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Fire up the grill, and enjoy this salty and sweet Pineapple Soy Grilled Chicken! This is the perfect summer meal that’s rich with pineapple, soy sauce, honey, and garlic flavors. Make these tender, flavorful grilled chicken thighs ASAP!
Summer is one of my favorite times of year. Is it blisteringly hot? Yes. Are there unsupervised children running amuck in just about every public space? Also yes. But! Summer also means that my grill gets a ton of delicious use, and this recipe is one of my favorite reasons so fire it up.
Pineapple soy grilled chicken is salty and sweet, a flavor combo that will never go out of style!
And that combination of flavors isn’t just created by the pineapple juice and soy sauce. The other ingredients that make the flavor so complex include brown sugar and honey for added sweetness, and garlic and ginger for a more enhanced savory profile.
Besides just having perfect flavor, I’ll also walk you through how to grill these glazed chicken thighs to perfection! That way, you have tender, juicy chicken thighs when you grill them.
Thighs can dry out pretty quickly (but breasts/white meat is worse) if you’re not careful, so use my grilling method of 5-6 minutes per side on medium-low heat to achieve the best chicken thighs, every time. They’ll be cooked all the way through, but not burned out dried out at all.
- Pineapple juice – You can use any kind of pineapple juice that you can get your hands on! Canned, bottled, or fresh will all do the trick.
- Soy sauce – To avoid making these thighs too salty, use a low sodium soy sauce or tamari.
- Pineapple – Use fresh, not frozen pineapple.
- Brown sugar – You can use light or dark brown sugar, whichever you have on hand.
- Honey – Use organic locally sourced honey for the best flavor.
- Garlic – For best results, finely mince the garlic yourself instead of buying pre-minced.
- Ginger – Similarly to the garlic, the flavor of the ginger will be the most potent if you finely mince it yourself.
- Chicken thighs – Skip the bone-in thighs, and instead grab some boneless, skinless thighs.
- Cornstarch – This is the thickening agent that’s going to make your sauce have a glaze-like consistency.
Can I use another fruit?
I personally think pineapple in this is best, after all, it is called pineapple soy grilled chicken.
However, if you want to play around with fruit flavors, I think orange or apricot would be really good!
Can I use white meat instead?
I have a strong disdain for white meat because of how easily it dries out and lack of flavor.
If you really don’t like dark meat, then yes, you can use white meat, however I really think you should give dark meat a shot!
What should I serve with pineapple soy grilled chicken?
This summery chicken dinner pairs well with other bright dishes! Some of my favorite side dishes to plate with these pineapple soy chicken thighs include Pineapple Fried Rice and Grilled Cabbage with Tahini-Soy Drizzle.
How long will pineapple soy grilled chicken stay fresh?
These chicken thighs are always best when served fresh! However, your leftovers will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To reheat them, pan sear them on your stovetop for best results.
Keep that grill nice and hot all summer long!
Pineapple Soy Grilled Chicken
- 1 cup (237 ml) pineapple juice
- ¾ cup (178 ml) low-sodium soy sauce, divided
- ½ cup (83 g) fresh cut pineapple, blended
- ½ cup (110 g) brown sugar
- ⅓ cup (113 g) honey
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons finely minced ginger
- 1.8 pounds (817 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs (8–9 thighs), with the fat trimmed off
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Mix the pineapple juice, ½ cup of the soy sauce, pineapple, brown sugar, honey, garlic and ginger together in a large bowl then add the chicken.
- Stir to combine, cover and marinate for 4-8 hours.
- Once ready, remove the chicken from the marinade.
- Strain the marinade through a fine mesh strainer into a saucepan and bring it to a boil on the stove over medium-high heat.
- Reduce the heat to low medium and let it simmer for 5 minutes then mix the remaining ¼ cup of soy sauce and cornstarch together and pour it into the sauce.
- Simmer for another 3-4 minutes or until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Heat a grill to low-medium heat and oil the grates.
- Grill the chicken on each side for 5-6 minutes, brushing with the sauce each time before flipping. (If the chicken starts smoking turn the heat down. It’s normal for it to sizzle, but if the heat is too high it will burn and start to break the chicken apart.)
- Remove the chicken from the grill and let it cool for 3-4 minutes before servings with freshly chopped cilantro for garnish.
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