Are you thinking up options for what to serve with jerk chicken and could really use some recipe inspiration?
Well, look no further. We have a list of 21 yummy ideas that will help you find the perfect side dish.
We all love jerk chicken, but it can be a tricky dish for pairing. The flavors and spices involved are so unique it doesn’t match well with every side dish.
And jerk chicken sides aren’t limited to just Jamaican cuisine.
If you love to cook jerk chicken, you probably already have an idea of its classic pairings.
Things like macaroni and cheese and plantains are traditional sides for jerk chicken you can find at almost every Jamaican restaurant.
In our list, you’ll see Mashed Plantains, Yucca Fries, Cilantro Lime Rice and more.
Keep an eye on the Rice And Fruit Salad—we are hooked on how it transforms leftover rice into a mildly sweet, colorful side dish that goes great with fish, and spicy chicken, whether served warm or chilled.
In this article, we’ll be going over the classic sides and some more obscure ones to determine what to serve with Jamaican jerk chicken.
By the end, you’ll know all the best sides and be able to serve a jerk chicken dinner just like you were from Kingston.
There’s no better way to get tastes of the Caribbean than with some grilled exotic fruit.
Grilled pineapple is incredibly easy to do and will match the smoky and sweet flavors of your chicken.
Combining the pineapple with butter, cinnamon, lime juice, and brown sugar will add even more flavor.
Buy fresh pineapple from the local grocer or farmers market.
Of all the ways to cook broccoli, this is a favorite.
Sure, steaming it might result in a more even cooking, but this is the only way to get a crispy and crunchy crust on the top of your broccoli.
Add soy sauce for an extra kick.
Just make sure you keep an eye on the broccoli because it will get bitter if you leave it on the heat for too long.
You can use both olive oil and sesame oil for this recipe.
As long as you like cilantro, Cilantro Lime Rice is one of the best Jamaican side dishes you can make.
The rice pairs well with jerk chicken because it soaks up a lot of the spice, making it milder.
You can double or triple the amount of cilantro if you REALLY want that fresh flavor.
4. Black Rice
Another fantastic rice sides for jerk chicken, you can cook black rice in a large pot or a rice cooker just as you would with brown rice.
Visually stunning and a bit chewy, black rice makes a statement.
Black rice is a pretty unique ingredient, so you’ll have to look for it in your local Caribbean grocer (or using our affiliate link at Amazon.)
We finally learned how to cook rice properly. Here is what we learned.
Cook rice on medium heat for best results.
Sometimes it’s nice to have a few sweet side dishes for jerk chicken spiciness. Rice and fruit salad is a classic dessert in the Caribbean and is easy to make.
This dish is not wildly sweet, and it’s a great palate cleanser for the high spice of jerk chicken.
It can be served warm or chilled. It will only take 15 minutes (if using leftover cooked rice), and a bit of time to wash and cut the fruit. If you prefer it cold, give it a couple of hours covered in the fridge.
Corn pairs well with most BBQ foods. From pulled pork to hamburgers, corn is always a welcome guest, even on a sturdy paper plate.
Jamaican jerk chicken sides like this one put a unique Caribbean twist on classic corn by adding spring onion and pineapple juice.
If you want to spice it up a bit, try adding scotch bonnets, a type of spicy Caribbean pepper.
Also, you can use coconut milk instead of skim milk to help make it truly vegan.
You’ll recognize a Caribbean salad by the healthy blend of fresh and dried fruit with vegetables.
Other common ingredients in these salads include beans, plus cilantro, a common jerk seasoning.
This particular salad has a lovely honey and lime dressing to add a twinge of citrus into the flavor.
This salad is definitely one of our highly recommended side dishes to have with jerk chicken.
If you’re not sure what jerk chicken dinner sides will pair well with your jerk sauce, you can always use the sauce to create your side dishes.
These jerk sweet potato fries are the perfect combination because the delicate sugar of the sweet potatoes has an excellent contrast with the Jamaican jerk spices from the sauce.
While most recipes from the Caribbean are what goes well with jerk chicken thighs, you can’t go wrong with some classic Jamaican cuisine such as Jamaican rice.
Jamaican white rice is coconut rice made with coconut milk.
Rice and peas is one of the staples of a Jamaican dinner and will fit your jerk chicken’s flavors excellently. Habanero pepper adds a flavorful kick to this dish!
10. Grilled Corn
So, what to serve with Jamaican jerk chicken? More corn! Did you know that grilled corn pairs well with any BBQ food?
Since jerk chicken is just grilled chicken in jerk sauce, it’s safe to say it also pairs well with grilled corn on the cob.
You can remove the husks or grill the corn inside them to add some smoky flavor.
Throw in some red onion to level up the zest.
Salty and lightly sweet, fried plantains make excellent jerk chicken side dishes.
You can eat them along with the meat or save them as desert.
Adding vegetables such as scotch bonnet peppers (spicy!) or green onion can also complement the taste.
Putting them on top of a bed of rice will earn you presentation bonus points.
Beans are one of the most common side dishes to have with jerk chicken.
Even though frijoles negros is a Latin dish, it will match jerk chicken exceptionally well.
Adding some chopped avocado and rice to the beans will complete the plate nicely.
13. Plait Bread
Plait bread is a type of homemade bread unique to the Caribbean.
The soft white bread can easily be made at home and is categorized by the unique pattern it’s folded into before baking.
It’s a great carb to pair with jerk chicken and tastes fantastic when you dip it in the sauce.
14. Coco Bread
Coco bread is bread made from coconut and is a common element of most Jamaican dinner tables.
You make it with coconut milk and flour, and it has a similar consistency to American dinner rolls.
Yuca, also known as cassava and manioc, is a common root vegetable used in many Caribbean recipes.
It has a similar flavor to potatoes. Frying it in your air fryer to keep them from getting too greasy!
16. Yucca Empañadas
Yucca, a similar name to Yuca but a different plant, is great for making dough.
It has naturally flavorful qualities and is easy to break down and manipulate.
These yucca empañadas come from Iquitos, Peru, and match well with jerk chicken’s tropical flavors.
Roti is an Indian dish, but it blends nicely with the spiciness of jerk chicken.
In Indian meals, they combine it with spicy meats to reduce the heat of the spices.
Try putting some chicken pieces inside the bread to make a sandwich or dip it in the sauce.
Caribbean confetti rice is an excellent way to add some color to your jerk chicken plate.
The delicious rice combines bell peppers, pineapple, and chilis to make a colorful and flavorful addition to your plate.
A great traditional side for jerk chicken is the Plantain Tortillas.
These plantain tortillas are easy to make and only contain three ingredients.
Bake them for longer if you want them to be more crunchy.
While mashed potatoes and jerk chicken don’t necessarily taste great together (because of the milk), mashed plantains fit the spicy chicken perfectly.
Known as Mangú in the Caribbean, this is one of the most popular side dishes in the region.
Use olive oil to make these dairy free.
The bottom line
Now you should have some idea of what foods work well with jerk chicken.
If you haven’t detected a theme, basically anything from the Caribbean or Latin America will work. But this is a chance for you to be creative.
Enjoy your cooking, and be well, friends!
- Grilled Pineapple
- Blackened Broccoli
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Black Rice
- Rice And Fruit Salad
- Caribbean Corn
- Caribbean Salad With Honey And Lime Dressing
- Jerk Sweet Potato Fries
- Jamaican Rice And Peas
- Grilled Corn
- Pan-Fried Plantains
- Frijoles Negros (Cuban Black Beans)
- Plait Bread
- Coco Bread
- Yuca Fries (In The Air Fryer)
- Yucca Empañadas
- Crispy Spicy Tostones
- Caribbean Confetti Rice
- Plantain Tortillas
- Mangú (Mashed Plantains)
- Choose one or more options from our list of what to serve with jerk chicken!
- Create your new favorite dish.
- Pat yourself on the back for making food at home for you to enjoy!
- Share and comment! Did you make any tweaks so it’s all your own?