Hawaiian Chicken & Coconut Rice

I’ve definitely been in a mood to grill the past few weeks, with all the warm weather we’ve been blessed with. This recipe was one I had bookmarked for a few months before I finally got around to giving it a try. It turned out absolutely delicious, so moist and flavorful!

It’s best when marinated overnight, but if you put it in before you went to work for the day – then grilled it when you got home, I think 8 hours would probably do a pretty good job as well. Some of my favorite ingredients go into the marinade – soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and pineapple juice meld together to create a perfect harmony of flavors for the chicken.

Then, there’s the coconut rice…which, couldn’t be easier. You’re basic recipe for rice, but you substitute 1 cup of coconut milk for 1 cup of the water. The coconut flavor isn’t overwhelming, but just enough to really set off the tropical flavors in the chicken.

We all really loved this one. I went ahead and grilled more chicken than we needed for dinner that night, as I knew the leftovers would be absolutely divine in some chicken salad. Which, they were. Instead of my usual dried cranberries I added a little bit of fresh diced pineapple for a Hawaiian spin. So delish, and perfect for summer!

Source: adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything


  1. Posted May 12, 2014 at 1:47 AM | Permalink

    I was just talking to someone about the fact that when my housemate left, so did the barbecue. At first I thought I really didn’t need to have another one, but recipes like this one is going to plague me. I can tell already. I love the coconut rice. Now that is simply a perfect accompaniment for this great chicken recipe.

  2. Posted May 12, 2014 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    Easy grilling recipes are the best and the marinade for this chicken looks amazing! I love that you served it with coconut rice, too. Pinning!

  3. Mijke
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    This is amazing! Thanks!

  4. Dorothy
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    I made this over the weekend for some very picky eaters and they loved it. This is a keeper

  5. ambient
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

    This looks really delicious! I noticed that the ingredients have two lines for garlic right in a row:
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tsp fresh garlic, minced

    Is this maybe an either/or situation? Thanks!

    • Posted May 28, 2014 at 5:12 PM | Permalink

      The 2 tsp should be fresh ginger. I’ve corrected it, thanks for pointing it out!

  6. Maryellen LaGarde
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    Wow this looks wonderful, I have taken some thighs out or would try this today. I will try it sometime this week. Your recipes are the best.

  7. Tuna
    Posted August 6, 2014 at 3:02 AM | Permalink

    Delicious! I saw this and had to make it immediately. I only marinated the chicken for about an hour and it was still delicious. I reserved some of the sauce before marinating and reduced it to add as a glaze on the cooked chicken.

  8. Jessica
    Posted September 7, 2014 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    do you think the rice can be done in the rice cooker?

    • Posted September 9, 2014 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

      Jessica, I’m not sure where it’s the addition of coconut milk. I’ve never used a rice cooker, so I can’t speak from experience. Use your best judgement!

      • Chris M
        Posted October 5, 2014 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

        This works great in a rice cooker. Great recipe!

  9. Nichole
    Posted September 13, 2014 at 6:58 PM | Permalink

    @Jessica – sure can!! Use the standard rice-to-liquid ratio using coconut milk + water. [I use my rice cooker all the time for things like farro, sorghum, barley, quinoa and steel-cut oats to name just a few and hardly ever use just plain water.]

    I bookmarked this ages ago and finally have chicken soaking in this marinade right now. I used half of the amount of honey (instead of sugar). Can’t wait until tomorrow!

  10. Kathy
    Posted September 28, 2014 at 9:24 PM | Permalink

    Looks good! Do you think quinoa could be used instead of rice? I had weight loss surgery and am supposed to avoid rice, pasta, bread, etc. Thanks!

    • Posted September 29, 2014 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

      Worth a try, I suppose. I’d follow the package directions on the quinoa, and just substitute half of the water for coconut milk.

  11. kathy
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 11:23 PM | Permalink

    Can this be baked or fried? And if so does it still turn out just as flavorfull?

    • Posted January 12, 2015 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

      It could definitely be baked – I’d say 425 for 25 minutes or so?

  12. Caron
    Posted January 17, 2015 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

    Trying this today, sounds delis…Will let you know what the fam thinks.

  13. Greg
    Posted January 21, 2015 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

    Wow! I tried this recipe this week and it’s one of the best I ever tried. Very simple to put together. Can’t wait until I can get back outside and cook it on my grill. I pan fried the chicken, and it was still delicious.

  14. Jeni
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

    Could I use oil for the rice instead of butter? We have a dairy allergy in the house.

  15. val
    Posted March 8, 2015 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    This chicken is awesome. I didnt have pineapple so i substituted orange juice. It was tasty and moist. A keeper. Thanks for sharing.

    • Posted March 8, 2015 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

      Thanks, Val. So glad you liked it, I’m sure the orange juice was a fabulous twist!

  16. Aakriti Jalota
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 5:40 AM | Permalink

    What if I want to use fresh or canned pineapple instead of pineapple juice? Is it possible? Also, what would the substituted measurement be if it is possible?

    • Posted June 5, 2015 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

      Well, I’d imagine it would be chunky – and probably burn when cooking. If you did want to use that approach, I’d puree it first – then put it through a fine mesh strainer to remove the pulp, and just use the juice. Or, if you use canned pineapple – there is plenty enough juice in the can to use for the recipe. Then use the chunk pineapple for a different recipe! 🙂

  17. Ginger
    Posted July 22, 2015 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    How many servings does this revipe make? It diesnt show on the nutrtion page.

  18. watchman
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 3:28 AM | Permalink

    I have no idea why every comments sounded like they manage to successfully make the pineapple flavour seep into the chicken breast. I tried these twice, even poking many holes into chicken and marinating by practically soaking the chicken for more than 12 hours in the fridge and adding en entire can (330ml) of pineapple juice and still there isnt any pineapple flavour in the chicken. what exactly am I missing here ?

    • Posted August 11, 2015 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

      Maybe the soy sauce is overpowering the flavor for you? Try reducing that next time. Or, you could also make a concentrated pineapple syrup by reducing down some juice on the stovetop for 40 minutes or so…then perhaps add that to the marinade for a bigger punch of pineapple flavor. Or, throw a few slices of pineapple on the grill with the chicken, and serve that alongside!

  19. Grant
    Posted March 4, 2016 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    Found this recipe minutes before it was time to start supper. Diced the chicken and began frying lightly in 2 T olive oil. When it started to brown I added the marinade to the pan. Also diced some pineapple and tossed that in. Let the marinade (now sauce) reduce then served. It was a hit! Just made the monthly list! Thank you.

    • Posted March 4, 2016 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

      So glad everyone enjoyed it! I love finding a new addition to the rotation. Enjoy!

  20. matti
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

    can i do porkchops instead of chicken

  21. Amanda
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 8:07 AM | Permalink

    This recipe has become a staple in our home. I love it and have made it sever al ways. Aside from grilling, I’ve baked it with the marinade and put pineapple rings on top and I’ve put the whole thing in the crockpot, added a can of crushed pineapple instead of just juice and then shredded it. I serve it over the rice. Today, I’m taking it shredded to a picnic and serving it on rolls as a Hawaiian pulled chicken. For this batch, I substituted coconut sugar for the brown sugar and the flavor seems about the same. Also, I don’t have fresh ginger, so I’ve been using ground ginger… maybe a half teaspoon? I’m not sure if that’s the proper amount, but it works. I never add the green onion, just because I never remember to get it.

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