Sharing a Spicy & Healthy Chicken Recipe

I’m not sure why it took me so long to discover that all spicy food is not created the same, but as a newcomer to the heat game, this Caribbean chicken recipe was one of my early favorites. The key to enjoying spicy foods is complementing the peppers with some sweet flavors, so the honey and spices in this recipe provide a perfect base for the jalapenos. You can simply use more peppers to add some extra heat or cater to more adventurous palates.

Caribbean Chicken Ingredients

You can let the chicken marinade much longer than the 2-hour suggestion. Prep it in the morning and you’ll easily have this quick, healthy Caribbean chicken dinner on the table in about 20 minutes.

I generally make a double batch of the Caribbean marinade, keeping the extra separated from the chicken to brush over vegetables. It’s terrific for corn on the cob, portobello mushrooms, bell peppers, and sweet potatoes. These can all be a terrific healthy addition to your Caribbean chicken, or you can serve them solo for an easy vegetarian meal.

If you like to plan ahead, double the recipe and add more chicken. After it’s cooked, slice and refrigerate it, then add to a tossed salad for a quick, healthy lunch on another day.

Green Onions for Caribbean Chicken

This Caribbean chicken recipe was originally created for the grill, but I live in Phoenix where sidewalks and patio decks are hotter than our grills in the summer, so I quickly learned this works beautifully in my cast iron skillet on the stove! I’ll uncover the grill and venture outside after Labor Day, but we’re bringing the electric non-stick version inside for now.

Cooked Caribbean Chicken

If you opt for chicken breasts rather than thighs, choose pieces that are not overly thick or they will take longer to cook. If you have thick pieces, slice them in half horizontally to help cook evenly and quickly. Bone-in chicken breast is great on the grill and has fabulous flavor, just plan to let them cook 25-30 minutes. Think about adding fresh sliced pineapple and avocado on the side and you’ll enjoy a beautiful tropical dinner worthy of summer vacation!

How to Make Caribbean Chicken


Course: Entrée

Cuisine: Caribbean
Type: Healthy, Low Fat
Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes (plus 2-hour marination)
Cook time: 15 minutes

This marinade – which has a little bit of heat blended with just the right amount of sweet, savory, and aromatic spices – is absolutely fabulous for summer meals. Just the thought of this Carribean dish evokes images of tropical beaches, cool ocean breezes, and icy rum-infused cocktails (we’ll save those for another recipe!). Since it isn’t weighed down by heavy ingredients, this island indulgence is guilt-free and easy to prepare.


  • 4 (4 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

For the Marinade:

  • 4 medium green onions, sliced
  • 1-2 jalapeno chilis, seeded and chopped (for additional heat, leave seeds in)
  • 13 cup lemon juice
  • 14 cup honey, warmed slightly to soften
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 14 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 14 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Place chicken in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag.
  2. Pour marinade over chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  3. Prep your grill or heavy flat-bottom skillet to medium-high heat.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade and place on grill or skillet. (Use a non-stick skillet or add olive oil to skillet prior to cooking chicken.)
  5. Cover and cook for 6-7 minutes per side or until internal temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Baste with marinade during cooking, but discard any remaining marinade before serving.
Marie Powell
Marie Powell

Marie Powell grew up eating pecans, fresh fruits and vegetables, and homemade meals in rural southern Georgia. Thanks to her family's tradition of military service and the generosity and diversity of her friends, her culinary influences also come from Taiwan, Greece, and the Middle East. A graduate of the University of Georgia, she learned about food prep, storage, and presentation during her time as UGA's catering manager. Marie now lives in Phoenix with her daughter, Sophie, who has inspired her to learn more about adapting recipes for food allergies and intolerances, and their tortoise, Elizabeth, whose favorite food is dandelion greens.

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