Jerk-Inspired Veggie Grill with Mango Ginger Sauce

Created by Laura Wright
No ratings yet

Jerk-inspired veggie grill is a flavourful and unique way to enjoyed grilled vegetables. A mango ginger sauce to finish adds more flavour!

An overhead shot shows grilled cauliflower and tempeh and greens on a plate with lentils and a mango ginger sauce.
Two images show greens being grilled and grilled cauliflower on top of cooked greens.
An overhead shot shows an empty marinating dish filled with a jerk-inspired marinade.

Let’s talk about dreams for a second. I have huge ones and I’m going to revel in a particular vision right here. Some day, I hope to roll up to a newsstand and lay eyes on a cooking publication, emblazoned with the seasonal “SUMMER GRILLING ISSUE” theme and there won’t be a beef burger or a sauce-smothered mountain of ribs on the cover. Am I waiting on a new publication entirely/looking for plant-based love in all the wrong places? These timely summer volumes always have some veggie options hiding within (and they are great!), but that predominant fire cooking = meat mindset is ripe for a change up.

I’ve made you something really deluxe for your own barbecue adventures today. I do love some simple grilled vegetables with a nice bit of oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, herbs, whatevs. They’re a fuss-free addition to dinner that has everyone rolling with the health wave. You can sip a very cold beer  while flipping them for even char. Everything about that is completely right. But I wanted to make something main course-appropriate. Cauliflower, tempeh, a jerk-inspired marinade, ginger-mango-miso dressing and some grilled greens on the side. You can read more about the origins of jerk marinade, the cooking technique and its connection to those enslaved by the British in Jamaica here.

Both the marinade and the mango sauce have some overlap in ingredients. The finishing sauce is sweet, salty, ginger-spicy and has a lovely not-too-thick consistency–basically tasty and fitting on everything it touches. The grilled greens method is something I picked up when I was interning at a restaurant. The greens would go for a dip in a soy, red wine, herb + spice mix, go right to the grill, smothered in an old sheet pan and two minutes later: perfect tender, slightly smoky greens. I kind of massage mine in a lime-y soy mix rather than dunking them outright. The method speaks to laid back dinners outside. The marinade is inspired

Anyway, a little preparation on your part means dinner made entirely on the grill and some chill time outside afterward, which I’m pretty sure is something we’re all after in these warmer days. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been pestering my man about a beach trip for a while, and all the plans that I could possibly dream up for the next few months are kind of hazy and sunset-hued. My bike’s been in for a little tune up and is riding very smoothly. Feels like we’re right on the edge of summer’s gifts, right? Soak it in!

An overhead image shows cauliflower being cut on a board beside a sink.
A head-on image shows herbs and other ingredients being mixed up in a blender pitcher.
Two images show a mango ginger sauce (pre-blending) in a blender pitcher and cauliflower and tempeh being marinaded in a jerk-inspired sauce.
An overhead image shows cauliflower being grilled.
An overhead shot shows grilled cauliflower and tempeh and greens on a plate with lentils and a mango ginger sauce.

Jerk-Inspired Veggie Grill with Mango Ginger Sauce

Jerk-inspired veggie grill is a flavourful and unique way to enjoyed grilled vegetables. A mango ginger sauce to finish adds more flavour!
No ratings yet
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings 4


Mango Ginger Sauce

  • ½ cup diced fresh mango
  • 1 small small shallot, chopped
  • 2-inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon light miso
  • 2 tablsepoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons agave nectar
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup avocado or olive oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Jerk-Inspired Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Tamari
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 hot pepper, rough chopped (I used a jalapeño because we have a lot in the garden–scotch bonnet peppers are traditional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Grilled Veg & Greens

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into thick slices
  • 1 block tempeh, cut into triangles
  • 4 cups rough chopped greens (spinach, chard, kale)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
  • avocado or olive oil, for grilling
  • lime juice, to taste
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • cooked quinoa, rice or millet for serving (I had some black lentils and quinoa in the fridge)


  • Grill


  • Any vegetable is fair game here. I chose cauliflower mostly to see what it was like on the grill.
  • I looked to lots of recipes for jerk marinades and based this recipe around those typical ingredients. For more information on this history of jerk as a cooking method, click here.


  • Make the mango ginger dressing. In an upright blender, combine the mango, shallot, ginger, miso, rice vinegar, agave, sesame oil, avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Blend on high until completely smooth. Store in a sealable container and set aside, keeping it in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
  • Rinse out your blender and make the marinade. In the upright blender, combine avocado oil, lime juice, Tamari, green onions, hot pepper, garlic, ginger, thyme, maple syrup, ground all spice, salt, and pepper. Blend on high until smooth.
  • Place the cauliflower and tempeh pieces in a large ceramic dish and pour the marinade over top. Let it sit in this mix for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the grill to high. In a large bowl, toss the greens with a splash of oil, some tamari and lime juice to taste, salt and pepper. Set the bowl aside. Oil the grill lightly and place the marinated cauliflower and tempeh on top.
  • Grill until char marks appear on both sides, about 2-5 minutes per side, depending. Transfer the tempeh and cauliflower to an area of the grill that doesn’t put them in direct contact with flame as they finish. In a general way, I find the cauliflower benefits from a bit of extra time. Don’t be finicky with them. Letting them sit means a lower occurrence of sticking.
  • In the last moments of the cauliflower and tempeh grilling, place the greens onto a spot on the grill, trying to keep them tightly together. Put a heavy pot lid down on top of the greens and let them cook until slightly wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Lightly toss them once to promote even wilting. Remove everything from the grill and serve with mango sauce, cooked quinoa/rice etc. Garnish with sesame seeds and extra green onions.

05/06/2013 (Last Updated 03/08/2023)
Posted in: gluten free, grain-free, grill, main course, nut free, salty, side dish, smoky, sour, spicy, summer, sweet, tempeh, vegan


Recipe Rating

  • Lindsay

    Made this for Sunday night dinner and it’s very tasty! I had it with kale and a three grain mix and used cumin instead of allspice. this will definitely be included in my bbq rotation!

  • Victoria McNeil

    Om jeez this was amaze! I loved the mango ginger drizzled ALL over! Won’t tell you that I marinated a pork fillet alongside it. How can healthy be sooo tasty?? Thanks for the recipe!

    • Laura

      Thrilled that you loved it, Victoria! Pork or no pork ;)

  • Melissa

    I am absolutely in love with the colors in this post and can’t wait to try the recipe! Beautifully done!

  • Katie @ Produce on Parade

    Wow, this is so beautiful. I just bought a new grill for my husband on our 1 year anniversary so we will have to make this! :) Thanks for sharing! Cheers

  • Nikolina


    I seem to be one of the few who comment AFTER they cooked the dish, so I am always happy to report that you are once again, a genius! I have a vegan husband who is not the fondest of cauliflower. He will eat it, but not with cheerful excitement. Ditto to cooked spinach. Well, yesterday it was all “Mmmm..” and “Oh, this is so good!” So THANK YOU! It was truly delicious and creative and instantly made it to my “to be cooked again” list.
    I accidentally doubled the mango dressing recipe and wish that I doubled the marinade as well, to let it naturally spread all over tempeh and get into little nooks and crannies of cauliflower, instead of me rubbing it in.
    Other than that I have nothing to add! It was great!

    • Laura Wright

      Nikolina! Thanks so much for making this and letting me know how it went. I love it when people report back! Thrilled that you and your man liked it :)

  • Amy | Minimally Invasive

    Came over here from Pinterest and just wanted to say how much I’m looking forward to making this! It’s sounds entirely fabulous. Also? Your photos are gorgeous. :)

  • Christine

    Laura, you create the most outstanding sauces, dressings, and marinades that I’ve ever tasted. Having always been vegan, I used to be a plain-vegetables girl, preferring salad without dressing, stir-fry without paste, pasta without sauce, and the like. My friends teased me for that, but I believe that I was well justified: my finicky preference was, without doubt, born from the frustration of too many gluey restaurant sauces and watery, reeking jarred marinades. Earlier this year, though, I found your site and decided that I trusted your voice and, thus, decided to give sauces a second chance. Woah, am I ever grateful. Your lime peanut sauce is now in weekly rotation, your sesame chili lime dressing has its own designated mason jar in my kitchen, and last night when I made this jerk-style marinade and wanted to climb on the roof and shout your praise. Thanks.

    Maybe you should package and sell your own sauce/dressing/marinade line.

    • Laura Wright

      Christine, your comment was the best. Thrilled that this jerk marinade worked for you and even more excited that you’ve tried some other stuff from the site. It’s great to be on the sauce, right? ;)
      xo Laura

  • Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily

    Ah yes, prep time totally worth chill time after grilling. I had to drool through that mango/miso sauce for a few minutes, love at first site!

  • hungryandfrozen

    Aha, but see – you don’t need a magazine when you have blogs like this! (But I do hear what you’re saying all the same. It’d be nice to be provided with the inspiration from above, as well as having to come up with it yourself.) The flavours in this sound so compelling- mango! Maple! Tamari! Miso! I want to try it immediately.

  • Irina @ wandercrush

    Beautiful as usual, Laura! I’m a sucker for jerk marinades, and I imagine it’s wonderful on grilled Brassica!

  • Gemma

    This looks incredible! Really creative and makes simple vegetables looks triumphant! One question though: I live in Australia and unfortunately mangos are out of season. Could you recommend an alternative to use in the miso sauce recipe?
    Thanks so much. Your site is an inspiration x

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Gemma! Thanks for your kindness. Since you don’t have mango available, you could always go to any type of stone fruit if you have that. Peach, plums, apricots and the like. Also, the original concept that I worked from for the dressing had carrots as the base, so you could always use the same amount of chopped carrot as long as your blender is powerful enough. Hope that helps :)

  • Kate

    Hear! Hear!! With the current Saveur issue staring at me, a far too big steak on the cover with the perfect grill marks, that thought crossed my mind more than once as I looked at it in the stack of mail when it arrived. There is SO much glory on the grill in the meat world, and vegetables are rated as side dishes, pushed to the corners of pages and people’s minds to be forgotten.

    I adore grilling vegetables. And fruit. The purchase of a cast iron plate for the grill helps tremendously, keeping pieces from falling through grates and making it simple to grill everything for fajitas, asparagus (all the time) thin strips of summer squash, the making for guacamole (helloooooo grilled avocado…. you thrill me!) and of course, all manner of berries, pineapple…. oh my.

    I just ate breakfast, but I’m already hungry for a grilled dinner.


    Different and delicious! Such a great recipe, especially for summer!

  • carey

    Sending you an AMEN, SISTER from me and my parents. The grill back home is reserved almost exclusively for veggies. (Occasionally my aunt and uncle will visit and my uncle will use it to grill chicken or a burger, and then my dad will clean it like a lunatic.) My mom has been obsessed with her kabob baskets since she bought them a million years ago, so they grill pretty much exclusively in those. I was trying to explain cauliflower “steaks” to my dad not too long ago, and he looked equal parts confused and intrigued. Next time I visit home, I make this happen. (As owning a grill in Burlington is a fool’s errand, unless you chain it up all junkyard dog–like.)

    Also, I’m totally incorporating “jerk-style” into my vocabulary for use on non-food-related occasions.

  • Katie @ figgyandsprout

    Oh yum! Two things I’ve been living without in Ireland – mango and grilling. I’m hoping to get my fix of both when on holiday in NYC next week. You can be sure I’m giving this recipe a try too ;)

  • tara

    I’m liking this a lot. Making a grocery list now.

  • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)

    I have never seen veggies look so delicious!

  • sara forte

    “Lets let the authenticity thing go for a bit K TNX.” YES! style-sauce, I like it so much. I’m a big fan of any veg on the grill, and find that the after-sauce is what matters most. That shot down in the blender is fab and I can’t wait to try it with that creamy mango deal going on.

  • Kristen

    I totally dig the Aritzia scarf in one of your shots. I own two, ha!

    • Laura Wright

      Kristen! Goodness you have good taste. It’s my favourite scarf. We used it as a picnic blanket the other day in a pinch :)

  • sarah

    *gorgeous*. Seriously, every week your photos get more amazing.
    And, I went out this morning and bought all the ingredients for this. Tomorrow night it’s on! My husband is a mango-ginger-tofu-miso-kind of guy. :)

  • Eva | Kosmas

    This sounds so delicious and refreshing!

  • Eileen

    This definitely has me itching to break out the grill on the next sunny weekend! Grilled veg are the best. And that pineapple! YAY.

  • Julie

    I can’t believe my luck in getting this recipe today – my kitchen is being gutted and the only cooking methods I have access to right now are the slow cooker (bleh) and the BBQ. I was just this morning moaning about how tired I am of raw greens. (I love them, but still – enough!) What a great method for grilling the greens! I’m trying this tonight! Yay

  • Caitlin

    yes to everything in this post! loving your mentality and this delicious main-course recipe. now i just need a grill :P

  • Ashley

    Homemade sauces are so worth the extra effort. Even though you say the recipes call for quite a few ingredients, there’s nothing crazy on the list that doesn’t already live in my pantry/fridge. I am loving the sound of this entire meal and your vision of seeing piles of BBQ veggie meals on the cover of summer grilling magazines. I’m right there with you. Lovely photos…but that is a given over here. :)

  • patti

    love your recipes, but why aren’t they printer friendly?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Patti,
      I haven’t found a recipe plugin that I’m happy with aesthetically yet, so copy+paste into a word program will have to do for now! :)

  • Christina

    I agree, I dream of grilled hippy foods that aren’t just a soapy tasting portabello or a boxed veggie burger. And yes all that’s on these summer magazines are beefy photo’s of greasy burgers that seem to appeal to the consumer? But I digress. You’re photo’s are much more drool worthy, as is this delicious recipe!

  • Claire

    Soak it all in, indeed :) Looks and sounds beautiful. I’ve never tried to grill my greens before–may be the experiment of the summer!

  • Sophia

    Amen to that dream Laura! Besides, isn’t it mainly women who buy these magazines and isn’t it mainly women who always ensure there are some veggies at each barbecue? Besides, grilled halloumi is awesome, so are grilled peppers and aubergine, heck even grilled pizza and grilled pineable are amazing, totally no need to only ever show a slab of meat on the grill (how boring anyway!).

    And yes, your pictures, as always, are so stunning – not just the quality of the pictures and the food styling but also how you select the pictures and how you compose them for each post!

  • Jodye @ chocolate and chou fleur

    This looks like the most wonderful grilled meal! The cauliflower, especially, strikes my eye, as I consider myself to have a slight addiction to the stuff. That sauce sounds so lovely and flavorful. I’m going to try this for dinner this weekend!!

  • Shelly

    Oh my goodness – I love everything about this! The idea of enjoying a plant-based grill magazine makes me giddy. Cooking & eating outside (whether it be grilling, picnics, or camping) are some of my all-time favorite things to do. I love the trick you mentioned about dipping the greens in a marinade / sauce before sticking on the grill!

  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today

    Dreams are worth chasing. And good food worth creating.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    This sounds sooo good! Can’t wait to try!

  • Harriet

    Grilled cauliflower and tempeh sounds absolutely dee-licious! And anything with miso has me sold. I’m definitely going to be giving those sauces a whirl soon (even though it’s getting to be winter here in the Southern hemisphere!).

  • Elenore Bendel Zahn

    Oh LADY! I l-o-v-e that dream! Urgh! No more greasy ribs on front pages!!

    Ps. you are seriously one of the absolutely most talented food photographers I know!

  • Kathryn

    Such a great summer meal, love all those mango and ginger flavours that dance across your palette. Sounds so good.