This grilled jerk chicken with pineapple avocado salsa is perfect for summer grilling! A bold, spicy jerk seasoning blend seasons beautifully grilled chicken breast then topped with a tropical, honey-sweetened, bright pineapple avocado salsa. Yum!
Grilled Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Avocado Salsa
Grilling season is here! I couldn’t be more excited. There is nothing I love more than a delicious, easy, no-fuss, grilled dinner. Well, unless you pair it with an ice cold beer or glass of wine!
Last Fall, my husband and I got our first nice gas grill and we’ve been obsessed! It absolutely upped my husband’s grilling game. My husband, who’s never really been into cooking, has actually embraced grilling and become quite the master. I typically come up with the recipe and do the before prep work then he does all the grilling. It allows us to be a Team at dinner and create some spectacular meals!
One of the meals we have been LOVING lately is my grilled jerk chicken with pineapple avocado salsa. It takes simple chicken breast to a whole new level to create a healthy but flavor-packed meal.
The chicken breast is marinated in a bold sweet and spicy jerk spice and citrus marinade. Then, my hubby grills it to perfection to achieve those nice charred grilled marks and juicy interior. To tame the spice and add some tropical vibes, it’s topped with a bright pineapple avocado salad. Paired with brown or white rice, it’s a delicious, easy, and nutritious meal!
Here’s what you need to make this dinner:
- Chicken Breast, a humble but great protein choice as it’s super lean but takes on flavors well. It’s stays juicy and flavorful with my delicious marinade and hubby’s expert grilling techniques (which I share in the recipe!).
- Jerk Spice Blend, I created my own using spices I have on hand (but feel free to just buy a pre-made jerk spice blend). It combines delicious, big flavored spices like smoked paprika, garlic and onion powder, with automatic spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg for a balanced and bold spice blend.
- Lime and Orange Juice, adds beautiful citrus notes to the marinade and salsa that helps tame the bold spices.
- Soy Sauce, adds a salty pop that makes the marinade sing.
- Fresh Garlic, adds a delicious, sharp and fresh bite to the marinade.
- Pineapple, the star in the salsa – it’s fresh, tropical vibes bring brightness and sweetness to the dish to tame the bold spices in the spice blend.
- Avocado, adds a creamy, cool element to the salsa. Pineapple and avocado also pair perfectly together for a sweet and savory flavor combo!
- Red Onion, adds a punch to the salsa!
- Honey, it’s beautiful, floral notes pairs perfectly with the sweet, ripe pineapple in the salsa.
- Olive Oil, marinades the chicken and a splash is added to the salsa – I love olive oil for it’s smooth, rich flavor and health benefits, but any neutral oil, will do!
Tips for Making this Grilled Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Avocado Salsa
Here are some tips to making this delicious meal:
- Marinade time. Marinade the chicken for at least 1 hour up to overnight (preferably overnight). This allows the chicken to absorb the flavors of the marinade and become truly delicious.
- Grilling Techniques. Shake off excess marinade before grilling so it does not burn. Grill until each side achieves beautiful grill marks on a medium-high heat, then lower the heat and finish cooking until he chicken is cooked all the way through (i.e. it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees). Finally, allow your chicken to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
- Making the Salsa. It’s best to make the salsa about 30 minutes before dinnertime. This allows the flavors to merry together but not become soggy. Any extra salsa will last in your fridge in an airtight container for about a day. Also, make sure to cut the fruit and vegetable pieces small and uniform to the salsa is easy to serve and eat.
- Rice or Side. I prefer to serve this dish with white or brown rice. The rice adds substance to this dish while also soaking up all the sauce. This meal would also serve well with roasted veggies or other grain like quinoa.
- Garnish. This dish is best finished and served with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice to make it shine and tie all of the flavors together.
Here are some ways to switch up this dish:
- You could also use chicken thighs, or even a pork tenderloin, instead of the chicken breast. Just marinade it the same and grill using the same method above until fully cooked.
- You can change up the salsa by using other summer fruit in the salsa like diced strawberries or peaches.
- Use a new side instead of rice, like grilled veggies or quinoa. You could also make this into a delicious and fun taco or wrap (how my Hubby love to eat it!).
Beer & Wine Pairing
As I said before, a delicious grilled meal should be enjoyed with a nice adult beverage (only 6 more weeks for me until I can do that again, but who’s counting!). I prefer a light and refreshing summer beer, like a wheat bear, hefeweizen, or golden ale. The honey, citrusy, and/or fruity notes pairs well with the spicy chicken and cool crisp salsa.
Not a beer drinker?! No problem! This dish also pairs well with a citrusy, tropical white, like a Sauvignon Blanc or crisp, citrusy rose. Or if wine or beer are not your thing, this would go beautifully with a mojito or frozen Pina colada. I have a delicious, healthy, and fresh honey raspberry mojito and Pina colada recipe in my cookbook, The Healthy Swaps Cookbook!
Is this healthy?!
Yes! This is a flavor-packed but still nutritious meal.
First, I used lean chicken breast to keep it a lighter but still hearty meal. The bold jerk seasoning, overnight marination, and grilling technique help keep this sometimes bland cut of meat still flavorful and juicy. The pineapple avocado salsa brings in fresh, wholesome ingredients and is lightly sweetened with refined-sugar free honey. Finally, I paired this dish with a white rice, but you can opt for brown rice, quinoa, or grilled veggies for a whole grain or low carb option!
Other delicious dinner ideas
These grilled jerk chicken with pineapple avocado salsa is a delicious, flavor-packed, and nutritious dinner before for summer grilling and chilling!
If you make these grilled jerk chicken with pineapple avocado salsa, please leave a comment below. I absolutely love to hear from you guys and your thoughts on my recipes. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or pin it on pinterest, cuz sharing is caring!
Grilled Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Avocado Salsa
A bold, spicy jerk seasoning marinade seasons beautifully grilled chicken breast which is then topped with a tropical, honey-sweetened, bright pineapple avocado salsa
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon dried ginger
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon cayenne depending on spice preference
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- pepper to taste
- juice of half a lime
- juice of half an orange
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2-4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- couple dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 4 medium to large chicken breasts
Pineapple Avocado Salsa
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
- Half of one large avocado diced
- 1 small jalapeno seeded and diced
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Juice of half a lime
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
- S&P to taste
- white or brown rice for serving
Side + Garnish
- brown or white for serving
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro for serving
- lime wedges for serving
In a small bowl, mix all of the marinade ingredients together until well-combined. Add chicken to a ziplock bag or sealable container and add marinade. Make sure all of the chicken is well-coated in the marinade and place in fridge for 4 hours up to overnight.
Remove chicken from fridge 30 minutes before grilling. Heat grill to 400 degrees (medium-high heat). Grill chicken for 4 minutes per side so it achieves grill marks and a nice char. Lower the heat to low and cook for 2-3 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through (and reaches an internal temp. of 165 degrees). Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes, then cut into strips.
While chicken cooks, make the pineapple avocado salsa by adding all of the ingredients to a medium size bowl and gently stirring until well-combined.
Add rice to a plate or bowl. Top with chicken and salsa. Garnish with cilantro if desired.
Serve and enjoy with Kona Big Wave.