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Jerk chicken with grilled Hasselback zucchini and avocado dipping sauce

GEHA | July 6, 2021

The combination of warm chicken and cool dipping sauce is like fireworks for your tongue.



8 large green onions, coarsely chopped
2 medium fresh jalapeños, seeds and ribs discarded (optional)
4 medium garlic cloves
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice and 2 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

Dipping sauce

1 medium avocado, halved, pitted, and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream


4 medium zucchinis
1/2 cup plain or whole-wheat panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese OR 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon canola or corn oil
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon salt


  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 is ready, lightly spray the grill rack with cooking spray. Preheat on medium high.
  4. Drain the chicken, discarding the marinade. Using paper towels, wipe most of the marinade 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 OK if you cut all the way through and break the zucchini. Just proceed as directed.) Gently fan out 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, puree 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.

Quick tips

  1. Cooking tip: You can make this recipe using the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake on the top rack for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. Broil for 2 minutes to brown, if desired. Meanwhile, tightly pack the zucchini in a baking dish. Bake on the bottom oven rack for 35 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the panko mixture. Bake for 5 minutes.
  2. Keep it healthy: Using the Hasselback cut with a sprinkle of herbs and a drizzle of oil is a way to infuse flavor in a variety of foods, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, and squash.
  3. Tip: For a spicier dish, use 1 or 2 habanero peppers, which add fruitiness along with a burst of heat, in place of the jalapeños.
  4. Tip: One serving size is 3 ounces chicken, 2 tablespoons dipping sauce, and 1 zucchini.

Makes four servings.

Nutritional values per serving:

335 calories
16.0 g total fat
3.0 g saturated fat
18 g carbohydrate
31 g
405 mg


Reprinted on July 6, 2021, courtesy of the American Heart Association. For more, visit