Grilled chicken has never been tastier than in this Hawaiian BBQ Chicken recipe. With a luscious glaze, flavor through and through, and succulent chicken in every bite, this easy dish pairs the best of chicken and pineapple in one scrumptious meal. It’s also a quick fix without a long marinating time, so the next time you’re wondering what’s for dinner, try this Hawaiian chicken recipe!

hawaiian chicken dinner

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Grilled chicken doesn’t have to take forever to cook, and in this tasty recipe, we’re going to pound the chicken first so that it is thinner and cooks faster. It’s also got more surface area for more of that delicious sauce. 

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

Paired with pineapple rings, this is as pretty a meal as it is tasty. Grilling the pineapple rings gives them a light, smoky flavor and helps to really highlight the natural sugars. For a quick recipe, you can buy store-bought barbecue sauce, or you can make your own sauce.

grilled pineapple

This tasty grilled chicken dish can be a humble dinner on Tuesday night or dress it up with sides for a more elaborate dinner party. It’s also easy to double in case you need to feed a crowd. Having just come back from Maui, we love to pop this chicken on the grill (great memories). And we love pineapple!

With so much flavor, this Hawaiian grilled chicken recipe is often requested in my house. I’m sure your family and friends will love it too!

a serving of chicken barbecue style

Why I love this recipe

  • Pounding the chicken breasts to make them thinner means this recipe cooks faster and has room for more of the yummy sauce.
  • Grilling the pineapple rings adds even more flavor, and it’s so easy to do!
  • You can cut this recipe in half to feed just a few people or double it to feed a crowd.
  • We love to call this our “30-minute” chicken!

ingredients for Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

Gather these ingredients

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts – Pounded thin.
  • Canned pineapple rings – 1 8-ounce can. Reserve the juice.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic; minced.
  • Onion powder – Not onion salt.
  • Sesame oil
  • Coconut milk – Light coconut milk.
  • Pineapple juice – Reserved from the pineapple rings.
  • Hawaiian barbeque sauce – we buy Sweet Baby Ray’s Hawaiian Barbecue sauce
  • Coconut aminos – Or low-sodium soy sauce.
  • Olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Green onions – Finely chopped; optional garnish.

how to make Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

How to make Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

This dish is so easy to make and can be prepared in the time it takes to heat up the grill!

  1. Heat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Combine the garlic, onion powder, sesame oil, coconut milk, pineapple juice, barbecue sauce, coconut aminos, olive oil, and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl until blended.
  3. Set half of the marinade aside for basting the chicken on the grill.
  4. Tenderize the chicken on both sides, flattening it out. Use a meat tenderizer to do this.
  5. Add the chicken and pineapple rings to a large shallow bowl or zipper-top plastic bag and pour the marinade over top. Mix gently to coat the chicken and the pineapple without breaking up the rings.
  6. Marinate the chicken and pineapple in the fridge for 15 minutes. 
  7. Grill the pineapple rings and chicken breasts for 4-5 minutes per side or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165-F on a digital meat thermometer. 
  8. Baste the chicken and rings as they cook with the reserved marinade and drizzle whatever is left over on the chicken before serving.
  9. Garnish with sliced green onions, and serve!

grilled chicken

Tips & substitutions

  • You can use low-sodium soy sauce instead of coconut aminos.
  • Discard the marinade that the chicken was soaking in.
  • Don’t marinate the chicken and pineapple rings for too long, or the rings will get soggy and they won’t grill well.
  • Don’t overcook the chicken – cooking it to 165-F internally is all you need. Overcooked chicken breast is dry.

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken witih rice dinner

Serving suggestions

This is such a flavorful dish, so make sure your sides don’t compete with the Hawaiian chicken, which is the star of the show. Plain rice or quinoa is perfect for soaking up all the amazing sauce, but mashed potatoes will also work. And for veggies, try this dish with a cool and creamy coleslaw. Other tasty sides to pair with this dish include roasted asparagus, oven-roasted broccoli, or smashed potatoes.

sliced barbecue chicken


Store any leftover grilled chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat it gently in the microwave or covered in a low oven. 

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken with grilled pineapple

Check out these awesome Hawaiian recipes while you’re here

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken witih rice dinner
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Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

Glazed with a scrumptious sauce and grilled until perfect, this Hawaiian BBQ Chicken is perfect with grilled pineapple rings.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
marinating time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 8
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  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded and thin cut
  • 1 8 oz can pineapple rings drained- set juice aside
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ¾ cup light coconut milk
  • ½ cup canned pineapple juice
  • ½ cup Hawaiian barbeque sauce, we buy Sweet Baby Ray’s Hawaiian Barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos, or low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup green onions, finely chopped for the garnish


  • Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  • In a large bowl, mix garlic, onion powder, sesame oil, coconut milk, pineapple juice, barbecue sauce, coconut aminos, olive oil, and red pepper flakes until well blended.
  • Set aside 1/2 cup of the marinade for basting the chicken on the grill.
  • Using a tenderizer, tenderize the chicken on both sides.
  • Place chicken and pineapple rings in a Ziplock bag or large low-line bowl, and pour the marinade on top. Gently incorporate into the chicken and pineapple rings, and allow to sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. [Marinating for more than 20 minutes isn’t good because the pineapple begins to get soggy.]
  • Grill marinated pineapple rings and chicken breasts for about 4-5 minutes on each side, making sure that they all reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Serve hot with extra marinade and optional green onion garnish. Serve with a side of coleslaw and pineapple rings.
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course
Calories: 273kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 67mg, Sodium: 478mg, Potassium: 489mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 148IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 3mg
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BBQ Chicken Hawaiian style