living in California before moving to Washington, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that even when it was pouring down rain the dad was ALWAYS in shorts or a sarong. To a young girl I thought it was the craziest thing that he wasn’t freezing cold!

But none of that even mattered once summer rolled around. They’d roast a pig right there in the backyard and grill up huli huli chicken

It smelled so good and tasted even better! So get comfy in some shorts or a sarong and let’s get grilling! It will transport you straight to the beach in Hawaii! Oh and prep a pineapple for some brown sugar grilled pineapple too!

What is Huli Huli Chicken?

Huli Huli chicken originated in the mid-1950s in Hawaii when Ernest Mogado and Mike Asagi began grilling chicken in a sauce similar to teriyaki sauce. They used a make-shift spit and yelled “huli” which means “turn” every time they flipped the chicken and then basted it in the huli huli sauce. Delicious huli huli chicken was born!

What is in Huli Huli Sauce?

Let’s talk about that huli huli sauce for minute. It is packed full of flavor and so easy to make. Here are the simple ingredients you need:

  • Ketchup
  • Brown sugar
  • Soy sauce
  • Ginger root
  • Garlic (crushed)
  • Pineapple juice
  • Rice vinegar
  • Ground mustard

Add all of these ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and cook it for 3 minutes. Allow it to cool and then add 3/4 of it into a ziploc bag to marinate the chicken for about 30 minutes. Don’t marinate for more than 2 hours. Save the other 1/4 of the sauce for basting the grilled chicken.

A photo of grilled huli huli chicken with grilled pineapple in the background.

How to Make Huli Huli Chicken

Heat your grilled to medium high heat. After the chicken has marinated, add the chicken to the grill. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 6 minutes. Huli (flip) that chicken and let it cook for another 6-7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

REMEMBER! Letting chicken rest after grilling is KEY to moist chicken.

You can add more sauce to the chicken before serving, or allow people to add the sauce on their own. For me…the more sauce the better!! And we love to top it with some chopped green onions.

Chicken Breasts or Chicken Thighs?

The answer is yes! We love thighs and the flavor they have, but chicken breasts are equally as good! And they are a little healthier too. Make a few of each and see which on you prefer!

A photo of grilled huli huli chicken with grilled pineapple in the background.


What Do You Serve With Huli Huli Chicken?

I’ve already mentioned the grilled pineapple, but we also love this huli huli chicken with our coconut rice! So good! A few other option for sides are macaroni and cheese, grilled lemon asparagus, or lemon mandarin orange jello salad.

Can Huli Huli Chicken Be Baked?

Absolutely! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. You will want to sear the chicken on the stove top over medium high heat with a little bit of olive oil. Sear each piece of chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side. Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil and place the seared chicken in the dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Brush the chicken with your reserved huli huli sauce and then bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.

Is Huli Huli Chicken Gluten Free?

Soy sauce is not gluten free, so if you want this huli huli chicken to be gluten free, be sure to use gluten free soy sauce. All the other ingredients, you have a GF green light!

A photo of grilled huli huli chicken with grilled pineapple in the background.

How Long Will Huli Huli Chicken Keep?

Huli huli chicken will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Store it in an airtight container.

You can also freeze it. Place the raw chicken and huli huli sauce in a ziploc bag and store it in the freezer. It will keep for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to cook it, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then grill it or bake it as stated in this post.

How Do You Reheat Huli Huli Chicken?

Huli huli chicken can be reheated in the microwave or in the oven. If you use the microwave, be sure to not overheat it. To reheat in the oven, preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit and warm up the chicken for 25-30 minutes. We always like to have extra sauce on hand when we reheat!

You are going to want to make this huli huli chicken over and over again! It is full of flavor and so quick and easy! Huli huli!!

Check out all of our grilling recipes!



A photo of grilled huli huli chicken with grilled pineapple in the background.

Easy Huli Huli Grilled Chicken

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
It's one of the favorite summer grilled chicken recipes, easy huli huli grilled chicken! You can use chicken breasts or chicken thighs.


  • 1/3 Cup ketchup
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup soy sauce
  • 1 " ginger root
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 Cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground mustard
  • 6 Boneless Skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • Green onions chopped for garnish
  • Grilled Pineapple


  • Crush the garlic with a meat mallet.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, add all of the ingredients except the chicken.
  • Cook for 3 minutes and then set aside in a bowl to cool.
  • Add 3/4 of the sauce to a ziploc bag and add the chicken. Place in the fridge for up to 30 minutes.
  • Heat a grill over medium high heat and add the chicken. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 6 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken and cook an additional 6-7 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Serve with additional sauce and grilled pineapple.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Huli Huli Grilled Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 363 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 130mg43%
Sodium 1422mg62%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 45g90%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
A photo of grilled huli huli chicken with grilled pineapple in the background.


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About the authors

Cheney Family

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

Leave a comment


  • Do you slice or chop the ginger root?

    • Reply
    • We grate it on our little microplane but doing a really fine mince on it works great too!

      • Reply
      • Your recipe doesn’t say HOW MUCH grated ginger….if it is a 1 inch piece, that’s a LOT of grated ginger! Would like to attempt recipe, it sounds delish!

      • It ends up being about a teaspoon of grated ginger. It’s my favorite part of the marinade!

  • Oh that looks so good !!! Can’t wait to try it next week !
    Do you think I can pressure cook the chicken in the marinade?

    • Reply
    • Hi Mae! Yes absolutely!

      • Reply
  • You know that I am big fan of your blog. Actually your recipe is awesome.

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much Milly!

      • Reply

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