Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Black Bean Salsa

$10.01 recipe / $2.50 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.97 from 28 votes
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Are you ready for another super easy meal prep (or weeknight dinner)? This Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Black Bean Salsa is incredible simple, but still big on summery flavor. The spicy jerk seasoning perfectly compliments the sweet pineapple salsa, and the black beans add bulk and extra protein to the meal without adding a lot to the cost. And even better yet, you can serve this meal hot, or eat the leftovers cold for a nice refreshing summer lunch.

Sliced Jerk Chicken on a bed of rice with Pineapple Black Bean Salsa, limes, and cilantro

What is Jerk Seasoning?

Jerk seasoning is a spicy, savory, and sweet blend of spices native to Jamaican cuisine. This flavorful blend usually consists of hot peppers (Scotch Bonnet), garlic, thyme, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves, and other spices. These spices are often used in marinade form for pork, chicken, or seafood, but the dry spice blend can be used to season just about any food. Read more about the history of jerk seasoning here

Since authentic jerk seasoning contains some items that I don’t usually keep on hand, I purchased a bottle of pre-blended jerk seasoning at the grocery store (see photos below). But if you want to try your hand at making your own, check out this recipe for jerk seasoning from Immaculate Bites.

Can I Substitute the Chicken Breast?

If you don’t have boneless, skinless chicken breast, you could just as easily make this recipe with boneless chicken thighs, shrimp, or even salmon. The beauty of jerk seasoning blend is that it goes great on just about anything! So if you’re concerned about buying some for just this recipe, I promise you’ll get more use out of it.

Can I Substitute the Jasmine Rice?

Feel free to swap out the white jasmine rice that I used here for brown rice, quinoa, or even something like Cumin Lime Coleslaw if you want to up the vegetable content. And if you want to go the extra mile, I think Savory Coconut Rice would be awesome with these flavors!

Meal Prep It!

This meal works great for weekly meal prep. Pack the portions up into single serving containers and they’ll keep in the refrigerator for about four days. 

Rectangle glass meal prep containers full of Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Black Bean Salsa, rice, and limes.

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Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Black Bean Salsa

4.97 from 28 votes
With just a few ingredients, this Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Black Bean Salsa is big on fresh summery flavor and will become your new go-to easy summer meal!
Full of fresh summery flavor, without needing a lot of ingredients, this Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Black Bean Salsa will become your new go-to easy summer meal!
Servings 4
Prep 5 mins
Cook 40 mins
Total 45 mins


  • 4 cups cooked rice ($0.70)

Pineapple Black Bean Salsa

  • 2 cups pineapple tidbits* ($0.50)
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, well rinsed ($0.89)
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red onion ($0.16)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro ($0.17)
  • 1 lime ($0.75)
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper (optional) ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste ($0.02)

Jerk Chicken

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2/3 lb. each) ($6.42)
  • 1 Tbsp jerk seasoning ($0.030)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)


  • Begin cooking your rice first. If you plan on packing this for meal prep, transfer the cooked rice to your meal prep containers and refrigerate them as you finish the rest of the recipe, so they can begin to cool down.
  • While the rice is cooking, prepare the pineapple black bean salsa. Coarsely chop the pineapple tidbits into smaller pieces, similar in size to the black beans. Place the chopped pineapple, rinsed black beans, diced red onion, and chopped cilantro in a large bowl.
  • Squeeze the juice of half the lime (about 1 Tbsp) over the ingredients in the bowl. Also add 1/4 tsp salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional). Stir the ingredients together, give it a taste, and add more salt or lime juice if needed. Any unused lime will be cut into wedges for squeezing over the chicken before serving.
  • Next, prepare the jerk chicken. Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken to eliminate splatter, then gently pound the chicken breasts into an even thickness using either a rolling pin or a mallet. Sprinkle the jerk seasoning over both sides of the chicken and use your hands to rub it into the surface, making sure they're completely coated.
  • Add the cooking oil to a large skillet, or preheat your grill. Once hot, add the chicken and cook until well browned on both sides, and the chicken is completely cooked through (about 7 minutes each side). It should no longer be pink in the center and the juices should run clear. For extra safety, use an instant read meat thermometer and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
  • Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean cutting board and let it rest for five minutes. After five minutes, slice the chicken into 1/2-wide strips.
  • To serve, place about a cup of cooked rice on a plate, or in your meal prep container, top with about a cup of the pineapple black bean salsa, and a few strips of the jerk chicken. Slice the remaining lime into wedges and squeeze fresh juice over the chicken just before eating.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


*I used fresh pineapple because it was on sale for a really good price, but if fresh is not affordable in your area, I suggest using frozen (thawed) pineapple in its place, and canned pineapple only in a pinch. If using canned pineapple, make sure to get the type canned in 100% juice, and not syrup.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 389kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 17gFat: 6gSodium: 249mgFiber: 4g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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How to Make Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Black Bean Salsa – Step by Step Photos

Cooked Rice

Begin by cooking the rice because you’ll be able to prepare a lot of the rest of the recipe as the rice cooks. Cook the rice according to the package directions and if you’re going to be meal prepping this meal, transfer the cooked rice to your containers and refrigerate it as you finish the rest of the recipe so that it can begin to cool.

Pineapple Black Bean Salsa ingredients in a bowl

While the rice is cooking, prepare the pineapple black bean salsa. Roughly chop 2 cups of pineapple tidbits into smaller pieces, about the size of the black beans. I used fresh, but you could also use frozen (thawed, of course), or pineapple canned in juice. Make sure the black beans are well rinsed so they don’t turn the salsa black. Roughly chop about 1/2 cup cilantro, and finely dice about 1/3 cup red onion. Place the pineapple, black beans, cilantro, and red onion in a bowl.

Pineapple Black Bean Salsa mixed

Add the juice of half a lime (about 1 Tbsp), 1/4 tsp salt, and a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional). Give everything a good stir, then taste it and add more salt or lime juice if needed.

Pound Chicken Breast to an even thickness

Next, start working on the chicken. Pat two chicken breasts dry with paper towel, and if they are particularly thick, place a piece of plastic wrap over top and gently pound them out to an even thickness. This helps them cook evenly (the thin end won’t get all dried out before the thick end cooks through).

Jerk Seasoning

This is the jerk seasoning that I picked up a the store a while back. Every brand is going to be a bit different, so make sure to check the label to see if yours contains salt. If it doesn’t, you’ll want to add some salt to the chicken breast as well.

Jerk Seasoned Chicken Breasts

Coat each side of the chicken breasts with jerk seasoning, making sure to rub it in so the surface is completely coated.

Cooked Jerk Chicken Breast in skillet

You have several options for cooking your chicken. You can do it outdoors on a grill, use a countertop grill like a George Foreman, use a cast iron grill pan, or even just a skillet like I used. To cook it in a skillet, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a skillet and heat it over medium. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the chicken and cook on each side until it’s well browned and the chicken is cooked through (about 7 minutes each side). Make sure the chicken is no longer pink inside and the juices are running clear.

Slice Jerk Chicken Breast

Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean cutting board and let it rest for five minutes. This is very important because if you cut into it right away all the steam will escape and the chicken will not be as moist. Once it has rested, slice it into 1/2-inch wide strips.

Sliced Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Black Bean Salsa on a bed of rice on a plate with a black and white napkin.

To serve, simply pile about a cup of rice on your plate or bowl, add about a cup of the pineapple black bean salsa, and top with a few strips of the jerk chicken. Slice the remaining lime into wedges so you can squeeze some fresh juice over the chicken just before eating.

Glass meal prep containers with Jerk Chicken and Pineapple Black Bean Salsa lined up in a row.

Or, pile it all into meal prep containers and pop it in the fridge for later. :) You can eat your leftovers cold, like a salad with grilled chicken strips, or reheat the entire thing (minus the lime wedge). 

For more information about meal prepping, how it works, and why I do it, check out Meal Prep 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Prepping and Portioning Meals, or check out my entire Budget-Friendly Meal Prep Archive.

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  1. I’ve made this a bunch and love it, especially with a side of your coconut rice and some cream reserved and dribbled over top.

    However, some family members don’t love the raw red onion. Any ideas for how to take a little of the bite out or a substitution that would work?

    1. Soak the red onion in cold water to lessen it’s bite. You can also use any other onion. XOXO -Monti

  2. This recipe is SOOOO delicious, I love it! I have made it multiple times and we love it. Since there are just two of us, I actually cut the recipe down to one piece of chicken and cut it horizontally to get two pieces that way. Helps give us few leftovers since chicken doesn’t always reheat well and make this more as a fresh dinner rather than a meal prep. 

  3. This is so delicious! I made this recipe a few years ago and loved it, and just recently come back to it to make it as a meal prep. It’s just as good as I remembered. I do find the rice just a bit too plain, perhaps I will try cooking it in chicken broth next time.

    1. Oh, I just noticed I missed the note about making this recipe with coconut rice – I am absolutely trying that!

  4. Great recipe, delicious tropical flavors! However, <48hr leftovers suffered from the pineapple (bromelain?) overtenderizing, arguably dissolving, the cooked chicken (which I had pre-sliced for convenient lunching). I would advise separate storage of the salsa or leaving the chicken unsliced. Honestly an absurd experience.

  5. This recipe was delicious! I made it for dinner tonight, and we loved it! I added some sautéed cabbage as a side dish, end it was really filling. This one is a keeper for sure!

  6. This recipe was a huge hit with my family. I used canned pineapple in the salsa and made my own jerk seasoning for the chicken. It’s definitely going to go in the rotation for meals we cook again!

  7. FIRE! This stuff is sooooo good! I’ve been having a go at meal prepping for these past few weeks in an effort to curb my extremely expensive & unhealthy Postmates addiction. My issue has always been that I get so sick of eating the same thing by the 3rd day that it’s a challenge to eat the prepped food. With this recipe, I don’t have that issue! I used the Walkerswood traditional Jamaican jerk seasoning in hot & spicy & it’s to die for! The sweetness of pineapple salsa complements the spice of the chicken so well. This is definitely be one of my go-to meal prep recipes. Amazing job!

  8. I try new recipes every week, but this is the first time I comment on one. I feel like I just have to let everyone know how amazing this recipe is. Tasty with very few ingredients and no complicated steps. After frying the chicken, I deglazed the pan with the juice from the can of pineapple and some lemon juice, salt, pepper, a pinch of brown sugar, and poured it over the chicken (because my family always likes a bit of sauce). Served with coconut rice. Yum, yum, YUM!

    1. Are the calories correct? I know a cup of white rice is about 200 cal. I can’t imagine the other ingredients adding up to only 97 cals. Thanks!

  9. I make this ALL THE TIME. It makes the best meal prep and it’s so good I’ll eat it hot or cold. It works just as well with shrimp, and recently I even tried swapping the pineapple for mango to test it for a friend who doesn’t like pineapple. It was still so amazing!

  10. We made this tonight! My daughter bought some jerk seasoning which was flavorful, but not wicked spicy. I lived the treat of fresh pineapple. We’ll definitely make this again. 

  11. I made this tonight in the omnivore meal plan and it is SO GOOD. My husband raved about it and said this is the meal I need to make for guests. The flavor is amazingly balanced and perfect! I did plain white rice because that’s what I had on hand but I’m definitely going to make it again and try jasmine or that coconut rice you mention. Best recipe ever!! Thank you!! 

    Side note- the one pot meal plan and the omnivore meal plans have been life savers and we’ve loved every meal, even ones I was skeptical about… but this one so far is the BEST. 

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this so much and that the meal plans have been so helpful to you!! <3

  12. This was delicious. I made a jerk seasoning from an online post and it was spicy!! But the coolness of the
    salsa toned down the heat. Perfect meal. I will make it again.