This teriyaki chicken sandwich recipe is the best thing to make when grilling out with friends. This version has a Hawaiin twist to it with sliced ham, grilled pineapple, and Pepper Jack cheese.
Teriyaki chicken has always been a favorite recipe of mind. I love the sweet and salty combination, and the depth of flavor in teriyaki sauce. Typically, we enjoy it with fried rice and veggies, but we recently made it into a sandwich and it was out of this world!
My husband wanted the privilege of naming these sandwiches after he made them. He kept calling them “Big Kahuna Sandwiches” while he was grilling them and insisted that be the official name. So that is what we are calling them – Big Kahuna Teriyaki Chicken Sandwiches.
My favorite part of this sandwich is how we spiced up the teriyaki chicken by adding some deli ham, grilled pineapple, and pepper jack cheese. I don’t think we will ever go back to making them the old way again. These were a huge hit!
Make Them Into Burgers
You can easily make these into “Big Kahuna” burgers by marinating beef patties in the teriyaki sauce rather than chicken. We have made them as burgers before and woah, mama they are GOOD.
If you really want to give the burgers a Hawaiian spin, add a fried egg to the top. Holy calories, but seriously so good. Save up your “calorie points” or whatever you do and give it a try.
Tips for Grilling the Teriyaki Chicken
- Meat thickness: The key to getting perfect grilled teriyaki chicken is making sure the thickness of the meat is as even as possible. You don’t want one end of the chicken to be thick and the other end to be thin (how it comes naturally). Use a meat pounder and flatten out that thick part to match the thinner part (or close to it).
- Grill Temperature: You want to make sure you have the right grill temperature. You want to aim for around 375-degrees and 450-degrees. This makes it so you don’t have a charred outside and raw inside, which happens when you cook at too high of a temperature.
- Digital Read Meat Thermometer: Using a digital-read meat thermometer is also very helpful. When the internal temperature reaches 150-155 degrees (should only take a few minutes on each side) take it off the grill and allow to rest for a few minutes. Wrap the chicken in foil and the chicken will continue cooking to reach 165-degrees. You will have perfectly juicy chicken.
Side Dish Ideas
Here are some great side dish ideas that will go PERFECTLY with these teriyaki chicken sandwiches:
- Hawaiian Macaroni Salad: Hawaiian Mac Salad is a staple side dish for any Hawaiian meal. This is an AUTHENTIC Hawaiian recipe, straight from the islands!
- Fresh Mango Avocado Cole Slaw: You have got to try this coleslaw with a fun island twist! Goes GREAT alongside these grilled chicken teriyaki sandwiches!
- Sweet Potato Fries: Chicken sandwiches and sweet potato fries are a winning combination. Every. Time. You can’t go wrong!
How to make Teriyaki Chicken Sandwiches
- Pound chicken breasts until they are about 1/4" thick all around. Place in a large Ziploc bag. Combine Teriyaki sauce and brown sugar until sugar dissolves. Add 1/2 of the mixture to the bag with the chicken and seal tightly. Place bag in refrigerator for at least 4-5 hours. Separate remaining Teriyaki mixture into 2 separate bowls (to prevent cross contamination use 2 separate brushes too)-- one for the pineapple, one for the chicken. Open pineapple can and save a little of the juice in a bowl. Place chicken and pineapple on the grill (medium heat).
- Brush with Teriyaki sauce every few minutes until chicken and pineapple are done-- try to only flip the chicken and pineapple once. Either on the grill or in a frying pan, cook ham with a little of the pineapple juice until it becomes nice and hot. Slice open hamburger buns and place a piece of cooked chicken on each bottom bun. Top with cheese, ham, grilled pineapple, and bun top. Serve immediately with remaining grilled pineapple.
- Outdoor Barbecue Grill