Caribbean-Inspired Jerk Chicken Recipe: A Taste of Paradise

Are you tired of the same old chicken recipes? Want to spice things up with a Caribbean twist? Look no further than this Crock Pot Jerk Chicken Recipe. Bursting with flavor, this recipe will transport your taste buds straight to Jamaica with every bite.

With a blend of aromatic spices, including allspice and ginger, paired with the heat of a habanero pepper, this dish is sure to pack a punch. The slow cooking process will make the chicken tender and juicy, while letting the flavors meld together for an unmatched culinary experience.

Perfect for a cozy night in or impressing guests at a dinner party, this recipe is versatile and easy to make. Simply throw all the ingredients in the crock pot and let it do the work for you. Plus, with substitutions and variations listed below, you can customize this dish to your liking. So gather your ingredients and get ready for a taste of the Caribbean in your own home.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Crock Pot Jerk Chicken
Crock Pot Jerk Chicken

This Crock Pot Jerk Chicken Recipe is a true tropical delight that will leave your taste buds tingling with joy. As a Chef who loves throwing parties, I can say with confidence that this recipe is one of the most crowd-pleasing dishes you can ever serve.

Apart from being incredibly delicious, this recipe is also easy to make, making it an excellent choice for busy nights or when you don’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen. The ingredients used in this recipe are accessible and relatively inexpensive, which means you can feed a large group of people without breaking the bank.

What makes this recipe special is the blend of spices that goes into the jerk marinade. From soy sauce to ground allspice, garlic cloves to habanero pepper, every ingredient has a crucial role to play in bringing out the unique flavor profile that defines Jamaican jerk chicken.

Another reason why you will love this recipe is that it is incredibly versatile. Whether you use chicken thighs or breasts, or even chicken wings, you can never go wrong with this dish. Plus, since it’s cooked in a slow cooker or crockpot, you can leave it to cook while you focus on other things.

So if you’re looking for an exciting new way to spice up your go-to chicken recipe, or if you’re planning a party and need something to dazzle your guests’ taste buds, give this Crock Pot Jerk Chicken Recipe a try. Trust me; once you do, there’s no turning back!

Ingredient List

 Tender jerk chicken that falls right off the bone!
Tender jerk chicken that falls right off the bone!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this flavorful crock pot jerk chicken recipe:

  • Chicken thighs and/or breasts – bone-in and skin-on
  • Jamaican Jerk Seasoning or Spice Blend (can be store-bought)
  • Garlic cloves – minced or grated
  • Onion
  • Habanero pepper – seeded and minced finely
  • Olive oil
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground allspice
  • Dry mustard
  • Soy sauce
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Fresh lime juice – from about 1 lime
  • Orange juice
  • Brown sugar

All these ingredients come together to create the perfect blend of Caribbean-inspired spices, heat, and tang. You can also adjust the amount of heat by using more or less habanero pepper in the marinade depending on your heat preference.

The Recipe How-To

 Transform your kitchen into a Caribbean oasis with this delicious jerk chicken recipe.
Transform your kitchen into a Caribbean oasis with this delicious jerk chicken recipe.

Now, let’s get to the meat of the matter – the recipe how-to. To make this crock pot jerk chicken come to life, you’ll need to start with some key ingredients.

Gather Your Ingredients

  • 8-10 bone-in chicken thighs
  • OR
  • 4-6 chicken breasts
  • OR
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces

Jerk Marinade:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 habanero pepper (optional)

Prepare The Chicken and The Jerk Marinade

  1. Start by trimming any excess fat from your chicken and setting it aside.
  2. Next, combine all of your marinade ingredients into a large mixing bowl or food processor and blend until you have a smooth mixture.
  3. Add your chicken pieces to a large resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade, ensuring each piece is coated evenly.
  4. Seal the bag tightly and refrigerate overnight so that the flavor gets absorbed.

Cook The Chicken in Slow Cooker

  1. Once your chicken has marinated, remove it from the refrigerator and transfer it to your slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for about six hours, or until the chicken is tender and easily falls off the bone.
  3. Once cooked through, remove the bones (if using bone-in thighs) and any skin (if desired), shred the meat with two forks and place it back into the crock pot along with any remaining juices.

Tip for Perfect Result

If you want more complexity of flavor in your dish, try browning your chicken before adding it to the slow cooker – this will add a deeper layer of flavor.

Final Note

Once cooked through, you can serve up these tasty treats in a variety of ways! They’re perfect for rolling up into tacos, wrapping into burritos or even stuffing into sandwiches.


Substitutions and Variations

 One bite of this flavorful jerk chicken and you'll be singing Bob Marley tunes.
One bite of this flavorful jerk chicken and you’ll be singing Bob Marley tunes.

One of the best things about this Crock Pot Jerk Chicken recipe is how versatile it is. You can tweak the ingredients to suit your preferences or make substitutions based on what you have on hand. Here are some ideas to get you started:

– Habanero pepper: If you don’t like too much heat, you can use a milder pepper like jalapeno or serrano instead. Alternatively, you can skip the fresh peppers altogether and just use ground cayenne or red pepper flakes to add spice.

– Chicken thighs: While chicken thighs are my go-to for this recipe, you can also use bone-in chicken breasts, drumsticks, or a combination of the three. Just keep in mind that different cuts may require different cooking times, so adjust accordingly.

– Orange juice: This ingredient adds a nice tangy sweetness to balance out the spiciness of the jerk seasoning. However, if you don’t have orange juice, you can substitute with pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, or even just water (though you may want to add a bit more brown sugar to compensate for the sweetness).

– Jerk seasoning: If you can’t find jerk seasoning at your local grocery store, don’t worry! You can make your own using a blend of spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, thyme, and cinnamon. There are plenty of recipes online to guide you in making your own spice blend.

– Brown sugar: This ingredient helps to caramelize the chicken and balance out the spiciness of the jerk seasoning. If you’re looking for a healthier option, you can substitute with honey or maple syrup instead.

– Instant Pot: Don’t have a slow cooker or crock pot? No problem! You can adapt this recipe for an Instant Pot by following the same instructions but using the pressure cook function instead. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time – I recommend about 8-10 minutes on high pressure for bone-in chicken thighs.

With these substitutions and variations in mind, feel free to get creative and put your own spin on this delicious Caribbean dish!

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready to spice up your dinner routine with this crock pot jerk chicken.
Get ready to spice up your dinner routine with this crock pot jerk chicken.

This Crock Pot Jerk Chicken recipe is bursting with flavors and will make your taste buds dance with joy. It can be served with various sides and beverages to create a veritable feast.

One of my favorite ways to serve Jerk Chicken is to shred it and use it as the main ingredient for making chicken tacos. Grab some soft tortillas, avocado, cheese, salsa, and sour cream, and you will have yourself a fantastic taco bar. For an extra zingy twist, add some lime wedges.

Jerk Chicken pairs well with grilled corn on the cob or roasted vegetables like asparagus or carrots. The sweetness and crispiness of grilled corn balances out the spicy jerk seasoning, creating a perfect harmony of flavors.

If you prefer a lighter side dish, try serving a fresh green salad or coleslaw with the Jerk Chicken. The coolness of the salad will complement the spiciness of the chicken and leave your palate refreshed.

To heighten your experience further, pair this dish with hard cider or fruity cocktails like a Margarita or a Daiquiri. These drinks are perfect as they contain citrus flavors that match perfectly with the flavors in this dish.

In conclusion, there are countless options when it comes to pairing this recipe. I encourage you to experiment and find what combinations work best for you!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Juicy, flavorful, and easy to make - what more could you want?
Juicy, flavorful, and easy to make – what more could you want?

Making jerk chicken in the slow cooker is a great way to create a delicious and flavorful meal with minimal effort. But what if you want to make it ahead of time? Or what if you have leftovers? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

First off, let’s talk about making this dish ahead of time. One of the best things about this recipe is that you can easily prepare the jerk seasoning and marinate the chicken ahead of time. In fact, the longer you let the chicken marinate in the spices, the better it will taste! Simply mix together the dry ingredients (garlic cloves, dry mustard, ground allspice, ground ginger, and fresh ground black pepper) and rub them onto the chicken. Then add in the wet ingredients (soy sauce, red wine vinegar, lime juice, habanero pepper, onion) and let it sit in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.

If you’re short on time or are craving jerk chicken on a whim, don’t worry! You can still get great results by cooking everything at once in a slow cooker. Just follow the recipe as written and be sure to let it cook on low for at least 6 hours. The chicken will be tender and juicy with a deliciously spicy kick.

When it comes to storing any leftover jerk chicken, I recommend transferring it to an airtight container and refrigerating it for up to 4 days. To reheat, I suggest using either a microwave or oven. If using the microwave, wrap portions of chicken in moist paper towels and heat for 30 seconds at a time until warmed through. If using oven, place chicken in a baking dish with some liquid (such as water or chicken broth) to keep it from drying out and bake covered at 350°F for 15-20 minutes.

In summary, making jerk chicken ahead of time is easy thanks to the slow cooker method and storing leftovers is simple too. This dish is perfect for meal prepping or as leftovers on busy nights. With these tips and tricks, you’ll always have delicious jerk chicken on hand whenever you need it!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Escape the winter blues and transport your taste buds to the tropics with this amazing recipe.
Escape the winter blues and transport your taste buds to the tropics with this amazing recipe.

As a home chef, I know how important it is to nail every aspect of a dish. The same applies to this Crock Pot Jerk Chicken recipe. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you achieve the best results.

– Use chicken thighs: Thighs are more flavorful and tender than breasts, which can dry out in the slow cooker. Plus, they’re more affordable.

– Brown the chicken: While you can skip this step, browning the chicken before placing it in the slow cooker gives it an extra crispy and caramelized texture. It’s worth it!

– Use a meat thermometer: Don’t guess when it comes to cooking meat. A meat thermometer will ensure that your chicken reaches 165°F and is safe to eat.

– Let it cook on low for longer: The longer the chicken cooks, the more tender and flavorful it becomes. Resist the urge to turn up the heat; let it cook on low for at least 6-8 hours.

– Adjust spices to taste: If you prefer a milder jerk chicken, reduce or omit the habanero pepper. On the other hand, if you want to make it spicier, add more pepper or hot sauce.

– Serve with lime wedges: Squeezing fresh lime juice over the chicken before serving brightens up all the flavors and balances out the richness of the dish.

By following these tips, you’ll have a mouth-watering Crock Pot Jerk Chicken that will leave your guests asking for seconds (and maybe even thirds). Trust me!


Now, let’s talk about some frequently asked questions regarding this Crock Pot Jerk Chicken Recipe. It’s normal to have some doubts, especially when it’s about trying new recipes in the kitchen. So, I have answered some of the most common queries and provided information that will help you create a delicious meal without any hassle. Read on to clear up any doubts you may have before starting!

Can you slow cook jerk chicken?

Want to make delicious jerk chicken without having to use the grill? Look no further than this slow cooker recipe! Simply brown your chicken, whip up the spicy Jamaican sauce, and let your slow cooker do the rest. With so little effort involved, you’ll be able to enjoy the mouthwatering flavors of authentic jerk chicken all without breaking a sweat.

Why is my chicken rubbery in the crock pot?

Improper slow cooker size usage is the culprit behind many instances of subpar chicken dishes. Even when following recipes, chicken can come out tough and overcooked due to a slow cooker being too large for the meal. Checking the recommended slow cooker size for each recipe is a key step in ensuring tender and perfectly cooked chicken.

Is jerk marinade the same as jerk sauce?

Jerk seasoning can be found either in the form of a dry spice blend or a liquid marinade. The dry spice blend needs to be rubbed onto the meat and refrigerated overnight before being grilled. On the other hand, the liquid marinade is a quicker alternative to making a dry spice blend. Both variations can be used on any type of food.

Does chicken get more tender the longer you cook it in crock pot?

When it comes to cooking certain types of meat in a slow cooker, such as lean cuts like chicken breast or pork chops, the length of time you cook them for can have an impact on their tenderness. Contrary to popular belief, cooking them for longer periods of time doesn’t always result in a more tender meat. To ensure that these cuts come out juicy and moist, it’s best to reduce the cooking time to no more than 2-4 hours.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Crock Pot Jerk Chicken recipe is the perfect choice for those looking to add a little Caribbean flair to their next dinner party or family gathering. With its delicious mix of spices and marinade, this dish is sure to impress even the most discerning of taste buds.

Not only is this recipe incredibly tasty, but it’s also easy to make and can be customized to your liking with substitutions and variations. Whether you’re in the mood for chicken tacos or jerk chicken wings, the possibilities are endless.

So don’t hesitate to give this recipe a try. Head to your kitchen, dust off your slow cooker or crock pot, and let the magic happen. With its tender and flavorful results, this Crock Pot Jerk Chicken recipe will be a hit with everyone at the table.

Crock Pot Jerk Chicken

Crock Pot Jerk Chicken Recipe

From Diana Rattray, Your Guide to Southern U.S. Cuisine, this is the easy way to make jerk chicken! This is a Caribbean recipe and a southern one.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jamaican
Calories 428.9 kcal


  • 1 large onion, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 tablespoon minced crystallized ginger)
  • 1/4-1 habanero pepper, seeded, deveined, finely minced (wear gloves-you may adjust this to what heat level you want)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or balsamic)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 3 -4 lbs chicken tenders


  • Combine onion and ginger in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients, except chicken, and pulse until well blended.
  • Place chicken in a 3 1/2 to 5-quart slow cooker and cover with sauce.
  • Cover, set on low, and cook for 6-8 hours, or until chicken is tender, 3-4 hours on high. Enjoy!

Your Own Notes


Serving: 403gCalories: 428.9kcalCarbohydrates: 7.8gProtein: 81.6gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1.2gCholesterol: 197.5mgSodium: 726.5mgFiber: 1.7gSugar: 2.3g
Keyword Caribbean, Chicken, Easy, Meat, Poultry, Spicy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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