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Huli Huli Chicken Recipe

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  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes + 4 hours to marinate
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Grilled Chicken
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Hawaiian
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This Huli Huli Chicken recipe features mouthwatering Hawaiian BBQ chicken marinated in a tangy, sweet, savory glaze and then grilled to perfection.


Units Scale
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless *see notes

Huli Huli Chicken Marinade

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (or use 1/3 cup coconut sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste *see notes
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 4 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice * see notes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha


  1. In a blender or with an immersion blender, mix together sugar, tomato paste, dijon mustard, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, pineapple, salt, pepper, and sriracha.  Set aside 3/4 cup of the marinade.
  2. Put the chicken thighs in a medium bowl and mix with the remaining marinade. Marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 48 hours.
  3. Heat the grill to high and brush grill grates with oil if needed. Drain the marinade off the chicken thighs and place them on the hot grill. Close the lid and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the chicken, baste it with the reserved marinade and cook with the lid closed for another minute. Continue cooking, flipping, and basting this way for about 10 minutes until the internal temperature registers 185F degrees. 

Garnish with chives or green onions. Fresh pineapple slices are nice too!

Serve with a salad or over coconut rice, try with lemony coleslaw in a bun for a yummy sandwich, use in a taco, or make kabobs! 


Marinating the chicken is the key to tender full-flavored chicken! 4 hours minimum. The longer the better- up to 48 hours.

We opt for tomato paste to cut back on sugar. Feel free to substitute with ketchup.

Canned pineapple juice is preferred for huli huli chicken marinade because it has less bromelain, an enzyme in fresh pineapple juice, that can make the chicken mushy. Using canned juice helps tenderize the meat without over-softening it, ensuring a better texture in the final dish.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days.

Freeze chicken in the marinade for up to 2 months. Let thaw fully over night before grilling.

Substitutes for chicken thighs: bone-in chicken thighs, chicken breast or chicken legs- cooking times will vary!


  • Serving Size: 1 large chicken thigh
  • Calories: 279
  • Sugar: 18.4 g
  • Sodium: 667.7 mg
  • Fat: 2.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 49.4 g
  • Fiber: 2.4 g
  • Protein: 16.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 46.7 mg