Spice Up Your Keto Adventure: Jerk Chicken Tenders Recipe


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While the bold and vibrant Caribbean-inspired flavors are delectable, many jerk seasoning blends are loaded with sugar. 

This keto-approved jerk chicken tenders recipe will satisfy your cravings without kicking you out of ketosis. 

Here’s how you can make tasty low-carb jerk chicken tenders at home.

Prep Time30 min (marinate)
Cook Time10 min
Total Time40 min
CourseMain Dish
Calories150 kcal (estimate)

Ingredients for the keto jerk chicken

To make the marinade, you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon of avocado oil or olive oil – this adds flavor and moisture
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced – garlic gives an aromatic base
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, chopped – thyme provides an earthy flavor
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder – onion powder adds savoriness
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut aminos – this enhances the umami flavor
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice – the lime juice gives it a bright, citrusy taste
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon – cinnamon adds warmth
  • 1 teaspoon of allspice – allspice gives it complexity
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper – cayenne brings the heat!
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt – sea salt seasons the chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper – black pepper also seasons the chicken

For the chicken itself, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or tenders. 

Chicken thighs have more fat from the dark meat and stay juicy when baked. Chicken tenders are leaner but cook faster.

How to Prepare Keto Jerk Chicken?

Making keto jerk chicken tenders is simple:

Make the Tasty Marinade

Mix all the marinade ingredients (olive oil, garlic, fresh thyme, onion powder, coconut aminos, lime juice, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne paper, sea salt, and black paper) together in a large bowl. 

Add the chicken pieces and coat them evenly with the mixture. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes up to overnight. The longer they soak, the more flavor they’ll have!

Bake Up Crispy, Flavorful Chicken

Once you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and place in one layer on the sheet. Discard any extra marinade.

Bake for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until fully cooked and juices run clear.

The chicken gets crispy from baking but stays juicy inside!

Enjoy Zesty Jerk Chicken

These easy jerk chicken tenders are full of bright, vibrant flavors but mild enough for kids. 

Serve with a fresh salad for a delicious keto-friendly family dinner! The crispy baked chicken is a hit every time.

Per Serving
Total Fat8 g
Saturated Fat2 g
Total Carbohydrates2 g
Dietary Fiber1 g
Protein20 g


What Part of the Chicken To Use For The Maximum Flavors?

Chicken tenders are the best chicken to use for Keto Jerk Chicken. Tenders are made from the chicken breast. 

The breast meat is lean and will soak up all the yummy jerk flavors. Dark meat, like thighs, has more fat. 

But a protein packed piece like the breast is best for getting lots of flavor into the meat. 

Tenders let the marinade flavor get all over because they have more surface that the sauce can stick to.

What makes jerk chicken jerk? 

Jerk chicken gets its flavor from special spices and the way it is cooked. The spices have things like allspice, thyme, and hot peppers. 

These give jerk chicken its unique taste. The chicken is left to soak in the spices for a long time before cooking. 

This lets the flavors get deep into the meat. Then the chicken is grilled over a smoky fire. 

This smoking and grilling adds more flavor. Jerk’s cooking started in Jamaica. So jerk chicken uses spices and ingredients popular in Caribbean cooking. 

All these things together make jerk chicken its signature spicy, smoky flavor.

How many carbs are in Jamaican jerk chicken?

Plain chicken has zero carbs. The jerk seasoning adds just 1-2 grams of carbs. 

A marinade can add 5-15 grams more carbs from sugar and ketchup. The rice and bean sides have a lot of carbs, about 45 grams per serving. 

Sauces like barbecue sauce also add 15+ grams of carbs. To keep your meal low-carb, skip the rice and beans. 

Also, go easy on the sauce. Enjoy the yummy jerk chicken, but avoid the high-carb sides and sauces.

Is jerk chicken and rice unhealthy?

Jerk chicken and rice can be unhealthy if you eat too much of it or too often. It has too many calories, fat, carbs, protein, salt, oil, and sugar. 

These things can make you gain weight or get sick. But jerk chicken and rice can also be healthy if you eat less of it or less often. It has some nutrients that help your body grow and work well. These nutrients are protein, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

You can make it healthier by choosing lean chicken, using less oil and salt, adding more veggies, and using brown rice. 

You should also watch how much you eat and eat other kinds of food too.

keto jerk chicken tenders

Keto Jerk Chicken Tenders Recipe

The taste of keto jerk chicken tenders is a delicious combination of savory and spicy. The jerk chicken is marinated in an array of spices to give it a unique flavor profile. The marinade is made up of all-natural ingredients that provide a robust and spicy flavor. The chicken tenders are then grilled to perfection, giving them a nice char and crispy texture. The combination of the spices and the grilled texture makes these tenders irresistible.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 12 tenders
Calories 51 kcal


  • 2 lbs chicken tenders
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons jerk seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


  • In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, jerk seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, allspice, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Place the chicken tenders in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the chicken. Make sure the chicken is evenly coated with the marinade. Cover the dish and place it in the refrigerator to marinate for at least one hour.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • Grill the chicken tenders for about 5 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.


Serving: 1 tenderCalories: 51kcalCarbohydrates: 0gProtein: 10gFat: 1g
Keyword finger food, jamacian, keto, tenders