This grilled Hawaiian chicken is stuffed with ham, fresh pineapple and melted smoked Jarlsberg cheese with a sticky sweet teriyaki glaze.
While I’m a dessert person through and through, the recipes I get most excited about sharing with you guys are usually the meaty main dishes.
Like this Hawaiian chicken.
It’s grilled and stuffed with all the classic “Hawaiian” elements of pineapple, ham and cheese and there’s a sticky sweet teriyaki glaze on top. All of which make me probably more excited than I should be to talk about a chicken recipe with you.
*This post is sponsored by Jarlsberg. All content and opinions are my own.
As a New Yorker, the concept of Hawaiian pizza was completely foreign to me until I entered college. I distinctly remember my first college takeout pizza order freshman year from Papa Johns (which pretty much broke my heart to learn was the best pizza place Carlisle, PA had to offer) when someone suggested Hawaiian pizza and I was like “um, what?”
I’ll be honest, to this day, pineapple, ham and cheese are still weird to me on pizza. Gimme meatball, sausage, mushrooms or pretty much anything but anchovies and I’m game but leave Hawaii out of it.
When it comes to chicken however, stuffing pineapple, ham and cheese in the middle and grilling it to juicy perfection with a sweet teriyaki glaze sounds absolutely delicious.
As evidenced in these slow cooker honey garlic chicken thighs, pineapple and chicken is always a delicious combination.
How To Make Grilled Hawaiian Chicken
The first step in this Hawaiian chicken recipe is a quick marinade in teriyaki sauce.
I season the chicken breasts with some kosher salt and pepper, place them in a baking dish and pour about 1/4 cup of my favorite teriyaki marinade/sauce on top. At this point, you can either marinate them for as little as 45 minutes – 1 hour or, refrigerate overnight.
If you have the time, go for the longer marinade, it just makes it even more flavorful at the end!
When you’re ready to grill, heat the grill to a medium-high temperature and cook the chicken breasts until they’re almost fully cooked but still a bit pink in the center. This ensures that when you place them back on the grill after stuffing them they won’t dry out.
You want to let the chicken breasts rest a few minutes before butterflying them to stuff so that all the juices don’t seep out.
Once you’ve let them rest and the juices have settled back into the meat, slice each breast lengthwise and then layer on the Hawaiian ingredients.
I used black forest deli ham, fresh pineapple slices and one of my favorite cheeses, smoked Jarlsberg.
They go back on the grill at this point over a low heat for just a few minutes to melt the cheese. I also brush on a little more of the teriyaki sauce to create a glaze.
The last step is garnishing with some sliced green onions and enjoying this stuffed Hawaiian chicken warm off the grill!
Back in May, I partnered with Jarlsberg on this Cheesy Potato Breakfast Casserole with Turkey Sausage and Eggs and talked about how it was the cheese of my childhood. It was the cheese my mom always kept on hand and as kids we ate it with everything from apples as an after school snack to cheeseboards for holiday parties.
Finding new ways to enjoy and recreate my favorite childhood foods is always so much fun and one of the reasons I chose the smoked variety of Jarlsberg for this Hawaiian pineapple chicken recipe.
Jarlsberg melts beautifully while still holding its shape (which you can literally see in these pictures!), an important element for something being grilled.
With its mild, buttery flavor, it goes really well with the savory teriyaki and sweet pineapple in this dish.
While it may be a cheese that hails from Norway, it happens to fit in just perfectly with the flavors in this Hawaiian teriyaki chicken.
What To Serve With Stuffed Hawaiian Chicken
If you google Hawaiian chicken you might find some recipes with peppers and rice. For obvious reasons, I prefer my version stuffed with pineapple, ham and cheese but rice and peppers is exactly what I suggest serving it with.
I made some simple white rice on the stove top and then sautéed some red and yellow bell peppers with sliced onions in a skillet. At the end, I added a little bit of the teriyaki sauce I used on the chicken to bring it all together.
You could also grill the peppers alongside the chicken for even less cleanup!
Can I Bake This Instead of Using The Grill?
Absolutely! If it’s winter time and you want to make this stuffed teriyaki Hawaiian chicken, you can definitely do this in the oven.
Follow all the same steps just use your oven instead of the grill. I’d use a cooking temperature of 400°F.
A grill pan would also work but you’d have to cover it somehow at the end for the cheese to melt. Honestly, I find indoor grill pans to usually not be worth their mess or cleanup. I’d go the oven route if you want to make this indoors.
Do I Have To Use Smoked Cheese?
I know smoke flavored cheeses are hit or miss for a lot of people so if you don’t enjoy that smoky flavor to your cheese, just use the regular Jarlsberg cheese.
I personally love how the smoky flavor balances the sweet ham and pineapple in the stuffing but the classic Jarlsberg would be just as good!
Fresh or Canned Pineapple?
I used fresh pineapple in this recipe because the idea of having leftover fresh pineapple sounded good to me in the middle of summer! If you want to or need to use canned pineapple, that’s totally fine.
I’d suggest canned pineapple rings, thoroughly drained (maybe even patted dry) and then sliced into half circles just as you would the fresh pineapple.
The trick with the pineapple slices is not making them too thick so they fit inside the chicken breast easily.
ps- If you love pineapple with savory foods don’t miss this Thai pineapple fried rice recipe!
Love this recipe for Grilled Hawaiian Chicken? Try one of these other chicken dishes:
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts (3-4 breasts)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons teriyaki marinade, divided (*see note)
- 3-4 pineapple rings, cut into half circles (I prefer fresh but canned will work)
- 3-4 slices of deli ham
- 6-8 slices smoked Jarlsberg cheese
- thinly sliced green onions for garnish
- Place chicken breasts in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup of the marinade over top. Turn the breasts to coat in the marinade then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This can also be done overnight.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Place marinated chicken breasts on the grill, cook, flipping once halfway through until almost fully cooked but still slightly pink in the center, about 10 minutes. Cooking time will vary on thickness of chicken.
- Remove from grill, place on a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
- Butterfly each breast by carefully cutting a slit lengthwise leaving the ends in tact so you can open it like a book.
- Place a slice of ham inside the opening, 2 pineapple slices and 2 slices of Jarlsberg on top then fold the chicken breast half back on top.
- Place the stuffed chicken back on the grill over low heat and brush the remaining 2 tablespoons of teriyaki marinade over top. Cover and let cook for about 3-4 minutes until cheese has melted.
- Remove from grill, garnish with green onions and serve.
*check for gluten-free marinade if needed as teriyaki includes soy sauce as a main ingredient.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 611 Total Fat: 24g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 204mg Sodium: 888mg Carbohydrates: 24g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 18g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 72g