Baked Huli Huli Chicken


Baked Huli Huli Chicken is a tantalizing dish that brings the flavors of Hawaii right to your dinner table. Bursting with a sweet and savory marinade, tender chicken, and a hint of smokiness, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your recipe repertoire. In this article, we’ll delve into the origins of Huli Huli Chicken, explore its key ingredients, and guide you through a simple yet delicious recipe that will have you savoring the taste of the islands in every bite.


  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)
  • Sliced green onions, for garnish
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, pineapple juice, brown sugar, ketchup, honey, rice vinegar, minced garlic, grated ginger, sesame oil, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using) until well combined.
  2. Place the chicken thighs in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, making sure it’s evenly coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight, to marinate.
  3. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly grease a baking dish with cooking spray or oil.
  4. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade, shaking off any excess, and place them in the prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) and the chicken is golden brown and caramelized.
  6. While the chicken is baking, transfer the remaining marinade to a small saucepan. Bring the marinade to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove the baked chicken from the oven and brush it with the thickened marinade.
  8. Garnish the baked Huli Huli chicken with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds before serving.
  9. Serve hot with rice or your favorite side dishes. Enjoy the taste of Hawaiian paradise!
  10. Prep Time: 10 minutes (plus marinating time) | Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes | Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes (including marinating time) | Kcal: Depending on serving size and ingredients used | Servings: 4 servings

Serving Tips:

  1. Garnish for Presentation: Sprinkle freshly chopped green onions and sesame seeds over the baked Huli Huli Chicken just before serving. This not only adds a pop of color but also enhances the overall presentation of the dish.
  2. Pair with Complementary Sides: Serve the Baked Huli Huli Chicken alongside traditional Hawaiian sides like steamed white rice, macaroni salad, or grilled pineapple for a complete meal experience that complements the flavors of the dish.
  3. Fresh Greens: Balance the richness of the chicken with a side of crisp, lightly dressed greens such as a mixed salad or steamed vegetables to add freshness and texture to the meal.
  4. Sauces for Dipping: Provide small bowls of additional Huli Huli sauce on the side for dipping or drizzling over the chicken, allowing guests to customize the flavor according to their preferences.
  5. Tropical Drinks: Enhance the Hawaiian ambiance by serving refreshing tropical drinks like pineapple juice, coconut water, or a fruity mocktail alongside the Baked Huli Huli Chicken.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigerate Promptly: If you have leftovers, allow the Baked Huli Huli Chicken to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate leftovers promptly to prevent bacterial growth.
  2. Consume Within 3-4 Days: Stored properly in the refrigerator, leftover Baked Huli Huli Chicken can typically be enjoyed for up to 3-4 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave or oven until warmed through.
  3. Freezing Option: While Baked Huli Huli Chicken can be frozen, the texture may change slightly upon thawing and reheating. If freezing, store the cooled chicken in a freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag for up to 2-3 months.
  4. Thawing and Reheating: When ready to enjoy frozen Baked Huli Huli Chicken, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. Reheat thawed chicken in the oven at a low temperature or in the microwave, adding a splash of chicken broth or water to prevent drying out.
  5. Reheat with Care: To maintain the juiciness of the chicken, reheat it gently over low heat, covered, to prevent it from becoming dry or tough.


  1. Can I use bone-in chicken for this recipe? Yes, you can use bone-in chicken thighs or breasts for Baked Huli Huli Chicken. Keep in mind that bone-in chicken may require slightly longer cooking times compared to boneless chicken. Adjust the baking time accordingly to ensure that the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.
  2. Can I grill the Huli Huli Chicken instead of baking it? Absolutely! Grilling is the traditional method for cooking Huli Huli Chicken and can impart a delicious smoky flavor to the dish. Simply preheat your grill to medium-high heat, place the marinated chicken pieces on the grill grates, and cook for 5-7 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through and has grill marks. Baste the chicken with the marinade while grilling for added flavor.
  3. Is it necessary to marinate the chicken, or can I skip this step? Marinating the chicken is highly recommended as it infuses the meat with flavor and helps to tenderize it. However, if you’re short on time, you can still proceed with baking the chicken without marinating. Just keep in mind that the flavor may not be as intense, and the texture may not be as tender.
  4. What can I use as a substitute for pineapple juice in the marinade? If you don’t have pineapple juice on hand, you can substitute it with orange juice or apple juice. These juices will still provide a hint of sweetness and acidity to the marinade, complementing the savory flavors of the dish.
  5. Can I make the marinade in advance? Yes, you can prepare the marinade in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This allows the flavors to meld together, intensifying the taste of the marinade. When ready to use, simply give the marinade a good stir before pouring it over the chicken.


Baked Huli Huli Chicken offers a delicious taste of Hawaii with its sweet and tangy marinade, tender chicken, and enticing aroma. Whether you’re hosting a backyard luau or simply craving a tropical-inspired meal, this easy-to-make dish is sure to impress. With just a few simple ingredients and minimal effort, you can transport your taste buds to paradise and enjoy a culinary journey without leaving the comfort of your home. So fire up the oven, gather your ingredients, and get ready to e