These authentic Caribbean recipes will take you on a culinary trip to the tropics!
My favorite thing about Caribbean dishes is that they’re often super simple and full of fresh ingredients.
Of course, the Caribbean encompasses so many incredible cultures, each with its own heritage, traditions, and sensational ingredients.
Some recipes from the region are familiar, and some will be exciting and new.
But all of them are scrumptious and will have you dreaming of a white sandy beach after just one bite.
Get ready! This list of 30 Caribbean recipes will take you on a taste journey from Cuba to Jamaica to the Dominican, and beyond.
Just when you thought cornbread couldn’t get any better, this recipe takes it to new heights!
Welcome to the party, pineapple!
I know that some people prefer their cornbread less sweet.
But for those who like to add the sugar, this will be your new favorite.
Not only is it wonderfully flavored to pair with everything from BBQ to fruit, but it’s also moist and perfectly tender.
These simple little rolls make a lovely change to the usual dinner rolls we see at every meal.
Typically served with cheese, the slight sweetness of the fruit complements the savory cheese so well.
Any leftovers would make for a divine bread pudding!
I think many people steer clear of Caribbean recipes because they believe they’re too spicy.
If heat isn’t your thing, it can ruin a dish.
But if you look closely, the spice can often be left out, and the dish will still be rich, full of flavor, and insanely delicious.
This melt-in-your-mouth stew has so much going on, and I love the use of peppers instead of just the traditional mirepoix (carrot, celery, and onion).
Rice can be pretty dull, and I’ll admit even I struggle to make it special in a hurry.
This recipe is super fast, adding some superb and colorful ingredients to add flavor and fantastic color to any plate.
Unlike bananas, plantains can’t be eaten when they’re raw.
They contain starch, and as they cook, the sugars will caramelize.
Without added sugar, these make a tremendous crunchy little side to chicken, pork, or beef.
I love to make this tea during the winter months.
The ginger and cinnamon are so comforting, and we all know ginger is excellent for our immunity.
I especially love using fresh ginger root for a spicy note throughout.
Sofrito is the secret behind many Caribbean-inspired dishes.
The combination of garlic, onion, peppers, tomato, cilantro, and parsley just needs to be blended together and stored in an airtight container.
You will find it used in everything from stews and soups to rice and beans.
Much like the Scandinavians, Haitians use these pickles to help balance out a rich dish.
Wonderfully colorful, they contain cabbage, carrots, shallots, and Scotch bonnet peppers.
These can be made as little as three days before serving, but the flavors will become even better if they’re left to marry over extra time.
Tomato ketchup is sweetened, and mango is used to sweeten BBQ sauce, so banana ketchup isn’t as odd as it sounds.
The truth is, this is not the ketchup you’re used to.
It’s full of banana, lime, ginger, peppers, curry, and a few familiar warm spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice, and cloves).
This mix will need to ferment for a couple of weeks and can be eaten raw and cooked, depending on your preference.
I think that vacation food often sticks in our minds for so long because it’s often so colorful.
Three-bean salad is a summer favorite at many BBQs, but this version has to be the best.
Between the lime and the chilis, this is a little bowl of sunshine.
Callaloo is a leafy green with a strong flavor.
It’s a little like spinach, only it holds its shape much better when cooked.
Collard greens would make an excellent alternative or a big leafy green cabbage.
This dish is jam-packed with nutrients and is the perfect partner for a fish dinner.
I wish we added citrus to our dishes the way they do in the tropics.
Whether it’s orange, lime, or citrus, it just elevates the entire meal, no matter if it’s sweet or savory.
Adding orange to the creamy custard here might seem a little odd, but trust me, it works.
For the best results, leave the bread to soak overnight.
This recipe calls for salted pollock, which you may not be able to find so easily.
You can make your own using white cod or just use regular white fish.
If you don’t have the salted fish, add some extra salt to the batter.
Once your batter is mixed and rested, you will need to cook your little pancakes until golden brown and crispy.
We can’t sit on a beach and sip margaritas just yet.
But we can throw on some vacation tunes and sip on a homemade Caribbean cocktail.
This fruity little drink is everything you want, with hints of raspberry, orange, pineapple, and coconut.
For added flavor, try using frozen raspberries instead of regular ice.
Coleslaw is such a versatile side that can be served on burgers, with BBQ, or as part of a salad.
But it can get a little boring after a while.
So why not add this recipe to your rotation to keep things exciting?
Between the hot sauce, mango, and crunchy nuts, it will go fast.
I’ve had jerk seasoning from the store, and it’s just never quite right.
Making your own spice blend will ensure quality and make everything from shrimp to pork chops pop.
I’ll bet you already have most of the ingredients on hand, and this stuff will last at least a year when stored correctly.
When I lived outside of the United States, I struggled to find polenta.
And I missed it!
How I wish I’d found this recipe sooner!
I love the inclusion of jalapenos and the chopped tomatoes, too, for some freshness.
When served in a bowl with chunks of juicy pork, it’s hard to beat.
If you’re looking for a mashed potato alternative, I have you covered.
This pudding-like side is as simple as simmering seasoned cornmeal until all the water is absorbed.
It can take a little while, but it’s worth it in the end.
Who doesn’t love a slider?
There’s something so tempting about the little buns filled with warm burgers or meatballs.
But these Cuban sliders are extra special.
They’re so simple and are made of just Hawaiian rolls, shaved ham, cheese, and pickles, but they will fly off the plate.
You might not think to look to the Caribbean for hearty winter warmers, but they have you covered there, too.
This pureed soup is thick and filling, with all the flavors of the veggies enhanced by some incredible spices.
Between the cloves, turmeric, garam masala, and cayenne pepper, there’s no shortage of flavor here.
This fantastic Puerto Rican dish combines mashed plantains with fresh garlic and crackling pork rinds.
Unlike fried plantains, this recipe calls for green skins. The fruit needs to be chopped and fried until golden and soft.
Once cooked, the flesh gets mashed with garlic puree until thoroughly mixed.
Next, you’ll add the pork rinds and mash those in, too.
Some will stay in larger pieces and some will crush, distributing that unique pork flavor throughout the plantains.
They can be molded into domes or stuffed with meat or seafood for serving.
Whether served in a restaurant or from a cart on the side of the road, jerk chicken is always amazing in Jamaica.
But if you want to try to recreate this classic dish at home, you’ll need to show your chicken some love.
You can use the seasoning from above or follow the recipe to create this marinade that will seep into the chicken just right.
And if you want maximum flavor, let it all sit for a few hours.
Honestly, I could’ve made a whole list of just cocktails.
Save the wine and just hand me something fruity with a little umbrella, thank you!
I think I like this recipe so much because of the name.
I once met a nice lady in Grand Cayman who proceeded to call me “Bahama Mama” for the duration of our stay, so it holds a special spot in my heart.
And it’s so good!
Made with pineapple, lime, and orange juice with deep, dark rum and just a splash of grenadine, it’s heavenly and doesn’t require a blender!
Breadfruit is a starchy fruit with a sweet potato-like flavor and a meaty texture.
Oil down is a one-pot stew containing salted meat, callaloo, lots of veggies, spices, and coconut milk.
It is the national dish of Grenada, and there is no one specific recipe.
Instead, each household has its own inspired version, made using what they have on hand that day.
Brown fish does not mean this recipe uses brown fish.
Instead, the fish is fried before being stewed in a sauce with lots of herbs and spices.
Browning sauce is used to darken the sauce, and you can easily make your own if you can’t find it in the store.
Like many Jamaican recipes, this dish has Scotch bonnet peppers for heat, which you can leave out if you don’t want it to be spicy.
If you’re looking for a side or an appetizer that’s not just chips and mozzarella sticks, these rellenas are for you.
Perfectly spiced ground beef hash gets engulfed in mashed potatoes before being deep-fried until golden.
The beef hash in a beautiful filling, made using sofrito, and it can be used in empanadas, too.
This stew is a fabulous medley of veggies, coconut milk, herbs, and spices.
You can add meat to this, but I think it’s filling enough without.
Plus, it’s vegan!
I love that everything gets cooked in one pot, so all those spices infuse into the veggies.
If you don’t have pumpkin, you can use butternut squash or even sweet potatoes.
The potatoes add starch to the stew and help to thicken it up, but you could always reduce the amount and add some plantains for a different flavor.
Though this contains zero chocolate, this bread is such an excellent sandwich alternative.
The recipe couldn’t be more straightforward, and the layering will give you soft flakiness inside that will complement any sandwich filling.
Once you have your dough made, you can immediately cut it into portions.
Gently roll these into balls and then leave to rise for about five minutes.
Each ball then gets rolled out thin and brushed with butter before being folded into a little triangle.
Once baked, the butter layers will seep in and keep the inside tender while the outside turns a lovely golden brown.
Sick of the same bland shrimp?
You’re not going to believe how easy it is to elevate a mild shrimp dish into something restaurant-worthy.
All you’ll need is to mix the marinade together and let the shrimp sit for a few minutes to soak it all up.
After a few minutes under the broiler, the sweet and savory flavors will shine through.
A Trinidadian street food, these little flatbreads are packed with flavor, and better yet, they’re vegan.
What amounts to a messy sandwich of curried chickpeas between spiced flatbreads, these will have you licking your fingers and reaching for more.
If I were you, I’d make some extra filling and enjoy it as a quick weeknight dinner with rice and beans.
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