This homemade Jamaican jerk seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices that creates a complex and bold flavor for fish, meat and poultry. The spice mix takes just minutes to put together and tastes so much better than the store bought version!

I love to make my own seasoning mixes including taco seasoning, Cajun seasoning and this Jamaican jerk seasoning. It’s a great way to make an ordinary meal extra special without a lot of effort.

A jar of Jamaican jerk seasoning surrounded by fresh herbs.

I love jerk chicken, and the secret to a fabulous Jamaican inspired dish is homemade jerk seasoning. This spice blend contains ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, and is so quick to make.

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Ingredients

Small glass bowls of herbs and spices.

Jerk seasoning is a blend of both sweet and savory spices, along with dried herbs and some chili peppers for heat.

  • Savory Spices: Garlic and onion powder form the basis of this spice mix. It also contains both sweet and smoked paprikas. The other savory spices include cumin, salt and pepper.
  • Sweet Spices: Cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg make up the spices that form a sweet undertone to the seasoning. A spoonful of brown sugar also goes into the mix to offset the heat from the chilies.
  • Dried Herbs: Dried thyme leaves and dried parsley are classic additions to jerk spice and add a fresh flavor.
  • Other Ingredients: Crushed red chili flakes and cayenne pepper bring a blast of heat! If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can reduce the amounts by half.

How do you make jerk seasoning?

Place all the ingredients in a bowl. Stir until well combined, then transfer the seasoning to a jar or other airtight container. Use immediately, or store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.

Step by step process shots showing how to make spice blend.

Tips for the perfect spice mix

  • This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. I always make at least a double batch so that I have extra on hand for quick meals.
  • I use freshly ground black peppercorns and I grate my own whole nutmegs for the best flavor.
  • This seasoning mix contains salt, which means you will not need to add any extra salt to your meat when you cook it. I recommend using kosher salt for best results.
  • It’s worth it to use both the sweet and smoked paprika varieties in the seasoning blend. The smoked version adds a ton of extra flavor and is readily available in the spice aisle of many grocery stores.
A bowl of spice mix with a spoon in it.

Recipe FAQs

What is jerk seasoning made of?

Jerk seasoning is made from a blend of various herbs and spices, including ingredients such as paprika, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, thyme, parsley and chili peppers.

What is the flavor of Jamaican jerk seasoning?

This spice blend produces a unique and complex flavor that blends both sweet and savory spices, along with a fresh flavor from the herbs, and heat from cayenne pepper and chili flakes.

Chicken coated with Jamaican jerk seasoning, served with rice and beans.

Ways to use Jamaican jerk seasoning

This seasoning blend can be used in so many different ways!

  • Classic Jerk Chicken: Mix 2 tablespoons of jerk seasoning with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Rub the mixture all over 1 1/2 pounds of bone in chicken pieces. Let the chicken marinate for up to 8 hours if possible. Bake or grill until chicken is tender and cooked through, then serve.
  • Marinades: Add 1 tablespoon of your seasoning blend to 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup lime juice, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to make a versatile marinade that works with chicken, pork or shrimp.
  • Steak: Mix together 2 tablespoons of butter with 1 teaspoon chopped chives and 3/4 teaspoon jerk seasoning. Place a spoonful of the seasoned butter onto a cooked steak.
  • Potatoes: Cut potatoes into eights to create wedges. Toss the potatoes with 1/4 cup olive oil and 2-3 teaspoons of seasoning. Bake on a greased sheet pan at 425 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
  • Veggies: Toss broccoli, carrots, zucchini or cauliflower with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1-2 teaspoons jerk spice. Roast at 425 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are browned and tender.

I hope your family loves this easy and versatile seasoning as much as mine does!

More spice blends to try

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Video

5 from 18 votes

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

AuthorSara Welch
A jar of homemade jerk seasoning.
This homemade jerk seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices that creates a complex and bold flavor for fish, meat and poultry. The spice mix takes just minutes to put together and tastes so much better than the store bought version!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time1 minute
Total Time6 minutes
Course Seasoning
Cuisine Jamaican
Serves 8


  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper cut this in half if you don't like spicy food
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg freshly ground if possible
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme


  • Place all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container. Store in a cool, dark place until ready to use.


  1. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to keep on hand for future use.
  2. This seasoning mix contains salt, which means you will not need to add any extra salt to your meat when you cook it. I typically use kosher salt.
  3. Jerk seasoning will stay fresh for up to 6 months in a cool, dark place.


Calories: 15kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 874mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 454IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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5 from 18 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Very easy to make and very tasty! I looked at multiple recipes and they are all fairly similar. This one didn’t have brown sugar in it like a lot of them do, but the recipe I’m using it for calls for brown sugar separately anyway, so I thought this was perfect!

  2. 5 stars
    This is a great seasoning for chicken. Even chicken breasts taste absolutely yummy with this. I think it’ll be great with tofu too!

  3. 5 stars
    This was so flavorful! Next time I will be making a double batch so that I always have it on hand because it really amps up the chicken flavor!

  4. 5 stars
    This seasoning was so unbelievably delicious!! It was perfectly spiced and worked great as an addition to the grilled tofu and veggies we made for dinner last night!

  5. 5 stars
    This, Jerk seasoning, is a handy seasoning to keep in the pantry. Works on most of the veggies too. I love them with root vegetables.

  6. 5 stars
    I love making homemade seasonings. This one will be used quite often as I love the flavors and how versatile it is.

  7. 5 stars
    This jerk seasoning is amazing! I love to sprinkle it over potatoes, chicken, really anything! Thanks for the great recipe.

  8. 5 stars
    This is one of those delicious recipes that never need tweaking. This time around, I made 2 batches of this tasty jerk seasoning. I kept one for my husband and gifted the other to a friend.

  9. 5 stars
    I love making my own seasonings, and this jerk seasoning is perfection! I will definitely keep a jar of this in the pantry!

  10. 5 stars
    This is such a great seasoning and great to have on hand! I can’t wait to make chicken tonight with this seasoning! My family is going love this, so excited!