This Jerk Seasoning (Whole30) will change the way you look at store bought Jerk seasoning. When most people think about Caribbean food. They think about Jamaican food. And when they think about Jamaican food they think about Jerk chicken! I can’t blame them. Jerk chicken is delicious and one of my favorite ways of preparing chicken. When I first did whole30 there were some things I just knew I wouldn’t be able to have. All the store bought Jerk seasoning and spices I had access to had added sugar in some form. Recipes I found online had browning (caramelized burnt sugar), sugar, msg, soy sauce, honey and a host of other non compliant ingredients. So I knew I would have to make my own. I call this recipe a “work in progress” because I am always tweaking it. Feel free to tweak it and make it your own too.
What makes jerk seasoning jerk seasoning is really the pimento berries or whole all spice berries, scallions, nutmeg and chili peppers. Jamaicans use scotch bonnet peppers in their jerk seasoning but for this recipe I am using wiri wiri pepper, a chili pepper that is widely used in Guyana. You may substitute for habanero peppers and of course, the more peppers you use, the spicier your seasoning will be. For a mild jerk flavor, remove some of the seeds and ribs from your pepper and for a spicier jerk flavor add more pepper.
This jerk seasoning is very easy to make. Add all of your ingredients to a food processor and blend until it comes together in a smooth marinade with bits of chunky herbs. I love to whip up a fresh batch and pour it over chicken. Then let the chicken marinate over night for the best jerk flavor imaginable. For this recipe I am using my Cuisinart Food Processor that I’ve had for 9 years (It was a wedding gift). Click here for an affiliate link to a similar one on amazon. Check out my Jerk Chicken Summer salad and my Jerk Turkey recipes for ideas on how to use jerk seasoning.
What makes this seasoning whole30?
Sugar and sometimes browning (dark caramelized cane sugar) is typically added to traditional jerk seasoning. In this recipe I am using coconut aminos as a substitute for the sugar and the browning. When buying coconut aminos please check your labels to ensure there is no added sugar in the ingredients list. There are a couple of coconut amino brands that are not compliant. Click here for the coconut amino that I use in this recipe and many others. When blended with the fresh herbs and spices this whole30 jerk seasoning looks almost identical to versions I’ve made in the past that included sugar and browning. The flavor is also almost identical. Give it a try and I promise you, you won’t miss the store bought stuff. Plus the added bonus is that you know exactly what is going into this seasoning.
The Printable Jerk Seasoning Recipe:
- ½ sweet onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 green onions, heads removed
- 5 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed from the stems
- 2 wiri wiri peppers (or 1 scotch bonnet or 1 habanero pepper)
- 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 8 cloves of garlic
- ½ cup of coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon of whole all spice (pimento) berries
- ½ tablespoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon of ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of avocado oil
- Combine all of the ingredients except for the coconut aminos, oil and vinegar into a food processor
- Then process until the all spice berries are finely chopped (if you have a spice grinder you can also grind the berries before adding to the food processor)
- Next pour in the coconut aminos, oil and and vinegar and pulse for a few seconds to mix together. Alternatively you may also use a spoon to mix together
- Finally, pour into an air tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks