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Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Nachos Recipe

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Nachos are a deliciously fun way to kick up Nachos Night. Gather your people around these boldly flavored chicken nachos for parties, game days, or a fun family meal.

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Nachos

Is it really summer vacation already?

It’s surreal that just a few days ago, The Littles were taking final exams, clearing out lockers, and relishing BYO sundaes at school (build, not bring…cuz it’d be funky to bring your own sundae.)

To celebrate graduating 5th graders, a glorious fire truck came roaring in and sprayed water on the entire graduating class like they were on fire. Some brave teachers ended their day with tweens high on cotton candy and fully drenched. I think the teachers were more ready for summer break than anyone else.

{I loved all my years of teaching, but can’t say I miss every single thing about it. 😉 }

Now that the sun’s hot and the days are longer, we’re fully diving into tropical vibes. I’m not just talking my favorite flip flops and superbly yummy Hawaiian Mai Tai’s. (Though those are definitely involved.)

When the weather heats up, it’s time for big platefuls of Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Nachos…

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Nachos

The secret to the amazing-ness of Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Nachos is the chicken.

This chicken is delectably island-infused: it’s marinated in a delicious pineapple based sauce and grilled to tender perfection. We routinely dish this Hawaiian BBQ Chicken up for dinner, to everyone’s woot-filled joy.

Once your chicken is nicely grilled up, all you need are the fixings for the best Hawaiian style salsa ever. It’s super fresh, ultra healthy, and deeeeelicious.

Because it’s technically nachos, we throw on some cheese for good measure.

Oh, and chips. You might want some of those, though we can see how one might forget all about the chips.

Hawaiian Chicken Nachos

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Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Nachos

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Nachos

5 from 2 ratings
Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Nachos are a deliciously fun way to kick up Nachos Night. Gather your people around these boldly flavored chicken nachos for parties, game days, or a fun family meal.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Amy Dong


For the Chicken:

  • 2-3 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs (thighs are most tender, but tenderloins can work)
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 piece about 1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • ½ cup regular strength soy sauce
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 5 TB apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TB Asian sesame oil
  • table salt

Hawaiian Salsa:

  • 1 large vine-ripened tomato, seeded and diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 can, 20 oz diced or crushed pineapple, drained
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 fresh lime, juiced
  • 2 tsp pure honey
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large avocado, semi-firm, diced


  • Tortilla chips, Shredded cheddar or jack cheese (about 1 cup,) and lime slices/hot sauce for garnish.


Make the Chicken:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the onion, garlic, ginger, pineapple juice, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and Asian sesame oil. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and marinade is well incorporated.
  • Use paper towels to thoroughly pat-dry the chicken pieces. Place chicken in a single layer on a cutting board, place a sheet of cling wrap over the chicken, and pound to an even thickness. Throw out cling wrap. Use a fork to pierce chicken pieces throughout. Lightly sprinkle chicken thighs on both sides with table salt. Toss chicken in bowl of marinade to coat well. Cover and chill overnight, or up to 2 nights. Be sure to turn chicken pieces over halfway through, if all pieces aren't completely immersed in marinade.

Make the Hawaiian Salsa:

  • Combine all salsa ingredients except for avocado in a bowl, toss well, and let chill until ready to use (dice and add the avocado just before using, to prevent browning.)

To Cook:

  • Grease and heat outdoor or indoor grill to medium-high. Remove chicken from marinade and grill (basting with marinade as desired) just until center is no longer pink, taking care not to over-cook. Discard marinade. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then dice.
  • Line 4-6 plates with tortilla chips. Top with chicken and salsa. Sprinkle on cheese and microwave in 30 second increments just to melt. Garnish as desired.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 1455mg | Potassium: 851mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 527IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: appetizers, Main Dish
Cuisine: Hawaiian, Mexican, Tex-Mex


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