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!
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!
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!
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.
Pour the marinade over the chicken, stir (or use your hands to mix), and pop it 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?
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.
More dump-and-bake chicken recipes that you might enjoy:
- Dump-and-Bake Parmesan Pasta with Chicken
- Dump-and-Bake Crack Chicken
- Dump-and-Bake Chicken Marsala
- Dump-and-Bake Aloha Chicken and Rice
Dump-and-Bake Jerk Chicken
- 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.