Although this Hawaiian Grilled Chicken recipe has been floating all over the web, this is where it first originated! Similar to Huli-Huli Chicken but with it’s own distinct flavor.

You must serve this Hawaiian Grilled Chicken recipe over coconut rice and grilled pineapple.
Hawaiian Grilled Chicken | The Girl Who Ate Everything


Back in college our friend Jeff was famous for his Hawaiian grilled chicken that was inspired from some tips from his Hawaiian buddy.

One weekend Jeff threw a big Kirkland (Costco’s brand) BBQ serving only foods with the Kirkland brand. That’s when I tasted this chicken and fell in love.

It’s honestly one of my favorite grilled chicken dishes to serve a crowd. And grilling season is here!

Don’t be a chicken thigh hater. I used to be but really the chicken does not soak up the marinade unless you use thighs. I like to marinate this overnight if I have the time so the flavors really get absorbed.

Jeff’s recipe is for a ton of chicken so here is my downsized version. Don’t forget to make the coconut rice.
Not a fan of chicken? Try these Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers!
*As of March 2014 this recipe and photo has been updated. I left the old photo too! I’ve made it so many times since then that I was able to fine tune the marinade amount to be more efficient. Hope you enjoy!

If you love this Hawaiian Grilled Chicken, you’ll love these recipes:

Hawaiian Baked Beans

Grilled Mexican Lime Chicken

Hawaiian Grilled Chicken | The Girl Who Ate Everything
5 from 1 vote

Hawaiian Grilled Chicken


  • 3 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce (See Note; the soy sauce and water just needs to be a 1:1 ratio)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 bunch of green onions , chopped (reserve the other half for garnish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil (not essential but add it if you have it)
  • 1 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk


  1. Trim chicken thighs of any visible fat. Mix soy sauce, water, brown sugar, onions, garlic, sesame oil, and coconut milk in a large bowl. Marinade chicken for at least 8 hours or overnight to make sure the flavor gets infused.
  2. Grill chicken at a low heat so that the marinade does not burn for 5-7 minutes per side or until done. If you do not have a grill you can use a indoor grill pan.
  3. Serve over a platter of coconut rice and garnish with green onions and a drizzle of additional soy sauce.
  4. *Coconut rice can be made by just replacing half of the water in your rice recipe with coconut milk. A trick my SIL told me! So good with just the right amount of coconut flavor.

Recipe Notes

Note: Jeff says the real key is the soy sauce. Kikomen's is way too salty. He prefers the Aloha Shoyu soy sauce. If you can only find Kikomen at least get the low sodium kind.

I often buy a bag of frozen thighs and thaw them, discard any liquid from thawing, then marinate them in the same bag I bought them in. So convenient!

Source: my friend Jeff Tibbitts

Hawaiian Grilled Chicken | The Girl Who Ate Everything