Another season, another fave go-to spice blend! It’s super easy to mix up your own homemade Jamaican jerk seasoning and then use it in Jamaican-inspired recipes or in place of all-purpose seasoning.
Authentic Jamaican jerk has many different variations, but the recipe is always centered on allspice and Scotch bonnet chili peppers. In an upcoming recipe I’ll discuss the Scotch bonnet and alternatives in more detail. For now, we’re starting with the jerk spice blend, which can later be turned into a marinade, rub or sauce by adding additional ingredients. (If desired).
Aside from using it to season entrees, I particularly love to sprinkle my homemade dry Jamaican jerk mix on roasted sweet potatoes and (hear me out) use it as pickling spice. When the season comes, it’s also great on all varieties of winter squash. Oh yeah, and regular ole’ potatoes too. Jamaican jerk is truly a delicious seasoning that’s great on many things.
The character of this spice blend is warm and nutty with a a little bit of heat (the peppers will add more later). Hence why a long time ago, I even used it in cranberry sauce. Don’t hate, we make fusion food around here!
This recipe is updated from an earlier version published in October 2013 (!!). Mini ceramic bowl by Whitefish Pottery in western Montana. Cute wooden turtle acquired… somewhere in Thailand. Recipe inspired by the flavors of the Caribbean and Jamaica 🙂
Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Blend
A warm and spicy spice mix that's great on plant-based entrees and roasted veggies, this Jamaican jerk seasoning is delicious to keep on hand.
In a dry skillet, toast cumin seeds until fragrant, then transfer to a mortar & pestle or a spice grinder. Repeat separately with the whole cloves if using, and with the whole allspice if using. Grind the toasted spices into a fine powder.
Mix in the remaining ingredients (including ground cloves and allspice if using). Store in an airtight container in a cool place. Will keep in the pantry or fridge for up to 3 months or so.
WHOLE VS GROUND SPICES: You'll get the best flavor with whole spices. Bonus - the whole spices that are the components in this Jamaican jerk also stay fresher for longer than their ground counterparts. However, ground spices will work if that meets your needs better. I've tested this recipe both ways.