This bright and zingy pineapple jalapeño marinade is made with sweet pineapple, zesty lime and spicy jalapeño. It’s perfect for marinating chicken and makes a deliciously vibrant and tangy dressing for salads or grain bowls. Make it for your next grilling session!
It’s peak grilling/barbecue season right now and I am so ready for it! There are few things better than dining al fresco at this time of year. It just feels so luxurious and relaxing! Grilling season is all about phenomenal burgers, making the most of beautiful seasonal vegetables, incredible kebabs and of course, marinated grilled chicken. This sweet and spicy pineapple jalapeño marinade is my new favourite!
What ingredients do I need?
You’ll need just a few simple ingredients to make this marinade:
- pineapple chunks – fresh pineapple makes up the base of this marinade. It adds lots of sweetness and that characteristic tropical pineapple flavour.
- jalapeños – jalapeños add a subtle heat and their incredible green and grassy flavour.
- garlic – always welcome in a marinade, the garlic adds plenty of flavour without overpowering the other ingredients.
- coriander/cilantro – this citrusy herb is essential for adding lots of freshness and vibrant green colour!
- lime juice – we’re adding fresh lime juice for plenty of zing.
- honey or maple syrup – for extra sweetness and to help the marinade caramelise.
- olive oil – essential in a marinade, olive oil keeps the meat moist and helps all of the flavours penetrate.
- salt – to make all of the flavours pop!
How do I make a chicken marinade?
It couldn’t be easier to make this fresh and vibrant marinade:
- Simply gather together your ingredients and place them into a high-powered blender. Blend on high speed until the marinade is bright green and smooth. It will be pourable so there’s no need to add any extra liquid to help it blend.
- Store the marinade in a sealed jar or other container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Use as a marinade for chicken or other meat or drizzle over grain bowls or salad.
- To marinade chicken: Pour the marinade over chicken breasts or thighs and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes but preferably longer, up to about 8 hours, or overnight. I wouldn’t leave the chicken in this marinade for too much longer than that as the acidity of the lime and the enzymes in pineapple can break down the proteins in the meat too much and ruin the texture of the meat.
- To cook chicken: Preheat a grill or griddle pan to medium heat (about 200C/400F on an outdoor grill. Remove the chicken from the marinade and allow the excess marinade to drip off. Once hot, place the marinated chicken onto the grill or griddle pan and cook for 5-7 minutes per side or until cooked through. You should have some nice dark bar marks and the internal temperature should read 75C/165F on a digital thermometer.
What to serve with grilled chicken
The possibilities are endless when it comes to serving up grilled chicken. The zippy marinade adds a sweet tang to anything you add it to and lends itself to so many things! One of my favourite ways to serve pineapple jalapeño marinated chicken is in tacos with a simple pineapple salsa (diced pineapple, finely chopped jalapeño, finely chopped red onion and a good squeeze of lime juice!) and some finely shredded red cabbage and avocado. So simple yet so good! Or serve the grilled chicken sliced on top of grain bowls, vibrant salads, with rice… there are so many options! Enjoy making it your own 🙂
I hope you’ll give this pineapple jalapeño marinade a try! If you make it, be sure to leave a comment, rate the recipe and tag me on Instagram! I love to see your creations!
Pineapple Jalapeño Marinade
- 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
- 2 jalapeños
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander/cilantro leaves
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Add all of the ingredients to a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust lime juice, honey and salt to taste.
- Use to marinate chicken and meat or drizzle onto grain bowls and salads.