This recipe for Homemade Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is a versatile spice blend that adds a huge kick of flavor to endless savory dishes.
During a trip to Jamaica, I fell in love with the food. Everything was the perfect balance of spicy, sweet, and savory!
And I was fortunate that during my vacation, I was able to take a cooking class from an authentic Jamaican chef, where he shared with me his award-winning recipe for Jamaican Jerk Seasoning.
Made with a blend of dried spices, this nuanced seasoning takes me right back to my time in Jamaica. It adds heat, warmth, and a bit of sweetness to a variety of recipes. It is intricate in taste and really helps to deliver authentic Jamaican flavor.
Ingredients in Jerk Seasoning
While there are quite a few dried spices in homemade jerk seasoning, chances are you will find most of them already stashed in your pantry.
- Spices in Jerk Seasoning: Garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, dried thyme leaves, dried parsley, paprika, cinnamon, allspice, crushed red pepper flakes, and nutmeg. This blend has heat, depth, and warmth, giving the blend its classic flavor.
- Salt: Kosher salt is best in spice blends, as it helps to enhance the flavor without making it taste overly salty.
- Sugar: This recipe calls for granulated sugar, which will help to balance out the heat in this spice blend and help the meat or vegetables to caramelize when cooked.
- Optional: For a massive kick, feel free to add 1 teaspoon of dried habanero powder.
∗ important to remember ∗
For optimum flavor, be sure you use dried herbs that are no more than 6 months old. As spices sit in the pantry, they begin to lose their flavor.
How to Make Homemade Jerk Seasoning
This recipe could not be any easier to prepare! Simply mix together the dried spices with the salt and sugar in a small bowl to evenly combine.
Once combined, use the jerk seasoning right away or transfer the spice blend to an airtight jar or container for storing.
How to Store Jerk Seasoning
Store homemade jerk seasoning in an airtight jar or container. You want to make sure you store your spice seasoning in a sealed container to keep the moisture out and so that it will not absorb flavors from other spices in your spice cabinet.
Jerk seasoning will last up to 6 months, and while safe to consume after 6 months, it has the best flavor in that time frame. After 6 months, dried spices begin to lose their potency.
How to Use Jerk Seasoning
Jerk Seasoning is classically used to flavor Grilled Chicken or Grilled Pork. However, it is also fabulous on fish, vegetables, tofu, and beef. Let your imagination guide you when it comes to using this Jamaican spice blend.
- Jamaican Jerk Seasoning makes a fabulous seasoning for grilled shrimp, baked cod, pan-seared tilapia, air fryer pork chops, or air fryer chicken wings.
- In place of the wet Jerk marinade in Grilled Chicken Kabobs, use this dry rub and grill immediately.
- Add this jerk seasoning to dishes like Instant Pot Jambalaya, Caribbean Rice and Beans, or Instant Pot Rice and Beans for a tropical vibe.
More Homemade Spice Blends
- Taco Seasoning
- Greek Seasoning
- Onion Soup Mix
- Cajun Seasoning
- Fajita Seasoning
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Adobo Seasoning
If you tried this recipe for Jerk Seasoning, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes *more or less depending on heat level
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- In a small bowl, combine the spices, salt, and sugar together. Mix until well combined.
- Store the spice blend in an airtight container for up to 6 months in a dark, cool place, such as the pantry or spice cabinet.
- Use in any recipe that calls for Jerk Seasoning.