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A rich, flavorful marinade coats this Dump-and-Bake Jerk Chicken, which comes together with just a few minutes of prep. Enjoy a taste of Jamaican cuisine with an easy dinner recipe that takes advantage of simple ingredients that you already have on hand!

Use chicken breasts to prepare an easy and healthy dinner with this Dump and Bake Jerk Chicken

You may have heard the term “jerk” seasoning, but have you ever tasted it? This style of cooking is native to Jamaica, but it’s become quite popular in America as well.

While a traditional jerk chicken is prepared in a locked barrel or over coals for a smoky taste, you can cook my version in your oven any night of the week.

I’ve borrowed the classic jerk flavors and transformed them into an easy dump-and-bake dinner!

Serve this Dump and Bake Jerk Chicken over rice with grilled pineapple

How do you make Jamaican Jerk Chicken?

Let’s start with the jerk marinade, which is the base of this entire meal.

Some of the prominent ingredients in jerk chicken include allspice, cloves, and spicy peppers. I’ve made this dish mild (so that my kids can enjoy it too), but you can completely control the heat in your jerk marinade by adding more or less jalapeño pepper.

First, grab your food processor or blender and give everything a good puree. This makes prep time so fast because you don’t have to worry about finely chopping any of your ingredients.

Just throw everything in and you’ll have a perfect marinade in about 2 minutes!

Jerk marinade for chicken or pork

Next, place the raw, diced chicken breast in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper, and then sprinkle with cornstarch.

The cornstarch helps to thicken the sauce as the jerk chicken bakes, and it helps the marinade adhere to the meat.

Diced boneless skinless chicken breast for Jerk Chicken

Pour the marinade over the chicken, stir (or use your hands to mix), and pop it in the oven!

Dump and Bake Jerk Chicken in a dish before it goes in the oven

The diced chicken cooks quickly, so you’ll have a dinner that’s ready to go in about 25-30 minutes! How easy is that?

Easy and healthy jerk chicken that is baked in the oven

Serving Suggestions for Oven-Baked Jerk Chicken:

You’ll love the combination of sweet fruit with the smoky, spicy, rich jerk chicken. Try serving the cooked meat over rice (or cauliflower rice), with a side of grilled fresh pineapple.

It’s like an instant vacation to the tropics — in less than 1 hour — and you don’t even have to pack a suitcase! Heck, you might not even have to go to the grocery store, since this recipe is made almost entirely with basic pantry staples.


Dump and Bake Jerk Chicken served over rice with grilled pineapple on the side

More dump-and-bake chicken recipes that you might enjoy:

Dump-and-Bake Jerk Chicken

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 360.7 kcal
A rich, flavorful marinade coats this Dump-and-Bake Jerk Chicken, which comes together with just a few minutes of prep for an easy weeknight dinner!


  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T. orange zest
  • 2 green onions, sliced (plus additional for garnish, if desired)
  • 3 teaspoons minced fresh garlic (I like to use a squeeze bottle of minced garlic from the produce section as a shortcut)
  • ½ sweet onion, cut into large chunks
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed*
  • ½ cup less sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or about ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • Optional for serving: cooked rice; grilled fresh pineapple


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a medium baking dish with cooking spray (I have used both a deep 9-inch by 6-inch dish and an 11-inch by 7-inch dish, and both work well).
  • Place chicken in the prepared dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cornstarch and toss to coat.
  • In a food processor or blender, puree orange zest, green onions, garlic, onion, jalapeno, soy sauce, vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar, thyme, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. Pour sauce over chicken and stir to combine.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir, return to the oven for 5-10 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened.
  • Remove from oven. Garnish with sliced green onions just before serving.


*Use more jalapeno for a spicy dish.
To Grill Pineapple: Place 4 thickly-sliced fresh pineapple rounds on a grill or indoor grill pan that is heated to medium-high. Grill for about 1-2 minutes per side.
Cooking Just for Two? Cut the ingredients in half and bake the chicken in a small dish. The cooking instructions remain the same.


Serving: 1/4 of the chicken and sauceCalories: 360.7kcalCarbohydrates: 12.9gProtein: 54.2gFat: 9.8gSaturated Fat: 1.8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 1299.2mgPotassium: 632.9mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 7.3g
Keyword: baked chicken, chicken breasts, chicken marinade
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: International
Author: Blair Lonergan

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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    1. Hey, Jennifer! It’s not the zest that’s bitter. The zest is just the very thin top layer that contains the essential oils (and therefore so much flavor). If you grate (or zest) too deep, you pick up some of the white pith from the fruit, which is what gives you that bitter taste. When zesting an orange, just make sure to only scrape that very thin top layer, so you’re basically constantly moving the fruit as you zest. I don’t ever grate in one spot more than once, because I don’t want to get the pith. So to answer your question, no — the 1 tablespoon is not a typo — but you do want to be careful that you’re only using 1 tablespoon of zest, without any pith. 🙂 Hope that makes sense!

  1. Excuse me, but this is not how jamaican jerk chicken is made. That’s just baked chicken. Please be respectful of the culture and remove the word Jamaican.