Jamaican Jerk Chicken

this Caribbean Jerk Chicken Recipe is authentic to Jamaican cuisine. Easy to make and full of flavour, the chicken is crispy and moist while the spices are a delicious blend!

A plate of food on a table, with Chicken and Jerk

For more ethnic flair for your chicken dinner, try these amazing Chicken Enchiladas, or this Baked Hawaiian Chicken!

Before I went to Jamaica for the first time, everyone {and their dog} told me that i must try the Jerk Chicken. Not having tried it before, I was curious, and always game for a new chicken dish to fall in love with. So I did.

Love at first bite.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken is and always will be a dish that reminds me of sweet Caribbean air, waves kissing the shore, sun and tropical bliss. Funny how some foods bring you back and memories take over.

Once home, and in the bitter cold Canadian Winter, my husband asked if I could make authentic jerk chicken. I’m sure it could be done, and I bet it takes really good.

Yet, I was worried that it wouldn’t be the same. That without the founding beautiful location, having this here would somehow squash those memories where food meets memory.

Ultimately, my craving for this delicious chicken won. I had to get my Jamaican Jerk Chicken fix! So, I tried it …

Homemade Jerk Chicken

Making Jamaican Jerk Chicken at home requires a few ingredients for the jerk marinade.

While there’s quite a few variations on the recipe, I focused primarily on the Sandals Lifestyle one, since I fell in love with Jamaican Jerk Chicken at Sandals Resorts Negril.

Yet, I did change around their recipe a little. I added some lime juice, and real habanero peppers (jalapeno peppers or just hot peppers sometimes) are so hard to come by in small city Alberta.

A plate of food, with Jerk Chicken

Marinated Jerk Chicken Recipe

I opted for a Red Habanero Hot Sauce which I picked up at a small and quaint Mexican shop downtown. Which, as a side note, might be one of my favourite shops now.

This jerk recipe calls for a lot of hotness in the form of peppers, onions, scallions, garlic, ginger, allspice. They are the basis for our homemade jerk marinade.

As a warning: your eyes will water when cutting, chopping and the action of just pouring the mixture over the chicken.

The house will fill with the warmest spice of this easy recipe, who knew this alone could make you think that you are actually eating this hot mixture. It’s almost unbelievable.

When you take a bite, it’s not intense and never too much. The hotness cuts down a lot and instead you are left with tons of flavor.

It’s true, this Jamaican Jerk Chicken tastes very similar to the real deal. It’s not exact, to me at least, but it’s so close to that authentic flavor that I get that incredible feeling of nostalgia.

To me, that’s makes the best jerk recipe.

I use a blend of spicy flavors because I have yet to find an overall jamaican jerk seasoning that I like.

If I close my eyes (and shush the kids), I can envision myself on that beach patio. For a minute at least. Hey, I’ll take what I can get! 

Ingredients to Make Jerk Chicken:

You’ll need the following simple ingredients to make this easy jerk chicken recipe, most of them are the marinade ingredients. The full detailed instructions for this best jerk chicken are on the printable recipe card below.

  • Red Habanero Hot Sauce
  • fresh thyme
  • freshly ground allspice
  • chopped fresh ginger
  • chopped onion
  • chopped garlic
  • finely chopped green onions, using both the white and the green parts
  • 5 individual pieces of chicken
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • soy sauce
  • Juice squeezed out of 3 Limes
jerk chicken on a white plate

How to Make our Jerk Chicken Sauce

Using a food processor, mince together the hot sauce, thyme, all spice, ginger, onion, garlic, green onion, and black pepper until it’s a fine mixture. Then stir in the soy sauce.

This is the easy marinade or jerk sauce with such a delicious flavor.

Place chicken pieces into a baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or rubbed with olive oil or vegetable oil.

Pour jamaican jerk marinade over the chicken and make sure all sides of the chicken is coated. If you wish, you can also marinade in a large zip-top bag or large resealable plastic bag.

How long to Marinate jerk chicken? The answer is to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, to overnight for best results. The key is to allow time for the chicken to soak well in the jamaican jerk chicken marinade.

Bring chicken to room temperature before cooking. Cook marinated chicken in the oven at 375 Fahrenheit for a cook time of about 1 hour and 25 minutes.

Make sure to insert a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reads cooked, and the outside should be crispy.

What types of Chicken to Use:

I like to cook jerk chicken with chicken legs leg with back attached, because they are generous in size. You can also use chicken legs, chicken drumsticks, chicken thighs or boneless skinless chicken breasts.

You can also use this recipe the make jerk chicken wings.

What to Serve with Jerk Chicken.

We love to serve this chicken dish with maximum flavor with french fries and a salad, just like we did on the beach. So I suggest coleslaw, caesar salad, potato salad, sweet potato fries, sweet potatoes, or chicken salad.

You can also serve this with coconut rice, brown rice or white rice. The delicious marinade compliments all well.

Black beans, red beans, jamaican rice, plantain chips, cilantro lime rice, collard greens, and mango salsa make a perfect side dish for this authentic jerk chicken recipe.

They help bring out the savory flavor of this great recipe. Have one sweet tasty side dish to contrast the spicy chicken. Fresh pineapple slices make a great side dish. All the taste buds will be happy.


Place authentic jamaican jerk chicken leftovers in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Next time I make this jamaican jerk chicken recipe, I will barbecue it on our gas grill or the charcoal grill. I opted for oven-cooked this time, yet I’m sure it would be even closer to the real-deal if the chicken were grilled on indirect heat.

No matter the cooking method (even the air fryer!), its this jerk chicken marinade and the fresh flavor as main ingredients that will steal the show. Plus you’ll get the most juicy chicken.

A plate of food, with Jerk Chicken

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Jamaican Jerk Chicken is a recipe that is authentic to Jamaican cuisine. Easy to make and full of flavour, the chicken is crispy and moist while the spices are a delicious blend!


  • 1 tablespoon Red Habanero Hot Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons stemmed fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped scallions, using the white and the green parts
  • 5 chicken pieces {leg with back attached is what I use}
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • Juice squeezed out of 3 Limes


  1. Mince the first 8 ingredients {except for the soy sauce and chicken} in a food processor, until it's a fine mixture.
  2. Stir in the soy sauce.
  3. Place chicken parts into a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Pour mixture over the chicken and make sure all sides of the chicken is coated.
  5. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, to overnight.
  6. Bring chicken to room temperate before cooking
  7. Cook at 375 for 1 hour and 25 minutes or until the outside is crispy and chicken is well cooked.
  8. Enjoy with fries and a salad if you wish {coleslaw or caesar}
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 1527mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 8g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

A plate of food, with Chicken and Jerk


    1. Substitute the habanero if you need to, that was the hardest for me to find. yet, we do live North… boo! lol

    1. I normally don’t like a lot of intense spices, yet this is delicious. Definitely worth a try!!

    1. Truthfully, I’ve never made anything with Allspice, I had to buy some. What else can I use it for?

  1. My husband loves to grill, so this would be a great change-up for our usual burgers and hot dogs! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  2. Ooh yummy, I’ve always been curious about Jamaican Jerk Chicken.. but never got around to making it. Sounds like I have a new recipe to try. This sounds delish!

  3. I fell in love with Jerk Chicken at a Beaches in Jamaica so I will definitely have to try this. I have been using jerk seasoning from the Bulk Barn and it is tasty but does match what we had in Jamaica. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Sounds very good, and ya that was my biggest concern was the spicy and hotness of this dish, but after reading your post and I will trust you that it’s not to hot after all, I am going to make this as I too am always looking for new ways to jazz my chicken up a bit…thanks for sharing!

  5. I have never tried Jerk Chicken but I have heard amazing things about it, may have to give your recipe a try once we get the BBQ up and running.

  6. I love super spicy so jerk chicken is one of my favorites too. I can’t wait for BBQ season!

  7. i am going to make this, hubby will love all the spices,since he does not eat salt,thanks

  8. this looks absolutely mouthwateringly delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe, pinned to try for later!

  9. This sounds awesome Tammi! I will have to try it. We, also stayed at Sandals Negril and fell in love with the Jamaicans and their beautiful country! Do you drain off the marinade before baking? Thanks for doing the work to make and share this recipe. 😀

  10. And now you made me courious about trying it!! Guess I will be hosting a. Jamaican themed dinner this weekend

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