Jamaican Jerk Grilled Eggplant (30 Minutes!)

Jamaican Jerk Spiced Grilled Eggplant!! A plant-based alternative to chicken and SO delicious! #vegan #glutenfree #plantbased #jerk #eggplant #minimalistbaker

If you like spicy, saucy food, this recipe is for you. And seeing as we are about to enter grilling season (at least in the Pacific Northwest!), it’s the perfect time for another a grillable plant-based recipe.

Shall we?

Jamaican Jerk Spiced Grilled Eggplant!! A plant-based alternative to chicken and SO delicious! #vegan #glutenfree #plantbased #jerk #eggplant #minimalistbaker

The inspiration for this recipe came from Jamaican jerk chicken. It’s been so long since I’ve had that dish, but I’ve always been drawn to smoky, spicy, earthy foods. Jerk seasoning fits all of those categories.

This recipe requires 30 minutes from start to finish, and hopefully you have all the ingredients you need in your pantry right now! Don’t sweat it if you’re missing a couple of spices. If you’re checking most the boxes, you’re good!

Jamaican Jerk Spiced Grilled Eggplant!! A plant-based alternative to chicken and SO delicious! #vegan #glutenfree #plantbased #jerk #eggplant #minimalistbaker

Eggplant is sliced into thick “steaks” and generously brushed with your jerk marinade, which is comprised of tamari, coconut sugar, fresh ginger, garlic, lime juice, chilies, onion, and an array of spices like cinnamon, coriander, and cayenne.

The result is a sauce with BIG flavor that soaks right into the eggplant before they’re grilled to perfection. Mmmm.

Jamaican Jerk Spiced Grilled Eggplant!! A plant-based alternative to chicken and SO delicious! #vegan #glutenfree #plantbased #jerk #eggplant #minimalistbaker

For serving, I went for rice (you could also use cauliflower rice!). And I even whipped up an impromptu dipping sauce for serving, which is entirely optional but adds another wave of flavor I adore to this dish.

I hope you LOVE this recipe! It’s:

Hearty
Smoky
Spicy
Tender
Healthy
Quick + easy
Insanely delicious

This would make the perfect plant-based dish for grilling this spring and summer. If you don’t have a grill, don’t worry! I relied on my grill pan, which worked just as well without all of the fuss of firing up the grill.

This is a beautiful side dish or appetizer, and it would pair especially well with my Creamy Kale Salad with Shallot Chickpeas, Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas, Simple Vegan Potato Salad,  Penne Pasta Salad, 1-Pot Chickpea ShakshukaGrilled Corn Zucchini Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette, or Best Vegan Gluten Free Cornbread.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see. Cheers, friends!

Jamaican Jerk Spiced Grilled Eggplant!! A plant-based alternative to chicken and SO delicious! #vegan #glutenfree #plantbased #jerk #eggplant #minimalistbaker

  1. In a small mixing bowl, mix together cinnamon, coriander, all spice, cayenne, salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, ginger, lime juice, tamari, coconut sugar, coconut oil, green onions or scallions, and serrano / habanero pepper.
  2. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more tamari for saltiness, lime juice for acidity, fresh herbs for earthy flavor, coconut sugar for sweetness, pepper for heat, or garlic for bite / zing.
  3. Slice eggplant vertically (lengthwise) into 1/2-inch-thick “steaks” and generously brush both sides with the marinade.
  4. Heat up a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat and lightly oil / grease to discourage the eggplant from sticking. Once hot, add eggplant and grill on both sides until golden brown and grill marks are present – about 3-5 minutes each side.
  5. In the meantime, prepare sauce (optional!) by adding BBQ sauce, lime juice, oil, coconut sugar / maple syrup, ginger, salt, pepper, onion, and cayenne pepper to a small and whisking to combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lime for acidity, coconut sugar for sweetness, cayenne for heat, or salt for saltiness.
  6. Serve grilled eggplant as is or over rice, over cauliflower rice, or with sauce (optional), and garnish with fresh herbs, such as parsley or green onion. Best when fresh! Leftovers won’t be as good as fresh, but they will keep in the refrigerator up to 2-3 days.

 

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