Crockpot Huli Huli Chicken

Huli huli chicken cooked in a slow cooker is a dinner that you can prepare in advance, forget about, and then return to in order to savor all of its tropical flavor. The tastiest sauce, which is made of ginger, garlic, ketchup, brown sugar, and pineapple juice, is used to flavor each bite of chicken that is tender enough to be eaten with a fork. It is the ideal combination of three flavors: sweet, sour, and salty!

The Crock Pot continues to be one of the most frequently utilized appliances in my kitchen. What I really like about it is that I can put all of my ingredients in it, and then I can leave it to work while I go out and run errands. When you go home, the greatest thing is to have a big meal that has been slow-cooked. The following are some of my favorite recipes that you should try next: Swedish meatballs, cashew chicken, and beef tips cooked in a slow cooker.

Crockpot Huli Huli Chicken

Crockpot Huli Huli Chicken
Crockpot Huli Huli Chicken

This recipe for huli huli chicken is one of the most popular meals on the blog, and there is a good reason for that! If you have never eaten it before, it is a Hawaiian cuisine that consists of chicken that is both sweet and savory. The chicken is spun on a rotisserie over and over as it is cooking, which results in a caramelized coating that is almost unbelievable. This is what gives the dish its name, “huli huli.”

A favorite among those who prefer Hawaiian cuisine and barbecue, it is a dish that is enjoyed by many. Believe me, once you take a bite, you won’t be able to stop eating it! Simply put, it is too tasty and tender to pass up.

It is for all of you busy mothers out there that I have a dish for you today. When you use a slow cooker, you can still achieve that perfectly juicy and tender texture, but the cooking process no longer requires any active participation on your part. Putting the chicken in the slow cooker, making a basic sauce to coat it with, and then letting it cook while you go about your day is all that is required of you.

At the end of the day, you will return home to the ideal hearty lunch that is loaded with delicious pineapple-flavored sweetness in every bite. Everything you need to know to succeed is included here:

Ingredients for Huli Chicken

Pineapple juice, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic are just a few of the delicious ingredients used in this amazing Hawaiian meal to give the chicken an incredible flavor. Every component has a distinct purpose in creating the marinade that gives Huli Huli chicken its deliciously distinct flavor. You will adore it! Note: The recipe card is available below with all of the measurements.

Crockpot Huli Huli Chicken

In the realm of Hawaiian cuisine, few dishes capture the essence of the islands quite like Huli Huli Chicken. Originating in the 1950s on the island of Oahu, this flavorful dish has become a beloved staple, featuring a blend of sweet and savory flavors that evoke the spirit of the Aloha State. Traditionally cooked on a grill, Huli Huli Chicken has found a new home in the slow cooker, offering a convenient way to enjoy this iconic dish without sacrificing its authentic taste. In this article, we’ll explore the history of Huli Huli Chicken, its key ingredients, and provide a step-by-step guide on how to make it in your crockpot.

The Origins of Huli Huli Chicken:

The story of Huli Huli Chicken begins with Ernest Morgado, a native of Hawaii who was inspired to create the dish in the 1950s. Morgado was a local businessman who wanted to find a way to fund his annual Rotary Club scholarship fund. Drawing inspiration from traditional Hawaiian flavors, he devised a recipe for marinated chicken that would later become known as Huli Huli Chicken.

The name “Huli Huli” comes from the Hawaiian word “huli,” which means to turn or rotate. This is because the chicken is traditionally cooked on a grill and flipped multiple times during the cooking process. The term “Huli Huli Chicken” was coined by Morgado himself, who used it to market his creation.

Morgado’s Huli Huli Chicken quickly gained popularity throughout Hawaii, becoming a favorite at fundraisers, community events, and backyard barbecues. Its irresistible combination of tangy pineapple, savory soy sauce, and aromatic ginger made it a hit among locals and visitors alike.

Crockpot Huli Huli Chicken

Key Ingredients: While there are many variations of Huli Huli Chicken, certain key ingredients are essential for capturing its signature flavor profile. Here are the primary components:

  1. Chicken: Traditionally, bone-in chicken thighs are used for Huli Huli Chicken, as they remain juicy and flavorful during the cooking process. However, you can also use boneless chicken thighs or chicken breasts if preferred.
  2. Pineapple Juice: Pineapple juice serves as the base for the marinade, providing a sweet and tangy flavor that infuses the chicken with tropical goodness.
  3. Soy Sauce: Soy sauce adds a rich umami flavor to the marinade, balancing out the sweetness of the pineapple juice.
  4. Brown Sugar: Brown sugar enhances the sweetness of the marinade and helps to caramelize the chicken as it cooks.
  5. Ginger and Garlic: Fresh ginger and garlic add depth and complexity to the marinade, infusing the chicken with aromatic flavors.
  6. Ketchup: Ketchup may seem like an unexpected ingredient, but it adds a hint of acidity and richness to the marinade, complementing the other flavors perfectly.
  7. Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar provides a subtle tanginess that helps to balance the sweetness of the marinade.
  8. Sesame Oil: Sesame oil contributes a nutty aroma and flavor to the marinade, enhancing its overall complexity.
  9. Green Onions: Chopped green onions are used as a garnish, adding a pop of color and freshness to the finished dish.

Making Slow Cooker Huli Huli Chicken:

Now that we’ve covered the history and key ingredients of Huli Huli Chicken, let’s dive into how to make it in your crockpot. Follow these simple steps for a delicious taste of Hawaii right in your own kitchen:

Crockpot Huli Huli Chicken

Step 1: Prepare the Marinade In a mixing bowl, combine pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger, ketchup, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Whisk until the ingredients are well incorporated.

Step 2: Marinate the Chicken Place the chicken thighs in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, making sure it is evenly coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to meld.

Step 3: Slow Cook the Chicken Once the chicken has finished marinating, transfer it along with the marinade to the slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through. If desired, you can baste the chicken with the marinade halfway through the cooking process for added flavor.

Step 4: Serve and Enjoy Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the slow cooker and transfer it to a serving platter. Garnish with chopped green onions for a pop of color and freshness. Serve the Huli Huli Chicken hot with steamed rice and your favorite side dishes, such as grilled pineapple or macaroni salad.

Crockpot Huli Huli Chicken is a delicious Hawaiian-inspired dish made with tender chicken thighs cooked in a sweet and savory sauce.

Here’s a simple recipe you can try:


  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional, for thickening)
  • Sliced green onions and sesame seeds for garnish (optional)


Crockpot Huli Huli Chicken

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and black pepper. This is your Huli Huli sauce.
  2. Place chicken thighs in the crockpot and pour the Huli Huli sauce over them, ensuring the chicken is well coated.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  4. If desired, about 30 minutes before the end of cooking time, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl to create a slurry. Stir the slurry into the crockpot to thicken the sauce.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the crockpot and shred it using two forks.
  6. Serve the shredded chicken with the thickened sauce from the crockpot, garnished with sliced green onions and sesame seeds if desired.

This Crockpot Huli Huli Chicken is perfect served over rice or alongside some grilled pineapple for a taste of the tropics right at home!

Conclusion: Slow Cooker Huli Huli Chicken offers a convenient way to enjoy the classic flavors of Hawaii with minimal effort. By marinating the chicken in a blend of pineapple juice, soy sauce, and other aromatic ingredients, you can create a dish that is both flavorful and tender. Whether you’re hosting a backyard luau or simply craving a taste of the tropics, Huli Huli Chicken is sure to delight your taste buds and transport you to the sunny shores of Hawaii. So fire up your crockpot and get ready to savor the flavors of paradise in every bite. Aloha!

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