Best Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Recipe – Take yourself to paradise with these easy and delicious grilled Hawaiian BBQ chicken thighs. The soy sauce and ginger marinade infuses layers of flavor into the meat and pairs perfectly with rice, salad, or grilled pineapple.
Say hello to this mouth-watering tropical chicken dinner! Who knew the Best Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Recipe could be so easy to make?
Start this recipe off by bathing succulent chicken thighs in a sweet and savory marinade overnight. The next day, you’ll grill them up to produce a chicken thigh that’s juicy and tender on the inside with an irresistible caramelized crust on the outside.
Each bite is guaranteed to be devoured at your family barbecue or for your next party. It’s a real crowd-pleasing recipe you can serve anytime!
This is a great stress-free recipe you can prepare hours ahead of time. The chicken takes minutes to grill and you can serve it next to any side dish you feel like. Try the chicken over warm rice and salad, or mix it up with some grilled pineapple and bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers on the side.
What you’ll need to make Hawaiian BBQ chicken thighs
The ingredients in this Hawaiian-inspired marinade are fairly simple. The fresh ginger and garlic add a slight kick while the rest infuses a well-balanced mix of sweet and savory. Head to your pantry to fetch these easy ingredients:
- Chicken thighs
- Soy sauce
- Brown sugar
- Chicken broth
- Fresh ginger and garlic
How to make grilled Hawaiian BBQ chicken
Step 1: Make the Hawaiian chicken marinade by combining the soy sauce, ketchup, sugar, chicken broth, ginger, and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Reserve 1 cup to use while grilling.
Step 2: Add the chicken thighs into the bowl with the marinade and mix. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Step 3: Grill the marinated chicken on each side until cooked through. As the chicken grills, brush each side with the reserved marinade. Serve at family cookouts or for a stress-free dinner and enjoy!
Tips and substitutions
- Let the chicken marinate for at least 6 hours. For the best results, keep the chicken and marinade covered and in the fridge overnight.
- Increase the flavor in the marinade by making your own homemade chicken broth.
- The perfect internal temperature of cooked chicken thighs is 165ºF. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the chicken as it grills to ensure it’s cooked properly.
- For even more tropical flavors in this Hawaiian chicken recipe, swap the marinade for my pineapple chicken thigh marinade instead.
How to serve Hawaiian BBQ chicken
There are countless ways to really make this weeknight or cookout dinner really pop. With the right garnishes or side dishes, your guests won’t know what hit ‘em! Here’s how I suggest serving this meal:
- Rice with finely chopped cilantro and lime juice, with sliced avocado and Mr.Yoshida’s sauce for rice (My favorite way to serve these grilled chicken thighs, as pictured).
- Add grilled sliced pineapple next to the chicken for a burst of tropical flavors.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds and fresh green onions on top.
- Serve with all of your favorite barbecue side dishes, like avocado salad, spicy grilled shrimp, or pasta salad.
- Forget the rice and serve the chicken over rice noodles or zucchini noodles with extra veggies like asparagus, bell peppers, and onions.
Storing, freezing, and reheating tips
Cooked chicken thighs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Alternatively, wrap the chicken well and keep it in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Reheat the Hawaiian barbecue chicken in a skillet on the stove for a few minutes until warmed through. Feel free to add a little water or extra marinade into the skillet to add moisture. Alternatively, reheat the chicken for a few minutes (in 30-second increments) in the microwave.
More saucy chicken recipes to try
Best Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Recipe
- In the mixing bowl combine soy sauce, ketchup, sugar, chicken broth, ginger and garlic. Reserve 1 cup of marinate for later, by placing it in a air tight container and refrigerate.
- Add chicken thighs to the bowl with the marinate and mix. Cover with plastic food wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours or over night.
- Grill chicken for about 3-4 minutes per side or until it is cooks thru. Brushing over preserved marinate with a food brush while grilling. Serve with hot rice and sliced avocados. Enjoy!
Did you like this BBQ Chicken Recipe?
Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!
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This recipe was updated January 28, 2021.