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Jamaican jerk chik'n in a black bowl with avocado and cilantro on top and peppers and a striped napkin in the background


The Caribbean flavors of Jamaican jerk in a delicious and easy chili recipe.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Entree, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Jamaican, Vegan
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 473kcal
Author: Linda & Alex


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or 3 tablespoon (45 ml) water
  • 1 large yellow onion finely diced
  • 2 scotch bonnet or jalapeno chili pepper (see note) seeds removed and finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves smashed and minced
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon allspice
  • ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 26 ounce container chopped tomatoes
  • 6 cups l water
  • 15 ounce light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 30 ounce dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 40 ounce young jackfruit, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Dash or more if you like it hot of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional) See Note
  • 1 teaspoon more if you like ground sea salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup 43 g cornmeal plus ½ cup (120 ml) water


  • Drain and rinse the beans and open the container of tomatoes. Measure out the spices (if you’re using dried thyme add to the spices) and place in a small dish. Coarsely chop the jackfruit.
  • In a large pot, heat the oil or water on medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook until the onions are translucent and soft, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Push the onions and peppers to the side of the pot and add the garlic and spices to the pot and stir until the spices release their oils and become fragrant (don’t overcook), approximately 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, water, soy sauce, beans, jackfruit, and cayenne (optional). Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for approximately 2 hours, or until the chili begins to thicken. Whisk the cornmeal and water together in a cup and add to the chili with the fresh thyme and cilantro. Add the salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and cook for 15 minutes. If you want the jackfruit to be more of a shredded texture, use two forks and shred the pieces.


NOTE: Jerk spices can be potent or subtle. This recipe is a base for you to go with. If you want a stronger flavor of cinnamon, or ginger, or any of the spices, individual or combined, feel free to add more to suit your tastes. Just make sure that you add slowly and taste often until you achieve your desired flavor. Brown sugar is another ingredient that you’ll find in Jerk spice. I didn’t think this chili needed it because the tomatoes added a nice touch of sweetness. If you want that rich sugar flavor, add 1 tablespoon (15 g) of brown sugar.
Scotch bonnet peppers are the traditional pepper to make Jerk, if you can't find them, you can substitute with jalapeno, although it won't be authentic. 
The Nutrition Facts are an estimate only. 


Calories: 473kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 1484mg | Potassium: 1123mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1370IU | Vitamin C: 44.6mg | Calcium: 221mg | Iron: 6.2mg
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