Perfect for cookouts, this is the BEST Grilled Huli Huli Chicken. Marinated in a sweet and spicy sauce then grilled until golden brown and crispy. Serve with grilled pineapple and rice!
Easy Huli Huli Chicken
Simple, fast and so delicious, I can’t get enough of Grilled Huli Huli Chicken! It’s so easy to throw the chicken together with the marinade, you can even do this step the night before. Then just load up the skewers and grill the chicken for 15 minutes. It’s super easy!
My favorite part of this recipe is the Huli Huli Sauce! It’s sweet, tangy, nutty, and seriously addictive. It’s kid-friendly as well making this Huli Huli Chicken a perfect recipe to take to cookouts over grilling season.
What is Huli Huli Chicken
Huli Huli Chicken first originated in Hawaii. It is chicken cooked in a sweet and tangy marinade and then grilled. It was originally cooked between two grills which had to be flipped over. Huli is the Hawaiian word for “turn”, thus giving it its name: Huli Huli Chicken!
Ingredients for Huli Huli Chicken
- Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are perfect for grilling! They don’t need to be deboned, and they stay nice and juicy on the grill. You can also use chicken breast for a lighter option, just take care to not over cook it, and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes so that the chicken breasts stay nice and juicy.
- Pineapple: This is optional but I love the taste of grilled pineapple! It’s perfect on the skewers with the Huli Huli Chicken.
Ingredients for Huli Huli Sauce
- Soy sauce: I used regular soy sauce in this recipe however low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos could be substituted.
- Brown Sugar: Adds a bit of sweetness to the sauce.
- Sesame Oil: This is one of my favorite ingredients. It adds a wonderful nutty flavor to the sauce.
- Ketchup: Helps to thicken the sauce and adds flavor and tang.
- Pineapple Juice: This wouldn’t be an authentic Huli Huli Sauce without pineapple juice!
- Ginger: I prefer fresh however ground ginger could be substituted as well.
- Garlic: I always have to have garlic! Again, I prefer fresh but garlic powder would also work.
- Sriracha: I use 2 teaspoons in the sauce. It has a bit of a kick to it. If you don’t want it to be as spicy you can always add less or just skip it.
How to cook Huli Huli Chicken
Start by marinating the chicken for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Reserve part of the marinade. When you are ready to cook the chicken preheat the grill and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Cook chicken for about 5 minutes on each side or until chicken reaches 165 degrees. While the chicken is cooking heat the reserved marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl combine cornstarch and water. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce whisking constantly. Simmer for an additional minute or until the sauce has thickened. Brush the thickened sauce onto the cooked chicken and serve any leftover sauce on the side. Serve immediately with grilled pineapple and fresh chopped parsley, if desired.
What to serve with Grilled Huli Huli Chicken
- Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
- Basmati Rice
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts
- Chow Mein
- Rainbow Vegetable Noodle Stir-Fry
- Garlic Fried Rice
- Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges
How do I store Huli Huli Chicken?
Fridge: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat cook on the grill, in the microwave, or in the oven before consuming. Store the Huli Huli Sauce separately.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What does Huli Huli mean in Hawaiian? Huli Huli means “to turn” which is what happens when you cook Huli Huli chicken. The chicken is turned so that it cooks evenly all over.
- What island is Huli Huli Chicken on? Huli Huli Chicken originated from the big island of Hawaii. You can find authentic Huli Huli Chicken in restaurants, especially on the weekends.
- How many calories are in a Huli Huli chicken? Each chicken skewer contains just 319 calories, including extra Huli Huli sauce.
Here are more grilling recipes to try!
- The BEST Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Steak Kabobs
- The BEST Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich
- Grilled Asian Chicken
- Easy Grilled Chicken Caprese
Grilled Huli Huli Chicken
The BEST Grilled Huli Huli Chicken. Marinated in a sweet and spicy sauce then grilled until golden brown and crispy. Serve with grilled pineapple and rice!
Huli Huli Chicken
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
- grilled pineapple slices for serving, if desired
- fresh chopped parsley for serving, if desired
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tsp ginger, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp sriracha
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp water
- Combine all of the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch and water in a small medium bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade.
- Add the remaining marinade to a large ziplock bag. Add in the chicken and toss to coat. Marinade for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- When you are ready to cook the chicken preheat the grill. Spray the grill with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cook chicken for about 5 minutes on each side or until chicken reaches 165 degrees.
- While the chicken is cooking heat the reserved 1/2 cup marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
- In a small bowl combine cornstarch and water.
- Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce whisking constantly. Simmer for an additional minute or until the sauce has thickened.
- Brush the thickened sauce onto the cooked chicken and serve any leftover sauce on the side.
- Serve immediately with grilled pineapple and fresh chopped parsley, if desired.