Fabulous Sides to Serve with Jerk Chicken – These side dishes are sure to complement our savory and spicy jerk chicken with their diverse flavors and spices. They offer a wide array of quick, easy, and budget-friendly recipes yet provide restaurant-quality meals, from rice dishes to dips and sauces, that will surely make your Jamaican dining experience extra fun-tastic and exciting. 😉
Our favorite Jamaican go-to comfort food, Jerk Chicken, is known for its explosion of great flavors from Scotch bonnet pepper, herbs, and spices. And, of course, it deserves nothing but genuinely delicious side dishes, such as Caribbean rice and beans and yuca fries, to level up our classic chicken BBQ meal. 😉
These sides that absolutely love being with jerk chicken are guaranteed to satisfy all your comfort food cravings any time of the day, minus the hefty price tag. They are so easy to make that even a first-timer can easily pull them off like a pro. Oh yeah! 😉
I would describe its taste as a beautiful combination of smoky, spicy, sweet, and savory flavors. And it’s packed with fabuliciousness from jerk seasoning or jerk marinade, which is often made with sugar, soy sauce, paprika, thyme, and hot peppers, such as Scotch bonnet and habanero peppers.
Jamaicans traditionally serve their jerk chicken with plantains or rice since both are locally grown and are abundant on the island. They pair perfectly with our jerk chicken because they balance the heat with their natural sweetness.
It wouldn’t be called jerk chicken without its main ingredients – Scotch bonnet peppers and allspice. You can also find these spices in jerk seasoning and jerk sauce, often used as marinades for jerk recipes. And its traditional cooking technique is grilling over burning coals to add smoky flavor and create perfectly charred skin. Although, you can also enjoy them baked.
Rice Side Dishes
1. Caribbean Rice and Beans
If I were to choose the perfect side dish for our classic jerk chicken, I’d surely pick Caribbean rice and beans in a heartbeat. I love how the coconut milk melds beautifully with our spicy chicken and the exquisite flavors of Creole seasoning and chicken broth.
2. Jamaican Rice and Peas
And here’s another traditional Jamaican dish often paired with many jerk recipes. This one has similar ingredients to the previous recipe, only lighter on the umami flavors. But it’s certainly heavy on savory flavors from green and yellow onions, garlic, thyme, and allspice. 👌
3. Coconut Rice
Oh, you’re going to love this rice recipe not only for its simplicity but also for its deliciousness. And the best part? You only need four ingredients to make this tasty dish – rice, coconut milk, water, and salt. You can take a shortcut by simply dumping everything in a rice cooker, and boom! Your magical coconut rice awaits! 😉
4. Cajun Rice
Make way for the tastiest and meatiest rice dish that will definitely take your Jamaican meal to a whole new level of African-influenced cuisine. It will surely tickle your tastebuds with its bold flavors from bacon, liver, and ground beef. And it’s even more delightful with the various herbs and spices. Oh yes!
5. Black Beans and Rice
How about a fusion of Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Cuban flavors? It’s all in the seasoning, baby! And it’s effortlessly done with Creole seasoning, taco seasoning, and cumin. Simple, quick, and easy! It’ll only take 35 minutes to make, and you’ll have an amazing jerk chicken side dish ready to devour. 😉
Salads, Dips, and Sauces
6. Grilled Pineapple Black Bean Salsa
Entice your tastebuds in this vibrant black bean salsa loaded with a nourishing burst of flavor from tomatoes, beans, bell pepper, and roasted pineapple. It is undoubtedly one of the best side dishes to serve with jerk chicken because of its refreshing citrusy flavors. It also makes a great accompaniment to your tacos and tortilla chips. 😋
7. Mango Salsa
Treat your mouth and belly to a sweet and spicy tropical food fiesta with the perfect jerk chicken side, mango salsa. Its uniquely contrasting fruity and zesty flavors offer a refreshing vibe with every bite. This combo is screaming happiness on a plate. Indeed, one of the best side dishes to bring to your next weekend potluck. 👌
8. Caribbean Pepper Sauce
Turn up the heat and prepare for a flame-throwing party with this Caribbean pepper sauce. It’s more than just spicy because it’s also oozing with fruity sweetness from pineapple or mango. No wonder it pairs perfectly with any of these grilled chicken recipes. So yummy!
9. Caribbean Coleslaw
Our humble Caribbean salad is prepared similarly to our classic favorite chicken side dish, coleslaw. Only this one has a mayo-free dressing with an added spicy twist and a fruity surprise. It’s even more delectable with your favorite nuts and seeds. Pretty impressive, huh? 🤩
10. Caribbean Potato Salad
And, of course, this Caribbean potato salad also deserves its place on the best sides to serve with jerk chicken. You’ll love this recipe because it’s straightforward, but it’s also easy to customize to your palate. Spike up the flavor with a sprinkle of paprika and Cajun spice, and you’re good to go. 😉
Vegetable Side Dishes for Jerk Chicken
11. Collard Greens
Indulge in this healthy comfort food for a guilt-free soul-satisfying delight. The added meaty goodness from ham hocks and bacon certainly highlights the overall flavor of these yummy collard greens. It’s so delicious even your picky-eater kid won’t complain. Aside from jerk chicken, I also love to eat it with cornbread and cassava fufu. Yum!
12. Fried Cabbage
Our next veggie side dish recipe here is definitely one of my favorites. Not only is it super delicious, but it’s also gluten-free and keto-friendly, which makes it a sure-winner dish. Whether you’re doing a diet or not, you’ll love it even more for its bold flavors from leftover ham or bacon. 👌
13. Oven-Roasted Corn on the Cob
What could be better than corn brushed with garlic butter and Creole seasoning? Aah! I can eat it again and again without complaints, even without the garlic butter. It’s already perfect on its own. No oven? No problem! You can boil them instead, and they will turn out as amazing. Here’s how to boil corn. 😉
14. Roast Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes
Let’s take our regular mashed potato up a notch with an added sensational roasted garlic flavor. Oh, believe me, you’ll never go back once you taste our lovely garlicky surprise. And while you’re at it, try adding some crispy bacon bits on top for a more savory wow factor. 😉
15. Mashed Sweet Potatoes
If you love mashed potatoes, you’ll surely love these mashed sweet potatoes here, too. Whether you like them sweet or savory, both versions offer a yummy comforting side dish perfect for the holidays. You can also enjoy this side as a heavenly dessert served with a drizzle of condensed milk on top. 😋
Bread Side Dishes
16. Coco Bread
This coco bread are seriously addicting with its lovely sweet coconut and buttery goodness ensemble. And believe it or not, only eight ingredients make this incredibly firm bread with a soft fluffy center. These yummy baked treats make a decadent breakfast, snack, or dessert, perfect on a weekly rotation.
17. Buss Up Shut Paratha Roti
What a unique name for bread, huh? And its buttery, chewy goodness will surely impress you. Although it may seem complicated to make, it’s actually pretty simple once you get the hang of it. Just the perfect side to our jerk chicken and other curry dishes, like curry chicken and Jamaican curry shrimp. ❤
18. Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
Feel summer vibes all year long with our sweet, soft, and fluffy Hawaiian rolls. They’re made with none other than pineapple. It has the perfect sweetness and buttery goodness that can’t be beat. Aah! They are so good they will even pass as dessert. Yay! 😋
Fried Snacks and Sides
19. Yuca Fries
You see, our yuca fries here are extraordinarily crispy and delicious. And it comes with a roast garlic aioli for the perfect snacking experience apart from just being a side dish to jerk chicken. Yuca is rich in calories and carbs, making this dish the ideal snack and side for the whole family. 👌
20. Cajun Baked Sweet Potato Fries
We always enjoy our sweet potatoes as a comforting casserole like my sweet potato casserole with marshmallows. But they also make an ideal snack and a wonderful side dish to jerk chicken. To intensify the flavor, you can enjoy them plain or highly seasoned with Creole seasoning. Oh yes!
21. Fried Plantains
If you haven’t tried plantains yet, you’re seriously missing out. And these fried plantains will mark the beginning of your plantain addiction. Don’t worry, though, because they are incredibly healthy and a good source of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, fiber, and antioxidants essential to our body. ❤
22. Jamaican Festival (Caribbean Dumpling)
Oh, say hello to another Jamaican food jewel, Caribbean dumplings, to grace our mouth and belly with its deliciousness. It’s primarily made with flour, cornmeal, and butter, then fried to perfection until nice and crispy but with a soft pillowy center. So easy to make yet make a fancy side dish, especially when you serve it with mango coleslaw. ❤
23. Rum Punch
Complete your Jamaican combo with a refreshing fruity drink to wash off the lingering spiciness from your mouth. And nothing does the job better than this rum punch. It will surely kick off the party with its lovely mix of rum, pineapple, orange, and lime juice. 🤩
24. Pineapple Juice
Ditch the canned pineapple juice and make your own from scratch to enjoy this revitalizing drink free from unwanted additives and preservatives. Plus, peeling the pineapple is pretty fun and a challenging experience. And oh, don’t forget to try pineapple ginger juice, too, and I promise you won’t regret it. 😉
25. Pina Colada
Fresh pineapple, lime juice, coconut milk, and rum together in a drink is a straight-up tropical delight in a glass. Just thinking about it makes me thirsty. Aaah! It’s the perfect nightcap after stuffing yourself with jerk chicken and the best side dishes. So refreshing, indeed!
So, are you planning your next BBQ party yet? These side dishes won’t disappoint. Impress your guest with the best jerk chicken sides, and you’ll hear nothing but praises. My top fave is Caribbean rice and beans. What’s yours? Comment below! Enjoy!