How to Make Jerk Sauce

It’s spicy. It’s sweet. It’s savory. It’s the perfect recipe to try while you’re stuck inside. We’re talking jerk sauce; the best jerk sauce to make at home. This iconic Jamaican recipe works perfect as a marinade or a dipping sauce.

Whether you’re having a BBQ or cooking up some chicken, this homemade jerk sauce recipe is a guaranteed hit. Today, we’re going to teach you how to make jerk sauce from scratch!

Jerk sauce in a jar with chili peppers, thyme and garlic on the side.

Step 1: Prepare Ingredients

Jerk sauce prepped ingredients including peppers, garlic, thyme, ginger, onions, mango, honey, pepper and cinnamon.
  • 1 cup fresh mango, peeled and chopped (optional)
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. peppercorns, crushed

Step 2: Process Ingredients

Jerk sauce in a food processor.

Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. It’s okay to leave it a bit chunky if you like. Adjust the salt, pepper and spices, to taste.

Jerk sauce in a food processor.
Jerk sauce in a food processor.
Jerk sauce in a food processor.
Jerk sauce in a food processor.
Jerk sauce in a food processor.

Step 3: Store & Refrigerate

Jerk sauce in a jar with chili peppers on the side.

Store in a glass container and refrigerate.

Step 4: Serve

Jerk sauce in a jar with chili peppers, thyme and garlic on the side.

We hope this classic Caribbean recipe made yours and your family’s tummies as happy as ours! Jerk sauce is so delicious and versatile; use it as a sauce or marinade over pork, chicken or vegetables or even as a dipping sauce! We recommend storing any leftover sauce in your refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Jerk sauce in a jar with chili peppers, thyme and garlic on the side.
Jerk sauce in a jar with chili peppers, thyme and garlic on the side.

For anyone looking for a yummy drink to go with your jerk beef or chicken, we recommend a sweet white wine. If you’re looking for something alcohol-free, a fruity spritzer consisting of orange juice, cranberry juice, and seltzer is a great refreshment for a hot summer evening spent eating some deliciously spicy BBQ.

Jerk sauce in a jar with chili peppers, thyme and garlic on the side.

Fun Fact! Jerk originated in mid-1600’s when a British invasion drove the Spanish out of Jamaica. Spanish slaves sought refuge in the mountains, where they lived among the Arawak people (a.k.a. Jamaica’s first inhabitants). The Arawak had been slow-cooking and smoking meets for well over a millennia, and as their cooking techniques melded with African spices and Jamaica’s natural resources, jerk seasoning was born.

What did you think of this recipe? Are you a jerk fanatic now? What are some marinades or seasonings you love to make at home? Let us know!

Jerk sauce in a jar with chili peppers, thyme and garlic on the side.

How to Make Jerk Sauce

Joss D
This iconic Jamaican jerk recipe from scratch works perfect as a marinade or a dipping sauce. It's spicy. It's sweet. It's savory!
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 6
Calories 80 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 cup fresh mangopeeled and chopped (optional)
  • ½ onionchopped
  • ½ cup green onionschopped
  • 8 garlic cloveschopped
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppersseeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsp. fresh gingerchopped
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. peppercornscrushed

Instructions
 

  • Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. It’s okay to leave it a bit chunky if you like. Adjust the salt, pepper and spices, to taste.
    Jerk sauce in a food processor.
  • Store in a glass container and refrigerate.
    Jerk sauce in a jar with chili peppers on the side.
  • Serve as a dipping sauce, marinade, etc.

Equipment

Food processor

Nutrition

Calories: 80kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 281mgPotassium: 183mgFiber: 2gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 646IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or dipping sauce.

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Looking to further enhance your cooking skills? Check out How to Roast Garlic: 3 Ways

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