This 25 Minute Air Fryer Jerk Chicken will instantly become a family favorite, especially with the Pineapple Avocado Corn Salsa on top. Tender, juicy and packed full of flavor.
Get ready to sink your teeth into this Jamaican Jerk Chicken in the Air Fryer recipe combines the perfect spicy rub onto mild chicken that is topped with refreshing pineapple avocado salsa. The mouth is satisfied with the complex flavors of hot and cold in every bite.
🍽️ Why This Works
Meal Prep Friendly | Make the salsa (minus the avocado) early in the day so you can simply toss the chicken in the rub and start cooking. If you choose to meal prep this one, it will take you about 10 minutes for dinner.
Packed with Flavor | This is one dish that every single bit is just jam packed full of flavor and it is so delicious. The jerk seasoning mixed with the salsa makes you feel like you are sitting on a tropical island.
Easy | This is a super easy to make and even though the salsa has more ingredients than we normally choose to use on Savor + Savvy, it is so worth it. Don’t let that stop you. It only takes about 10 minutes total to cut everything up but I do prefer to cut it early and then assemble at dinner time to save time.
Chicken Thighs | Choose chicken thighs or breasts. They both work great in this recipe. Just cube them up in the same size and you are set.
Jerk Seasoning | This homemade jerk seasoning takes about three minutes to find everything in your cupboard but it makes a huge batch and can be stored for up to a year in a sealed container. Once you taste it, it becomes a quick addiction though. Make it with a more Caribbean Jerk Chicken by using a different rub like we did here.
Pineapple Avocado Corn Salsa
Step One: Chop all of the ingredients and place into a bowl and gently stir to combine.
Step Two: The salsa (minus the avocado) can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Note: Don’t add avocado until you are ready to serve. If you don’t think you will eat all of the salsa in one sitting, just top each serving with it. Everything except the avocado does well in the fridge.
Step One: Combine all of the ingredients into a bowl and stir. If you don’t have onion powder, there are several substitutes you can use.
Step Two: Store in a sealed container until ready to use. Can be stored for up to a year.
PRO TIP: This seasoning is perfect to make Air Fryer Jerk Chicken Wings simply by changing up the cut of chicken you choose.
Step One: Cut up the chicken into 1-2 inch cubes. Try to make them equal in size. Place in a Ziploc bag and pour 1-2 tbsp of jerk seasoning and toss to coat. There might be a need to add more depending on how big the chunks are and how much chicken is in the bag.
Step Two: Heat the air fryer up to 390 degrees. When it is preheated, place the chicken inside and cook for seven minutes, flipping half way through. Each air fryer cooks slightly different so always check a couple minutes early to see how they are doing.
OPTIONAL: We didn’t do it this time but feel free to use a bit of spray olive oil to make these even crispier.
Step Three: Remove them from the air fryer and serve with a big scoop of the salsa.
❗ Expert Tips
Meal prep this so it goes as fast as possible at dinner time. Besides prepping the salsa, consider cutting up the chicken and getting it ready to toss with the rub so it can quickly go into the air fryer when you get home.
As mentioned, don’t add avocado until ready to serve as they turn brown and mushy pretty quick. There are tips and tricks to help keep them green, but at times it can be easier to just cut as you go.
This recipe may need to be done in batches. If that is the case for your machine, keep the chicken warm in a 170 degree oven.
If you choose to use chicken breasts, pound them thinner so they don’t dry out when cooking.
Use the rub on chicken wings or legs as well.
What to Serve with Jerk Chicken
We love to serve the chicken that is a little bit spicy with the Cool Cucumber Salad or Avocado Tomato Salad. Yes, there’s avocado in the salsa but you can never get enough! We also suggest pairing this with a batch of Black Bean Corn Salsa and chips.
More Air Fryer Main Dishes
Consider adding a sauce to it or a simple mango salsa that only has 2-4 ingredients to cut down on time of complication of the salsa. Serving this over plain or cilantro lime rice would be amazing for meal prep lunches.
Sure thing. We love making our own but feel free to buy the jar from the store.
Add a little bit of cayenne pepper to the rub. Taste and adjust to your taste buds.
Leftovers are good for about three days in the refrigerator.
Jerk chicken is spicy, smokey and a little bit of heat to the flavor. You can control the heat by reducing the amount of peppers you add.
The biggest reason is you cooked it too long. The other reason is that if there isn’t enough moisture on the chicken, it will cook up dry. This is why it’s best to give your meat a quick spritz of olive oil before placing in the basket. If the chicken looks dry, spray it with the olive oil spray to help give it some moisture.
Absolutely! The air fryer cooks at a high enough temperature and as long as you cook chicken to a minimum of 165 degrees, the minimum safe internal temperature by the USDA, then it is good to go. Always check the chicken by cutting it open or using a food thermometer.
We not only cook small pieces like these in the fryer but we have done whole chickens and meal prep chicken as well.
Air Fryer Jerk Chicken
- Air Fryer
Pineapple Avocado Corn Salsa
- 1 can Corn
- 3 Avocados cut into one inch chunks
- 1 cup Pineapple cut into one inch chunks
- 1 Jalapeño diced small
- 1 cup Tomatoes we used vine on, cut in half
- 2 Sweet Peppers finely chopped
- ¼ cup Red Onion finely chopped
- ½ Lime juiced
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
Jamaican Jerk Rub
- ¼ cup Dried Chives
- 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tbsp Dried Onion Flakes
- 1 tbsp Ground Ginger
- 1 tbsp Onion Powder
- 1 tbsp Thyme
- 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp All Spice
- 1 tbsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Nutmeg
- ¼ tsp Ground Cloves
- ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes pinch between fingers to release flavor
- 4 Chicken Thighs substitute breasts
- Spray Olive Oil optional
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir. Store in a sealed container for up to 12 months.
- Cut up chicken into 1-2 inch cubes. Place in a Ziploc bag and add 1-3 tbsp of the jerk seasoning and shake to coat. You can always add more.
- Preheat Air Fryer to 390 degrees. Place the jerk chicken bites into the air fryer once it has time to heat up and cook for a total of seven minutes, flipping half way through. Remove and make a pile on plate and top with the Pineapple Avocado Salsa
- Optional: Use spray olive oil to gently spray just a little bit on top of chicken before you put in air fryer to make it more crispy.
Pineapple Avocado Salsa
- Combine all of the ingredients into a bowl and gently stir. Serve over a big pile of jerk chicken. If you are not going to eat all of the salsa in one sitting (it makes a lot) then only add enough avocado for this one sitting. The rest can keep in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days without the avocado. Add the avocado as you eat it so it is fresh.