Jerk Chicken Recipe

By Rena |

Loaded with spice and fresh flavor, this Jerk Chicken Recipe is so addictively good! Make it in a skillet or grill it outside, this easy chicken recipe is perfect for summer entertaining or healthy dinners any time of the year.

top view of grilled jerk chicken on a white plate

Chicken is one of our favorite proteins especially chicken breasts since they tend to be much leaner than chicken thighs or wings. We love making grilled chicken because they are just so versatile and you can get as creative as you like with the flavor. This is why we wanted to jazz it up a bit and make this Jerk chicken recipe. Never serve chicken bland moving forward especially if you can make this simple and juicy jerk chicken. Loaded with flavor, so tender, juicy, high in protein, and they are packed with flavor. This Jerk chicken is low in carbs, gluten-free, and keto-friendly.

Why you will love this recipe

  • It’s so easy! Prep is minimal and can be done in no time at all. The hardest part is waiting for the chicken to marinade!
  • Perfect for meal prep: You can prep this the night before, or even a few days before and store it until you’re ready to cook. I even like to make a double batch to freeze for later!
  • It’s healthy! Made with lean protein, fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices, this jerk chicken recipe is a seriously healthy dinner recipe! Serve it with extra veggies, rice, or cornbread to make it a meal!
side shot if sliced grilled chicken breast on a white plate

Key Ingredients You will need to make this recipe

Chicken Marinade:

  • Green onions: Green onions have a milder flavor than white, yellow, or red onions, and don’t overpower this Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe.
  • Chipotle pepper with adobo sauce: Traditional jerk chicken recipes are cooked slowly over a fire or grill to capture that smokiness, however, by using chipotles in adobo I can cook the chicken quicker without skipping on the smoky flavor!
  • Honey: Just a little sweetness helps to balance out the other aromas. If you don’t have honey on hand, another kind of sugar like brown sugar or coconut sugar, or even maple syrup would work well instead!
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger adds tons of flavor and heat, however, 2-3 tsp ground ginger can also be substituted.
  • Garlic cloves: All of my favorite dinner recipes include garlic! It is so good for you and tastes amazing.
  • Allspice: Ground allspice has a warm, earthy flavor, and is easy to find in the spices section of any large supermarket.
  • Soy sauce: Instead of salt, I threw in some soy sauce. It adds so much more than just saltiness! To keep it healthy, I used low sodium soy sauce, however, regular soy sauce would work too, just cut it down to 3 tbsp instead of 1/4 cup. Looking for a paleo recipe? Try coconut aminos!
  • Olive oil: Olive oil helps all of the other ingredients to stick to the chicken, as well as provides richness to this Jerk Chicken Recipe. You can skip adding extra oil to your skillet or grill as well!
  • Lime: I used one whole lime – juiced and zested! The acidic balance is perfect and brings out all of the other flavors.
  • Chicken: This time I went for chicken breasts. They’re light, healthy, and packed full of good protein! Boneless chicken thighs are also a great option if you like a slightly fattier cut of meat.

Salsa:

  • Tomatoes: Fresh plum tomatoes are the base of this homemade salsa recipe. They are loaded with flavor and so addictive when they are perfectly ripe! Cherry tomatoes or other vine-ripened tomatoes are also great options.
  • Onion: I chose to add red onion as it is slightly sweet and easier to eat raw than yellow or white onion. A little goes a long way so I only added 1/4 of one onion. Feel free to add more if you love that fresh onion taste!
  • Cilantro: Cilantro brightens up salsa with its fresh herby flavor. You can eat both the stems and the leaves, so chop up the whole plant and add it to the salsa!
  • Jalapeño: I love a kick of spice in my salsa! If you like less heat, use 1/2 a jalapeño, and if you like more heat, leave the seeds in!
  • Lime: The acidity from the lime is perfect for balancing out the other flavors in this homemade salsa.
  • Garlic: A clove of garlic rounds this healthy salsa recipe off! If you haven’t added garlic to your salsa before, now is the time. You won’t regret it!
Ingredients for the recipe on a grey background.

How to make homemade Jerk Chicken

  1. Place the first 9 ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  2. Place chicken into a Ziploc bag together with the marinade. Seal and mix thoroughly through the bag. Allow the chicken to marinate for 1 hour, or overnight.
  3. To make the salsa, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate.
  4. When you’re ready to cook the jerk chicken recipe, preheat a skillet, grill pan, or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until charred and no longer pink on the inside. You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature inside the chicken reaches at least 165°F.
top view of grilled chicken on a white plate

Tips for success

  • Use either chicken breasts or chicken thighs! Thighs will be juicier and breasts are a leaner cut of meat. They are both delicious options for this Jerk Chicken Recipe.
  • Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing to keep it nice and juicy!
  • Make everything ahead of time! I like to prep everything the evening or morning before to allow all of the flavors to develop in both the meat and the salsa.
  • Make double and freeze half. This is a great hack if you are a busy household! I make double and freeze the jerk chicken recipe in the ziplock bag while it marinates. Then I can use it up to 3 months later. Just thaw it overnight until it’s completely defrosted and cook!
close up image of grilled chicken breast topped with tomato salsa

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Jerk Chicken?

Jerk chicken is chicken coated in spices and slow-roasted over a grill or fire. This smoky and spicy recipe originated in the Caribbean and is closely associated with Jamaica. It is famous for its strong, flavorful, spicy marinade.

Is Jerk Chicken Spicy or Sweet?

Jerk chicken is marinated in a hot and spicy sauce before being cooked over a fire or grill for smokiness. I added a little honey for sweetness to balance all of the flavors!

Why do they call it Jerk Chicken?

The name “Jerk Chicken” comes from the Spanish “charqui” which is similar to jerky, and refers to the slow cooking method traditionally used to make jerk chicken recipes.

top view of grilled sliced chicken breast on a white plate with a side of tomato salsa

What to serve with this Easy Jerk Chicken Recipe

side shit of grilled whole chicken breast on a plate

More healthy chicken recipes you will love

top view grilled chicken breast on a plate

If you try a recipe and you like it, leave us some feedback in the comment section below, and don’t forget to rate it! We would love it if you shared it with friends and family.

Finally, please use our hashtag #healthyfitnessmeals on INSTAGRAM for a chance to be featured! FOLLOW Healthy Fitness Meals on FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TWITTER for all of our latest blog posts and recipes.

top view cooked jerk chicken breast on a plate with lime garnish and side of salsa

Jerk Chicken Recipe

Loaded with spice and fresh flavor, this Jerk Chicken Recipe is so addictively good! Make it in a skillet or grill it outside, this easy chicken recipe is perfect for summer entertaining or healthy dinners any time of the year.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Jamaican
Diet: Low Fat
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 315kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

  • 2 green onions roughly chopped
  • 1 chipotle pepper with adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 inch knob of fresh ginger peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lime juiced and zested
  • 1.5 lb chicken breasts *see note 1

Salsa:

  • 4 large plum tomatoes diced
  • ¼ red onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 jalapeño seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove minced

Instructions

  • Place the first 9 ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  • Place chicken into a Ziploc bag together with the marinade. Seal and mix thoroughly through the bag. Allow the chicken to marinate for 1 hour, or overnight.
  • To make the salsa, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate.
  • Preheat a skillet, grill pan, or outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken and cook until charred and no longer pink on the inside. about 5-6 minutes on each side or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.

Notes

  • Use either chicken breasts or chicken thighs! Thighs will be juicier and breasts are a leaner cut of meat. They are both delicious options for this Jerk Chicken Recipe.
  • Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing to keep it nice and juicy!
  • Make everything ahead of time! I like to prep everything the evening or morning before to allow all of the flavors to develop in both the meat and the salsa.
  • Make double and freeze half. This is a great hack if you are a busy household! I make double and freeze the jerk chicken recipe in the ziplock bag while it marinates. Then I can use it up to 3 months later. Just thaw it overnight until it’s completely defrosted and cook!

Nutrition

Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 1116mg | Potassium: 928mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 938IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @HealthyFitnessMeals or tag #HealthyFitnessMeals!

Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply

Recipe Rating




free email bonus

5 Secrets to Easy Healthy Dinners

Tips, ideas & recipes to help you with easy healthy dinners!