Easy Huli Huli Chicken Recipe

Like Barbecue Chicken….but better! Easy Huli Huli Chicken is a simple chicken dinner that’s packed with vibrant flavor. Inspired by Hawaii’s Grilled Huli Huli chicken, these oven baked chicken thighs come together in minutes! A family favorite for sure.

Overhead shot of huli huli chicken on a white platter with pineapple slices and rice.

It’s the time of year when I start craving summer. The long gray January days have me dreaming of firing up the grill without having to put on sixteen layers of clothing to stay warm while I’m cooking.

I’m, instead, firing up my oven to make some of my favorite summer recipes indoors during the winter months and this easy Huli Huli Chicken recipe is on repeat for the rest of the season. Or until I can cook outside without getting frostbite.

I love recipes that include a chicken marinade because it makes the actual making of the dinner go extra fast. And since this chicken is best if it’s marinated overnight, you’ll only need about two minutes of hands on time when your ready to cook. Bonus, the Huli Huli sauce whips up in about 2 minutes flat. 

Huli Huli Chicken on a white plate with a pineapple slice.

HULI HULI CHICKEN

Huli-huli chicken is a Hawaiian grilled chicken dish, made by barbecuing a chicken over a wood fire and basting it with a sweet huli-huli sauce made of pineapple juice, soy sauce and other hawaiian inspired ingredients.

The word Huli means “to turn” in Hawaiian and refers to the technique used to cook the chicken. It’s grilled between two racks and turned halfway through cooking similar to a rotisserie. This version is made by baking the chicken in the oven until the glaze is charred and sticky.

The Huli sauce is a teriyaki style marinade that can be made a variety of ways and is fantastic with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, too!  It reminds me of this teriyaki sauce I used to make these Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs!

Ingredients for Huli sauce in a glass bowl.

HOW TO MAKE HULI HULI CHICKEN

This chicken recipe makes a great weeknight dinner because you can easily marinade the chicken overnight.

Huli sauce being whisked in a bowl

  1. Whisk together the ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, pineapple juice, ginger, apple cider vinegar and garlic. 
  2. Place the chicken thighs in a zip top bag placed in a large bowl (the bowl is to catch any liquid should the bag spring a leak). Pour 1/2 the marinade over the chicken and reserve the remaining marinade for cooking.
  3. Press the air out of the bag and seal. Marinade in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven.
  5. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the remaining sauce.
  6. Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake the chicken for 40-45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes with the reserved sauce.(The chicken is done cooking when it registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer.)
  7. Serve the chicken sprinkled with sesame seeds, chopped green onions and reserved sauce, if desired.

Huli sauce is being poured over chicken.

We love to serve these chicken thighs with a pile of Cilantro Lime Rice and sauteed green beans. It’s like a big burst of summer in your kitchen no matter what time of year it is. 

I’ve also made these in the oven when I realized at the last minute we were out of propane, which happens more often than I care to admit. So, there’s that. 

Overhead shot of huli huli chicken on rice with pineapple slices.

Want to see what else we’re cooking up this season? Follow us over on Instagram and Facebook!

If you’re looking for even more EASY CHICKEN RECIPES we are LOVING these easy BBQ Chicken Thighs and this super simple Oven Baked Chicken Breast recipe. 

My little guy begs for these Baked Chicken Tenders and my husband wants this Parmesan Crusted Chicken Cutlet recipe on the regular. All easy and quick, too!

Overhead shot of bbq chicken on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Easy Huli Huli Chicken Recipe

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, hawaiian
Keyword: baked chicken, chicken thighs, huli huli chicken
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Marinading Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours
Servings: 4
Calories: 598 kcal
Author: Kellie

Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken Thighs backed in the oven for summer barbecue flavor without firing up the grill.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken thighs

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, pineapple juice, ginger, apple cider vinegar and garlic.
  2. Place the chicken thighs in a zip top bag placed in a large bowl (the bowl is to catch any liquid should the bag spring a leak). Pour 1/2 the marinade over the chicken and reserve the remaining marinade for cooking.
  3. Press the air out of the bag and seal. Marinade in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  5. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the remaining sauce.
  6. Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake the chicken for 40-45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes with the reserved sauce.(The chicken is done cooking when it registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer.)
  7. Serve the chicken sprinkled with sesame seeds, chopped green onions and reserved sauce, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Huli Huli Sauce can be made up to five days in advance.

Do not marinade the chicken longer than 24 hours. 

Nutrition Facts
Easy Huli Huli Chicken Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 598 Calories from Fat 279
% Daily Value*
Fat 31g48%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 235mg78%
Sodium 1268mg55%
Potassium 1228mg35%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 73g146%
Vitamin A 20IU0%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 73mg7%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

 

 

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