This Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad is topped with saucy grilled chicken, refreshing fruit and veggies, and drizzled with a lip-smacking lime vinaigrette.
Since this recipe incorporates tropical flavors and grilled meat, I was going to to save it for warmer weather—but there was no way I could wait that long. If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (oh-so-appropriately abbreviated as SAD), then the bastard has probably kicked into overdrive by now. So, it’s time for a culinary pick-me-up.
Some folks rely on light therapy while others play with aromatherapy, but I rely on vibrant food and bright flavors. (It’s always about food over here.) I’ll be the first to admit that pizza is my go-to for curing the blues, but I’m also pretty keen on big, bountiful salads that act like a meal. They’re revitalizing! (Not to mention a smarter choice than a cheesy pie.) Especially when topped with juicy chunks of pineapple, peppery mango, crisp bell peppers, and cooling cucumbers. Oh, and creamy avocado if you’re into that :)
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad With Lime Vinaigrette.
Are you familiar with jerk sauce? (Don’t worry, this is PG.) I think it’s unparalleled in the sauce world. I can’t come up with anything that would properly substitute it. With Scotch bonnet peppers, all spice, cinnamon, cloves, and thyme, the result is fragrant, sweet, fiery, herbaceous, and warming. It’s extremely welcoming to the sweetness of tropical fruits.
And then there’s that lime vinaigrette! Let’s talk about that.
When it came to coming up with a vinaigrette for this salad, I couldn’t think of a better flavor. Not only is lime reminiscent of summertime, but I swear it makes every other ingredient sing. When I tasted this vinaigrette on its own I was a little worried since it’s very tart (because limes). But once it’s drizzle over all of that other goodness, it works. It works SO well.
If Jerk flavors are your jam, check out my Grilled Jerk Fish Tacos With Tangy Peach Salsa!
Here are some other great ways to Jerk your food…
- Grilled Jerk Chicken Kebabs from The Modern Proper
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burgers from Lauren In Balance
- Homemade Jamaican Jerk Sauce from Jessica In the Kitchen
If you try this recipe or create your own variation, let me know in the comments! I love connecting with you.
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Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad With Lime Vinaigrette
This Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad is topped with refreshing fruit and veggies, then drizzled with a lip-smacking lime vinaigrette.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad.
- 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
- 1 cup good quality Jerk sauce, plus more for drizzle
- 8 cups mixed salad greens, washed and patted dry
- 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple
- 1 ripe mango, diced
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup diced grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup diced cucumber
- 1 avocado, cubed (or sliced)
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley or cilantro
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 limes zested and juiced
- 1 tsp raw liquid honey
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad.
Place chicken thighs in a medium-sized bowl or marinating bag and drizzle with Jerk sauce; toss to coat. Set aside.
Preheat your grill on medium-high heat—about 400º F. (See notes for baking instructions.)
Prepare the pineapple, mango, red onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, cubed avocado, and parsley. Toss them all into a bowl together and set aside. If you simply slice the avocado, leave it aside to top the salads later. (I slice mine because I love big pieces of avocado in my salad, but this is a personal preference and it's delicious either way!)
Once the grill is heated, place saucy chicken breasts onto the grill and drizzle them with any leftover sauce they were sitting in. Grill for 5-7 minutes, flip, and grill for another 5-7 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165º F and juices run clear.
While the chicken cooks, prepare the vinaigrette (recipe below).
Once the chicken is ready, slather them with some extra Jerk sauce and slice or cube them. Place mixed salad greens in serving bowls, top with fruit and veggie mixture, sliced avocado, and finally, top with the chicken. Drizzle with your desired amount of dressing and serve.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, honey, cayenne, salt, and pepper together until cohesive.
If you're baking your chicken, preheat the oven to 375º F. Place the saucy chicken in a baking dish and drizzle with whatever sauce is leftover from the marinading process. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165º F and the juices run clear.
Wondering about the marinade time? America's Text Kitchen recently busted the myth of marinating poultry, which is why I no longer marinate it for hours. Marinating chicken doesn't do anything. I like to give the chicken a toss in the sauce before cooking so that the chicken is seasoned and gets a nice coating while cooking, but that's it. You can definitely let your chicken sit in the marinade for longer in the fridge to help with time and prep, but it won't change the texture of flavor of the inside of the chicken.