BBQ Jerk-Inspired Chicken Bowl with Rice and Peas + Pineapple Coleslaw

Last modified on March 29th, 2021 at 7:11 pm

Our BBQ Jerk-Inspired Chicken Bowl with Rice and Peas + Pineapple Coleslaw has the traditional comfort and flavour of the island with a fresh and vibrant twist.

Earlier this year, we attended an event hosted by Vitamix at one of our favourite Toronto restaurants, Jackpot Chicken Rice. Chef Craig Wong, owner of both Jackpot and Patois, shared his recipe for jerk chicken marinade with simple yet punchy ingredients like all spice, pineapple, peppers and scallions, blended to a pulp.

BBQ Jerk Chicken Bowl with Rice and Peas styled with lime, cucumbers and radishes

Typically relying on two ingredients: allspice, which in Jamaica is called pimento, and scotch bonnet peppers, jerk chicken is  typically served over rice and peas, although any pulse, legume or pea can be used. Having grown up with a Jamaican uncle, as a child jerk chicken was not a favourite of mine (to me it was too spicy, with mushy beans), but now as an adult it’s a comforting dish that I can’t get enough of (go figure), especially when served with coleslaw.

Adding vegetables to our Jerk-Inspired Chicken with Rice and Peas with pineapple coleslaw, crisp cucumbers and a sprinkle of feta cheese (can you just imagine spicy jerk and cool feta), and serving it in a bowl. Perfect for summer dinners, and ideal for meal prep lunches, our BBQ Jerk-Inspired Chicken Bowl with Rice and Peas + Pineapple Coleslaw is comforting and flavourful with a fresh and vibrant twist.

BBQ Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas deconstructed flat lay next to finished Jerk Chicken Bowl with Rice and Peas
Close up of BBQ Jerk Chicken Bowl with Rice and Peas + Pineapple Coleslaw
Make the Jerk Marinade

Marinades are super simple to make and add so much flavour to any meat. For Patois, Toronto’s house jerk marinade, created by Chef Craig Wong, throw all the jerk ingredients, except the chicken, into the container of a high powered blender. Pulse until smooth then pour over the chicken. Allow this to marinate overnight for the most flavour.

Shred the Coleslaw

The sweetness of this coleslaw mellows out the heat of the jerk. To make it, shred the cabbage into a large bowl. Top with pineapple, radishes, jalapeño, and radishes. Make the dressing by whisking together the mayo, lime, lemon, honey, salt and pepper then pour it on top. Place in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.

Boil the Rice and Peas

For best results, use dry kidney beans and soak them overnight. Boil in chicken stock, add the coconut milk, thyme, garlic, and wiri wiri pepper and bring back to a boil. Toss in the rice and a good pinch of salt, cover then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or so. You want the rice to be tender but not mushy.

Saucepan with ingredients for Rice and Peas
Prepare your Toppings

Once the chicken is cooked you can assemble the bowls, so prep all your additional ingredients ahead of time. We chose feta cheese, cucumbers, radishes, pimento peppers, and cilantro, but other great toppings would include mango, avocado, corn or tomatoes.

BBQ the Chicken

Whether your barbecuing the chicken or smoking it, this is where the magic happens. Make sure you preheat for at least 15 minutes so you get a great sear on the outside of the chicken, without drying it out. Be sure to have a meat thermometer at your ready so you can remove the chicken as soon as its ready. You want the iinternal temp to be 165°.

Jerk marinade ingredients in a blender next to cooked jerk chicken skewers
Assemble your Bowl

Start by placing your rice at the bottom of your bowl. Fluff it up using your fork as rice tends to compact when pressed down. Then beginning in the corner layer a huge spoonful of coleslaw, arranging the shreds with your fingers. Add in a few charred peppers, sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and avocado, leaving a space in the centre or side for the jerk chicken. Finish with crumbles of feta and cilantro and serve.

Bowl with rice and peas, and pineapple coleslaw
BBQ Jerk Chicken Bowl with Rice and Peas + Pineapple Coleslaw

BBQ Jerk Chicken Bowl with Rice and Peas + Pineapple Coleslaw

Flat lay of BBQ Jerk Chicken Bowl with Rice and Peas

A perfect dish for a healthy dinner, or to prep for weekday lunches, our bbq jerk chicken with rice and peas is brightened and freshened up with the addition of a pineapple coleslaw using green and purple cabbage. The heat in both the jerk chicken and rice and peas is sure to awaken your senses. Topped with your favourite garnishes it is a great dish to add your own style and flavour to with additions such as feta cheese, cucumbers, cilantro, or avocado.

  • Author: Chef Sous Chef
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Food and Drink, Main
  • Cuisine: Caribbean



Jerk Chicken

  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rum
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp allspice, toasted and ground
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 bunch green onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup pineapple, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 scotch bonnets, whole, stems removed
  • 2 tbsp ginger, chopped
  • 2 lbs boneless and skinless chicken thighs, chopped into 1 inch pieces

Rice and Peas

  • ½ cup dried kidney beans
  • 1 ¾  cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 wiri wiri pepper
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • ½ tsp salt

Pineapple Coleslaw

  • 4 cups shredded green cabbage (from 1 head)
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 ½  cups diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper


No. 1 | Place the chopped chicken into a bowl. Make the marinade by adding all remaining jerk chicken ingredients to a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds until it forms a sauce. Pour the contents on the chicken and toss until it well coated. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.

No. 2 | Pour the kidney beans in a small jar and cover with water. Place in the fridge overnight.

No. 3 | The next day, make the pineapple slaw, by add the cabbage, pineapple, jalapeno, radishes and cilantro leaves in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, add the mayonnaise, lime zest and juice, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk until well incorporated and pour over the slaw. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

No. 4 | Drain and rinse the kidney beans. Place in pot with chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Continue to cook until tender, about 45 minutes. Add the coconut milk, garlic, thyme and wiri wiri pepper. Once this begins to boil again, add the rice and salt. Stir then cover and reduce heat to low. Continue to cook for 20 minutes or until rice is tender, but not mushy.

No. 5 | Meanwhile, preheat your bbq or smoker to 500°. Carefully skewer the chicken. Grill for 8-10 minutes per side, until cooked through.

No. 6 | To assemble your jerk chicken bowl, make a base of rice and peas in a bowl, piling higher to one side. Add coleslaw to the opposite side. Place the chicken from one skewer in the centre, then add any additional veggies or toppings to your liking.


  • If using bamboo skewers, ensure to soak for at least 30 minutes before cooking. For best results, soak overnight with the beans and marinade.
  • For garnish, we used feta cheese, sliced radishes, cucumbers, and smoked pimento peppers. Other great toppings would be fresh pineapple, mango, avocado or radish greens.

Keywords: Jerk Chicken, Coleslaw, Rice and Peas

Sweet and Spicy Jerk Chicken Bowl up Close with Recipe Text


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  • Reply
    June 21, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Spicy and flavorful, just as jerk should be. Thanks for the great recipe! 😋

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      June 21, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      We would have it no other way. So happy you enjoyed it.

  • Reply
    November 3, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Should this recipe have peas in it as the title suggests?

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      November 4, 2018 at 8:16 pm

      Hi Kristine,

      Good question! In the Caribbean beans are referred to as peas, so because this dish is Caribbean inspired, we kept with the traditional name of rice and peas.

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