Grilled Hawaiian Turkey Thighs

Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the “#TurkeyLovers” campaign as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network.  I was compensated for my time.  

Hello, turkey thighs!

My best memory of eating turkey thighs has to be when growing up we always enjoyed turkey thighs bigger than my face at the Renaissance Festival.  To eat it I just held it in my hand as we walked…the whole thing felt barbaric and festive. Have you ever to a Renaissance Festival? They’re a fun (yet ridiculous) experience where everyone dresses up as kings, queens, knights, fairies, elves, etc.  It’s pretty much as strange as it sounds lol.

While those turkey thighs are smoked and BBQ’ed, I based this grilled turkey thigh recipe off my dad’s fajita recipe.  For his recipe he marinates meat in soy sauce + pineapple juice and it makes the most delicious fajita meat.  The turkey thighs I used did excellent at absorbing the pineapple-y + soy sauce flavor.

You could also use this marinade recipe with other cuts of turkey, as turkey tenderloin and turkey drumsticks would be super tasty in place of turkey thighs.  

While I tend to connect turkey in my mind with Thanksgiving time, I really do love a turkey burger anytime of year.  So that got me thinking that when I’m craving something new, turkey could be the flavorful and versatile variety I need in my life.

For this recipe, we paired the turkey with lemony grilled asparagus, watermelon and garlic bread.  It’s an oh-so summery dish to make outside on the grill, where you don’t have to heat up your kitchen to a bajillion degrees in the summer time.


Grilled Hawaiian Turkey Thighs

Yield: serves 2-3 people


2 pounds of turkey thighs

1 lemon, zest
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp sweet asian chili sauce
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 can crushed pineapple

sliced green onions



In a bowl, combine all ingredients for your marinade.  Pour marinade over turkey thighs and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Heat up your grill.  Cook turkey thighs until they reach an internal temperature of 175ºF.  Serve with grilled asparagus, watermelon and garlic bread.


  1. Yup. We had turkey legs, which were a similarly barbaric experience. I’ve never noticed turkey thighs at the grocery store; I’ll have to take a closer look next time.

  2. Yum, I love the idea of turkey and pineapple!

    And yellow watermelon!? I’ve never seen that before!

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