Hawaiian Baked Huli Huli Chicken Recipe

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Hawaiian Baked Huli Huli Chicken

Hawaiian Baked Huli Huli Chicken Recipe

  • Author: olivia hartwellen
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


This Hawaiian Baked Huli Huli Chicken recipe brings a taste of the tropics right to your dinner table. Marinated in a unique blend of ketchup, soy sauce, pineapple juice, and spices, then baked to perfection, it delivers a sweet and savory flavor with a touch of spice. Perfect for those looking to add some island flair to their meal, it’s easy to prepare and guaranteed to please the whole family. Serve with jasmine rice and a side of macaroni salad for an authentic Hawaiian feast.


  • ⅓ Cup Ketchup
  • ½ Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Soy Sauce
  • ½ Cup Pineapple Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Mirin
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons Garlic (about 2 cloves, minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger (grated)
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Paste (e.g., Sambal Oelek)
  • 2 Pounds Chicken Thighs (boneless, skinless)


  1. Prepare the Huli Huli Sauce: In a large saucepan, combine ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, mirin, garlic, ginger, and chili paste. Stir well and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens and clings to the back of a spoon.
  2. Marinate the Chicken: Place chicken thighs in a bowl and cover with the sauce, reserving some for basting. Cover and refrigerate to marinate for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight.
  3. Bake the Chicken: Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking dish with parchment paper. Arrange the marinated chicken in a single layer and bake for 15 minutes. Flip, baste with more sauce, and bake for another 15 minutes. Apply more sauce and finish baking for 5-10 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  4. Serve: Enjoy your baked Huli Huli chicken with a side of jasmine rice and Hawaiian-style macaroni salad for a complete meal.


  1. Marination Time is Key: To infuse the chicken with the full depth of flavor, marinate it for at least 30 minutes, though overnight marination is highly recommended. This step ensures that every bite is rich in the tropical tastes of Hawaii.
  2. Internal Temperature Matters: Always check that the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before serving. This ensures the chicken is fully cooked, safe to eat, and remains juicy and tender.
  3. Sauce Thickness Can Be Adjusted: If you prefer a thicker sauce to coat the chicken, you can simmer the sauce a bit longer or add a cornstarch slurry (mix of cornstarch and water) to achieve your desired consistency. This allows for a richer, more robust glaze on your Huli Huli Chicken.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Lunch
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Huli Huli Chicken Bake, Hawaiian Chicken, Tropical Baked Chicken,


Immerse yourself in the rich, tangy, and sweet flavors of Hawaii with this succulent Hawaiian Baked Huli Huli Chicken. Each bite transports you to the sandy beaches and lush landscapes of the islands, where the aroma of grilled meats and tropical fruits fill the air. This dish combines the best of Hawaiian cooking with juicy chicken thighs marinated in a homemade Huli Huli sauce, packed with the flavors of pineapple juice, soy.

Expert Tips

sauce, ginger, and a hint of chili for that perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Baked to perfection, this chicken comes out incredibly tender, with a glaze that’s both visually appealing and deliciously sticky. It’s a celebration of Hawaiian cuisine that’s easy to make at home, yet sophisticated enough to impress at any dinner party.

For a truly authentic experience, don’t forget to serve your Huli Huli Chicken with sides of jasmine rice and Hawaiian-style macaroni salad. This combination not only rounds out the meal but also complements the chicken’s rich flavors with the salad’s creamy texture and the rice’s subtle fragrance. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or just a regular weeknight dinner, this dish promises a delightful culinary escape to the Hawaiian islands.


Marinate for Maximum Flavor: For the best results, marinate the chicken thighs overnight. This allows the flavors to fully penetrate the meat, ensuring every bite is infused with the signature Huli Huli taste.

Reserve Extra Sauce for Basting: Setting aside some of the sauce before marinating gives you a fresh, uncontaminated batch for basting the chicken as it bakes. This adds layers of flavor and ensures the chicken stays moist.

Use Parchment Paper: Lining your baking dish with parchment paper not only prevents sticking but also makes cleanup a breeze. Plus, it helps to evenly cook the chicken without burning the sauce.

Check the Internal Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches the safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). This guarantees that your chicken is cooked through but remains juicy.

Let It Rest: After baking, let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring each piece is moist and flavorful.

Customize the Heat: The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of chili paste, but feel free to adjust this amount to suit your taste. If you prefer a milder dish, reduce the chili paste; for more heat, add a bit more.

Serve with Authentic Sides: To make your meal truly Hawaiian, accompany your Huli Huli Chicken with traditional sides like jasmine rice and macaroni salad. These sides balance the meal’s flavors and add authenticity to your dining experience.

Experiment with Cooking Methods: While baking is convenient and results in a delicious dish, you can also grill the marinated chicken thighs for an even more authentic flavor, mimicking the traditional Hawaiian method of cooking over an open flame.

Quick Guide to Delicious Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken

Want to make your Huli Huli Chicken taste amazing? Follow these simple tips:

Marinate It Well: Soak the chicken in sauce overnight. This makes it tasty and tender.

Keep Some Sauce Aside: Save a bit of sauce before you marinate. Use this to brush on the chicken as it cooks. It adds extra flavor.

Use Parchment Paper: Line your pan with parchment paper. It stops sticking and makes cleaning up easy.

Check the Chicken is Cooked: Use a thermometer to make sure it’s 165°F (74°C) inside. This means it’s cooked right and juicy.

Let It Rest: After cooking, wait a few minutes before you eat. This makes the chicken even juicier.

Adjust the Spice: Add more or less chili paste depending on how spicy you like it.

Add Good Sides: Serve with rice and macaroni salad for a full meal.

Try Grilling: For a smoky flavor, you can grill the chicken instead of baking.

Hawaiian Baked Huli Huli Chicken: FAQs

Embarking on the culinary journey of preparing Hawaiian Baked Huli Huli Chicken brings with it a wave of questions and curiosities. Here are some frequently asked questions that might arise as you prepare this tropical-inspired dish, providing you with insights and tips to ensure your cooking experience is both enjoyable and successful.

Can I Grill the Chicken Instead of Baking?

Yes, grilling is a fantastic alternative to baking for Huli Huli Chicken, offering an authentic touch that mirrors traditional Hawaiian cooking methods. To grill, preheat your grill to a medium-high heat. Place the marinated chicken on the grill and cook for about 6-7 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Remember to baste the chicken with reserved marinade during the last few minutes of grilling to add an extra layer of flavor and achieve that caramelized finish.

Is There a Substitute for Mirin?

If you don’t have mirin on hand, there are a few substitutes that can mimic its sweet, tangy flavor profile. A good alternative is a mixture of white wine and a little sugar. Combine about a tablespoon of sugar with every ¼ cup of white wine or apple cider vinegar to substitute for the same amount of mirin. This blend will help maintain the balance of sweetness and acidity that mirin brings to the Huli Huli sauce.

How Can I Store and Reheat Leftovers?

Leftover Huli Huli Chicken stores beautifully, making it great for meal prep or enjoying throughout the week. To store, let the chicken cool to room temperature, then place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. For reheating, place the chicken in a covered dish in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. Alternatively, you can microwave it on a medium setting for 2-3 minutes, checking to ensure it’s warmed evenly.

What Side Dishes Pair Well with Huli Huli Chicken?

To complement the flavors of Huli Huli Chicken, consider serving it with sides that echo its Hawaiian roots or provide a refreshing contrast. Some great options include:

Coconut Rice: Adds a creamy, tropical flavor that pairs beautifully with the savory chicken.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad: A staple in Hawaiian cuisine, this creamy, simple salad balances the rich flavors of the chicken.

Grilled Pineapple: Grilling slices of pineapple caramelizes their natural sugars, offering a sweet counterpoint to the chicken’s savory glaze.

Stir-Fried Vegetables: A mix of bell peppers, onions, and snap peas can add color and crunch to your meal.

With these FAQs in mind, you’re now equipped to dive into the delicious endeavor of making Hawaiian Baked Huli Huli Chicken, ensuring a delightful culinary experience that brings a taste of the islands to your table.

Wrapping Up: Your Huli Huli Chicken Adventure

You’re now ready to make Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken at home! Remember, marinating it overnight makes it taste better. Use parchment paper for easy clean-up. Always check the chicken’s temperature to make sure it’s done. Let it rest before serving for the best taste. Adjust the spice to how you like it. Serve with rice and salad for a full meal. Or, try grilling for a smoky flavor.

This dish is not just food; it’s a trip to Hawaii on a plate. Enjoy making and eating it with your loved ones. It’s a simple way to bring some Hawaiian warmth to your table. Happy cooking!

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