Jerk chicken pizza

23.9.23 | Recipe by Renz

Spicy, smoky jerk chicken pizza is a flavor explosion that you’ll want to try again and again. Delicious basil pesto perfectly complements the sweet and spicy chicken, and of course, it’s all brought together with creamy parmesan cheese.

Slices of jerk chicken pizza, on a brown serving board on top of a green surface.

What's more glorious than a delicious crispy pizza crust, covered with spicy jerk chicken in a jerk sauce, sweet pineapple chunks, yellow peppers and juicy vegetables?

This easy recipe, you don't have to make your own dough, will have you chomping down on dinner in no time.

It’s super easy to make the chicken to top your jerk pizza. I marinate the meat overnight, so it’s just a case of putting it in the oven while I prepare the other ingredients. Using store-bought dough makes it a quick meal to pull together during the week when the family is busy.

I flavor the chicken on this Jamaican pizza with jerk seasoning, made of hot scotch bonnet chillies, and a blend of smoky aromatic spices. Using basil pesto instead of tomato pizza sauce is so tasty because the fresh basil flavor goes with the spicy smokiness of the chicken. Add gooey melted cheese, and you’re in for a treat!

I top this jerk chicken pizza with crunchy chopped peppers and onion, and you can also add pineapple (don’t come at me in the comments; it’s great!). Lots of different veggies work, so it’s a fab way to use up some leftovers and ensure everyone gets their five a day.


Ingredient notes

Toppings for the jerk chicken pizza all chopped up and ready to be used.

  • Jerk chicken (shredded) - use my Jamaican jerk seasoning paste recipe to make the marinade, and let the chicken sit for at least an hour, ideally overnight. The longer it marinades, the deeper the flavors and the more tender the meat. Breast or thigh are best for this recipe.
  • Pre-made pizza dough - This is the best part. No extra work to make dough. You can use 10-inch circle dough or even use individual portions for each Jamaican pizza. I like to use either the doughs that require you to roll out the dough or the pre-rolled kind like Pillsbury pizza dough.
  • Ready-made basil pesto - use your favorite brand. You can find this in most grocery stores.

Preparing the chicken

The first step is to marinate the chicken, ideally the night before you want to eat jerk pizza.

Make the marinade using my Jamaican jerk seasoning paste recipe, and then marinade the chicken breast or thigh for at least an hour or overnight if you can. The longer you marinade it, the more tender and flavorful the meat will get.

Jerk chicken thighs just finished roasting on a baking sheet lined with foil.

When you’re ready to start cooking the chicken, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the chicken in for 40 minutes until it’s cooked through and brown on the outside. Once it’s done, take it out of the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Shredded jerk chicken with jerk bbq sauce on a baking sheet.

When it’s cool enough to handle, shred it into small pieces. Then, add ¼ of a cup of BBQ sauce and toss to coat the chicken evenly.

Making the pizza

Begin by pre-heating your oven.

While the oven is heating, chop the sweet peppers (bell peppers), tomatoes, banana peppers, scallions, and onion. You can also chop the pineapple chunks so they’re a bit smaller.

Then you are ready for your dough. It’s usually a bit soft, straight from the packet. Some premade dough suggests pre-baking prior to topping, make sure you follow the directions provided by your brand.

Pizza dough, spread out on a baking stone lined with foil.

Once the oven is ready and you have prepped your dough if needed, then it's time to layer on all your ingredients. Spread the pesto sauce over the dough then layer up the rest of the ingredients, finishing with the cheese.

Pizza dough layered with all the ingredients on pizza stone ready to be put into the preheated oven.

Pop your dough into the preheated oven and bake as instructed until the cheese is melted and the crust a nice golden brown. Finally, add the green onions/scallions, and you’ll end up with an incredible jerk pizza like this one.

Delicious jerk chicken pizza fresh out the oven with gooey melted cheese.


Preparation notes

  • Chop your veggies up nice and small so you can spread them evenly over the pizza.
  • Spread the pesto as evenly as you can. If it’s too thick in places, it can make the dough cook unevenly.
  • Use an array of colors, so try to mix your bell pepper colors up.
  • It's best to marinate your chicken in jerk seasoning overnight. This will infuse the meat with the bold and spicy flavors that Jamaica is known for.
  • When it's time to cook the chicken try not to overbake it. Get it to an internal temperature of 169 degrees. Remember that it is going back into the oven to bake and you do not want it dry.
  • Cover your baking sheet with parchment paper or foil on the sheet when baking the chicken will help with the mess.
  • Chicken breast can be used also. Make sure that if they are thick slice them in half.


  • If you can’t find pizza dough, or don't want to make your own dough, this Jamaican pizza is delicious with naan bread! Or even use some hard dough bread, and make it a pizza bread.
  • To make this recipe gluten-free, switch the dough to a gluten-free alternative.
  • Banana peppers are mild, so if you want a hotter pizza, you can switch them for a spicier kind of pepper.
  • Mozzarella cheese is another great substitution for parmesan cheese.
  • Rather not use pesto sauce?  You can use the traditional tomato sauce as the base.
  • If you don't want to make your own marinade, then premade wet marinade is available. Get Walkerswood spicy jerk marinade. 


  • If you want your Jamaican pizza extra cheesy (and who doesn’t), then you can add extra cheese.
  • Try switching out or adding in some more vegetables. Other great additions would be broccoli, sweet corn, mushrooms, and sweet potato.

Close up of the slices of jerk pizza seeing all the tomatoes, and peppers and jerk chicken.

More recipes to try

If you like jerk pizza, you’ll love these recipes too:

What to serve with jerk chicken pizza

Jerk chicken pizza slice overhead shot.


To store Jamaican pizza in the fridge, seal it in an airtight container and move it to the refrigerator within two hours of cooking. You can keep it there for up to four days.

You can also keep it in the freezer for up to two months.


The best way to reheat pizza is on the stovetop. Heat the skillet to medium heat, and put the slices in to heat for a couple of minutes. Add a few drops of water to the pan (not directly on the pizza) and put the lid on. Heat for another few minutes until the pizza is hot all the way through.

If you are reheating frozen pizza, defrost it thoroughly first.

Have you ever tried jerk chicken on a pizza? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram if you try this recipe!


  1. This looks SO GOOD! Thanks for all the substitution ideas...I think I might use naan.

  2. Chicken is my favorite pizza topping but I've never had jerk chicken on my pizza before!

  3. What a delicious sounding pizza! I love the combination of flavors, especially the chicken. Must try!

  4. Wow! What great flavors. This is definitely the type of pizza I would like to try!

  5. Sounds delicious and something even my picky daughter would eat.

  6. Renz, you've taken pizza to the next level for me! I love this!


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