Oven-Baked Huli Huli Chicken

Oven-Baked Huli Huli Chicken is a mouth-watering dish that brings the flavors of Hawaii to your kitchen. This dish is a delightful twist on the traditional Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken, which is typically grilled. Instead, this version is conveniently prepared in an oven, making it accessible for those who prefer indoor cooking or lack grilling facilities.

The recipe starts with the marinade, which is the heart of the dish. It’s a luscious blend of ingredients like pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, chicken broth, fresh ginger, and minced garlic. These components unite to create a sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy flavor profile that is quintessentially tropical. The pineapple juice not only imparts sweetness but also acts as a tenderizer for the chicken, ensuring that each bite is succulent and flavorful.

Bone-in chicken pieces, such as thighs and drumsticks, are commonly used for their ability to stay juicy during the cooking process. The chicken is marinated for several hours, or ideally overnight, to allow the flavors to deeply penetrate the meat. This process not only enhances the taste but also ensures that the chicken remains moist and tender during baking.

Once marinated, the chicken is arranged on a baking sheet, and the oven does the rest of the magic. As it bakes, the marinade caramelizes on the surface of the chicken, creating a beautifully glazed and slightly charred exterior. The aroma that fills the kitchen is intoxicating – a mix of sweet pineapple, savory soy, and the warmth of ginger and garlic.

The chicken is often flipped and basted with the remaining marinade during baking to intensify the flavors and achieve an even glaze. The final result is a dish with a glossy, sticky coating and a flavor that’s deeply savory with a hint of sweetness and a touch of spice. It’s a perfect balance of flavors that encapsulates the essence of Hawaiian cuisine.

Oven-Baked Huli Huli Chicken is usually served with a side of steamed rice, which acts as a neutral base to soak up the extra marinade. A garnish of freshly chopped green onions or a sprinkle of sesame seeds adds a final touch of freshness and texture to the dish. This dish not only promises a delightful eating experience but also brings a piece of Hawaiian culinary tradition to your dining table, making it a perfect choice for family dinners or special gatherings where a taste of the tropics is desired.


3 pounds of chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on

1 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup ketchup

1/4 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

Optional garnishes: fresh pineapple slices, sliced green onions, sesame seeds


Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and arrange the chicken thighs in a baking dish.

In a saucepan, mix pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, chicken broth, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil. Heat until it reaches a low boil.

Simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.

Create a slurry with cornstarch and water and stir it into the sauce until it thickens.

Pour the sauce over the chicken, ensuring it’s well coated.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) and the sauce caramelizes. Baste halfway through for added flavor.

Let it rest before serving, garnished with pineapple slices, green onions, and sesame seeds.

Variations & Tips:

For a lighter option, use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs and adjust cooking time.

Marinate the chicken in the sauce beforehand for deeper flavor.

Add Sriracha or red pepper flakes for a spicy kick.

Substitute pineapple juice with mango nectar for a different tropical twist.

For a smoky finish, grill the chicken briefly.

This versatile sauce works great on ribs or as a glaze for grilled veggies.

Discover the joy of Hawaiian cooking with this easy-to-follow Baked Huli Huli Chicken recipe, a delightful mix of traditional taste and modern convenience.

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