Aloha Feast

Hawaiian Kalua Pig or Chicken with a Bounty of Sides

Embark on a culinary journey to the shores of Hawaii as we explore the vibrant flavors of Kalua Pig or Chicken, paired with an array of delectable sides. Traditionally cooked in an underground imu pit, Kalua is a beloved Hawaiian dish known for its succulent, smoky flavor and tender texture. But fear not, you don’t need to dig a hole in your backyard to enjoy this island favorite! In this recipe, we’ll show you just how easy it is to recreate the magic of Kalua in your own kitchen, using simple cooking methods that yield mouthwatering results. From tender shredded pork or chicken to an abundance of savory sides, get ready to savor the taste of Hawaii in every bite, all without breaking a sweat—or digging a hole. Let’s dive in and discover the secrets to mastering Kalua at home!

Hawaiian Coleslaw
Hawaiian Coleslaw
Hawaiian Kalua Sliders
Hawaiian Kalua Sliders
Hawaiian Lomi Salmon
Hawaiian Lomi Salmon
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
Hawaiian Kalua

Hawaiian Kalua

Kalua, a traditional Hawaiian delicacy, offers a tantalizing blend of smoky flavors and tender meat, embodying the essence of island cuisine. This beloved dish, typically made with pork, undergoes a slow cooking process, resulting in succulent, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Whether prepared in the oven or the convenience of a slow cooker, Kalua promises a taste of Hawaii's rich culinary heritage, making it a delightful addition to any table.
hands-on time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Hawaii
Servings 3



  • 1.5 lb pork butt or chicken thighs [1]

Culinary Spice Kit

  • 1 pouch Smoked Alderwood sea salt, smoked paprika, Hawaiian black lava salt, garlic  

Suggested Sides

  • Hawaiian Coleslaw recipe
  • Hawaiian Macaroni Salad recipe
  • Hawaiian Lomi Salmon recipe
  • steamed vegetables for instance: cabbage or green beans
  • mixed salad of your choice with a lemon or vinegar dressing tips
  • grilled pineapple slices
  • cooked rice
  • Hawaiian bread rolls


Prepare the Meat

  • Cut the meat on all sides with 1/4- inch-deep slits about 1 inch apart.
  • Rub the meat on all sides with the Kalua spice blend.

Cooking Option 1 - In the Oven

  • Preheat the OVEN to 270°F.
  • Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil. If using chicken without skin, add 2 tbsp oil.
  • Place the meat in the center. Add 1/4 cup of water. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
  • Roast the chicken for about 2 hours or the pork for 4-5 hours until it is tender and easily shreds with a fork. If using pork, check every hour and add some water if necessary.

Cooking Option 2 - In the Slow Cooker

  • Place the meat with 1/4 cup of water into the cooker. Cover with the lid.
  • Cook on low for 4-10 hours or until the meat is tender and shreds easily.

Shred the Meat

  • Once cooked, remove the meat. Shred the meat into smaller pieces by hand or with two forks.


  • Serve Kalua with your choice of traditional Hawaiian sides. Enjoy!


[1] Substitute meat with 2 lb salmon filet and rub the fish with a thin layer of the spice blend. Bake for about 1 hour.
Marceline Reid-Jaques
Marceline Reid-Jaques
Karen Jones
Karen Jones
Wonderful, flavorful meals using readily available ingredients!
ann davis
ann davis
My daughter gave me a subscription as a Christmas present while our families were quarantining together. It was so much fun! It introduced us to several cuisines that were totally new to us. The recipes were easy to follow and the spices were transformative - fresh and pungent and delicious.
Jessica Brown
Jessica Brown
The best way to try new dishes!

Enter the Culinary World

Be Inspired | Explore your boundaries and creativity