Main Dishes

May 12, 2021

The Best Spicy Jamaican Jerk Burgers with Sweet Mango Sauce

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!

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!

Jamaican jerk burgers with all the toppings

Frequently Asked Questions

What is "Jamaican Jerk seasoning?"

"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.

What do I serve with Jamaican Jerk seasoning?

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!

How do you make Jamaican Jerk seasoning from scratch?

I prefer buying a premade jerk seasoning like this one (it'll last you forever) to save me some time, but for a great homemade jerk seasoning, check out this post from JoEats!

A stack of jamaican jerk burgers

Jamaican jerk burger toppings

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:

How to make spicy jamaican jerk burgers

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!

Sauteed red peppers and onions in a cast iron skillet

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!

A board of jamaican jerk burgers with toppings

Tips for making homemade burgers without a grill

  1. Use a cast iron skillet: if you haven't already invested in one, it's well worth the penny, let me tell you. I recommend a 12" cast iron skillet like this one that also comes with a lid. I love using my cast iron for recipes that need high heat cooking (because the skillet won't scorch!) or transferring from the stove to the oven (like for these Dutch Baby Pancakes!). I promise you won't regret getting one, especially if you don't have room for a grill!
  2. Use a meat thermometer: this is especially important for recipes that call for ground turkey. Turkey MUST be cooked completely to be safe to eat, so check to see if the internal temperature is at least 165°F before removing from the heat. Again, this is worth the investment! I recommend this one from Amazon - it's less than $20 and ships Prime!
  3. Toast your buns: since your skillet is already greased and hot, just throw on your hamburger buns for 30-60 seconds to lightly toast them. It adds so much flavor and texture!
  4. Thinly slice the produce: not only does this help your sauteed veggies cook faster, but for other toppings like tomatoes, avocados, or jalapeno coins, you don't want the cold-cut produce to overwhelm the fresh flavors from the cooked meat, cheeses, and fried toppings. In my opinion, it's always easier to add more thinly sliced toppings and get the perfect ratio than one big chunk of produce.
  5. Don't forget the side dishes! In the images for these Jamaican Jerk Burgers, I used french fries, but my family also loves these Cheesy Funeral Potatoes, a big pan of White Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes, or this Fresh Broccoli Salad. The possibilities are endless!

A jamaican jerk burger with mango sauce and fries

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!

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The Best Spicy Jamaican Jerk Burgers with Sweet Mango Sauce

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!

Author:

Brooke Harmer

Prep:

5

min

cook:

25

min

total:

30

min

servings:

4

Ingredients

  • 4 brioche buns (or hamburger buns)
  • 1 lb. 93% lean turkey burgers
  • 1 Tbsp jerk seasoning, divided (store-bought or homemade)
  • 4 slices Pepper jack cheese
  • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced into rings
  • ¼ C apple cider vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp G Hughes Jerk Wing Sauce, divided
  • ½ head lettuce
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced into coins
  • 1 large ripe mango, diced
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • Pinch of salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Set out the turkey burgers on a sanitized surface. Rub ½ teaspoon of jerk seasoning on each side of each turkey patty. (This might not seem like a lot, but trust me - a little goes a long way!) Let the rub marinate on the burgers while you prepare the veggies.
  2. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Saute the peppers and onions for 3-4 minutes. Add two tablespoons of the apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pan and help caramelize the veggies. Continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes, then add the remaining apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons of the Jerk Wing Sauce. Saute for another 2-3 minutes until the veggies are soft and fragrant. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet*, add the jerked turkey burgers and cook for 5-7 minutes. Before flipping each patty, be sure to respray the skillet so the meat doesn't stick. Cook the burgers for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Add the pepper jack cheese during the last 3 minutes of cooking so the cheese melts.
  4. Prepare the sweet mango sauce by pulsing the diced mango and lime juice in a blender until a puree forms. If it's a little too sweet, add a pinch of salt.
  5. To assemble the burgers, spread a portion of the mango sauce on the bottom bun. Layer the lettuce, cooked burger patty, a serving of roasted vegetables, and a serving of jalapeno coins. Spread 1 tablespoon of the Jerk Wing Sauce on the top bun, then sandwich on top of the burger. Repeat with each burger and enjoy!

Notes

*If you have a grill, you can cook the burgers on the grill.

Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate of one burger, including a brioche bun, toppings, and 1/4 of the Sweet Mango Sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 burger / Calories: 455 / Fat: 19.9g / Saturated Fat: 6.5g / Sodium: 610mg / Carbohydrates: 39.1g /  Fiber: 1.9g / Sugar: 14g / Protein: 30.1g