Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa comes together so easily in less than 30 minutes in the skillet or on the grill! The chicken is juicy and savory with the perfect amount of spice and hint of sweetness. An easy dinner the whole family will love! Paleo, Gluten-Free, and Whole30 friendly.
My busy coaching season has me living at the baseball and softball fields; it’s that time of year where I am living off of one pan meals. Easy and healthy dinners to the rescue!
As a nutritionist, I am always looking for ways to add maximum flavor to my dinners in the healthiest way possible. This Jerk Chicken is loaded with protein, It’s always a bonus when these meals are lightening fast with minimal prep and cook time!
This super easy Jerk Chicken comes together with a simple rub and a hot skillet. You’ll love the flavorful jerk seasoning with ingredients that you probably already have on hand! The pineapple salsa on top adds just the right amount of sweetness, tang, and flavor to compliment the chicken. Such a delicious dinner and perfect for a warm night!
How to make Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa
- We start by making a quick and easy jerk seasoning combining cumin, allspice, smoked paprika, cinnamon, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, sea salt, black pepper, and coconut sugar (or brown sugar).
- Heat up a cast iron skillet to medium high heat for about 3 minutes. Add the cooking oil and warm for 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken breasts and sear for 2 minutes, flip them over.
- Once they are flipped, lower the heat to medium-low and over the pan. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Remove when internal temperature reaches 165F (this could be around the 9 minute mark!)
- While the chicken is finishing, make the pineapple salsa!! Chop up the pineapple into chunks, tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro. Squeeze with lime juice and sea salt.
Tips for perfectly juicy chicken!
- To make perfectly juicy chicken on the skillet, follow my method above about high heat. If you go to flip the chicken and it’s a little stuck, it’s not ready to flip yet! Wait another 30 seconds before trying again.
- After you remove the chicken from the pan, place on a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing! This helps to keep the juices in and not flow all over the cutting board.
How to make on the grill
You can easily throw this chicken on the grill. Grill for about 6 minutes per side keeping the lid closed (this creates the most flavorful chicken). You may need up to 8 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken. Let it rest in foil for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving!
Side dishes to serve
Here are some fun side dishes to enjoy:
Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa
Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa is a simple dinner that comes together in less than 30 minutes! Use a skillet or the grill for delicious weeknight meal.
For the Chicken:
- 4 large chicken breast
- 3 tsp onion powder
- 3 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
For the Pineapple Salsa:
- 1.5 cups diced pineapple
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- 3 tbsp diced red onion
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime (juiced)
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced* (seeds and membrane removed)
- pinch of sea salt
Mix together the jerk seasoning: garlic powder, onion powder, coconut sugar, paprika, cumin, thyme, allspice, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and black pepper. Generously rub on both sides of the chicken.
Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat for three minutes. Once hot, add the oil and warm for 30 seconds.
Place the chicken in the hot skillet. Sear for 2 minutes, then flip. If chicken is "stuck" wait another 30 seconds, and try again (it might not be ready to flip!). Now cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165F. Remove chicken from the skillet and let rest on the cutting board for at least 5 minutes until slicing.
Meanwhile, make the salsa. Toss together the pineapple, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno pepper (if using), and sea salt. Spoon on top of the chicken and serve!
*Omit the sugar for a Whole30 variation
**You can omit the jalapeño to keep the spice down.