What to Serve With Huli Huli Chicken

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If you’re wondering what to serve with Huli Huli Chicken look no further! As with any chicken dish, there are so many ways to serve this delicious chicken recipe. Today I’ll share ten of our favorite sides that always pair perfectly with this Hawaiian specialty, but first what exactly is this classic dish?

huli huli

What Is Hawaiian Huli?

Huli Huli chicken is a Hawaiian dish that is traditionally made by marinating chicken in a sweet and savory sauce before grilling it. It’s a little sticky, sweet and smoky.

The chicken is basted with the sauce while cooking to keep it moist and flavorful. This dish is often served with rice and a variety of sides.

This chicken is a Must for your next Luau! So what are you waiting for grab the pineapple slices and get ready to cook a recipe that is out of this world!

air fryer huli huli chicken

How Do I Make Huli Huli Chicken?

You can make this Hawaiian cuisine super simply using whole chickens, skinless chicken thighs, or chicken breast pieces.

The best recipe for Huli Huli Chicken can be found here! It has a delicious marinade and all the flavors just come together to make this dish pop!

No need for chicken broth when you have this superb Hawaiian inspired marinade!

Air fryer Huli Huli chicken

What Sauce Goes With Huli Huli Chicken?

The classic Huli Huli sauce is made with soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, fresh ginger, and fresh garlic. Some like to use a pineapple juice soy sauce and others prefer plain soy sauce.

You can also use a pre-made bottle of Huli Huli sauce to make things easier when cooking.

Batch cooking or preparing Huli sauce in advance is a great idea so that you don’t have to worry about it when guests arrive.

Some people like to use cider vinegar, apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar in their chicken recipe and while this will work it won’t give you the same flavor as using brown sugar.

huli huli chicken

What Island Is Huli Chicken On? (In Hawaii)

Huli Chicken is commonly served on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. It is said to have been created by Ernest Morgado in 1955 and has become a popular dish served at luaus, on the roadside, at restaurants and beaches across the state.

What’s the Difference Between Huli Huli Chicken and Teriyaki Chicken?

While both of these chicken dishes are delicious, there is a big difference between the two.

The chicken is marinated in a sauce that typically includes soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and brown sugar. It is then grilled over an open flame.

Teriyaki chicken is also marinated, but the marinade typically includes soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.

My Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken recipe also contains honey in the teriyaki sauce. Make sure you are basting frequently whatever cooking method you use as you grill chicken.

What Goes Well With Huli Huli Chicken?

Now that we know all about this delicious chicken dish, let’s get to the good part: What Sides Go With Huli Huli Chicken?

Here are ten of our favorites:

Grilled Pineapple

Grilled pineapple will add to the flavor of your chicken recipe. The sweetness of the pineapple pairs perfectly with the savory chicken.

You can use sliced pineapple, pineapple pieces, or fresh pineapple chunks to make this into one delicious meal.

Oh and don’t forget to use the fresh pineapple juice to make a delicious drink such as a virgin pina colada or a pineapple mojito!

Grilled pineapple

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad is a Hawaiian staple that goes great with any grilled chicken dish. The creamy dressing and crunchy vegetables make it the perfect side.

For the best Hawaiian Macaroni Salad recipe check out this one over at The Inspiration Edit.

Macaroni Salad Recipe 51 of 59


White rice is another classic side that is often served with this Hawaiian chicken masterpiece. The starch helps to soak up all of the delicious leftover marinade from the chicken.

Whether you serve it with steamed rice or another type of rice made via another cooking process, rice is a great side dish to serve as part of your Hawaiian chicken menu.

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Fried Plantains

Fried plantains are a popular side dish in many cultures. They are a great way to add some sweetness and crunch to your meal.

You can cook pan-seared plantains when indoor cooking or cook them bbq style over the hot coals or a gas grill as part of outdoor cooking.

Don’t forget to add red pepper flakes or crushed red pepper to give your plantain a refreshing kick.

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Chunky Coleslaw

Coleslaw is always a good idea! The crunchy vegetables and creamy dressing go well with this grilled chicken recipe.

If you’re not a fan of cabbage then you could go for a green salad instead or even a simple fruit salad.

cilantro lime coleslaw salad with red white cabbage gray stone background

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Roasted sweet potatoes are a great way to add some heartiness to your meal. They can be seasoned with salt, black pepper, and any other spices you like.

Sweet potato is known as “Uala” in the Hawaiian language. I particularly love the purple sweet potato or purple Uala which goes well with grilled chicken.

Check out this simple roasted sweet potato recipe here!

sweet potato roasted in a white pan

Green Beans

Green beans are absolutely delicious and a healthy way to round out your meal. They can be steamed, boiled, or roasted.

Green beans are super healthy and a great way to get some extra veggies into your diet.

Southern Green Beans

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is a summertime favorite that goes great with Hawaiian recipes. The sweetness of the corn pairs perfectly with the savory chicken.

You can cook buttery, tender, and juicy corn on the cob in just 6 minutes with this corn on the cob Instant Pot recipe. Take your indoor cooking up a level with this fantastic buttery corn recipe!

Instant Pot Buttery Sweet Corn

Baked Beans

Baked beans are a great way to add some protein and fiber to your meal. They can be made from scratch or you can use canned beans.

I prefer homemade beans as they are lower in saturated fat and less processed. Serve beans in a small bowl and place on the table so everyone can help themselves.

Fruit Salad

Fruit salad is a refreshing and healthy way to finish off your meal. It’s the perfect way to get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables.

There you have it! Ten of our favorite sides to serve with Huli Huli chicken. What are some of your favorite sides?

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More Hawaiian Side Dishes to Serve With Huli Huli Chicken

If you’re having a Hawaiian-themed party then here are some more Hawaiian Sides that will make a great Hawaiian menu.


Poke is a Hawaiian dish that is made with raw fish. It is often served as an appetizer or side dish.

Poke is a great combination to go with grilled Huli and white rice.

Lomi Lomi Salmon

This is another Hawaiian seafood dish that makes a great side. It is made with salmon, tomatoes, and onions.

Lomi Lomi Salmon doesn’t take much meal prep and when cooked on medium heat it only takes about 15 minutes to make.


Poi is a traditional Hawaiian dish made from the root of the taro plant. It is often eaten alongside meat or as a snack.

Hawaiian Rolls

Hawaiian rolls are a type of sweet roll that is often served as a side dish. They are made with flour, sugar, eggs, and butter.

Hawaiian bread rolls drizzled and baked with olive oil make a great side to any Hawaiian-themed meal.

This Hawaiian roll recipe is a great recipe to make alongside your Hawaiian dish!

Kalua Pig

Kalua pig is a Hawaiian dish that is made with pork that has been slow-cooked in an underground oven using wood chips and or hot coal. Kalua makes a great side for your grilled Huli.

Hawaiian Fried Rice

This is a dish that is made with rice, vegetables, and meat. It is often served as a side dish or main course.

Whilst fried rice is not as healthy as steamed rice, it does make a delicious side with ingredients especially when cooked with Soy sauce and sesame oil.

Hawaiian Baked Beans

Oh you can’t go wrong with Hawaiian baked beans. They are made with beans, bacon, and green onions. Also known as Luau Lava Beans, this dish is delicious and easy to make.

Luau lava beans 5 1 scaled 1

Orange Coconut Salad

This is a refreshing salad that is made with oranges, coconuts, and mint. It is the perfect side for your chicken dish.

Hawaiian Potato Salad

This is a variation of the macaroni salad that is made with potatoes, mayonnaise, and vegetables such as green onions, carrots, and celery.

Try making our Instant Pot Potato Salad with your next batch of Chicken breast Huli. It’s a great recipe.

creamy instant pot potato salad

Hawaiian Mango Bread

This is a quick bread that is made with mangoes, flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. It is often served as a side dish in Hawaii.

These are just a few of the many Hawaiian side dishes that you can serve with grilled chicken. Experiment and find your favorites, there are so many to choose from!

Best Hawaiian Desserts to Go With Hawaiian Chicken

No Hawaiian meal is complete without a delicious dessert. Here are some of our favorites to serve with chicken.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This is a classic cake that is made with pineapple, brown sugar, and butter. It is often served as a dessert in Hawaii.

homemade pineapple upside down cake isolated white background clipping path

Coconut Cake

This is a moist and fluffy cake that is made with coconut milk, flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. It is often served as a dessert or snack in Hawaii.

coconut cake plate
coconut cake on white plate

Papaya Pie

This is a Hawaiian dessert that is made with papaya, lime juice, and sugar. It is often served with ice cream or whipped cream.

Mango Ice Cream

This is a refreshing and delicious dessert that is made with mangoes, cream, and sugar. It is the perfect way to cool down after a meal.

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Pineapple Sherbet

This is a light and refreshing dessert that is made with pineapple juice, lime juice, and sugar. It is often served as a palate cleanser in Hawaii.

Pineapple Cupcakes

These are delicious cupcakes perfect for your next Luau or Hawaiian themed dinner.

No matter what you choose to serve with your chicken, we hope you enjoy your meal!

Mahalo for reading!

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More Huli Huli Chicken Facts and Questions

Here are more questions to help you make the perfect Hawaiian dish for the dinner table.

What Does the Word Hulu Mean?

Huli means “turn” in Hawaiian, so when you make grilled Huli, you’re turning the chicken on the hot grill.

What Are the Main Marinade Ingredients?

The marinade for this chicken is typically soy sauce-based. Other ingredients may include, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and ketchup. Some recipes use Worcestershire sauce.

Whatever the marinade, ensure you place your raw chicken into a large bowl and then cover with your Hawaiian sauce as you cook it on a medium high heat.

Let the chicken sit for a few hours (or even overnight) so the chicken can absorb all those amazing flavors.

Is It Okay to Use Canned Pineapple?

If you’re in a pinch, you can use canned pineapple. Just be sure to drain it well before taking out the pineapple slices or chunks to add to your Hawaiian recipe.

How Do You Pronounce Huli Huli Chicken?

The correct pronunciation is “hoo-lee hoo-lee.” While you’re at it, check out how to pronounce some of these other Hawaiian words:

Poke (POH-keh)

Lomi Lomi (LOH-mee LOH-mee)

Poi (POH-ee)

Kalua (kah-LOO-ah)

Ono (OH-noh)

Can I Make Huli Huli Chicken in the Oven?

Yes! If you don’t have a grill or it’s not grilling weather, you can make this chicken in the oven. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place chicken pieces or a whole chicken on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. It should cook evenly in the oven. Don’t forget to baste the with reserved marinade.

What Is the Best Chicken to Use?

For this Hawaiian dish, you’ll want to use chicken thighs. They have more flavor and will stay moist during the grilling process. However, you can use chicken breasts or a whole chicken if you prefer.

Just be sure to not overcook your chicken recipe as different cuts will have different cooking times.

How Do I Know the Chicken Is Cooked?

You’ll know your meat is cooked through when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of your chicken before removing it from the grill.

Do I Need to Let the Huli Chicken Rest?

Once cooked, it’s important to let your chicken rest for a few minutes. This will help the juices redistribute throughout the meat so it’s nice and moist.

What Type of Rice Should I Serve With This Chicken?

There are many types of rice you could serve, but we think white rice or brown rice would be delicious.

What Can I Do With Huli Chicken Leftovers?

There are so many things you can do with leftover Huli flavoured chicken!

  • Make a Hawaiian chicken rice bowl by adding rice, fresh ginger and chicken, along with your favorite toppings.
  • Add the leftover chicken to a salad for a delicious lunch option. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge to eat the next day!
  • Make a sandwich or wrap the leftover meat in lettuce, and tomato. This would make a great snack later on in the day.
  • Shred the chicken and use it in a quesadilla or burrito. You could even use the chicken to make a Burrito Bowl!
  • Add the chicken pieces to a pasta dish for a quick and easy meal.

Other dishes you could make include:

  • Chicken Pizza
  • Chicken Nachos
  • Chicken Tacos
  • Chicken Soup

How Long Will Huli Chicken Keep?

Cooked chicken will last in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-6 months.

Can You Freeze Huli Huli Chicken?

Yes, you can freeze this chicken dish. However, we don’t recommend freezing the pineapple as it will become mushy when thawed.

To freeze, place your cooked and cooled chicken in an airtight container or freezer bag. Squeeze out any excess air and then seal. Frozen chicken will be good for up to 3 months.

Defrosting Huli Huli Chicken

When you’re ready to eat, thaw your chicken recipe in the fridge overnight. Then, reheat on the stove over low heat until warmed through. If you have any reserved marinade stored, you could use this to re-baste the chicken as it reheats.

Huli Huli Chicken is a Hawaiian staple that’s perfect for any occasion! Serve it with rice and your favorite sides for a complete meal. Don’t forget the pineapple!

Pineapple is a must-have fruit when making this chicken. Other than that, you really can’t go wrong with any type of sides.

Want to Take Your Hawaiian Dish to the Next Level?

Try serving it with homemade pineapple salsa. This recipe is easy to make and only requires a few ingredients.

Best Drink to Go With Grilled Huli Chicken

There are a few Hawaiian drinks that would go perfectly with this recipe. Try serving it with:

  • Pineapple juice
  • Coconut water
  • Mai Tai
  • Blue Hawaii

With this delicious Hawaiian dish, you’re sure to impress your family and friends. Just don’t forget the pineapple salsa and Mai Tai’s!

What Other Chicken Dishes Can I Make?

If you’re looking for other chicken recipes using Chicken breasts or chicken thighs, why not try one of these:

  • Herb Roasted
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Chipotle
  • Thai

There are so many different ways you can make chicken. Get creative in the kitchen and experiment with different flavors.

So What Goes Well With Huli Huli Chicken?

Seriously, there are so many great recipes and sides and Hawaiian dishes that you can pair with grilled Huli Chicken. Get creative and have fun with it! Enjoy!

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One Comment

  1. You’re leaving out one very important ingredient to making your Huli Huli chicken taste as authentic as you can make it without actually being on the island. Smoke. The chicken on the island is grilled on a rotisserie over Kieva wood. You can’t find Kieva wood on the mainland. The nearest you can come to the taste is using mesquite. When my husband and I were stationed on Oahu we had plenty of Huli Huli chicken from roadside stands and inquired how we could make the chicken once we were back home on the mainland. I’ve been making Huli Huli chicken for almost 40 years using mesquite and have never been unhappy.

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