Here are 27 Jamaican Recipes perfect for an island-themed party, day by the pool, or an exciting weeknight dinner.
Jamaican foods are always full of flavor and fun to eat.
They usually feature a delicate balance of sweet and heat, thanks to native hot peppers alongside tropical staples like coconut.
Add in intriguing spices like allspice, nutmeg, and garlic, and you’ll find Jamaican food is anything but boring.
Some of the ingredients for Jamaican specialties can be tough to find in the states.
Getting your hands on scotch bonnet peppers or goat meat may be tricky unless there’s a Caribbean market near your house.
Luckily, it’s fairly easy to substitute those items with readily available ingredients like habanero peppers or beef brisket.
And, even with a few substitutions, these Jamaican meals are sure to fulfill your island cravings.
So, whether you’re looking for a dish to please a crowd at your next party or seeking Jamaican dinner ideas to spice up your weeknight rotation, this list can help.
Below, you’ll find authentic Jamaican staples like Bammy, Stamp And Go, Jerk Pork Loin, and Sweet Potato Pudding.
If you’ve never heard of those dishes, keep reading!
At the least, you’ll be glad you learned about them.
But better yet, you’ll give them a try and know firsthand just how great Jamaican foods can be!
Oxtails aren’t a staple in many households, but they’re a celebratory favorite in Jamaica.
You can make this braised version in a slow cooker, or you can use a pressure cooker if you’re short on time.
Packed with sweet and savory aromatic spices, carrots, onions, and peppers, this take on braised oxtails is warm, flavorful, and super satisfying!
Goat may not be popular in American households yet, but it seems destined to grow in its appeal.
That’s because goat meat is economical, sustainable, tender, and delicious.
This traditional Jamaican version is flavored with plenty of garlic, ginger, thyme, curry, and hot peppers.
You can look for goat meat in specialty Caribbean or Halal markets.
If you can’t find goat meat in your area, you can use beef shanks or brisket instead.
In Jamaica, this quick-cooking dish sometimes bears the name pepper prawns.
It’s a spicy and flavorful street food that vendors usually serve in small plastic bags.
You can recreate it at home with a few simple seasonings and a spicy scotch bonnet pepper.
4. Jerk Chicken
Jerk is a style of cooking in which you season meat with a rich array of spices and then cook it over a fire.
In the U.S., Jerk Chicken is one of the most popular Jamaican dishes, and it’s sure to please a crowd.
This recipe uses an extra flavorful marinade to infuse the chicken with local flavors, including cinnamon, allspice, and peppers.
After marinating, you can grill the chicken for the flame charred flavors or throw it in the oven to cook.
Callaloo is a type of leafy green readily available in Jamaica.
This authentic Jamaican recipe for callaloo combines it with onion, garlic, tomato, and scotch bonnet peppers.
Of course, you don’t have to use callaloo if you can’t find it.
Spinach, collard greens, or any other leafy green would work just as well.
Many places have popular curry dishes, and Jamaica is no exception.
This chicken curry uses coconut milk and spices to create the perfect blend of sweetness and heat.
Instead of using Jamaican ingredients, which can be hard to find, this recipe relies on easy-to-source American spices to create a thick, rich curry dish.
Jamaican Beef Patties make a great grab-and-go meal.
Their flaky pastry and flavor-intense filling are sure to satisfy at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Typically, you would fill them with cooked beef, but you could also try chicken, shrimp, or vegetables.
They’re also freezable, so you can keep them on hand for a quick bite whenever you need them.
Cornmeal Porridge is popular breakfast food in Jamaica.
This porridge is smooth, sweet, and creamy.
Traditionally, you make it with a mix of coconut milk and condensed milk.
However, you can use sugar to sweeten it instead of condensed milk to make the dish entirely dairy-free.
Cornmeal porridge is great on its own or topped with fresh fruit.
Sweet Fried Plantains are a charming complement to other spicy Jamaican food recipes, like oxtail stew.
They also make an excellent dessert.
This recipe uses a mix of brown sugar and maple syrup to make them extra sweet.
Frying them in coconut oil adds an extra burst of tropical flavors.
Everyone loves dumplings!
These Jamaican dumplings are exceptionally easy to make.
You only need three ingredients and a little bit of time.
They’re delicious with callaloo or oxtail stew.
Alternatively, you can add a little sugar to the dough and serve them as a sweet treat.
12. Pigeon Pea Soup
In Jamaica, pigeon peas are also called Gungo peas, and you’ll sometimes see this dish labeled Gungo pea soup.
It can be hard to find pigeon peas in the U.S., but kidney beans make an excellent substitute.
This Americanized version of the classic dish includes lentils and potatoes to create a filling one-pot meal.
Serve it alongside sweet fried plantains for a delicious dinner.
Bammy is a classic Jamaican side dish.
It’s also called yuca or manioc and has been a Jamaican staple for hundreds of years.
You make it with grated cassava root, shaped in a disc and seared in a skillet.
After searing, you soak the starchy disc in coconut milk and then fry it.
The result is a crisp and succulent side for fish and vegetable dishes.
Stamp and go is easy to find from Jamaican street vendors.
But if you can’t make it to Jamaica, it’s worth whipping it up at home.
This dish consists of shredded cod, vegetables, and seasoning mixed into a batter and deep-fried.
The result is a delightful grab-and-go meal that you can serve with a variety of dipping sauces.
Many prefer a spicy dipping sauce for these fritters, but you can also use a cooling remoulade or even tartar sauce.
Banana bread might not be exclusive to Jamaica, but this recipe is worth a try when you’re craving a taste of the islands.
It’s packed full of sweet raisins and crunchy pecans.
But what gives it a Jamaican flair is nutmeg.
Nutmeg trees are common sights in the island nation, and you’ll find the spice in all sorts of traditional Jamaican recipes.
You can purchase ground nutmeg in the states, but nutmeg loses its flavor quickly.
So using freshly grated nutmeg from a whole nutmeg seed is key to making your recipes, like this banana bread, stand out.
Luckily, you can buy whole nutmeg seeds through many American retailers.
Brown Stew Chicken begins with a flavorful marinade.
After the marinade infuses the chicken, you brown the chicken pieces to intensify its flavor further.
Then, you stew it with a mix of vegetables and aromatic spices until the chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender.
Serve this comforting dish with a heaping pile of rice and a side of sweet plantains or crisp fried dumplings.
Don’t confuse this cake with its authentic Jamaican cousin, black cake, or black rum cake.
This Americanized dessert relies on the flavors of Jamaican rum but is far from native to the islands.
Rather, this is a yellow bundt cake infused with sticky sweet Jamaican rum syrup.
It’s a fantastic finish to a Jamaican-themed meal, even though it’s far from traditional.
Jamaican Carrot Juice isn’t plain juiced carrots.
It’s a refreshing blend of carrot juice and sweetened condensed milk.
This recipe adds nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla to create a sweet and intriguing drink.
It’s the perfect way to soothe your palate after a spicy plate of jerk chicken or a bowl of braised oxtails.
Carrots pair beautifully with traditional Jamaican flavors in this soup.
It’s spiced with nutmeg, garlic, allspice, and a spicy scotch bonnet pepper.
Coconut milk makes it extra rich and velvety.
Best of all, this soup is freezer friendly.
So, you can make a big batch and save the extra for a rainy day.
Jamaican Rice and Peas, are actually rice with Gungo or pigeon peas, not the green peas Americans tend to think of.
So, to Americans, it’s rice and beans.
This version uses coconut milk to make creamy, rich rice that’s ideal alongside other Jamaican main dishes like jerk chicken.
The scotch bonnet pepper in this recipe adds a spicy kick, but you can leave it out if you want a milder take.
Jamaican Black Cake is similar to an English fruit cake.
It’s studded with rum-soaked dried fruits, like currants, raisins, and dried cherries.
The cake relies on cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice for flavor.
Orange peel also adds complex citrus notes.
Altogether, the cake is sweet, spicy, and delicious any time of year.
If you’re looking for a Jamaican dinner party idea, Jerk Chicken Wings are the perfect thing to serve.
Jerk chicken is always a crowd-pleaser, and in wing form, they’re extra enjoyable.
This recipe is an Americanized version that relies on an intense jerk marinade to flavor the wings.
Honey, lime, jalapeno, nutmeg, allspice, and cayenne combine to create sweet, spicy wings that are sure to be a party favorite.
23. Jerk Pork Loin
Spice up a standard pork loin with jerk seasoning, and you’re sure to improve your typical weeknight dinner.
This Jerk Pork Loin relies on a simple blend of dried spices to make a flavorful meal.
Green beans cook alongside the pork, making dinner even easier.
Just add some rice, and you have a complete meal!
24. Pepper Pot Soup
This Pepper Pot Soup is the ultimate Jamaican-inspired one-pot meal.
It’s full of tender beef, sweet potato, and peppers.
The recipe is Americanized and relies on a milder hot pepper sauce for flavor.
But, you could throw in a scotch bonnet pepper or habanero for more spice if you prefer.
Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding relies on purple Jamaican sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and warming spices to create a decadent dessert.
This steamed pudding is smooth, rich, and the perfect end to a Jamaican meal.
Though the ingredients are relatively simple, the method can be a little tricky to get right.
So be patient with yourself and read the recipe in full before you attempt to make it!
If you’re looking for a quick dinner inspired by Jamaican flavors, this Jerk Salmon Bowl is it!
Spicy salmon covered in jerk seasoning sits on top of a bowl of hearty rice and beans.
You could use Gungo peas to make the dinner extra authentic or stick with the black beans the recipe calls for.
Then, top the entire bowl with cooling mango salsa and enjoy!
Jamaican Rum Punch is a true party pleaser! Blended fruit juices are popular in Jamaica.
Sweet and refreshing, they’re an exquisite remedy to sweltering island heat.
This recipe uses pineapple, orange, and lime juice but also adds in a generous helping of Jamaican rum.
That makes it ideal for a pool party or celebratory afternoon in the sun.
The bottom line
Jamaican recipes are always full of flavor and fun to eat.
Often, they achieve the perfect balance between delivering exquisite with a charming sweetness.
These 27 recipes showcase the way that the Caribbean country combines tropical staples with spice and local hot peppers.
That makes Jamaican food exciting to enjoy at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack time!
These delightful recipes will be the talk of any guests you have over.
Are you looking for some delicious Jamaican dessert ideas to pair with your lunch or dinner? Look here.
- Jamaican Braised Oxtails
- Jamaican Curry Goat
- Jamaican Hot Pepper Shrimp
- Jerk Chicken
- Jamaican Callaloo
- Jamaican Curry Chicken
- Jamaican Beef Patties
- Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge
- Sticky Sweet Fried Plantains
- Jamaican Oxtail Stew
- Jamaican Fried Dumpling
- Pigeon Pea Soup
- Stamp And Go (Saltfish Fritters)
- Jamaican Banana Bread
- Brown Stew Chicken
- Jamaican Rum Cake (American Style)
- Jamaican Carrot Juice
- Jamaican Carrot Soup
- Jamaican Rice And Peas
- Jamaican Black Cake
- Jerk Chicken Wings
- Jerk Pork Loin
- Pepper Pot Soup
- Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding
- Jerk Salmon Bowls
- Jamaican Rum Punch
- Take a look at our Jamaican Recipes list!
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