Eggplant grilled with Jamaican Jerk

This recipe is perfect for those who like spicy food. We are just about to start grilling season, at least in the Pacific Northwest. It’s the ideal time to share another plant-based grillable recipe.

This recipe was inspired by Jamaican jerk. It’s been a long time since I had this dish, but I have always loved smoky foods that are spicy and earthy. Jerk seasoning is perfect for all three of these categories.

Jamaican Jerk cooking: Origins

The term “jerk” is cooking, which describes a Jamaican cooking style that involves marinating meats, vegetables, and fruits before cooking them over pimento. This cooking style is believed to have originated from formerly enslaved people known as Maroons in the 17th Century.

Jerk seasoning is usually made up of habanero and allspice peppers, as well as other ingredients like scallions and onions. This is our version inspired by the original!

How to Make Jamaican Jerk eggplant

You can make this recipe in 30 mins from start to finish. Hopefully, you already have the ingredients on hand! If you are missing a few spices, don’t worry. You’re in good shape if you check most of the boxes!

The eggplant is cut into thick “steaks” and then generously brushed in your jerk sauce, which is made up of tamari (soy sauce), coconut sugar, ginger, garlic, and lime juice. Also included are chilies, onions, and a variety of spices such as cinnamon, coriander, and cayenne.

This sauce is rich and flavorful and soaks into the eggplants before they are grilled. Mmmm.

This dish would be perfect for grilling in the spring and summer. Don’t worry if you don’t own a grill! I used my pan, which worked just fine without the hassle of lighting up the grill.



  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp of ground coriander
  • Allspice, 1/4 tsp
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Half a teaspoon of each black pepper and sea salt
  • Fresh thyme, 2 Tbsp
  • Four cloves of minced garlic (2 tbsp minced cloves per 4 cloves).
  • Fresh grated Ginger 1 Tbsp
  • 3 Tbsp of lime juice
  • 1/4 cup tamari or coconut aminos (or soy sauce if not GF)
  • Add more sugar to taste.
  • Use 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or grapeseed or avocado oil) for grilling.
  • Green onions or scallions – 3 stalks (thinly cut)
  • The seeds of 1 medium Serrano or Habanero pepper, thinly sliced.
  • One large (or two smaller eggplants per 1 large).

SAUCE optional

  • 1/4 cup vegan BBQ sauce (I like Annie’s)
  • 1 Tbsp of lime juice
  • Use one tablespoon of grapeseed or olive oil
  • Coconut sugar or maple syrup, one tablespoon
  • Fresh grated Ginger 1 tsp
  • Use one pinch of each black pepper and sea salt
  • Green onion, one stalk (thinly cut)
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)


  • Mix the following ingredients in a small bowl: cinnamon, coriander or all spice, salt, pepper, and cayenneallspiced the garlic, ginger, lime, tamari coconut sugar, coconut oils, green onions, scallions or green onions, and serrano/habanero pepper.
  • Add more tamari if you want it to be saltier, lime juice if you prefer acidity, fresh herbs if you like earthy flavors and coconut sugar – if sweet – unless the taste is too strong.
  • Cut the eggplants vertically into “steaks,” each about 1/2 inch thick. Brush both sides generously with marinade.
  • To prevent the eggplant from sticking, heat a grill on medium-high and oil/grease it lightly. Add eggplant to the grill and cook on both sides for 3-5 minutes.
  • Prepare sauce (optional!) Add the BBQ sauce, oil, maple syrup/coconut sugar, ginger, cayenne, salt, and pepper to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add more cayenne pepper for heat or cayenne sugar for sweetness.
  • Grilled eggplant can be served as-is or with rice, cauliflower Rice, or sauce. Garnish with fresh herbs such as parsley and green onions. Fresh is best! Fresh is best!

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