Recipe: Jerk Chicken with Grilled Hasselback Zucchini and Avocado Dipping Sauce

This jerk chicken with grilled hasselbeck zucchini and an avocado dipping sauce is adapted from a recipe provided by the American Heart Association. It’s the perfect heart-healthy recipe to try this weekend!


  • 8 large green onions (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 medium fresh jalapeño peppers (seeds and ribs discarded, optional)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (divided use)
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water, as needed, and 1 to 2 tablespoons water, as needed, divided use
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 ounces each), all visible fat discarded
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Zucchini Ingredients
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 cup plain or whole-wheat panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium avocado (halved, pitted, coarsely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream


1: In a food processor or blender, process the green onions, jalapeños, and garlic for 30 seconds, or until finely chopped. Add the thyme, honey, 2 tablespoons lime juice, allspice, vinegar, cinnamon, and ginger. Process until smooth. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the marinade is too chunky and process until smooth.

2: Put the chicken in a large shallow dish. Add the marinade, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

3: When the chicken has marinated, lightly spray the grill with cooking spray. Preheat on medium high.

4: Drain the chicken, discarding the marinade and wiping most of it off the chicken. Sprinkle the pepper and salt over the chicken. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, or until it registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Cover with aluminum foil.

5: Cut each zucchini crosswise into 1/4-inch slices without cutting all the way through in a hasselback cut. (It’s okay if you cut all the way through and break the zucchini. Just proceed as directed.) Gently fan the zucchini to open.

6: Place a double layer of aluminum foil on the grill. Make a large “boat” of foil to snugly hold the zucchini so they don’t move around. Grill the zucchini without turning for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and almost tender.

7: In a small bowl, stir together the remaining zucchini ingredients. Sprinkle the panko mixture over the zucchini. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the grill.

8: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, using an immersion, or handheld, blender, purée the avocado, sour cream, and the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice until smooth. Add the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the sauce is too thick. (You can also process the sauce in a food processor or blender until smooth.)

9: Serve the zucchini and sauce with the chicken.


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