Prep healthy meals for the week ahead with this delicious Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Quinoa meal prep recipe! It’s dairy free, gluten free, and nut free
Up until about 8 months ago, I was terrible at meal planning, not to mention meal prepping. It just wasn’t something I had ever made a habit, and the evening dinner scramble was starting to get really, really old.
I would plan meals for our family maybe five days or one week at a time, but over the past few months, I learned the value of dedicating quality time to meal planning for two full weeks at a time. It takes longer to make up a menu, but once write it up and grocery shop, I can rest easier for the next two weeks.
Why didn’t I commit to consistent meal planning this sooner!! My evenings are less stressed when I have a solid plan.
Now that I have the two-week menu planning down, I need to work on meal prepping. I’m late of course (as usual) to the meal prepping bandwagon, but decided to finally start adding some meal prep recipes to The Fit Cookie, starting with this Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Quinoa.
While this recipe isn’t cooked like traditional Jamaican jerk chicken where chicken is dry rubbed with jerk spice then grilled or smoked, this recipe is a bit faster and still delicious. Grilling in the winter isn’t always feasible, and not everyone has access to a good grill, so I wanted to include options that most people could use.
If you want to grill this chicken instead of cooking it in a pan, I’ve included directions for that in the recipe notes. I think grilled meat always tastes better!
Meal Prep Recipe Notes
I created this jerk chicken meal prep recipe to make 4 moderate sized meals, but this recipe can easily be doubled if you want to make more meals, or bigger meals. You can even divide the ingredients in this recipe to make 3 bigger meals instead of 4 moderate sized ones.
I’ve also included two different ways to cook this meal prep recipe: one where you cook the zucchini separately from the chicken, and one where you can save a bit of time and cook the zucchini and chicken together. That all depends on how you prefer to make it! It’s nice to keep the veggies and meat separate if you want to calculate your macros easier.
If it’s warm enough outside for grilling the chicken instead, you can do that, too! I LOVE grilling chicken thighs with Jamaican jerk seasoning, it’s incredible. Nothing tastes quite the same as grilled food, I’d have grilled this recipe if it wasn’t currently 0 degrees outside today (it takes so long to grill food when it’s this cold).
Want to grill the chicken instead of cooking it in a pan? Heat up and clean your grill, then while your grill is heating up, trim the chicken thighs and sprinkle or rub generously with the Jamaican jerk seasoning. Spray each side of the thigh with some spray olive oil and grill for 4-5 minutes on each side over medium-low heat until cooked through. Slice and add to your meal prep bowls.
Check out our other chicken recipes!
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Meal Prep Bowls
Jamaican Jerk Chicken:
- 1 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
- 1 Tablespoon Jamaican jerk spice blend (I use the Weber brand)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Place the quinoa and water in a small saucepan, and heat over medium heat till it begins to boil.
- Lower the heat, cover with a lid, and cook for 20 minutes. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare and cook the other ingredients.
- Once the quinoa is done cooking, turn off the heat and allow it to sit in the pan for 5 minutes, still covered. Stir in the Earth Balance, salt, and pepper.
- Spray some oil in a nonstick pan, and heat the pan over medium heat while you cut up the chicken.
- Once the chicken is cut into cubes, add them to the hot pan along with the Jamaican jerk and garlic powder and stir to mix the spices with the chicken.
- Continue to cook the chicken, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through. This usually takes about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. You’ll immediately add your zucchini to cook in the hot pan, adding a little more spray oil to the bottom of the pan first.
- While the chicken is cooking, wash and cut up your zucchini into small pieces. I usually cut it in quarters lengthwise, then dice it.
- When the chicken is finished cooking, spray the pan and immediately add the zucchini, creole spice, and garlic powder to the pan to cook over medium heat, stirring frequently.
- Cook the zucchini until it is tender crisp, about 8-10 minutes.
Assembling the meal prep bowls:
- Divide the quinoa, chicken, and zucchini between 4 meal prep containers (or divide between 3 if you want bigger meals).
- Cover and store in the fridge or freezer. Enjoy!
Option 2 (cooking the zucchini and chicken together):
- If you want to save time, you can cook the chicken and zucchini together in the pan.
- First heat up your pan with some spray oil and cut up your zucchini as the pan is heating up. Add your zucchini to the pan for a few minutes before adding the chicken.
- Cut up the chicken into cubes and add to the pan with the zucchini, along with the Jamaican jerk seasoning and garlic powder. You can add an additional teaspoon or two of Jamaican jerk seasoning to this to season the zucchini as well (skip the creole seasoning here).
- Continue to cook over medium here, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist