Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
Jul 20, 2020, Updated Mar 22, 2023
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Homemade Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is easily made at home and is a wonderful addition to many dishes. An explosion of salty, sweet and spicy flavor, this blend works well on chicken, shrimp, pork and more.
We especially love using this seasoning blend with our Jerk Chicken Meal Prep Bowl.
I enjoy making my own spice blends at home because it’s easy to control the ingredients and adjust to our family’s taste not to mention it’s a lot cheaper than buying the prepackaged spices at the store.
This Jamaican Jerk Seasoning has become a blend I find myself reaching for often. It’s an explosion of different flavors and smells and can really elevate any dish like a simple piece of chicken.
What is jerk seasoning?
Jerk spice mix is a warming, rich blend of spices and dried herbs. It can be found as a dry blend or as a paste.
Jerk refers to cooking method native to Jamaica. The meat is either marinated or dry rubbed with a spice mixture. Jerk is a Spanish word that comes from the word charqui meaning dried strips of meat.
This seasoning blend started to become associated with this style of cooking.
Most of these you might already have in your spice cabinet. Here are the spices you will need:
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Dried parsley
- Ground black pepper
- Brown sugar
How to make Jamaican jerk seasoning
Scroll to the bottom for full, printable recipe, ingredients and video.
- Mix: Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir together until combined.
- Store: Pour mixture into an airtight container or spice jar and store in a cool dark place.
- Use: When ready to use this seasoning, sprinkle and rub on the protein like chicken, shrimp, and pork. If using as a marinade, combine spices and olive oil and pour over chicken, fish or vegetables.
How to use jerk seasoning?
There are so many ways to use this Caribbean seasoning that’s packed with flavor. Here are a few of our favorite ways to use this spice blend.
How to store
This seasoning will last in an airtight container for approximately 1-2 years. Keep an eye on the color of the spices, if they start to dull the seasoning might be going bad.
What is a good substitute for Jamaican Jerk seasoning?
This is such a unique blend it’s hard to find a simple substitute. The best option is to make your own. You can customize your blend and it lasts for a couple of years.
Another option to try would be to use Creole seasoning and add a little sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice.
Is Jerk seasoning good for you?
One big advantage of homemade seasoning mixes is that there is no MSG which can be found in some prepackaged spice blends. And again, you can adjust the amounts so if you need lower sodium, reduce or omit the salt.
This blend does contain a little brown sugar. You could use a sugar substitute to make Keto friendly.
- Spice: The wonderful thing about making your own seasoning blends is that you decide what to use. This blend does have a little bit of heat with the cayenne. If you would like it less spicy, omit the cayenne. If you like more heat add more cayenne or 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
- For added freshness, add a squeeze of lime juice to the spiced meat once finished cooking.
More spice recipes
- Apple pie spice – A delicious spice blend that works well in different desserts and making homemade pie filling.
- Sloppy Joe mix – Use for homemade sloppy Joes or tacos.
- French fry seasoning – This seasoning mix adds so much flavor to french fries and even burgers.
***If you made this recipe, please feel free to leave a comment and star rating below.
Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- Pour all of the spices and seasoning into a bowl and stir until combined.
- Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.