Grilled Hawaiian Chicken

Meet your new favorite grilling recipe: Grilled Hawaiian Chicken! Tender and delicious chicken in a savory marinade with sweet grilled pineapple slices. It’s super easy to make and the whole family will love it!

hawaiian chicken

This recipe is part of my Dump it ’til it’s hot series of dump recipes. It’s all about making delicious food with minimal prep, no pre-cooking, the ability to freeze for a good make-ahead meal. And trust me when I say, easy never tasted so good!

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Grilled Hawaiian Chicken

Awhile back, I made a killer Hawaiian Pork Chops recipe that quickly became one of the most popular recipes on my site. And with good reason- it’s seriously delicious. To be honest, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long!

We’re big eaters of grilled chicken breast, no matter what time of the year it is (which is saying a lot since it’s pretty cold around here for most of the year!). So naturally, I’m always looking for a grilled chicken marinade that I can throw together and cook when I’m ready.

This Hawaiian BBQ Chicken has the most delicious sweet and savory flavor. I also like to grill up the pineapple rings and serve them along with the chicken- my kids are always excited to see the pineapple!

grilled chicken recipes

grilled chicken

Tips for making this Hawaiian Chicken Recipe:

  • I like to filet my chicken breasts so that they’re thinner. They have a quicker cooking time and are easier to eat.
  • Make sure you’re using low sodium soy sauce. It’s much too salty with normal soy sauce.
  • Don’t throw out the pineapple juice from the can of pineapple rings- some of this goes into the marinade.
  • Whisk together all the marinade ingredients well so that the sugar dissolves.
  • Be sure to grill the pineapple, it gets even more delicious!
  • Let the chicken rest for a couple minutes before serving.

grilled chicken breast

Frequently asked questions about making Hawaiian Grilled Chicken

  • Should I use bone-in or boneless chicken? You can really use either. I tested this recipe on chicken breasts but the only thing that would really change is the cooking time to get to 165 degrees.
  • How long does Hawaiian Chicken last? 3-4 days covered in the refrigerator.
  • Can you reheat Hawaiian Chicken? Yes- I do it in the oven or in the microwave.
  • Can I freeze Hawaiian Chicken? Yes, I freeze it before cooking in the marinade.
  • How long do you cook chicken breasts on the grill? It’ll depend on the thickness of the chicken but for thin ones like this, around 3-5 minutes per side.
  • What temp should the grill be for chicken? We grill these at medium high.

Hawaiian Chicken Recipe Upgrades

Although this is designed to be a dump-and-go recipe, here are a few “upgrades” you can make if you have a little extra time on your hands and don’t mind doing a small amount of extra work. You don’t have to do them to have a delicious meal, but they will make this recipe come out even more delicious:

  • Turn the chicken pieces 45 degrees halfway through grilling each side to get some nice cross-hatch grill marks.
  • You can thicken the leftover marinade with a cornstarch slurry. Bringing it to a boil for a couple minutes before adding the slurry (you’ve got to boil it to kill any bacteria from the raw chicken).
  • Make some instant rice and steam up some broccoli for a quick and easy meal.

grilled chicken marinade

Make it a meal!

A few great recipes to round out and complete this meal would be:

Helpful tools:

  1. Gallon freezer zipper bags
  2. Measuring spoons
  3. Measuring cups
  4. Chef’s knife
  5. Cutting board
  6. Whisk
  7. Sheet pan
  8. Mixing bowl
  9. Grill tongs
  10. Meat thermometer
5 from 1 vote
Meet your new favorite grilling recipe: Grilled Hawaiian Chicken! Tender and delicious chicken in a savory marinade with sweet grilled pineapple slices. It’s super easy to make and the whole family will love it!
Grilled Hawaiian Chicken
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Meet your new favorite grilling recipe: Grilled Hawaiian Chicken! Tender and delicious chicken in a savory marinade with sweet grilled pineapple slices. It’s super easy to make and the whole family will love it!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Hawaiian
Keyword: hawaiian chicken
Servings: 6 pieces
Author: Jessy Freimann, The Life Jolie
  • 3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you want it to be spicy)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 1 can pineapple rings (reserve 1/2 cup of the juice for the marinade)
  • 3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half length-wise to make 6 thin filets of chicken
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2-3 scallions, sliced on the diagonal, for garnish
  1. Whisk the low sodium soy sauce, water, sesame oil, brown sugar, ground ginger, red pepper flakes, garlic ketchup and pineapple juice until well combined.

  2. Pour the marinade over the Smithfield All Natural Boneless Pork Chops and let them sit for at least 10 minutes or overnight (you can also freeze them in the marinade and thaw them for later use).

  3. Spray the grill with non-stick cooking spray and heat it to medium-high.

  4. Place the chicken pieces and pineapple rings on the grill and reserve the marinade to make the sauce. 

  5. Grill them for 3-5 minutes on each side depending on thickness. Rotate them a little bit midway through each side if you want a nice crosshatch grill mark (this is optional). Keep an eye on them because every grill is different.

  6. Once the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees remove them from the grill and rest them for 5 minutes tented in foil.

  7. While the chicken rests, strain the marinade into a sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until it starts boiling. Whisk the cornstarch with a small amount of water to form a slurry.

  8. Boil for 2 minutes then add the slurry and reduce it to low heat for a couple minutes to thicken the sauce.

  9. Drizzle the meat and pineapple with sauce, sprinkle with chopped scallions and serve immediately.

Now that you know how to make this Grilled Hawaiian Chicken recipe, be sure to share it and tag @thelifejolie on Instagram and Facebook.  And be sure to pin it to save for later or bookmark it!

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  • Reply
    Haley Dominique
    June 2, 2020 at 5:42 pm Absolutely delicious!!! I am not a fan of ginger so I skipped that, and also used fresh pineapple instead of canned. This was a huge crowd pleaser! The flavors compliment each other perfectly. I served it with a side of roasted broccoli and rice.
    • Reply
      Jessy Freimann
      June 6, 2020 at 10:12 am Thanks Haley, I'm so glad you liked it! Sounds like you made some delicious changes :)

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