Jamaican jerk sauce traditionally uses Scotch bonnet peppers; here, we substitute jalapeños for a milder flavor. The jerk sauce serves as both a marinade and a sauce for meaty grilled chicken thighs. This healthy grill recipe takes just 30 minutes of active time, so as long as you plan ahead and factor in the marinating time it's perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or easy weekend BBQ.

Source: Diabetic Living Magazine, Summer 2019


Recipe Summary

3 hrs 30 mins
30 mins


Jerk Sauce


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare sauce: Combine scallions, jalapeños, garlic, brown sugar, lime juice, thyme, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt in a food processor. Process until smooth. Spoon 6 Tbsp. of this mixture into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • To prepare chicken: Place chicken in a shallow dish. Spoon the remaining jerk sauce over the chicken; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or for up to 8 hours.

  • Preheat grill to medium-high. Remove the reserved sauce from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Remove the chicken from the marinade; discard excess marinade.

  • Grill the chicken, covered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165 degrees F, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve the chicken with the reserved jerk sauce.


Tip: Wear gloves while handling hot peppers and wash hands immediately afterward.

To make ahead: Prepare jerk sauce (Step 1) and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Equipment: Charcoal or gas grill

Nutrition Facts

4 oz. chicken + 1 1/2 Tbsp. sauce
258 calories; protein 24.7g; carbohydrates 9.9g; dietary fiber 0.7g; sugars 7.3g; fat 13.1g; saturated fat 3g; cholesterol 86.1mg; vitamin a iu 244.8IU; vitamin c 13.6mg; folate 16.8mcg; calcium 33.8mg; iron 1.8mg; magnesium 29.4mg; potassium 264mg; sodium 365.3mg; added sugar 6.7g.