Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower

Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower is bursting with flavors and is perfectly roasted and tender.


Growing up in Jamaica, Jamaican Jerk chicken was very popular. It was sold mostly as street food, enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

19 years ago, I stopped eating meat so I had to resort to making my own jerk sauce to add to tofu or vegetables.

This version of the Jamaican Jerk recipe is my own, I tried to make it as natural as possible using fresh ingredients.

From memory, the sauce has several variations to it. The main base ingredients are allspice, thyme, green onions, and scotch bonnet peppers also known as Jamaican jerk spice.

Interestingly, I asked my hubby about how they made Jamaican jerk sauce where he lived on the island and he said he rarely ate jerk chicken so he couldn’t tell.

For this Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower recipe, I’m going to use tomato sauce and orange juice, but I have used pineapple juice and ketchup before. If you don’t like a lot of heat, feel free to leave the scotch bonnet pepper out.

Substitute your favorite sweetener as well to taste, maple syrup would taste great. While I was making this batch, I whipped up extra and added it to baked tofu and it was delicious as well.

I love to serve it with Jamaican Rice and Peas, Jamaican Steamed Cabbage, and  Oven Baked Plantains.

Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower

Why Do You Like Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower?

An unusual jerk chicken and buffalo wings transformed into a vegan version also called Jerk cauliflower wings that will knock your socks off. To replicate the effect of deep-fried wings, cauliflower florets are baked at a high temperature to achieve a crispy exterior. Additionally, it is:

  • Easy to prepare
  • Vegan, gluten free, dairy-free, nut-free, and grain-free.
  • A low-calorie feast!
  • Brimming with flavor, tender, juicy, spicy, and absolutely delicious!
  • A healthy plant-based meal. Roasted cauliflower has a number of health advantages, such as it includes traces of nearly every essential vitamin and mineral, including vitamin C, an anti-inflammatory that can improve immune health and lower the risk of heart attack and cancer.
    • Due to its high fiber content, cauliflower helps to support digestive health and prevent inflammation.
    • Sulforaphane, glucosinolates, and isothiocyanates, among other antioxidants found in abundance in cauliflower, are helpful in preventing several chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
    • Cauliflower is a great source of choline, an essential nutrient missing in many people that supports metabolism, brain development, and the neurological system. Additionally, it aids in preventing the buildup of cholesterol in the liver.
    • Allicin, which is abundant in cauliflower, may minimize the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • What Do I Need To Make Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower?

    • Cauliflower: You need one medium-sized cauliflower head, which yields around 8 cups of florets. Cauliflower, being so mild, is an excellent option for the robust ingredients in this recipe.

    For Batter

    • Unsweetened non-dairy milk: For example almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and cashew milk. I use almond milk, but feel free to use your fave! Any type of plant-based milk or vegan mayo will work.
    • Brown Rice Flour: Brown rice flour is high in nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants because it is made from whole grain rice. Another notable benefit of brown rice consumption is its high iron and potassium content. Gluten-free brown rice flour may be beneficial to heart health.
    • Nutritional Yeast Flakes: I used nutritional yeast flakes for a cheesy flavor. You can find it online or in the health food store.
    • Onion powder: Adding onion powder will give it a more savory flavor.
    • Garlic powder: garlic powder, gives a boost of flavor.
    • Paprika: The flavor of paprika is sweet and spicy. It’s a great way to add some smokiness and heat to your dishes.
    • Turmeric: Gives a vibrant aromatic flavor. 
    • Salt: To balance out the flavor I use pink Himalayan salt.

     For Jerk Sauce

    • Spring onions: To me, spring onions add an umami flavor. It has a savory and grassy flavor profile.
    • Garlic: As for garlic, you simply can’t miss the garlicky flavor! If you don’t have fresh ones you can use dried ones. Substitute with garlic powder. 
    • Ginger: It’s a more savory ingredient and delivers a ton of warm, peppery, pungent flavor to this sauce.
    • Allspice berries: Adds a delicious earthy flavor.
    • Cinnamon: Adds a subtle flavor and aroma.
    • Nutmeg: A pinch of nutmeg will also be delicious!
    • Thyme: A must ingredient for Jamaican recipes. Gives a lovely earthy flavor.
    • Scotch Bonnet Pepper: If you having trouble obtaining scotch bonnet peppers for this recipe you can use habanero pepper seeds. However, the flavor profile will be slightly different.
    • Bragg’s liquid amino: Made from soya beans, this sauce will fulfill the need for protein. It is a crucial ingredient in vegan recipes, and I simply love it. It is also gluten-free, so no worries there. You can also substitute it with soy sauce, coconut aminos, or Tamari sauce
    • Tomato Sauce: Tomato sauce is used to add color and flavor to the sauces. To avoid an excessive tomato flavor or an acidic edge in the sauce, don’t add too much.
    • Orange juice: Fresh is best.
    • Raw cane sugar: I used raw cane sugar. However, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and brown sugar can all be used interchangeably.
    • Molasses: Molasses is a dark, sweet syrup that lends richness to this sauce. Brush or spray oil on your measuring cup to prevent molasses from clinging to it.
    • Lime juice: I used lime juice from a whole lime. Feel free to adjust the amount to your taste.

    How To Make Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower?

    I baked the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper,  using a slight variation of one of my popular Cauliflower Nuggets recipes, you are also free to saute your florets instead. While the florets or cauliflower steaks were baking, I made the sauce using a food processor. I then cooked the sauce for 5 minutes and then smothered the baked nuggets in the sauce. At this point, I served mine but you can put it back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

    Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower tasted so good! Jerk Cauliflower takes me back to Jamaica, where life is laid back and as we say, “Jamaica No Problem.”

  • Jerk cauliflower ingredients

Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower

Other Amazing Cauliflower Recipes To Try:

Serving Suggestions

This Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower is a perfect vegan lunch, dinner, appetizer, or side dish. Serve them with vegetables, grains, or your preferred protein.

I adore mine served in a bowl with quinoa, veggies, and beans!

I suggested combining the steaks with a cooler dressing, such as my Vegan Ranch Dressing Recipe or Vegan Avocado Crema, because the jerk flavor may be spicy.

Serve them with one or two glasses of Sorrel Drink!

How To Make-Ahead, Store, And Reheat?

  • Make-Ahead: The jerk sauce can be prepared three to five days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. Additionally, cauliflower can be cut into florets and refrigerated one or two days in advance.
  • Store: The texture of the cauliflower is finest on the day it is prepared, but the flavor remains delicious when reheated. The cauliflower can be refrigerated for up to two days in an airtight container.
  • Reheat: These cauliflower florets can be reheated most effectively in an air fryer or toaster oven. Despite the fact that they won’t crisp up as much as they would if they were fresh, it’s the greatest option available. As an alternative, spread the florets out on a baking sheet and bake it at 400°F for 6-8 minutes on each side.

Chef’s Notes

  • If you have a convection oven, use it. A convection oven continuously circulates air, much like an air fryer does. This aids in the cauliflower’s rapid cooking and gorgeous browning. A 20-minute cook time is possible with a convection oven, so begin checking it early.
  • The florets should be split by some space. If they are packed too closely together, they will simmer and soften in the oven as opposed to becoming browned and crisp on the edges. Use 2 baking sheets if you require additional room.
  • Cut the florets into equal sizes. They will cook evenly in this manner. Avoid letting the smaller florets burn before the larger ones become delicate!
  • Use high-speed grinders to achieve a smoother consistency.
  • You can make my recipe as written and then increase the Scotch bonnet pepper to adjust the heat to your taste.

More Jamaican Recipes To Try

Amazing Homemade Spice Blends

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Is Jerk Sauce?

Because this Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower would be incomplete without a jerk sauce, let me introduce it to you in detail.

Jerk sauce is a marinade that originated in Jamaica. Allspice, scotch bonnet pepper, and thyme are some of the key ingredients that make up this blend.

In Jamaica, where I grew up, the meat was poked and rubbed with jerk sauce. The meat is then cut in half lengthwise and grilled with charcoal in old oil barrels. Check out this article on Jerk on Wikipedia for more information.

I grew up in Hopewell, Jamaica, in the 1980s, not far from the well-known “Old Steamer” beachfront. On the shore, there was an old wrecked ship.

They served the greatest jerk chicken at a yearly gathering called Fisherman’s Regatta.

The local chefs prepared the finest jerk recipes. I remembered that they used a fruity-tasting jerk seasoning sauce.

I like that flavor, so I put orange juice to my jerk sauce and it tastes fantastic. You can also try my Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, which is a dry version.

How Long May Jamaican Jerk Sauce Be Stored In The Refrigerator?

After cooling and transferring the jerk sauce to a sealed jar, the next step is to refrigerate it. It remains in good condition for a week.

Is The Sauce Freezer-Friendly?

Jerk sauce can be frozen in ice cube trays by filling them halfway. Place in the freezer to freeze.

Remove the individual cubes of jerk sauce and put them in the bags with zippers. They will last for three months.

What To Do With The Leftover Jerk Sauce?

Jerk sauce can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used as:

  • A sandwiches spread
  • A marinade for tofu
  • For spicing up quinoa/rice
  • Use it as a marinade for veggies before BBQing
  • Adding it to veggie burgers
  • To boost the flavor of soups or stews, swirl it in.
  • To make a simple spicy dip, combine it with mayonnaise or sour cream.

What Does Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower Taste Like?

These Jamaican jerk cauliflowers have a great spice blend and flavor. A Jamaican recipe called jerk sauce uses a fantastic combination of spices to give food an island flavor.

Allspice, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, and thyme are the main flavoring ingredients, with habanero peppers occasionally added for a little spiciness.

Is Cauliflower A Keto-Friendly Vegetable?

Yes. You can enjoy this low-carb vegetable. It has 1.5 net carbohydrates per half cup, so you may consume a reasonable amount of it and maintain ketosis. 

It does have a number of qualities that may aid in weight loss, but it isn’t a comprehensive diet on its own. 

Cauliflower is high in fiber, which aids digestion and improves feelings of fullness. This means that you will be satisfied without having to consume a lot of it.


Let me know if you try this Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower. You may help me create more yummy recipes by leaving feedback and a recipe rating.

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Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower on black plate

Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower

Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower is inspired by the popular Jamaican Jerk dishes. Cauliflower florets are seasoned and baked, then smothered in homemade Jamaican Jerk Sauce that is full of bold and indulgent flavors.
4.98 from 35 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Jamaican
Keyword: Jamaican Jerk cauliflower bowl
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 159kcal



  • 1 medium head cauliflower cut into small florets


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use almond milk) or vegan mayo
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour or other gluten-free flour
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Jerk Sauce

  • 2 spring onions roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 Scotch Bonnet or habanero pepperseeds removed and discarded (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos Tamari soy sauce (gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 lime juiced
  • spring onions for garnish2 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 Scotch Bonnet or habanero pepperseeds removed and discarded (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos Tamari soy sauce (gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 lime juiced
  • spring onions for garnish


  • Preheat oven 400 degrees. Lightly grease and line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside
  • Combine batter ingredients in a bowl and whisk to form a loose batter, may need to add some water.
  • Dip florets into batter one by one and place onto the baking sheet. Spray or brush with oil. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and crispy, turning halfway.
  • While cauliflower is baking, prepare the sauce.
  • Place all the ingredients for the sauce in a high speed blender or food processor. Process until smooth.
  • Pour sauce into a medium saucepan on medium heat. Cook stirring constantly until sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Toss cauliflower florets with sauce.Delicious served with rice and peas!


Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 532mg | Potassium: 749mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 363IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 3mg

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  1. 5 stars
    are all allpsice berries the same as pimentos?? i have some from Jamaica and im wondering if that is the same thing. but your using a different name??

  2. 5 stars
    I created a new board called “Absolute Favorites” because of this recipe. I’m not kidding. I’m usually a photo nerd but this came together so effortlessly and quickly there was no time for photos. We made a bowl with the finished cauliflower nuggets and added fresh spinach greens sautéed in coconut oil, 1/4 tsp sumac, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and a squeeze of lemon with some brown rice and the jerk sauce drizzled over top. Regarding the jerk sauce, I subbed the tomato sauce with V8 and the orange juice with pineapple juice (what I had on hand). I added the cinnamon and nutmeg too. WOW!

    1. Laura, that’s awesome to hear. I’m so happy you enjoy the recipe and love your adjustments, yum! Thank you for your feedback.

  3. This looks so amazing!! I want to make this soon! I’m wondering is there a store bought jerk sauce you would recommend for those of us who aren’t able to gather the sauce ingredients? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hello Jen, thank you. I have used Walkerswood brand and didn’t like it at all. It is sold at Walmart here in the US. My fresh sauce tastes way better.

    1. That’s wonderful Michelle, I’m so happy you enjoyed it, thank you very much for your feedback.

  4. 5 stars
    OMG!!! This is SO delicious!! Thankyou for sharing. I’ve never tried all these flavors together but they are so good!

  5. 5 stars
    I must say I really, really enjoyed this. Being Jamaican, means if you don’t eat good any other day you eat well on Sundays. With that in mind I was not sure if I made this as the main dish that I was going to enjoy it , but my oh my was I wrong! I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Kandie, thank you for my feedback you made my day. I’m so happy you enjoyed it. Yes, Sunday dinner was a big deal growing up. Nowadays it’s not so huge in my home because traditionally dinner would be already cooked and I didn’t even start preparing it as yet, lol

  6. What would I substitute the nutritional yeast? I am not vegan but the recipe looks great. I just don’t have any nutritional yeast and want to make sure I get the flavors right!

    I have not had it before but I have read Parmesan cheese is a substitute for it, but not sure if that would work in this recipe

    1. Hello Kate it will be fine if you omit the nutritional yeast flakes, hope you enjoy it.

      1. 5 stars
        Flavors really hit the spot! I made the rice in the picture as well and it creates such a tasty dinner bowl. Can’t wait to try out more recipes!

        1. Kate, I’m so happy you enjoyed it and I love how you made the rice and peas as well. Thank you for your feedback.

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