Jamaican Jerk Sauce

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This amazing Jamaican Jerk Sauce is so easy to prepare in a food processor or blender and is great on vegetables, tofu, or pasta. It is a popular Jamaican marinade that is recognized internationally and made throughout the diaspora.

Jamaican Jerk Sauce


Jerk Sauce Scotch Bonnet Peppers

What Is Jerk Sauce?

Jerk sauce is a marinade that originated in Jamaica. It consists of key ingredients including thyme, Scotch bonnet pepper,  and allspice.

While I was growing up in Jamaica, jerk sauce was rubbed and poked (‘Jerk’) into the meat. 

The meat is then cooked in old oil barrels, cut in half lengthwise and fired with charcoal.

For a detailed history of Jerk Sauce, check out Wikipedia’s article.

In the ’80s back in Jamaica, I lived in Hopewell, close to a popular beachfront called ‘Old Steamer’. An old wrecked ship was on the shore.

They had a yearly event called, Fisherman’s Regatta where they had the best jerk chicken. 

The local chefs made the best jerk recipes.  I recalled the jerk seasoning sauce that they used had a fruity taste, 

 I tend to go for that flavor in my sauce,  so I added orange juice to my sauce and it tastes amazing.

Jamaican Jerk Sauce Ingredients

Jamaican Jerk Sauce

Jamaican Jerk Sauce is as Jamaican as  Jamaican Rice And Peas,  Jamaican Patties Aand Jamaican Callaloo.

I grew up in Jamaica enjoying all these delicious recipes but now as a vegan,

I have made it my passion to make meatless and gluten-free versions of my childhood favorite recipes.

Recently, I made Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower, and it has been a huge hit with my readers.  I must say the jerk sauce I made then was a very adapted version.

Today, I decided to make a more authentic Jamaican jerk sauce recipe, although,

I had to reduce the spiciness drastically since I cannot tolerate the heat anymore now that my taste buds have changed as I get older.

I was only able to include two deseeded Scotch bonnet pepper and that was spicy for me.

You can make my recipe as written and then increase the Scotch bonnet pepper to adjust the heat to your taste.

Do you want to take you Jerk sauce to another level?

Add 1/3 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce to the jerk sauce or try my Homemade Vegan BBQ Sauce recipe.

Jerk Sauce in a glass jar on a white background

How To Make Jerk Sauce

  1. To make the jerk sauce recipe, place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and process until smooth.
  2. This sauce is ready to use, or you can pour into a container with a tight-fitting lid and keep refrigerated for a week.

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Categories: ,



Per serving

Energy: 146 kcal / 610 kJ
Fat: 7 g
Protein: 2 g
Carbs: 20 g

Cooking Time

Preparation: 5 min
Ready in: 5 min
For: 4 Servings



  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Store jerk sauce in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.


Jerk Sauce Recipe

Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

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  1. Charlie
    July 25, 2020

    Hello Michelle…how much ground allspice should I use if I don’t have the berries?

  2. Sharon Lea
    February 13, 2020

    Jerk sauce great. Had to improvise using mango chunks and bit water in place of juice and only had red onions – however worked so well. Now on my favourities list!! Thank you

  3. John S.
    September 23, 2019

    I’ve tried several jerk recipes on the Internet, yours got it right. All the classic ingredients, and I always use orange juice. I could never find scotch bonnets locally, so I grow my own. Thank you for sharing, it’s my go to jerk recipe now.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      September 23, 2019

      Wow that great to read, I’m so happy you found my recipe. I only use Scotch bonnet pepper I grow or my brother-in-law grows them in New Jersey and overnights them to me here in Florida, as a matter of fact. my box of peppers came in the mail today, I’ll wash them, dry them and freeze to last me until next year. Thank you for your comment.

  4. kirsten a smith
    June 11, 2019

    This jerk sauce is wonderful! Thank you so much for posting it!

  5. Elizabeth
    May 27, 2019

    Eggplant is sliced into thick “steaks” and generously brushed with your jerk marinade, which is comprised of tamari, coconut sugar, fresh ginger, garlic, lime juice, chilies, onion, and an array of spices like cinnamon, coriander, and cayenne.

  6. Charlie
    April 22, 2019

    My Jerk chicken has been marinating in the fridge for a couple of hours now and cannot wait to get it on the grill. Jerk Chicken Marinade. This recipe comprises of the quintessential Jamaican ingredients – scotch bonnet, thyme and allspice which are a must for a jerk chicken.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      April 22, 2019

      Hello Charlie, I’m happy you are trying my Jerk Sauce, hope you also try my Jerk Cauliflower and Jerk Tofu recipes and let me know how you enjoy them! Thank you for your feedback.

  7. Bridget
    August 29, 2018

    Thanks lovely Michelle. I wonder, have you tried this as a coating to baked or sautéed tofu? I’m thinking I might give that a go.

  8. Michelle
    August 29, 2018

    I love jerk sauce and yours sounds amazing! What do you recommend I serve it with? I’m trying to figure out how I can use it?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      August 29, 2018

      Thank you Michelle, I pour it over baked tofu and bake it for extra 5-10 minutes. You can pour it over any vegetable as well and bake it. I currently have it over broccoli and cauliflower florets baking at 425 for 30 minutes. Basically it works with any protein.

  9. Denise
    August 23, 2018

    Wow, this recipe is the best recipe on the web. Tastes so yummy, I added 1 extra pepper.

  10. Bettina
    August 23, 2018

    Hello, I’ve bent in Jamaica las June and I loved Jamaican food, the way you spiced and the people of course. I tried to spiced my meals as close as you do, but I can’t, we don’t have peppers as you. We really made efforts, jeje, to replay seasonings. The Jamaican Jerk Sauce is amazing. Thanks for the recipe!!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      August 23, 2018

      Bettina, thank you for visiting our beautiful island, I’m so happy you enjoyed its unique culture, food, and people. I understand, do your best and use what you have, at least you will be able to replicate similar flavors until you visit Jamaica again.

  11. Carol A StrudwickMiller
    August 22, 2018

    Can you can this to last more than a week

    • Michelle Blackwood
      August 22, 2018

      Carol, I didn’t go over a week with mine, I’m cautious because I used orange juice vs vinegar which would last longer. My suggestion would be to freeze it if you want to keep it longer.