September 6, 2022

Recipe: Jamaican Jerk Jack

Try this healthy swap that’s ready in under 45 minutes

Jackfruit cooked in pan with sweetened sauce added.

This is a great swap for a pork BBQ sandwich, without the added sugars and keeping it plant-based. Swapping in the raisin reduction for sugar in the barbecue sauce extends your energy levels because the natural sugars paired with fiber are more slowly absorbed in your body.


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You can enjoy this sauce on tofu, tempeh, grains and veggies, too — and you can make a big batch and freeze it for up to three months.


For the Jamaican jerk jack

  • 3 cups (24 ounces) unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 3 tablespoons raisin reduction (see below)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium, gluten-free tamari sauce
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon jalapeño chili pepper, minced, seeded
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 can (20-ounce; about 2 cups) jackfruit pieces in water, well-drained, then shredded

For the raisin reduction

  • 2 cups (about 9.5 ounces) golden raisins
  • 2 cups water


  1. First, make the raisin reduction by combining the raisins and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer uncovered until about 3 to 4 tablespoons of water remain, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to lukewarm.
  2. Transfer the raisin mixture to a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until an almost smooth paste forms, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the blender or bowl, about 2 minutes. Set aside to make the Jamaican jerk jack.
  3. Start making the jerk jack by combining all ingredients except the 2 teaspoons water, cornstarch and jackfruit in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced to 2 cups, 15 to 17 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk water and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture to the liquid in the saucepan and cook 1 minute, whisking vigorously until the mixture thickens slightly. Add the shredded jackfruit and simmer for 5 minutes to blend flavors.
  5. Serve on 100% whole-grain bread as a sandwich or with your choice of whole grains or veggies.

Nutrition information (per serving)

Makes 4 servings

Calories: 254
Total fiber: 2.2 g
Soluble fiber: 0.2 g
Protein: 2 g
Total fat: 0.6 g
Saturated fat: 0.07 g
Healthy fat: 0.14 g
Carbohydrates: 63.3 g
Sugar: 20.6 g
Added sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 436 mg
Potassium: 418 mg
Magnesium: 40 mg
Calcium: 106 mg

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