Huli Huli Chicken with Amazing Huli Huli Sauce

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken recipe with amazing homemade pineapple-ginger Huli Huli Sauce. Learn to grill chicken with same flavor as Maui's signature Huli Huli rotisserie chicken.

Huli Huli Chicken with Amazing Huli Huli Sauce
Diet Info: DF GF F LF Na LS VG V Fa

An easy and flavorful Huli Huli Chicken recipe with homemade pineapple-ginger Huli Huli Sauce and same Hawaiian grilled Huli Huli chicken flavor.  Huli Huli Chicken is a Hawaiian grilled chicken dish marinated in signature Huli Huli sauce. It is prepared by barbecuing chicken over wood, continuously turned (huli-ed) and basted with Huli Huli Sauce for moisture and flavor. 

My Huli Huli sauce recipe is versatile, lite, and delicious pineapple ginger sauce. Recipe needs only 15 minutes prep because same sauce works triple-duty: 1) As marinade for Huli Huli chicken 2) As mop sauce to baste chicken when grilling, and 3) As sauce to serve on side or drizzle over rice. Huli Huli Sauce is also perfect for stir-fry and as dipping sauce for pot stickers.  Special favorite among kids, sauce is Gluten Free. Stays good for up-to 2 weeks, and freeze up-to 6 months.  

Also sharing a simple trick to make huli huli chicken taste just like sold in Maui's rotisserie chicken shops. 

So, why wait? Let's grill some Huli Huli Chicken today!

Huli Huli Chicken with Rice and Grilled Pineapple


Huli Huli chicken is Hawaiian grilled chicken dish which is prepared on outdoor wood-fired grills. Chicken is grilled rotisserie style, turned (huli-ed) frequently for extra-crispy charred grilled chicken flavor and basted with huli huli sauce for juicy and moist grilled chicken. 

Huli Huli means "turn turn". To capture the true flavor and texture of Huli Huli chicken, I like to grill chicken skewers instead of whole chicken breast/thigh. "Chicken Skewers" is my secret weapon to make the perfect Hawaiian Huli Huli chicken at home. The same texture, same flavor with the same mouth-watering aromatic grilled chicken aroma. Yumm!

Here is why chicken skewers are a better choice:

  1. Chicken Skewers are easy to turn multiple times to make perfect huli-ed chicken.
  2. These cook quickly and pick up nice char from the grill.
  3. Diced chicken marinates faster and has more surface area to absorb extra flavor from the amazing huli huli sauce.

That said, you can cook whole chicken breast, thigh or even a whole chicken if you prefer. Just don't forget to turn chicken a few times and baste generously with huli huli sauce for the delicious charred, sweet and umami huli chicken flavor.

Huli Huli!!! :-)

Huli Huli Chicken Sauce Marinade


This recipe for Huli Huli Sauce is so amazingly flavorful, you will fall in love. Even the aroma of chicken grilled with sauce is outstanding. I clearly remember the day I made Huli Huli chicken on the grill.. My next door neighbors came knocking on our door to know what are we grilling. It is THAT good!

My husband's and I both felt like transported to Hawaiian BBQ Chicken stand of local count fair! 

Huli Huli sauce is like lightened-up pineapple flavored Teriyaki Sauce. It is not thick or too sweet sauce but has right balance of sweet, sour and heat. The thin consistency and pineapple flavor make this the perfect stir-fry sauce and marinade. I also love to use it for yakisoba noodles stir-fry, and as sauce over rice. For all these useful ways to use sauce, I always make a big batch of Huli Huli marinade. Make once, use many times!! Sauce is good in refrigerator for up-to 2 weeks.

The ingredients for Huli Huli Sauce are easy to find pantry-ingredients. Pineapple juice, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, mustard, sherry vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and sriracha. It is amazing how much depth of flavor these simple ingredients add to marinating chicken. I bet if you try once, you will not prefer to buy the store bought Huli Huli sauce ever again. Make at home, guys! It is easy and also budget-friendly. 

To make Hawaiian Huli Huli sauce, I mix together pineapple juice, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, mustard, sherry vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and sriracha. For more bold flavor, it is important to use grated ginger and garlic instead of crushed. I also use low-sodium gluten free Tamari Soy Sauce instead of regular soy sauce. Tamari is my personal preference. You can, by all means, use regular soy sauce. Only note that regular soy sauce may not be gluten free and adjust additional salt in sauce as per taste.

Tip: Huli-Huli Sauce is also a perfect Stir-Fry Sauce. I often use it for Yakisoba Noodles Stir-Fry, or Rice Stir-fry.

Thick Glistening Dipping Sauce: You can also transform extra reserved sauce to a glistening thick dipping sauce. Also works great drizzled over rice, or fries.

  1. In sauce pan, add reserved huli huli sauce and simmer on low. 
  2. When sauce is warm, take out 2 tbsp in a small bowl, add 1 tsp corn starch. Mix well so there are no lumps. Add back to simmering sauce and mix well. 
  3. Heat until sauce is thick enough to coat back of a spoon. Let cool down before serving.

Huli Huli Chicken Recipe


  1. Whole Chicken Breast - I recommend to marinate whole chicken breasts or thighs for at-least 4 hours, up-to 8 hours (overnight).
  2. Skewer Chicken - Bit size chicken kabobs have more surface area to absorb marinade faster. So, I recommend to marinate for at-least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Whole Chicken - If you planning to grill a whole rotisserie chicken marinated in huli huli sauce. I recommend marinating a day before for more flavor throughout.


I love to serve Huli Huli Chicken with:

  1. Seasoned White Rice
  2. Grilled pineapple
  3. Coleslaw
  4. Grilled vegetables such as bell pepper, red onion, zucchini.

Note:You also serve Huli Huli Chicken with Sesame Chili Garlic Noodles and Fried Rice. (replace protein featured in the recipes with skewers of Huli Huli Chicken.)

Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken


Huli Huli sauce can be made 2 weeks in advance. A day before grilling, slice and marinate chicken (whole breast). For other cuts of chicken check the marinating time above in how long to marinate huli huli chicken section. 

This Huli Huli chicken recipe can also be frozen. When the chicken marinade is done, put the chicken and marinade together in a freezer-safe bag. Mix the two together. Freeze. When ready to grill, let defrost for at least an hour to let the marinade soak in. Grill/cook as normal.

Note: Huli Huli Chicken is great potluck dish. Prepare marinade, dice chicken. Add to a food-safe container with lid. Leave to marinate in a cooler. Grill fresh chicken when guest arrive. You can also grill whole chicken breasts instead of kabobs.  

More Grilled Chicken Recipe ideas to flavor your next Summer Barbecue:

The Best Grilled Chicken with Huli Huli Sauce Recipe

Friends, nothing says Summer like Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken grilling on an outdoor grill. In my humble opinion, the flavor of broiled or grilled Huli Huli Chicken with pineapple (grilled) and extra huli-huli sauce drizzled on the rice makes a tasty meal, any season of the year.

Even if you not planning to cook chicken tonight? I recommend making the sauce. Serve with snacks as dipping sauce. Don't forget to save some to make huli-huli chicken later.

Tip:Oh, when grilling chicken, don't forget to turn (huli huli) and baste chicken with sauce as much as possible.


Watch Video

Huli Huli Chicken

Learn how to make Huli Huli Chicken grilled just like sold in Hawaiian Barbecue restaurants. This recipe makes Maui's signature Huli Huli rotisserie chicken perfect for home cooking. The delicious homemade pineapple-ginger Huli Huli Sauce works triple duty; 1) a marinade 2) mop sauce to yield moist grilled chicken 3) pour-over sauce to serve on the side of Huli-Huli Chicken.

Pairing Ideas:

Loaded Potato Salad with Best Ever Potato Salad Dressing Grilled Romaine Wedge Salad Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Huli Huli Chicken with Amazing Huli Huli Sauce

5 (30 reviews)
Huli Huli Chicken with Amazing Huli Huli Sauce
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: American () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 3 lb chicken skewers - Serves: 4
Nutrition: 564 calories per serving (Sauce yields about 2.5 Cups before adding to chicken.)



  • 1. Prepare Ingredients Divide diced chicken into two seal-able food grade plastic bags or add all to a container with lid (large enough to hold chicken and marinade). Also, if using wooden skewers, soak 6-8 skewers in water. Set aside.
  • 2. Prepare Huli-Huli Marinade Sauce To make Huli-Huli marinade, in bowl add pineapple juice, soy sauce, vinegar, grated ginger, grated garlic, mustard, ketchup, sugar, sesame oil, sriracha, salt and black pepper. I use about 1/2 tsp of salt. Always adjust per taste. Whisk well until sugar is dissolved.
  • 3. Marinate Chicken Reserve 1 cup marinade and divide rest equally among two zip locks with chicken. Seal and mush to coat everything in marinade. Refrigerate to marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • 4. Skew Chicken onto Skewers Preheat grill. Skew chicken on skewers (6-8 skewers). 6-7 small pieces of chicken per skewer. Discard the marinade used to marinate this chicken.
  • 5. Grill Huli-Huli Brush grill with oil or use oil spray. Grill chicken skewers turning (huli huli) often and basting with half of reserved marinade until chicken is fully cooked, 8-10 minutes. Additional Notes: Baste with marinade generously until chicken is no longer pink. Baste occasionally during the last 5 minutes.
  • 6. Serve Once cooked, transfer to serving platter. Garnish with scallions and chopped fresh parsley. Serve remaining Huli-Huli sauce on the side. (See Note 2) Serve with side of rice or noodles, grilled pineapple, grilled tomato/red onion rings. Enjoy!
Savita's Notes:
  1. Soy Sauce: I also use low-sodium gluten free Tamari Soy Sauce instead of regular soy sauce. Tamari is my personal preference. You can, by all means, use regular soy sauce. Only note that regular soy sauce may not be gluten free and adjust additional salt in sauce as per taste.
  2. Thick Sauce: Transform extra marinade to a glistening thick dipping sauce by following simple step:
    a. In sauce pan, add reserved huli-huli sauce and simmer on low. 
    b. When sauce is warm, take out 2 tbsp in a small bowl, add 1 tsp Corn Starch. Mix well so there are no lumps. Add back to simmering sauce and mix well. 
    c. Heat until sauce is thick enough to coat back of a spoon. Let cool down before serving.

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101 Responses

  1. Can I use another hot sauce?
  2. My kids fought over this. One kid even had it as a snack before bed. Amazing.
  3. Good !
  4. Wow loved it thanks for sharing, I used a whole chicken spilt to lay flat on the grill, it was delicious. This will be keeper one thing I did not do was use salt, I thought that was not needed after using Soy Sauce other than that followed the recipe completely. Thanks
  5. This was a great recipe. A wonderful balance of sweet, spice and salty. I used low-sodium tamari and felt the recipe was fine without adding more salt. I’m bummed that I overcooked my chicken but excited to make this again.
    Thanks for letting me know!
  6. Question about the ingredients - if switching to reduced sodium soy sauce, why would you use more soy sauce (increase to 34 C) compared to regular soy sauce (calls for only 12 C)?
    If you want to keep meal low sodium, use only 1/2 cup of any low sodium sauce. I often use gluten free tamari low sodium soy sauce because its gluten free. So in that case, I use 3/4 cup to compensate for flavor.
  7. We’ll be doing this again! I chose not to do it on skewers though. I also have a gluten sensitivity, so I used GF Tamari sauce as a substitute. I served the chicken with coconut rice and pineapple as we had in Hawaii! We didn’t have slaw, but we did broccoli.
  8. This recipe is delicious. I have been making it to for several years and my family likes it so much. I put pineapple chunks & green pepper chunks in the extra sauce when heating, serve with Jasmin rice & sautéed sugar snap peas & mushrooms with minced garlic.
    Thanks for sharing your experience. I love that you enjoy this recipe.
  9. These chicken skewers look so juicy and delicious! Love how easy they are to make!
  10. This chicken is incredible! The sauce is to die for. So finger-lickin good!
  11. I’m confused about the mustard. Please forgive me as I’m not that savvy in the kitchen yet lol. But I got stone ground mustard. Is is supposed to be just regular grey poupon Dijon mustard? Also substituting sherry vinegar with rice vinegar... will it have the same flavor?
    Hi Stefanie, the regular poupon Dijon mustard works. Rice vinegar is less acidic so will have difference in flavor. Please use quantity as listed substitute.
  12. Can I make the skewers day before and marinate prior to grilling?
    I don’t prefer to make skewers ahead of time. Instead slice chicken to cube size and marinate ahead. Make skewers before grilling. it’s because if using wooden skewers, those need to be soaked in water prior to grilling. Chicken skewed into Metal skewers is not that easy to fully cover and will need more space in refrigerator. I hope this answers your question.
  13. Hi what is nutritional info on this delicious looking recipe? Thanks!
  14. Thank you so much! I think I'll cook chix cutlets and go with half. I will be making other proteins as well. Going to try and test out the recipe tomorrow. Thanks again!!
    You are welcome, Patti! Let me know if you have any other question.
  15. Hi Savita This recipe sounds delicious a d perfect to make for my daughters luau 21st birthday. Do you have any pointers on how and when to make a whole bunch to serve enough for 60 or so guests? I so want to try thos but just intimidating to figure out the timing and how to cook a whole bunch at one time.
    Hi Patti, my wishes for your daughter's birthday. Regarding your question, I've never made it for this big crowd. But timing and quantity depends a lot on how you want to serve it. Are you planning to make skewers? If making skewers then 3 lb chicken (one recipe above) will be good to serve 6-8 (approx. 0.5 pound per person). Or I would grill whole boneless skinless chicken thighs. Thighs cook very moist, juicy and are easy to grill or bake in bulk. Plus it is easy to estimate quantity e.g. one thigh per person means approx. 60 chicken thighs. If you have more protein options (dishes) in your party menu then go for half the quantity. I hope it answers your question.
  16. Enjoyed your recepies
    Thanks for letting me know.
  17. The best secret recipe for me and my family gatherings so for..!
    Thanks for the feedback.
  18. This was exceptional! I used chicken thighs and grilled on charcoal grill. Next time, I will try broil in oven. Thanks for the recipe.
    Thanks for the feedback.
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