Jamaican Jerk Sauce

This spicy and incredibly flavorful Jamaican Jerk Sauce recipe will transport you to the sunny heart of the Caribbean!  Quick and easy to make and irresistibly delicious on chicken, pork, beef, fish, seafood, tofu, and grilled veggies!

Use this jerk sauce to make the ever-popular and finger-licking Jamaican Jerk Chicken or Jerk Chicken Kabobs!

jerk sauce recipe jamaican best traditional authentic

What is Jerk Sauce?

If you’ve never had Jamaican Jerk style chicken, pork, or seafood, you’re really missing out! Luckily for you, I’ve created an easy to follow recipe that is savory and delicious. If you’re like me, and you find yourself craving the mouthwatering flavors of Jamaican Jerk, you’ve definitely come to the right place!

From the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica, “jerk” is a term that refers to both the cooking method of slow roasting meat over a fire as well as to the sauce/marinade and seasoning rub.  Jerk marinade or sauce are used to season the meats and consist of allspice, onions, garlic, Scotch bonnet peppers, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and thyme.   These spices are also commonly used as a dry rub known as Jamaican jerk seasoning. 

I’m thoroughly in love with the flavors of this Caribbean cuisine and this jerk sauce recipe really captures the authentic flavors of traditional Jamaican cooking.  

Trust me, once you’ve marinated your choice of meat in this jerk sauce, you’ll find yourself craving this cuisine and coming back for more! Jerk sauce makes each bite of meat more flavor-packed than the last. There are so many flavorful spices and ingredients that go into this Caribbean jerk sauce that it’s truly an unforgettable experience for the taste buds!

ingredients in a food processor

How to Use Jerk Sauce 

The options are pretty limitless!   Jerk sauce can be used to marinate just about any meat you’d like. Chicken, beef, fish, shellfish, pork, sausages, and even tofu, can all be soaked in this Jamaican sauce, and the result will be delicious every time! Make sure you marinate the meat in the fridge for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight, that way the flavor really has time to settle in and pack a punch.  You can also baste use this delicious sauce to baste grilled or roasted vegetables.

Be sure to check out our recipe for the ever popular Jerk Chicken!

Jamaican Jerk Sauce Recipe

This unforgettable sauce can be whipped up in just a few minutes. Easy, delicious, and quick  – what’s not to love?

A quick note before we begin:  Jerk is VERY heavy on allspice.  It’s the central ingredient in jerk.  I always say that Jamaican’s use allspice the way Hungarians use paprika:  Not by the teaspoon but by the handful!  Compared to what you’ll typically find in Jamaica, this recipe tones down the allspice but it contains more than many recipes you’ll find online.  Experiment to find your own preferred flavor balance.

Let’s get started!

To make this Jamaican Jerk Sauce, simply place all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Then, pulse the ingredients until you reach the desired consistency (generally jerk sauce is a smooth but slightly chunky sauce but you can opt for a chunkier sauce or a smoother sauce depending on what you’re using it for).  That’s all there is to it!

blending ingredients in a food processor

Note about Hot Peppers:  If you really want to turn up the heat, add another scotch bonnet or habanero pepper. Just be careful because they’re HOT!   Scotch bonnet peppers are a bit hotter than habaneros (and also have more flavor), so adjust accordingly. Remember, you can always add more pepper, but you can’t take it out once it’s blended in!

jerk sauce recipe jamaican best traditional authentic

Want to make more delicious homemade sauces?  Be sure to try these favorites:

Originally published on The Daring Gourmet February 4, 2021


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