Hawaiian cuisine is a medley of exquisite flavors and aromas. It’s easy to make, features some amazing ingredients, and does not pull any punches on the flavor — it’s unlike anything you’ve ever tasted! And while it’s not possible to catch a plane every time we crave the island flavor, we can still bring the tropical cuisine home!
If you want to try your hand at some popular Hawaiian dishes, here are 29 flavorful Hawaiian recipes to get you started. They range from the ever-popular Hawaiian Ahi Poke Bowl to exotic Mai Tai, giving you plenty of options to satisfy your palate and transport you to a tropical paradise!
Hawaiian sweets are in a league of their own. And the popular butter mochi is no different. This dessert, featuring sweet rice flour and coconut milk, is like a soft and creamy baked custard that’s easy to make and even easier to binge on! The melt-in-your-mouth treat has a touch of sweetness and a unique Hawaiian flavor that transports you to a tropical paradise with just a bite!
You need to have this kid-approved pasta recipe in your meal rotation plan. Trust us on this! It is rich, creamy, and comforting and gets its excellent flavor from unique combinations like salty-sweet ham and pineapple and crunchy, vibrant carrots and bell peppers. Serve it with a garnish of chopped green onions to enjoy!
This classic macaroni salad tastes just like it came out of a Hawaiian food truck. The key to this recipe’s success lies in the dressing — which is a perfect balance of creamy, tangy, and sweet. It’s a great dish to serve for all occasions and will get rave reviews every single time! If you want a healthier version, just swap mayo for Greek yogurt!
A sweet-salty snack that’s uniquely Hawaiian, Furikake Chex Mix is addictively delicious! Make this crunchy snack by tossing cereal and chips with furikake — a Japanese seasoning mix — and hot butter-soy sauce syrup to produce exquisite flavors. Bake it for an hour and let it cool, and you’re all set. You can also store leftovers in an airtight container to enjoy later.
This Hawaiian recipe features delicious summer veggies, fresh pineapple, and tender and flavorful chicken, all tossed in a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. The sauce gets a zing from soy sauce and a wonderful aroma from minced garlic. Once the foil packets are grilled, open the foil and baste your dish with the reserved sauce to serve.
This simple garlic shrimp recipe packs a big flavor. Simply toss juicy shrimp in seasoned rice flour, which will give them a nice crunch while imparting a savory flavor, then cook them with a garlicky butter-based sauce. Serve this savory dish with lemon and some chopped parsley as garnish — you’ll have compliments pouring in by the dozen!
Put together this fuss-free chicken teriyaki recipe in just half an hour! It gets a fruity twist from fresh pineapple juice and chunks, which create a combination of salty and sweet flavors that’ll have you licking your fingers! As a finishing touch, brush the chicken with the reduced sauce for extra appeal. Remember to marinate the chicken properly, or it’ll have an unappealing texture.
Make these killer sliders for an ideal afternoon snack or light meal! To prepare it, layer sweet Hawaiian rolls with smoky ham and nutty Swiss cheese and brush them with savory butter — made with poppy seeds, mustard, dried onion, and Worcestershire sauce. Then, bake them to ooey-gooey perfection and garnish with parsley. Want to make it spicy? Add pickled jalapeños between the ham and cheese!
The Ahi poke bowl is an iconic Hawaiian dish. They’re healthy, tasty, and offer a lot of room for customization! In this version, we use a combination of ahi tuna, jasmine rice, radishes, sesame seeds, sprouts, avocado, and seasonings to create a delightful dish. For extra flavor, drizzle some spicy mayo on top. It’s like sushi in a bowl but with the added benefit of customization to suit different palates!
This hearty and warm beef stew will warm you up from the inside out. It calls for braising meat, carrots, and potatoes in a broth made with sweet and juicy tomatoes, tomato paste, and bay leaves to produce the ultimate meal for all to enjoy. Serve it over a bed of sticky white rice to soak up all the yummy flavors!
Add some glam to your outdoor parties with these delicious chicken kabobs. You just need to skewer marinated chicken, along with juicy pineapples and vibrant and crunchy veggies like red onions and bell peppers and then grill them to perfection. Remember to baste them in between to bring out all the flavors. Consider making the marinade in advance to speed things up.
This fluffy Hawaiian fried rice has the most amazing warm flavors. Prepare it with rice, ham, garlic, eggs, bell pepper, and, of course, pineapple to enjoy delicious tropical flavors in every bite. You can serve it garnished with green onions. For best results, use day-old rice — it will give your dish the perfect texture.
Guava cake is a traditional Hawaiian dessert that features fruity flavors that are sweet without being overwhelming. It calls for using strawberry cake mix, guava nectar, eggs, and coconut oil to create the base and food coloring to get that gorgeous pink hue. Top it with a whipped cream cheese layer, glaze with guava gel, and garnish with sliced strawberries.
This four-ingredient dessert is somewhere between custard and jelly — and you can control how soft or custard-like you want its texture to be by adding more or less cornstarch. Thanks to the full-fat coconut milk in its composition, it has a delightful tropical flavor you’ll love. Consider serving it with some crushed pineapple for an authentic Hawaiian taste!
Hawaiian hot dogs take your regular hot dogs to a whole new level. Lightly toasted buns are layered with grilled hot dogs and various toppings like sweet-smoky pineapple (which is grilled with a cayenne pepper garnish). Serve them drizzled with teriyaki mayo. The result is a sweet, smoky, and spicy dish in just 20 minutes! This recipe is adaptable, so feel free to customize it to your tastes.
This delicious recipe calls for marinating pork and pineapple chunks in a spiced pineapple juice mix, then cooking them in an instant pot for a little under an hour. Once done, shred the pork, and serve with some coleslaw or warm rice. You can also let the sauce simmer for a few minutes until it thickens, and use it like a BBQ sauce!
17. Hawaiian Pizza
Pineapple on pizza is controversial, but this recipe might just change your mind! Load up a homemade six-ingredient thick-style pizza crust with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, cooked ham, and pineapple chunks. Bacon pairs well with everything, so consider finishing it with a garnish of crispy crumbled bacon for extra texture and flavor. Dig in!
This creamy potato salad will make a great addition to your dinner spread. It’s also super easy to make with two well-loved ingredients — potatoes and pasta. Pair them with mayonnaise and various add-ins like celery, red onion, vinegar, eggs, peas, and carrots, and you have a sure-fire crowd-pleaser on hand! For best results, prepare it ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld together.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with these buttery cookies! They’re a wonderful variation of the famous Hawaiian shortbread cookies. It’s loaded with chocolate chips and macadamia nuts (or toasted pecans if you like) to give these melt-in-your-mouth cookies some crunch. The best thing is that you can store them in the fridge for up to 60 days in an airtight container!
Caramelized glazed spam and umami-flavored soy sauce with fluffy, springy seasoned sushi rice and crispy roasted nori sheets come together to give you a taste of Hawaii at home. You can also customize this snack with bacon, omelet, avocado, kimchi, furikake seasoning, or shiso leaf.
The tropical flavors of this Hawaiian favorite will have you drooling! The recipe calls for marinating chicken in a pineapple-sherry sauce that’s flavored with freshly grated ginger and garlic for acidity and brightness. It gives the chicken a sweet-savory flavor that pairs perfectly with pineapple rice or alongside a big macaroni salad.
This Hawaiian comfort food will, true to its name, have you going loco for more! It is made by smothering a bed of sticky brown rice and a burger patty with a delicious brown gravy. But that’s not the end of it — you’ll also have to top it with a sunny-side-up egg and garnish it with green onions to seal the deal!
Mai Tai has a special place in the cocktail world — and rightfully so! You can recreate its exotic flavor at home by adding white rum, orange curacao, lime juice, and orgeat in a shaker and shaking lightly to blend. Serve it over crushed ice with a garnish of pineapple wedges, cherries, lime wheel, or mint spring.
24. Mochiko Chicken
Crispy, crunchy, sweet, and salty — mochiko chicken is a popular Hawaiian dish. To make, marinate bite-sized chicken pieces in a soy sauce-based marinade to impart a delicious taste, then dredge them with a flour-and-cornstarch mixture before deep-frying them. Serve these golden brown nuggets hot with your favorite dippings!
Malasadas are Portuguese donuts that’ve become hugely popular in Hawaii. And these passionfruit cheesecake malasadas elevate the donut-eating experience like none other! They are overflowing with a creamy yet tropical filling that you can whip up in mere minutes with a combination of cream cheese, sour cream, icing sugar, passionfruit juice and seeds, lemon zest, and vanilla. Perfect to enjoy with your cup of Joe!
Create the ultimate comfort food that you can personalize to your heart’s content! Don’t worry; it doesn’t actually have hay! Instead, it features a bed of fluffy rice topped with a creamy chicken gravy prepared with cream of chicken soup (with herbs), milk, shredded rotisserie chicken, and sour cream. Stack it with your favorite toppings as high as possible!
These loaded tacos are a crowd-pleaser, and they’re made in a slow cooker! The chicken is cooked in a delectable sauce to infuse it with yummy tastes, then shredded and broiled until it caramelizes. Add it to warmed tortillas, top it with slaw, some spicy yum yum sauce, and Asian noodles, then serve it garnished with sesame seeds!
Soft, fluffy, and deliciously sweet, Hawaiian bread rolls need no introduction! These rolls are delicious when served as a side, although you can also use them to make some mean sliders. They come together with minimal ingredients, and you can spruce them up with pineapple juice and honey to give the rolls some decadent sweetness and a fluffy texture that you’ll fall in love with!
This Hawaiian cocktail will make you feel like you’re enjoying a gorgeous sunset on the beach. It comes together with just five ingredients — Blue Curaçao, creme de coconut, fresh lemon juice, pineapple juice, and rum pineapple malibu. The drink is a real treat by itself, but you can further elevate its appeal by serving it with your favorite garnishes.