When I was 13, my family and I went on a cruise to the Caribbean. We visited Cozumel, the Grand Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and a private island owned by the cruise line.
I think my favorite place we visited was Jamaica - it was such a different culture than I'd ever experienced, the island was lush with green, and the sounds of the local animals made me feel like I was on the other side of the glass at a zoo.
While we were there, we were introduced to the famous "Jamaican Jerk" seasoning and fell in love.
In fact, my parents loved it so much, they bought bottles and bottles of the homemade rub and brought them home.
In the years following, whenever we had homemade burgers for dinner during the summer, my dad would bust out the jerk seasoning. We knew it was going to be a good dinner when we smelled the jerk burgers sizzling on the grill outside!
It was our special family tradition - one that we only shared with our really good friends - and it's one of the first meals I requested when I came home from my church mission to New Zealand.
Today's recipe is a tribute to not only that amazing Caribbean spice, but to my childhood and one of my family's favorite meals: The Best Spicy Jamaican Jerk Burgers with a Sweet Mango Sauce!
"Jerk" actually refers to a technique of cooking, where meat is dry rubbed and marinated with a unique spice blend and slow-cooked over a wood-burning fire.
Most people, however, are familiar with "Jamaican Jerk seasoning," which refers to the unique spice rub used in this method of cooking. It's made of cayenne pepper, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, garlic, thyme, parsley, and brown sugar.
The jerk rub is most commonly used for chicken and pork, but can also be used on beef, fish, and really any other meat you desire. Today, we're using it for Jamaican Jerk Burgers!
Because jerk seasoning is usually spicy, we're going to both compliment the spice and cool the spice. For these jerk turkey burgers, we're using:
You'll love these jerk turkey burgers because they're easy to make, incredibly flavorful, and ready in 30 minutes! You don't even need a grill to enjoy these delicious Jamaican Jerk Burgers!
Start by sauteing the red peppers and onions over medium-high heat. Add in half of the apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pan and caramelize the veggies, then cook for another 2 minutes.
Finally, add the remaining vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the G Hughes Jerk Wing Sauce. Your veggies should be nice, soft, and fragrant! (see picture below for reference)
In the same skillet (or on a grill if you have one), spray a good layer of cooking spray and add your jerk turkey burgers. You should hear them sizzle!
Cook for 5-7 minutes, then flip, add the cheese, and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.
Before removing the burgers from the skillet, check to make sure the internal temperature is at least 165°F. Unlike beef, turkey MUST be cooked well done (completely) or you will get very sick!
Quickly make the Sweet Mango Sauce by adding the diced mango and lime juice to a small blender (I love this one!). Gently pulse until a puree forms.
Depending on how sweet or ripe your mango is, you might want to add a pinch of salt. Do so to taste!
Pro tip: while you prepare the meat and veggies, be sure your side dishes are cooking in the oven or being prepped. You want everything to be done at the same time!
Finally, it's time to assemble the Jamaican Jerk Burgers.
Start by spooning 1-2 tablespoons of the mango sauce on the bottom bun - I prefer more mango sauce because things get really spicy really fast.
Add your lettuce, jerk turkey burger patty, sauteed vegetables, and jalapeno coins in order.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of the G Hughes jerk sauce on the top bun, then place on top of your prepared burger.
Serve with your favorite side dish(es) and enjoy!
If you love a good restaurant-style meal at home or spicy food, then these Jamaican Jerk Burgers are for you! They've been a family favorite for years, and they'll always wow any guests you have over.
When you try these jerk turkey burgers, be sure to leave a star rating and review below so I and other readers know how you liked them! You can also tag me on Instagram - I love seeing my recipes in your home!
These Spicy Jamaican Jerk Burgers are marinated in a spicy jerk rub, grilled with melted pepper jack cheese, topped with sauteed peppers and onions, then smothered in a sweet mango sauce. They're my family's favorite turkey burger recipe!
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