Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken Recipe

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This air fryer Huli Huli chicken recipe is a wonderful and easy option for dinner tonight!

This Hawaiian chicken dish is delicious served over rice or noodles and is a wonderful way to keep chicken from getting boring. The flavor tastes like a true Hawaiian flavor with accents of pineapple with a great dose of protein.

Two pieces of Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken on a glass plate with a side of rice and broccoli.

What is Huli Huli Chicken?

Huli huli chicken is a grilled chicken dish in Hawaiian cuisine, prepared by barbecuing a chicken over mesquite wood, and basting it with a sweet huli huli sauce.

What Type Of Chicken Should You Use For Huli Huli Chicken?

While you can use chicken breasts or even chicken legs, chicken thighs work best, particularly in an air fryer.

An up close shot of Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken sitting on a glass plate.

How To Use The Sauce

Because this is an air fryer recipe, you don’t want to put the chicken into the air fryer with a ton of sauce. The photos here have extra sauce on them so you can easily see it in the photos. But don’t put that much sauce on. Marinate your chicken in half of the sauce, and keep the other half separate. Don’t let it touch the raw chicken.

You’ll put the chicken into the air fryer somewhat dry (you want sauce on it, but you don’t want it dripping off the chicken), cook it, and then use the second half of the sauce (the stuff that never touched the raw chicken), to pour over the cooked chicken.

Marinating The Chicken

At a minimum, you want to let the chicken marinate the chicken for 3 hours. But if you need to prep this ahead of time, you can marinate this overnight. Just make sure you wrap it well. The easiest way is with a dish that has a tight fitting lid or use a zipper-top bag.

An overhead view of two pieces of Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken, rice and broccoli sitting on a glass plate.

The Cooking Time

The goal is to get the chicken to an internal temperature of at least 165 F. Use a meat thermometer or instant read thermometer. You’ll want to cook this for 9 minutes on each side, for a total time of 18 minutes, so don’t forget to flip this halfway through. This is important for even cooking.

Gluten-Free Huli Huli Chicken

If you need this to be gluten free, then you’ll need to make sure the soy sauce you use is gluten-free. The rest of the ingredients should be gluten-free. Although, you may want to double check to be sure. We are not gluten-free, so please don’t take our word for it! Double check your ingredients!

Other Ways To Cook This

You can cook this on a grill, on skewers works great, or you can just put it directly on the grill top. Just use the sauce the same way you would use bbq sauce. Though you may want to whisk in a small amount of cornstarch to help it really glaze the chicken. Keep the barbecue to a medium heat to medium-high heat for best results.

A fork lifts a piece of Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken towards the camera.

What You’ll Need To Make This Huli Huli Chicken

3 lbs. skinless chicken thighs – You can also use boneless skinless chicken breasts if you prefer. But thighs work best.

Marinade Ingredients

1 cup brown sugar – For a healthier option, try Sucanat, coconut sugar, honey or monk fruit.

¾ cup soy sauce – Opt for low sodium soy sauce to make this healthier. You can also use tamari if you prefer.

¾ cup ketchup – Use a sugar free ketchup to make this healthier.

½ cup pineapple purée – Most people buy this, but to make your own, simply blend some fresh pineapple (canned pineapple chunks works too) in a blender with a little sweetener until smooth.

3 tablespoons ground ginger

tablespoons minced fresh garlic – You can use 2 tbsp. garlic powder or garlic granules instead if you prefer.

tablespoon chili flakes

INSTRUCTIONS 

All the ingredients for this Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken Recipe measured out individually in individual small bowls.

Measure out all the ingredients.

All the Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken sauce ingredients sitting in a blender cup.

Add soy sauce, ketchup, pineapple purée, ginger, garlic, and chili flakes to a blender cup.

The Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken sauce blended and sitting in a blender cup.

Blend until smooth.

Chicken in a glass casserole dish, marinating in sauce.

Marinate your chicken thighs in this sauce mixture for at least three hours if not overnight. Remember to only use half the sauce and reserve the other half (untouched by the raw chicken), for basting after cooking.

Raw chicken in an air fryer, basted with sauce.

Add your chicken thighs to your air fryer basket. Depending on how many thighs you’re cooking you may need to do a couple of batches. Do not overcrowd your thighs.

Two cooked pieces of chicken sitting in an air fryer basket.

Cook at 380° F. for 18 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165° F. Flip after 9 minutes.

Two pieces of Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken on a glass plate with a side of rice and broccoli.

Brush on the reserved sauce and garnish Serve your chicken thighs over rice, noodles, or vegetables.

What To Serve With Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken

There are a lot of things you can serve with this.

  • Rice
  • Veggies like broccoli
  • Macaroni salad
  • Corn on the cop
  • Coleslaw
  • Baked beans
  • Barbecue beans
  • Pretty much any dish you would serve with barbecue

How To Store Huli Huli Chicken

Once cooked, pack this in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Can You Freeze Huli Huli Chicken?

You absolutely can! If packed well, this will last in the freezer for up to 4 months.

How To Reheat Huli Huli Chicken

The easiest way to reheat this is in the microwave. 1 to 1 ½ minutes at most is all you need. But you can also reheat this in an air fryer if it has a reheat option. If not, you can set this to cook at 325 F. for up to 3 minutes without it getting too overcooked.

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Two pieces of Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken on a glass plate with a side of rice and broccoli.

Air fryer Huli Huli Chicken

Air Fry Master
Delicious chicken you can easily prep ahead of time and have cooked in 18 minutes!
Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 18 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 18 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Hawaiian
Servings 4 servings

Equipment

  • Air Fryer

Ingredients
  

  • 3 lbs. chicken thighs

Marinade Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup pineapple purée
  • 3 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 3 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. chili flakes

Instructions
 

  • Measure out all the ingredients.
    All the ingredients for this Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken Recipe measured out individually in individual small bowls.
  • Add soy sauce, ketchup, pineapple purée, ginger, garlic, and chili flakes to a blender cup.
    All the Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken sauce ingredients sitting in a blender cup.
  • Blend until smooth.
    The Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken sauce blended and sitting in a blender cup.
  • Marinate your chicken thighs in this sauce mixture for at least three hours if not overnight. Remember to only use half the sauce and reserve the other half (untouched by the raw chicken), for basting after cooking.
    Chicken in a glass casserole dish, marinating in sauce.
  • 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.
    Raw chicken in an air fryer, basted with sauce.
  • Cook at 380° for 18 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165°. Flip after 9 minutes.
    Two cooked pieces of chicken sitting in an air fryer basket.
  • Brush on the reserved sauce and garnish Serve your chicken thighs over rice, noodles, or vegetables.
    An overhead view of two pieces of Air Fryer Huli Huli Chicken, rice and broccoli sitting on a glass plate.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.
Keyword Chicken

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