Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken

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Sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy, this Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken brings all your favorite Hawaiian flavors straight to your plate! The marinade seeps deep into the chicken giving you rich tropical flavors with every bite. It’s the perfect way to add a little pizzazz to your dinner meal plan.

air fryer huli huli chicken

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Incredibly Flavorful: The Huli Huli marinade ensures every bite is packed with tropical tastes.
  • Easy and Fast: If you love to grill chicken then you’ll love how easy Air frying Hawaiian chicken is.
  • Perfectly Cooked: Enjoy tender, juicy chicken with a delightful crispy skin from your air fryer. It;s just like grilled chicken!

Recipe Ingredients

Although this recipe is bursting with a variety of complex tropical flavors, you won’t need any crazy ingredients. Everything you need is right at your local grocery store.

  • Chicken– Boneless skinless chicken thighs work best in the air fryer, but you could also use legs or breasts.
  • Brown sugar– Use your measuring cup to scoop and pack the brown sugar down.
  • Soy sauce– If you want to make sure this recipe is gluten free, be sure to get gluten-free soy sauce. Soy sauce is sweet and salty, but also helps to tenderize the chicken.
  • Ketchup– Ketchup is acidic so it helps to break down the proteins in your meat and tenderize it. Use your favorite brand here.
  • Pineapple puree– I usually buy this from my local grocery store, but you can use fresh pineapple, 2 tablespoons of water or fresh pineapple juice, and use a blender to make your own fresh puree.
  • Spices– To add even more flavor to your marinade, you’ll need ground ginger, minced garlic and chili flakes.
Huli Huli Chicken Ingredients.

How To Make Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken?

Huli Huli chicken is a Hawaiin dish that you’ll want to plan for ahead of time. This is because it has the best flavor when marinated overnight. Follow the steps below, and don’t skip any of the steps!

Step 1: Make the Marinade

First, mix the soy sauce, ketchup, pineapple puree, ginger, garlic and chili flakes together to make your marinade. Use a blender to blend it all together.

Step 2: Marinade the Chicken

Next, place your chicken thighs in a bowl with a lid. Pour 1/2 of the marinade over the chicken. Make sure it fully coats the chicken. Then, put the lid on the bowl and place the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 3-hours.


Step 3: Air Fry Your Huli Huli Chicken

After you’ve allowed the chicken to marinate, add the chicken thighs to your air fryer. Cook at 380° F for 18-minutes, flipping the chicken half way through.

Step 4: Garnish And Serve

Pour more sauce on your chicken. Serve and Enjoy!

Huli Huli Chicken

Cooking Tips

  • Use half the marinade: I only use half of the sauce when marinating the chicken. The rest of the sauce I put in a container to pour over the chicken after it is done cooking.
  • Marinate overnight: For the most flavorful Hawaiian chicken, I recommend allowing it to marinate overnight.
  • Don’t overcrowd the chicken: You may have to do several batches of chicken depending how many chicken thighs you use. Overcrowding will result in less appetizing huli huli chicken.
  • Check the chicken with a thermometer: To ensure your chicken is cooked all the way through, use a meat thermometer to check it. The internal temperature should be 165° F.
huli huli chicken ingredients


  • Chicken Breast: Switch the raw chicken thighs for boneless skinless chicken breasts if you prefer. I find in my town chicken breasts are cheaper than thighs.


  • Ginger Glaze: Incorporate fresh ginger into the glaze for the Huli Huli chicken, adding a subtle spicy kick and aromatic flavor to the dish.
  • Teriyaki Marinade: Marinate the boneless chicken thighs in a mixture of teriyaki sauce, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, and soy sauce before grilling, allowing the flavors to penetrate the meat and infuse it with delicious Asian-inspired taste.

Storage & Reheating Instructions

  • Storage: Once your Huli Huli chicken is done wowing your taste buds, cool it down and transfer it to an airtight container or cover it up like a Hawaiian beach party with plastic wrap.
  • Freezing: Label the container with a tropical twist and the freezing date, then let it hula in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. It’ll bring the luau vibes back to life when you defrost and sizzle.
  • Reheating: If your Huli Huli chicken has been chilling, thaw it in the refrigerator, then warm it up on the grill or in the oven, making it dance with flavor once again. Aloha, deliciousness!

What To Serve With This Recipe?

Huli huli chicken is a delicious main course that is traditionally served over rice, noodles, or vegetables. You can also serve this chicken with a variety of healthy sides such as:

  • Grilled Pineapple: Grab some pineapple slices and and chopped green onions. Grilled pineapple makes a great garnish and side for this Hawaiian chicken recipe.
  • Healthy Cheesy Mashed Cauliflowerr: Swap traditional mashed potatoes for a healthier alternative with cheesy mashed cauliflower, offering a creamy and savory side to accompany your Huli Huli chicken.
  • Keto Sheet Pan Vegetables: Roasted keto-friendly vegetables provide a flavorful and nutritious addition to your meal, enhancing the Hawaiian chicken with vibrant colors and delicious textures.
  • Instant Pot Glazed Carrots: Enjoy tender and sweet glazed carrots made effortlessly in the Instant Pot, offering a delightful contrast to the tangy and savory flavors of Huli Huli chicken.

For more ideas check out our article: What To Serve With Huli Huli Chicken.


What Is Huli Huli Chicken?

Huli Huli Chicken is a sweet and savory Hawaiian dish. Huli literally means “turn” in Hawaiian. Traditional Hawaiian BBQ is made over a fire pit where it gets turned constantly so that it cooks evenly. Thus, this recipe quite literally means turned chicken.

Since it is a Hawaiian dish, the Huli Huli sauce has all the tropical flavors that you would expect. Its sweet and tangy from the pineapple, rich and savory from the soy sauce, and a bit spicy from the chili flakes making it a delicious combination of flavors.

Should I Add Sauce While Cooking?

In the oven, broiler, or on the grill, you would baste your chicken with sauce to make it even more flavorful. However, when using the Air Fryer, basing doesn’t work as well. You will put the chicken into the air fryer with sauce, but you don’t want it dripping off the chicken. It should be somewhat dry. Cook the chicken, and then second half of the reserved marinade and pour it over the cooked chicken.

Air fryer Huli Huli chicken

Air fryer Huli Huli Chicken

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 18 minutes

Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken: Delicious, tasty and packed with flavor


  • 3 lbs. of Chicken thighs
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup pineapple purée
  • 3 tbsp of ground ginger
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes


  1. Mix together your soy sauce, ketchup, pineapple purée, ginger, garlic, and chili flakes. Marinade your chicken thighs in this sauce mixture for at least three hours if not overnight.
  2. Add your chicken thighs to your air fryer. Depending on how many thighs you’re cooking you may need to do a couple of batches. Do not overcrowd your thighs.
  3. Cook at 380° for 18 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165°. Flip after 9 minutes 
  4. Serve your chicken thighs over rice, noodles, or vegetables. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1009Total Fat: 48gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 33gCholesterol: 435mgSodium: 3642mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 2gSugar: 56gProtein: 85g

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