Haitian cuisine may not be well-known, but it leaves an incredible impression, so we decided to come up with a list of our best Haitian Foods to help inspire your next meal.
Made from a blend of influences, this cuisine consists of mixed roots and spices.
The dishes are simple, grounded, basic yet zippy, simple, and provide the back-story of its African heritage with a hint of French complexity.
Luckily, you don’t have to travel to Haiti to be able to try its delicious recipes because you can easily recreate them in your home.
To help you get started, we’ve gathered 30 mouth-watering Haitian foods you will surely fall in love with.
From the Haitian Gumbo to Dous Makos to Pâté Haïtien one of these is bound to become your new favorite dish.
Check out #23 and #25 for vegan options.
Legim is one of the most popular Haitian foods with many variations regarding the ingredients.
Heavily influenced by African cooking traditions, Legim typically consists of different mixed vegetables that are cooked with meat and then mashed together.
The dish contains cabbage, watercress, eggplant, green beans, chayote squash, and carrots.
It is traditionally prepared on weekends and served with rice or cornmeal.
Lambi An Sos Kreyol is a beautiful and delicious stew of succulent, slow-simmered conch in tomato sauce with onion, garlic, and fresh herbs.
Although it may take a bit of work to shell and prepare the conch, the labor is worth it when you take a bite of the tender and juicy seafood.
Lambi An Sos Kreyol is best served over hot rice.
Haitian Gumbo, also called Kalalou, is a tasty stew made with okra, chicken, and seafood.
Popular in the town of Jeremie in the South of Haiti, this food came originally from Ethiopia and was eventually brought to Haiti.
When served with hot rice, the rich flavor and thick texture of the stew will satisfy you.
Often eaten for lunch or dinner, the tenderness and deliciousness of chicken, sausage, and shrimp will make you crave for more.
Poule en Sauce, or chicken stew, is the perfect dish for a weeknight dinner.
Paired with rice, beans, salad, and fried plantains, Poule en Sauce can be adapted to whatever chicken pieces you prefer.
5. Poul Ak Nwa
Originating in northern Haiti, where cashews are abundant, this aromatic chicken stew is usually prepared for Sunday dinners or special occasions.
The chicken is simmered before adding onions, bell peppers, and parsley.
Poul Ak Nwa is packed with flavor, and you can serve it with rice or cornbread.
6. Soup Joumou
Soup Joumou is a popular dish prepared on Haiti’s Independence Day because it is associated with a pivotal period in the country’s history.
Soup Joumou, or Haitian squash soup, was a commemorative dish when the country was liberated from French colonial rule.
Made with goat meat and different vegetables, you will undoubtedly fall in love with its flavor.
Tasso Vyan Bef is a delicious fried beef or goat meat with hints of orange juice and lemon juice.
This crispy dish is suitable for serving fried plantain, beans, rice, and spicy sauce.
Tasso Vyan Bef is also popular among alcohol drinkers as it is a perfect pair for an ice-cold beer.
Griot is Haiti’s national dish made from pork shoulder carefully seasoned with citrus.
When fried, the pork shoulder will have a crispy texture and beautiful color.
Often eaten with vegetables, salad, or spicy pikliz, this dish is easy to make.
Natives prepare Griot on Christmas, Easter, and Good Friday, but you can serve it for your friends while enjoying a few cold beers.
Gateau Au Beurre is a tasty and tangy dessert you can quickly whip up for your guests.
This orange-flavored cake is light, soft, and has just the right citrusy taste.
Best paired with coffee or tea, Gateau au Beurre is ideal for those who are not fans of chocolate-based desserts.
Makawoni Au Graten, is Haiti’s version of mac and cheese.
This wonderful dish uses evaporated milk instead of pasteurized milk.
Bell peppers, onions, ham, and sauce are added for more flavor.
Makawoni Au Graten is perfect for fans of mac and cheese and those who want a satisfying and cheesy dinner.
Poulet Negre Marron, or chicken with mushroom and okra, is a well-spiced tasty dish.
The chicken parts, like legs and thighs, are marinated, steamed, and pan-fried along with onions, tomatoes, and tomato paste, which mixes well with the color of the meat.
The mushroom and okra are cooked for a few minutes and added to the chicken.
Poulet Negre Marron is traditionally prepared for Sunday lunch and is often accompanied by rice with green peas or rice with djon-djon.
12. Haitian Bouillon
Bouillon is a hearty and thick Haitian soup made with yams, kelp, cabbage, meat, plantains, potatoes, scotch bonnet peppers, and celery.
The soup is sometimes served with dumplings made by rolling the flour into a broth.
Bouillon is served piping hot, and it is prepared on rainy days.
13. Diri Ak Pwa
Diri Ak Pwa, also called Diri Kole Ak Pwa, is a traditional dish of Haitian cuisine.
Made with rice, beans, and garlic, this incredible recipe can be eaten daily.
You can pair it with meat or vegetables or eat it as is.
Fried Green Plantain is a delicious and fulfilling side dish.
Unlike the yellow plantains, green plantains are not sweet, so it does not clash with the flavors of the spices added to the dish.
It is paired with chicken, rice, fish, and pickles, but you can eat it on its own.
15. Lam Veritab Fri
Lam Veritab Fri is a twice-fried breadfruit dish.
Chunks of breadfruit are fried, smashed, and then fried again to create a chip-like texture.
It is nice and crispy on the outside yet soft and chewy on the inside.
Lam Veritab Fri can be served as an appetizer or snack, and you can make a sweet or savory version.
This fried breadfruit is also perfect for those who are looking for a gluten-free option.
16. Dous Makos
Dous Makos is a mouthwatering dessert similar to a vanilla fudge cake.
Made with sugar, milk, colorings, and flavorings, this dessert is soft, milky, and chocolatey.
The Dous Makos contains three signature stripes: a light-colored vanilla layer, a chocolate layer, and a red layer made using food coloring.
The fudge cake was created by Fernand Macos in 1939, hence the name.
Pikliz is a relish consisting of pickled vegetables like cabbage, onions, carrots, shallots, and spicy peppers.
Traditionally, this dish is consumed as an accompaniment to fried pork, fried beef, or fried plantains, although it can also be paired with fish.
The spiciness of Pikliz is said to pair extremely well with almost all fried main dishes.
18. Tablet Pistach
Tablet Pistach, or peanut brittle, is an enjoyable dessert that is best eaten after a meal.
It is made with a combination of ground peanut, grated nutmeg, and a scotch bonnet or habanero pepper.
Boiled until the mixture has thickened, it is shaped like a cookie and placed on parchment paper.
Crunchy and nutty, Tablet Pistach is perfect for those who are not into sweets.
19. Labouyi Ble
Labouyi Ble is a great breakfast recipe with plantain, coconut milk, and cinnamon.
This scrumptious porridge is creamy and thick with a sweet and enchanting flavor.
This porridge is a fantastic choice for children and adults because it is gluten-free.
Just like typical oatmeal, you can also add fruits in it like bananas and strawberries.
20. Mayi Moulen
Mayi Moulen, or cornmeal porridge, is made from ground corn.
This dish is similar to Italian Polenta.
The mashed corn brings creaminess and smoothness to the porridge, and the gentle sweetness and distinctive smell of corn will pickle your taste buds.
Often served for breakfast and paired with freshly sliced avocados, the cinnamon, and nutmeg in the porridge will certainly wake you up.
21. Haitian Accra
Haitian Accra is made from malanga root, which is in the same family as cassava and potatoes.
This dish has a nutty flavor and is an excellent substitute for starchy potatoes.
The recipe is easy to recreate, and it works well as a snack, an appetizer, or a side dish.
It is delicious when paired with any sweet and sour sauce for dipping, and it can be served with grated cheese on top.
Out of all the vegetables, spinach is one of the most versatile.
It is because it can be incorporated into almost every cuisine.
The same goes for Lalo, a Haitian Spinach dish.
It is a rich and savory stew paired with crab and beef.
If you want a vegan option, you can ditch the meat and mix the spinach with other vegetables you like.
The Boiled Plantains and Scrambled Eggs recipe is a staple Haitian breakfast.
Similar to an omelet, this dish uses vegetables instead of cheese, making it ideal for vegetarians.
You can eat it with rice, bread, or salad.
25. Boiled Dumplings
Another vegan option on our list, Boiled Dumplings is the ultimate comfort food.
The dish is easy to make, and you’ll only need a few simple ingredients.
Best served with a vegan pigeon pea stew, these dumplings can be made into a hearty weeknight meal.
26. Sous Vide
Sous Vide, or pork stew, is a fiery dish reminiscent of Jamaican jerk.
Crispy on the outside and tender within, it gets its texture from being braised first, then fried.
You can’t have this tasty dish without a hot bed of rice.
27. Poul Fri
Poul Fri, or Haitian Fried Chicken, is a delicious deep-fried dish without any batter.
The chicken is marinated for 30 minutes to 24 hours, then fried till it develops a light, crispy outer skin and a succulent and tender inside.
Bursting with bold flavors, this dish can be eaten at any time of the day.
28. Pâté Haïtien
Pâté Haïtien, also called beef patties, are served as a snack or an appetizer.
The flaky pastry is filled with spiced beef mixture.
Best served hot, you can add cheese and vegetables inside for more flavor.
Haitian Macaroni Salad is an incredible side dish for parties, BBQs, and parties.
The macaroni is mixed in a spicy vegan buttermilk mayonnaise sauce.
Add corn, cherry tomatoes, onions, and olives for the ultimate vegan salad.
Blancmange is a coconut gelatin dessert with a French influence.
This dish is light, refreshing, and a great way to balance the palate after a spicy meal.
You can decorate this dessert using a mold and add fruit for a bit of sweetness.
The bottom line
Haitian cuisine has several influences, and its traditional and contemporary dishes have a uniqueness typical only to the nation, which is what is appealing to non-natives.
There is a recipe in store for you.
Whether it is a meaty dish or a vegan option, or whether it is a fruity or sweet dessert, Haiti has a lot to offer.
How about pairing some of these entrees with 23 delicious Haitian cocktails?
- Lambi An Sòs Kreyol
- Haitian Gumbo
- Poule En Sauce
- Poul Ak Nwa
- Soup Joumou
- Tasso Vyan Bef
- Haitian Griot
- Gateau Au Beurre
- Makawoni Au Graten
- Poulet Negre Marron
- Haitian Bouillon
- Diri Ak Pwa
- Fried Green Plantains
- Lam Veritab Fri
- Dous Makos
- Tablet Pistach
- Labouyi Ble
- Mayi Moulen
- Haitian Accra
- Pen Patat
- Boiled Plantains & Scrambled Eggs
- Boiled Dumplings
- Sous Vide
- Poul Fri
- Pâté Haïtien
- Haitian Macaroni Salad
- Choose your favorite recipe from our list of Haitian Foods!
- Wave your magic wand to make it your own special recipe!
- Leave a comment on our Facebook page and share your new dish.