Spice It Up: Discover the 7 Best Substitutes For Jerk Seasoning

7 Best Jerk Seasoning Substitutes

Jerk cooking has gained immense popularity in recent years, but finding jerk seasoning can sometimes be a challenge. However, there are several substitutes that can provide a similar flavor profile. In this article, we will explore the seven best substitutes for jerk seasoning and discuss their similarities and differences. Whether you prefer to make your own spice blend or opt for a ready-made alternative, there are options to suit your taste preferences.

1. DIY Jerk Seasoning Spice

Making your own jerk seasoning spice is an excellent alternative to store-bought options. By creating your own blend, you can customize the flavors to your liking. The basic ingredients for a jerk spice blend include allspice and scotch bonnet. However, for a more complex flavor, you can add additional ingredients such as cumin, nutmeg, smoked paprika, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, salt, and black pepper. By adjusting the amount of cayenne pepper and scotch bonnet flakes, you can control the level of heat.

2. Jerk Seasoning Sauce

If you prefer a wet marinade rather than a dry rub, Jerk Seasoning Sauce is an excellent choice. This sauce comes in a variety of consistencies, from thick to runny. You can buy jerk seasoning sauces and pastes in stores or make your own at home. To make your own, simply combine chopped scallions, soy sauce, fresh scotch bonnet peppers, and olive oil to hydrate the dry seasoning mixture.

3. Rogan Josh Curry Powder

Rogan Josh Curry Powder is traditionally used in Indian lamb dishes, but can serve as a great alternative to jerk seasoning. This spice blend typically includes fennel, cumin, coriander, garam masala, paprika, turmeric, red chili powder, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. To make the flavor profile more like jerk seasoning, replace the cloves with allspice, use smoked paprika instead of regular paprika, and add some sugar for a sweeter taste. You can also increase the heat by adding more red chili powder or incorporating scotch bonnet peppers.

4. Ras El Hanout

Ras el hanout is a complex spice blend that contains a wide range of ingredients, making it a flavorful substitute for jerk seasoning. While it may not be practical to make this spice blend at home due to the large number of ingredients required, you can find ready-made ras el hanout in stores. The blend typically includes cardamom, cumin, coriander, black pepper, ginger, garlic, onion powder, sweet and hot paprika, chili peppers, fenugreek, turmeric, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace. Adjust the heat by adding more scotch bonnet peppers, or use as is and hydrate with olive oil for a wet marinade.

5. Baharat

Baharat is a spice blend commonly used in Eastern Mediterranean cuisine and has some similarities to jerk seasoning. It consists of black pepper, salt, pimento, cardamom, cumin, coriander, cloves and paprika. While it is not an exact match for jerk seasoning, you can make adjustments to enhance the flavor. Adding smoked paprika can add a smoky note similar to jerk seasoning, while salt and sugar can help create a more balanced flavor. For heat, you can add scotch bonnet peppers, chili flakes or cayenne pepper.

6. Tandoori Masala Powder

Tandoori Masala powder is a versatile seasoning blend that can be used as a substitute for jerk seasoning. It typically contains cumin, coriander, turmeric, red chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cinnamon, and optional ingredients such as sugar, cloves, ginger, and mace. To achieve the allspice flavor of jerk seasoning, you can add allspice to the blend. Tandoori masala powder is readily available in stores and can be used for a variety of dishes, including tandoori-style meats and vegetables.

7. Cajun Seasoning

While not traditionally used as a substitute for jerk seasoning, Cajun seasoning can provide a flavorful alternative. Cajun seasoning typically contains a combination of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, thyme, oregano and black pepper. While it lacks some of the distinct flavors of jerk seasoning, it can still add a spicy and savory element to your dishes.
In conclusion, while jerk seasoning may not always be readily available, there are several substitutes that can provide a similar flavor profile. Whether you choose to make your own jerk seasoning spice or opt for alternatives such as jerk seasoning sauce, Rogan Josh curry powder, ras el hanout, baharat, tandoori masala powder, or Cajun seasoning, you have a number of options to suit your preferences. Experimenting with these substitutes allows you to explore different flavors and create delicious dishes with a hint of jerk-inspired flavor. Enjoy the culinary adventure of exploring these substitutes and adding a touch of spice and complexity to your meals.


Can I make my own jerk seasoning at home?

Yes, making your own jerk seasoning at home is a great option. It allows you to customize the flavors to your liking and adjust the heat level.

What are the main ingredients in jerk seasoning?

The essential ingredients in jerk seasoning are allspice and scotch bonnet peppers. These two ingredients provide the distinct flavors that are characteristic of jerk seasoning.

Are there wet alternatives to jerk seasoning?

Yes, jerk seasoning sauce is a popular wet alternative to dry seasoning. You can either purchase pre-made jerk seasoning sauce or make your own by combining scallions, soy sauce, scotch bonnet peppers, and olive oil with the dry seasoning mix.

Can I find store-bought substitutes for jerk seasoning?

Yes, there are ready-made spice blends available in stores that can serve as a substitute for jerk seasoning. Look for options such as Rogan Josh curry powder, ras el hanout, baharat, tandoori masala powder, or cajun seasoning.

How can I adjust the heat of the jerk spice substitutes?

To adjust the heat of the substitutes, add more scotch bonnet peppers, red pepper flakes, chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or other spicy ingredients to taste.