Caribbean Jerk Chicken and Pineapple Salsa is just the dish you need to transport you to somewhere tropical even if you can’t quite yet get there in real life. Starting with a sweet/spicy/tangy marinade and ending with a delicious, slightly spicy pineapple salsa, this dish is delish start to finish!
For more tropical dishes featuring pineapple, try these recipes for Sheet Pan Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple Fried Rice, Pork Tacos with Pineapple Salsa, and Baked Thai Pineapple Salmon in Foil.
You guys I’m so excited about this chicken dish! I love, love, love pineapple on all the things. It is especially yummy in salsas. The sweet mixed with the spicy, plus tangy lime and red onion all come together in one phenomenal recipe. Pile up high on top of the jerk chicken, close your eyes and become transported to a tropical island, no plane tickets needed.
It’s no coincidence that I made this dish with a vacation in mind. I haven’t picked an exact place yet, but the Caribbean is high up on my list! As soon as I can, I’m going to make some plans! I can’t wait to book something, anything — to just go somewhere tropical and just lay on the beach, feel the sun, watch the kids running around, everyone smiling…and then topping the night off with a delicious grilled dinner eaten outside on the beach with my toes in the sand. Okay basically the themes running through my head are: sun, sand, food. And not in that particular order, either.
So until then, I’ll settle for this delicious grilled chicken dish smothered in yummy pineapple salsa.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN CARIBBEAN JERK CHICKEN WITH PINEAPPLE SALSA?
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Steamed white rice for serving (optional)
- Olive oil
- Minced garlic
- Soy sauce
- Onion powder
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Jalapeno (optional)
HOW DO YOU MAKE CARIBBEAN JERK CHICKEN WITH PINEAPPLE SALSA?
First, after you pound the chicken to an even thickness, you’ll want to make the marinade for the chicken so it has some time to soak up all those yummy juices before grilling.
To make the marinade, stir together the olive oil, lime juice, minced garlic, soy sauce, spices, and honey. Add the chicken to the bowl and cover to marinade for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can put the marinade and the chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag and then in the fridge to chill.
Next, make the salsa by stirring together the diced pineapple, onion, cilantro, jalapeno (if using), lime juice, honey, and salt in a bowl, making sure it’s all combined thoroughly. You can also put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse it a few times to make the salsa less chunky if that’s your preference. Put a lid on the bowl or cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
Use tongs to take the chicken out of the marinade and put it on the grill (or skillet) over medium heat. Throw the unused marinade out. Cook the breasts for about 6-8 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear.
Serve the chicken on top of rice and then top the chicken with lots of the delicious pineapple salsa. Dive right in.
WAYS TO CUSTOMIZE PINEAPPLE SALSA
Love the idea of pineapple salsa but want to know if there are other ways to make it? I got you covered.
- If you prefer the taste of fresh pineapple over canned, you can swap one for the other just fine. Fresh pineapple won’t be as sweet as that out of a can, but it’ll be just as tasty!
- The jalapenos are completely optional. If you don’t like the heat, skip them. Another option is to use jarred, pickled jalapenos. They are more mild in flavor than fresh jalapenos.
- I prefer small dice of red onion in the salsa, but you can use whatever onion you have on hand or even green onions.
- Another way I like to change up this salsa is to add other fruit in addition to the pineapple for a bit of a different taste. Some fruits that go well with the pineapple include mangoes and kiwi.
WHICH IS THE BEST RICE TO EAT?
Rice is a healthy grain to eat and goes with just about everything. But if you want to know what is the absolute best kind to eat in terms of health and nutrition, then your best bet is brown rice.
Brown rice still contains the outermost layer — the hull — which contains the bran layer and the germ. Both of those contain a lot of nutrients that are stripped off when eating only white rice. The bran contains antioxidants and about three times more fiber than white rice. Brown rice is also higher in protein, too, and goes great with this spicy chicken dish.
Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to even 1/2 inch thickness - see note
- steamed white rice for serving optional
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- juice of 2 limes 2-3 tablespoons
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 teaspoons allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup diced pineapple
- 1/2 onion, diced
- handful cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeno, diced optional
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons honey
- salt to taste
- In a medium bowl stir together all marinade ingredients. Add the chicken, toss to coat. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is marinating, combine all salsa ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine. Optional: combine in a blender or food processor and give it a few pulses. Chill until ready to use.
- Use tongs to transfer chicken to a preheated grill or skillet over medium heat (discard marinade) and cook for 6-8 minutes on each side until cooked through.
- Serve chicken with pineapple salsa.