Baked Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken Recipe

June 21, 2022
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea
This Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken is a modern twist on classic jerk chicken and It's full of flavor and comfort.

Baked Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken Recipe

If you have ever had Jamaican food in general, you know it’s all about flavor + spice! Embrace the heat with my Baked Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken recipe, cooked in a beautifully spicy homemade jerk sauce along with sweet pineapple chunks, and a nice BBQ jerk sauce topping for a delicious marriage of flavor. A real nostalgic comfort food dish for many Jamaicans. No need for a grill with the recipe while keeping the same amazing results. Traditional jerk chicken option available!

Dutch oven of Baked Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links via Amazon for products that I wholeheartedly love and receive commission from.

When it comes to Jamaican jerk chicken, there's a special place in my heart. I grew up eating perfectly charred jerk chicken (even Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings) on a grill that were often chopped into the most perfect bites from a machete (large butcher knife) and served with hard-dough bread (or basmati rice or brown rice) and generous squirts of BBQ sauce and jerk sauce. Honestly, this has to be one of my top favorite Jamaican food to eat, especially since chicken in general is a MUST for me. Haha. Also, this Authentic Jamaican Curry Chicken is another staple that you'll thank me later for trying!

Although, I still enjoy a good authentic dish of Jamaican jerk chicken from the grill when eating out in Brooklyn, unfortunately, the fact that I don't have a grill has lead me to create this Baked Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken recipe. There's still a way to enjoy delicious jerk chicken without the use of a grill and I hope that you love this recipe as much as my family and I do. You'll want to enjoy this recipe with a few sips of this Frozen Pineapple Margarita Mocktail for the perfect combo! But to keep things traditional, you'll want to enjoy this chicken with Jamaican Rum Cream, Jamaican Rum Punch Mocktail, or a side of Creamy Jamaican Rasta Pasta.

What is Jamaican Jerk Chicken? Why Pineapples?

Traditionally, as I've mentioned, Jerk chicken is a staple Jamaican dish that is often enjoyed with hard-dough bread or sometimes rice and peas. The chicken is usually seasoned well with a jerk seasoning and marinade and is left to fully marinade 1-2 days (or overnight) so that everything soaks in and the chicken is nice and tender when cooked.

My favorite store-bought brand of jerk marinade is by Grace Foods, which is available to purchase at your local grocer or online via Amazon, however, when making your own sauce, it consists of blended spices and seasonings and the spiciness can be adjusted based on preference.

In the most recent years, another trend in Jamaica has been the addition of pineapple to staple flavors such as jerk, ginger beer, etc.-----which is why I chose to make pineapple jerk chicken as opposed to the tradition version.

Believe me when I say that adding pineapple is a nice offset to the spice AND it's such a killer combo, ya'll. SO good!

Jump to:

What are the 3 Main Ingredients in Jerk?

In jerk sauce or marinade, the 3 main ingredients that MUST be present are: scotch bonnet, thyme, and allspice (aka pimento seeds). You can't remove any of these ingredients or else it wouldn't be considered "jerk".

Bowl of produce including red onion, green onion, carrots, and garlic

How to Make Baked Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken

The THREE parts of this Pineapple Jerk Chicken Recipe is the chicken itself, jerk seasoning, and the homemade Pineapple jerk sauce + BBQ sauce.

The best part about any chicken is the marination process, which I talk more about tips to doing so whether overnight or just for a few minutes. But let’s talk about this delicious recipe, especially the marinade and the sauce.

Ingredients in Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken

Here’s what you need for these delicious Jamaican Jerk Chicken:

  • Chicken. You can use a mixture of thighs, wings, and drumsticks, just remove the skin first. See further below for other meats that work really well with jerk also!
  • Jerk seasoning. I like two layers of seasoning for this dish. You can purchase a store-bought version or create a homemade blend using a handful of herbs + seasonings.
  • Thyme. I recommend fresh, but if you only have dried, use a half teaspoon.
  • Scotch bonnet. If you don’t like spice, use less of the peppers. You can also sub with habanero peppers.
  • Vinegar. This adds acidity to the jerk seasoning paste. You can substitute with apple cider vinegar, if preferred.
  • Water. You can use filtered water or add additional flavor with chicken stock. I like to use organic chicken stock, you can also use veggie stock if preferred.
  • Brown sugar. This adds a hint of sweetness to balance the heat. I like to use organic brown sugar, however, you can substitute with honey or maple syrup, if that's what you have on hand.
  • Pimento seeds. Also known as allspice, which is a Jamaican pepper that is basically a dried unripe fruit of the Pimenta tree. You can substitute with ground cayenne pepper (about ½ tsp), if you don't have these seeds on hand.
  • Carrots. I love adding carrots. You can peel + chop and use them raw or roast them for added flavor.
  • Red onion. Substitute with yellow or white if that’s what you have.
  • Garlic + ginger. I prefer fresh, but you could substitute with 1 teaspoon garlic powder and ½ teaspoon ground ginger in a pinch.
  • Soy sauce. I like to add soy sauce for additional saltiness and umami flavor, but you can omit this or substitute with tamari, Worcestershire, etc.
  • Pineapple chunks. I like to purchase canned organic pineapple when convenient, however, you can slice an actual pineapple into chunks.
Bowl of jerk seasoning near thyme leaves and other flavorings

Best Garnish for Chicken:

Traditionally, Jamaican jerk chicken comes garnished with a few simple ingredients, which can include:

  • Scallions. Don’t skimp on these!
  • Thyme. I recommend fresh, but if you only have dried, use a half teaspoon.
  • Scotch bonnet. If you don’t like spice, use less of the peppers.
  • BBQ sauce. Make your own or use a premium store-bought sauce.
  • Pineapple chunks. You can cut a fresh pineapple into chunks or purchase organic canned chunks.
Pineapple Jerk sauce in a blender

How to Prep + Season Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken

Baking Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken is generally an easy process—in total about 1 hour due to the process of cooking the chicken and "drying out" of the sauce. You first start by cleaning and washing your chicken pieces to ensure that they are clean and ready to be seasoned. I like to wash my chicken with both vinegar and lemon to help keep things clean and sanitized.

Once your chicken is clean, then it’s seasoning time! I’m all about seasoning every “layer” of my food, therefore, the chicken gets direct seasoning and so does the sauce. Let everything marinate for 10-15 minutes or 1-2 days (or overnight tightly wrapped in the refrigerator) for the best results.

Blend your pineapple jerk sauce ingredients and massage unto seasoned chicken and let the cooking process begin.

Tips to Making the Best Jamaican Jerk Chicken

The following tips and tricks will make cooking the best Jamaican Jerk Chicken easier and with greater results:

Marinate the chicken. This is a VERY IMPORTANT step that most overlook but makes a world of a difference. Traditionally, Jamaicans will clean, rinse, and season their chicken 1-2 days prior to making this dish. Simply add your seasoned chicken to a ziplock bag or airtight container and refrigerate overnight (or for up to 2 days). When ready to cook, remove from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or so.

Remove the skin. Keeping or removing the skin of the chicken is an individual preference for many, however, removing it for jerk chicken helps the flavors to soak into the meat better, especially during marination.

Chop the chicken into smaller pieces. Since you can use various pieces of chicken for this recipe, chopping them up into smaller pieces helps the chicken to cook through better and makes for an easier bite.

Cover to bake + then remove and bake again. With any Jamaican dish, slow and steady is always the best results. Once you add all of the ingredients (including the chicken), cover the baking dish with foil and bake for the first 40-45 minutes before removing the chicken from the oven to pour the "juices" into a bowl or measuring cup to create the "BBQ jerk sauce" and then add everything back to the oven to finish until it's all cooked through, tender, and the sauce has thickened nicely. This creates a similar "char-like feel" as traditional jerk chicken.

Overhead shot of a Dutch oven of Baked Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken

Homemade Jerk Seasoning

To make your own jerk seasoning dry rub, you'll need my Homemade Jerk Dry Rub Seasoning.

Ingredient Substitutes + Meat Alternatives for Jerk:

Making traditional jerk or pineapple jerk doesn't have to be left to only chicken. In Jamaica, it's also used for other types of meat and the possibility of switching things up with another meat or alternative is also a good idea:

  • Pork (often done in Jamaica as well. Perfect combination of grilling and jerk flavors)
  • Beef
  • Tofu
  • Chickpeas
  • Other beans (black beans, kidney beans, etc.)
  • Lamb
  • Fish (also done in Jamaica)
  • Other seafood (lobster, shrimp, etc.)
Overhead shot of a red Dutch oven of Baked Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken

Make Ahead Option

You can easily make this dish ahead by making the homemade pineapple jerk sauce/marinade a few days in advance and storing it tightly in a sealed jar or container and refrigerated for up to 1 week.

In addition, you can season and marinade your clean chicken for 1-2 days prior to making this recipe as well.

Once ready to cook, let the chicken sit at room temperature for 20-25 minutes before combining the homemade sauce and chicken and then baking.


Growing up in a Jamaican household means I learned about a lot of great Jamaican spices. While these spices go great in recipes for their flavor, they also have many healing properties. I'm going to share a list of Jamaican herbs that I always keep on hand for their medicinal purposes.

Closeup of Baked Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken

Common Q + A's for Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken Recipe

How to best store leftover jerk chicken?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat servings in the microwave or in the oven to serve.

You can also freeze leftover chicken for up to six months. Then defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat to enjoy.

What to serve with jerk chicken?

You can serve this pineapple jerk chicken as-is. Also, enjoy this pineapple jerk chicken with a side of bread (hard-dough bread is traditionally used in Jamaica) or with your favorite side (i.e. rice and peas, brown or white rice, veggies, salad, etc.).

How to thicken sauce?

While many sauces are thickened for texture, what you use as a thickening agent is solely up to you. All in all, it depends on how you like it! Use 1 tablespoon at a time mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of water to dilute. Then pour the mixture into the sauce, simmering for an additional few minutes to activate the thickener. Some thickening agents you can use are:
Cornstarch (GF)
Arrowroot starch (GF)
Potato starch (GF)
All-purpose flour

Is jerk chicken really salty?

It depends. When making your own jerk seasoning and marinade, you definitely have more control over the amount of salt that you use. However, for store-bought seasonings + pastes, you might find it more salty in taste.

What is the difference between jerk marinade (paste) and jerk sauce?

Basically, Jerk seasoning is a dry spice blend and a jerk marinade comes in a liquid-y, paste-like form. The dry seasoning blend is meant to be rubbed into your meat and left in the fridge overnight before grilling or baking. While, the marinade is a quicker version of the spice blend and can also be used as a rub on your meat.

Should you poke holes in chicken to marinate?

While I only poke holes with whole pieces of chicken like the drumstick, breasts, thighs, etc., if making wings you don't have to. Overall, the marinade penetrates the meat as deeply as possible once it's marinated overnight or for up to 2 days, resulting in a more moist meat so you don't HAVE to poke holes.

How long to cook jerk chicken in the oven?

Overall, it takes about 50-60 (at most) to bake jerk chicken for the best results.

What vegetables go well with jerk chicken?

Like many other chicken dishes, you can serve a variety of veggies with jerk chicken. My personal favorites include corn, sweet potatoes, mashed or roasted potatoes, yams, rice + peas, plantains, kale, spinach, collard greens, or other non-traditional ones like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, roasted carrots, etc.

How long to marinate jerk chicken?

Traditionally, Jamaicans will clean, rinse, and season their chicken 1-2 days prior to making this dish. Simply add your seasoned chicken to a ziplock bag or airtight container and refrigerate overnight (or for up to 2 days). When ready to cook, remove from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or so.

How much BBQ sauce should I use?

Honestly, it depends on your preference. Overall, BBQ sauce is added to the jerk sauce to offset the heat, therefore, starting with 1-2 cups is a great rule of thumb.

Can I make traditional jerk chicken without the pineapple?

Absolutely! If you aren't a fan of pineapple or you choose to make this jerk chicken recipe more than once and need to switch things up---simply omit the pineapple in your homemade jerk sauce and keep the flavors more traditional.

What Does Jamaican Jerk Chicken Taste Like?

Basically, Jamaican jerk chicken is super packed with flavor that is spicy and sweet with a smoky, char taste if made on a grill. Overall, jerk seasoning has warm, complex, and salt undertones, which makes it the perfect flavor for any taste buds.

Is Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken Spicy?

Because I love spicy flavors and whenever making anything Jamaican, I’m always inclined to add scotch bonnet peppers—–this specific pineapple jerk chicken is spicy. However, just know that the pineapples and BBQ sauce helps to offset the heat a bit. If you'd like, you can increase the amount of scotch bonnet peppers used in the jerk sauce to as much as 6 total, if you love extra spice!

More Jamaican Recipes to Try Next!


If you tried this Baked Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you.

Baked Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken being split apart with two forks
Baked Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken being split apart with two forks

Baked Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken Recipe

June 21, 2022
4.94 from 16 votes
This Jamaican Pineapple Jerk Chicken recipe is a modern twist on classic jerk chicken and It's full of flavor and comfort.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Serves: 6 servings



  • 3-4 lbs. organic chicken (Drumsticks, Wings, + Thigh pieces work great!)
  • 1-2 Tbsps Homemade Jerk Dry Rub Seasoning


  • 3 Scotch bonnet peppers
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • handful of scallions (aka green onions)
  • 2 Tbsps white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup pineapple chunks
  • ¼ cup soy sauce, low-sodium
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • 2 Tbsps organic brown sugar
  • 1 carrot, peeled + chopped
  • 2 Tbsps pimento seeds


  • Pineapple chunks
  • BBQ sauce, premium
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • Chopped scallion (aka green onions)
  • Lime wedges, optional



  • In a large bowl, add your freshly cleaned + rinsed chicken along with jerk seasoning, mixing everything together until chicken is fully coated. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. NOTE: For best results, it's best to marinate chicken overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a standard 9x13 baking dish. Set aside.


  • In a high-powdered blender, add the scotch bonnet pepper, red onion, garlic cloves, scallions, vinegar, salt, black pepper, ginger, pineapple chunks, brown sugar, chopped carrots, soy sauce, pimento seeds, and water, blending until smooth and combined.


  • Add the pineapple jerk sauce to the chicken and massage together until all chicken pieces are coated in sauce.


  • Add the chicken to the prepared baking dish, spreading them out side by side, and tightly cover the top with foil paper. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until chicken is mostly cooked through. Carefully, drain the jerk sauce "liquid" from the chicken into a bowl and set aside. Return the chicken back to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the BBQ sauce to the jerk sauce liquid and mix together until combined. Generously brush (or spoon) the BBQ jerk sauce atop chicken, add additional pineapple chunks around chicken pieces and bake (without foil) for another 10-15 minutes for until the sauce has "Baked unto" chicken.
  • For a fancy look, garnish with fresh thyme sprigs, chopped scallions, and lime wedges along with chicken on a platter.
  • To serve, enjoy the pineapple jerk chicken by itself or with a side of bread (hard-dough bread is traditionally used) or with your favorite side (i.e. rice, veggies, etc.).
  • Bon Appétit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
  • JERK SAUCE/MARINADE: Store any leftover sauce in an airtight jar or container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
  • SCOTCH BONNET PEPPER: If you'd like, you can increase the amount of scotch bonnet peppers used in the jerk sauce to as much as 6 total, if you love extra spice!
  • ORIGINAL JERK: If you aren't a fan of pineapple, feel free to omit the pineapple and make this recipe a traditional jerk chicken recipe!


Calories: 554kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 170mg | Sodium: 1104mg | Potassium: 631mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2715IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 4mg


Tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea

Script text: Xx, Shanika

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4.94 from 16 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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Love this Recipe?

  1. Just pulled the chicken out of the oven and wow! Not only does my home smell amazing, the chicken looks delicious. I made mine with a side of macaroni and cheese using smoked Gouda and brie, and roasted veggies. I’m looking forward to buying your cookbook. You did your thing with the chicken & can’t wait to try my hand at one of your desserts. Thanks!!

    • Hi Anaïse! OMGG! I'm so thrilled that you enjoyed this jerk chicken recipe! It's truly one of my faves. Definitely loving the delicious sides you made with it----truly a feast! I appreciate you giving it a try and for your support with everything, including my cookbook! 🙂

  2. This was a serious hit! Love the addition of pineapple without having it take over the dish. My mouth is on fire still- absolutely incredible! We didn’t have scotch bonnet so did a meadly of peppers, one fresh long hot, teaspoon dried habanero and 1 1/2 teaspooons of sugar rush peach chile powder. I made a chicken stock/pineapple juice rice side to go with it. It smells like bbq when you open the oven and really takes the chill out of a winter day. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Hi Jackie! Wow---I'm SO happy that you enjoyed this recipe! It's one of my faves and it definitely gives a kick of spice, but so worth it. haha. Love the additions you added---they sound like they would be delish with this chicken! Thanks so much for giving it a try! 🙂

  3. i’ve made this recipe twice and it’s AMAZING! the second i begin suggesting this for dinner, i can’t even finish saying “jamaican” before my boyfriend is saying “YES!”. we have sensitive taste buds for heat so we only use one habenero (sometimes two, usually just one). i also add 1/4-1/3 cup of orange juice to the marinade for an extra boost of tangy/sweet/citrus flavor (:

    • Hi Lindsay! Wow---this makes me so happy! I'm thrilled that you enjoyed this recipe! And I love the orange juice substitute! Thanks so much for giving it a try! 🙂

    • Hi Natasha! For boneless thighs, it should cook a few minutes quicker depending on how thin they are. Maybe about 25-30 minutes until cooked through. 🙂

  4. I bet this is one of the most delicious ways to make chicken. It certainly looks like it is nobody's business!

  5. We had this jerk chicken for dinner last night and it was amazing! That pineapple flavor is incredible

  6. Every bite does indeed look amazing! All of the flavors are incredible. And I love these vibrant colors.

  7. I have been searching for the best Jamaican jerk chicken recipe ever since I visited Jamaica years ago and I finally found it! This chicken has sooo much flavor and is so easy to prepare, everyone in my house loved it so much!