I've mentioned before that I will randomly wake up in the middle of the night with new recipe ideas, but if you're new here, it's totally normal.
Sometimes I'll also try and brainstorm new flavor combinations if I can't sleep. So either way, the middle of the night is when my best ideas are born.
And let me tell you, today's recipe is one of those ideas! It started out as a "bowl," but I hated the pictures I took and I didn't like the process. It seemed... boring. Like there was no creativity behind it.
After that lousy photoshoot, I went back to the drawing board, keeping the marinade and the flavors but changing the method and presentation.
Just a little plugin for those of you who need lots of iterations of your ideas before you land with the final: the process is totally worth it. I know it's frustrating to do it over and over again, but you'll always be happier in the end.
I'm certainly happy with the final result of this dish!
Today's Baked Hawaiian BBQ Chicken is absolutely incredible: juicy chicken smothered in a homemade marinade and wrapped in bacon served over a bed of sweet, fluffy coconut rice and topped with a fresh jalapeno pineapple salsa.
Every little ingredient adds up to an explosion of flavor in your mouth and you'll wish you'd doubled the recipe! It's one of our family's favorite recipes I've ever made.
A little sweet, a little spicy, and a little tangy! The brown sugar and molasses sweeten the tomato sauce, habanero peppers and smoked paprika add some heat, and the acidity of pineapple juice gives that tangy citrus flavor. There's also hints of soy sauce and ginger as well. It's a flavor combination unlike any other!
Traditionally, a Hawaiian BBQ, or a "luau," includes smoked meat (like chicken or pork) served with a side of rice and lots of fresh ingredients like coconut, pineapple, and mango. Spam is also a very common food served at luaus.
This Hawaiian BBQ Chicken recipe is a fun twist on all of those classic flavors that you can enjoy at home, even on busy weeknights!
Hawaiian barbecue Chicken can be made with many different cuts of chicken and is marinated with a pineapple-infused BBQ sauce.
Huli-huli chicken is specifically a rotisserie-style chicken cooked over kiawe wood and marinated in a pineapple-infused tomato sauce with dark brown sugar, garlic powder, and chili powder or cayenne pepper.
Teriyaki sauce also has brown sugar, but it has more Asian-flavors from soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and fresh ginger.
All three are a sweet, sticky glaze that adds tons of delicious flavor to grilled or baked chicken, pork chops, or
Like I mentioned earlier, this entire meal is ready in 30 minutes* with the best ingredients. There's hardly any work involved but you get maximum flavor!
*Please note that I consider this a 30 minute meal with marinated chicken. This means that you've already prepared the chicken before starting everything else. For the best results, I suggest prepping the chicken the night before or the morning of, then actually starting the recipe.
Here are the few simple steps for baked BBQ chicken:
I recommend using fresh chicken purchased in a styrofoam tray. This chicken is always sold per pound and each breast is usually exactly the same size, which makes portion control much easier. For example, if you bought two pounds of fresh chicken for this recipe and there were four chicken breasts in the tray, you'd know that each breast is about 1/2 a pound. From there, you can cut each breast in half, which would give you eight 4-oz. portions (exactly what the recipe calls for).
In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together the BBQ sauce ingredients, then pour into a large ziploc bag and toss with the chicken. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to 48 hours.
Alternatively, you can toss the chicken and marinade in a large mixing bowl, then cover in plastic wrap.
Once the chicken has marinated, remove the chicken from your container and save the remaining marinade.
Wrap each piece of chicken in a slice of bacon and place on a cooling rack on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. I also love doing a quick broil-finish to crisp up the bacon!
While the chicken is in the oven, bring the coconut milk to a boil in a small saucepan and add in the instant rice.
Cook for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and mix with the almond milk and the Stevia. Et voila! The easiest coconut rice!
While the chicken and rice are cooking, dice up all your fresh ingredients for the salsa and toss in a large bowl. That's it!
The best part! Serve one portion of baked BBQ chicken over 3/4 cup coconut rice with 1/2 cup salsa. You'll never be the same!
Pro tip: brush your bacon-wrapped chicken in the extra tangy bbq sauce from the marinade!
It's ready in 30 minutes: whether you're a busy mom or a busy college student, you'll always have time to make Hawaiian BBQ chicken! Everything basically makes itself, anyway. If you really want to streamline things, you can prep the chicken up to 48 hours in advance and take 10 minutes dice the fresh ingredients the night before!
It's allergen-friendly: yup, you read that right! This baked BBQ chicken is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. Everybody gets to enjoy it!
It's full of complex flavors: at first it might seem like there's a lot going on, but trust me when I say it all works. The signature tangy Hawaiian BBQ sauce with the sweet coconut rice and the spicy salsa just works.
You don't need a grill! Unlike most other Hawaiian BBQ chicken recipes out there, this one is a baked BBQ chicken recipe! You just need an oven and a baking sheet.
Sure! The cook time and preparation is exactly the same.
Sure! Prepare the chicken according to instructions, but double the marinade, then cook the chicken in the marinade on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours. For the best results, broil the chicken before serving so you get a slightly crispy top.
Let the chicken cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. To make this an easy weeknight meal, divide all the chicken, rice, and salsa into equal portions and store individual portions in separate containers.
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OMG I can't wait for you to try this easy Hawaiian chicken recipe! My husband and I raved about it for days and it converted me to liking pineapple. It will be a huge hit with the whole family!
After you try this recipe, be sure to leave a star rating and review below the recipe card so other readers know how you liked it! You can also tag me on social media with your finished dish - I love seeing my recipes in your home!
Tender chicken breasts are marinated in a sweet, spicy, and tangy BBQ sauce then wrapped in bacon and served over coconut rice with a jalapeno pineapple salsa. This baked Hawaiian BBQ Chicken is gluten-free, dairy-free, and ready in 30 minutes!
*See blog post for tips on meal preparation for this recipe.
Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate of 4oz. chicken (wrapped in bacon), approx. 3/4 C coconut rice, and 1/2 C jalapeno pineapple salsa.
Calories: 394 / Fat: 11.3g / Saturated Fat: 6g / Carbohydrates: 44g / Fiber: 1.1g / Sugar: 13.2g / Protein: 28.3g
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