45 Easy Caribbean Recipes

Easy Caribbean Recipes

The Caribbean is full of rich culture, multiple languages, and lively music. But arguable one of their most popular hallmarks is their food.

There’s truly nothing like visiting one of the beautiful islands of the Caribbean, but you can bring their fiery flavors home by following these easy recipes.

Read on for a list of the most enriching Caribbean fares.

1. Bammy


Bammy is a simple Jamaican fare requiring only four ingredients to make.

It’s a flatbread side item made from stretched yuca. To get the best results, bammy is soaked in animal milk before it’s golden fried and paired with your favorite meat entree.

Bammy is a mainstream side dish in Jamaica and is regularly sold by vendors, but you can make your bammy by following this recipe.


2. Rum Cake

Rum Cake

This Caribbean recipe is perfect to bring to an adult gathering or as a present to your in-laws. It certainly has alcohol in it, but just enough to experience its moist interior and crispy outside.

To make this rum cake you should use vanilla pudding mix and spiced rum for the best results. You can also substitute your rum with non-alcoholic rum, but that’s no fun is it?

This easy Caribbean rum cake recipe is best paired with whipped cream and fresh fruit.


3. Rum Punch

Rum Punch

Rum is a popular staple in the islands, so it’s no surprise the Caribbean birthed the best rum punch recipes of all ages.

To make this vibrant drink you’ll need a bottle of white rum, coconut rum, one thin-sliced orange, and a half cup of lemon juice.

This recipe combines a half cup of four different rums, so you’re in for a real STRONG treat.

Lastly, this recipe has a tropical freshness to it obtained from the orange slices. It’s the perfect mix for a summer party.


4. Jamaican Beef Patties

Jamaican Beef Patties

Caribbean beef patties are so tasty they’re popular all over the world, but they originated on the islands within the Caribbean.

They favor empanadas in shape and ingredients—except they’re a whole lot spicier. The added turmeric gives the ground beef filling an extra kick while its golden flaky outside makes it the perfect bite.

If you’re not fully convinced, you might like to know these patties can be made in your air fryer as well.


5. Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken

Jerk chicken is a popular staple among traditional Caribbean fares. When taking a tropical vacation, or dining at a tropical restaurant, one of the most regularly showcased items is the jerk chicken.

Jerk chicken involves a thorough process of properly washing and cooking your chicken. This recipe calls for several pounds of chicken combined with various marinades, bonnet peppers, and thyme to create the perfect jerk sauce.

Jerk chicken tastes best when cooked over a wood-fire flame and served with fresh greens and rice.


6. Jerk Sweet Potato and Black Bean Curry

Jerk Sweet Potato and Black Bean Curry

This jerk meal is great for eating more while using less—fewer dishes that is.

To make jerk sweet potato and black bean curry you’ll need two cans of black beans, one jar of roasted potatoes, jerk seasoning, and various marinades.

Once cooked and combined you’ll have a colorful Caribbean fare best served with plain rice.


7. Gungo Peas Soup

Gungo Peas Soup

Gungo soup is rich in Jamaican culture. It’s brewing on weekday nights when your sibling has a cold or is brought to the next family gathering.

This soup is made of pigtails, yellow yam, gungo peas, and beef.

To get the best results, you should soak your beans and pigtails in separate bowls overnight. When you’re ready to prepare, follow this recipe for tips on cooking it just right.


8. Chickpea Curry

Chickpea Curry

Chickpeas are a great alternative for vegans. They’re high in fiber and low in calories.

To make chickpeas taste as daring as jerk chicken, you’ll need spices like cardamom and fennel seed.

Feel free to bring the kids in on this one, it’s super easy and very friendly to all diet restrictions.

Most of the “work” comes from blending the Indian ingredients which can be commonly found in your pantry already if you’re used to cooking South Indian fares.


9. Jamaican Fried Dumplings

Jamaican Fried Dumplings

These dumplings don’t compare to the ones bought from Chinese restaurants.

Jamaican fried dumplings are popular comfort food in a lot of Caribbean households.

The dumplings are interesting because they can be prepared in several ways: fried, boiled, and steamed. But there’s no doubt frying is the best method.

Fried dumplings are commonly served alongside breakfast fares, so feel free to follow this recipe next time you want to spice up your morning meal.


10. Goat Curry

Goat Curry

This Jamaican goat curry recipe is as simple as it is special.

It’s usually served to big crowds so you can serve this at the next baby shower, birthday party, or wedding.

Jamaican goat curry is different from other islands’ versions of curry because of its meat content and curry content. Some islands opt-in for more masala while others include more culantro. 

Goat, when cooked properly, is very tender and enjoyable; so be sure to follow this recipe to get it just right.


11. Jerk Grilled Pineapple

Jerk Grilled Pineapple

This grilled pineapple recipe is the perfect ending to a savory meal.

Once your chicken is fresh off the fire, keep that flame hot because we’re adding pineapples.

You’ll need to base the pineapples with a teaspoon of Jamaican fire sauces and melted butter before grilling on both sides for a few seconds.


12. Sweet Potato Pudding

Sweet Potato Pudding

This sweet potato pudding recipe shouldn’t remind you of your grandmother’s recipe. It’s a whole lot better.

The recipe calls for two pounds of Jamaican sweet potatoes (the purple ones), a bunch of coconut milk, brown sugar, and a little rum of course. This recipe also shows you how to make the perfect custard.

Sweet potato pudding takes time and effort to create the perfect texture but you can practice as many times as your stomach can handle.


13. Oxtail Stew

Oxtail Stew

Oxtail stew is another traditional Caribbean fare with a lot of ingredients, but not a lot of dishes.

The stew is made with soft carrots, butter beans, peppers, and perfectly simmered oxtails.

The meat is reminiscent of braised short ribs the way it falls off the bone and effortlessly cascades over rice.

The stew is best prepared in a slow cooker but check out this recipe for other helpful tips.


14. Sweet Fried Plantains

Sweet Fried Plantains

You can make the most out of your Caribbean dinner by frying up a couple of sweet plantains.

Sweet fried plantains are popular in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands. To make them extra tasty, expert chefs recommend using ripe plantains, frying in a mixture of olive oil and garlic, and serving warm.

Fried plantains are best enjoyed by themselves but follow this recipe for tips on what to serve it with.


15. Fry Bodi

Fry Bodi

This Trinidadian recipe is perfect for getting your vegetables in, without tasting like vegetables.

It’s the perfect side dish to accompany fish, ribs, and chicken. You’ll have no problem getting the kids to eat their veggies with this one.

Follow the recipe here for the perfect method to make Fry Bodi.


16. Rice and Peas

Rice and Peas

Although not native to the Caribbean, the combination of rice and peas is best paired with tropical fares.

Caribbean culture is known for freshly preparing rice that is properly washed and doused in butter and seasoned to heighten the flavor. Peas are typically soaked overnight for cleansing.

This recipe will walk you through rice and peas so they taste as wonderful as jambalaya.


17. Pineapple Rum Cake

Pineapple Rum Cake

If you’ve ever ventured onto the islands of Puerto Rico then surely you’ve tried a slice of pineapple rum cake.

Whether you have or haven’t, you can still ring the tropical taste home with this simple recipe.

Pineapple rum cake is superior because it’s all the sweetness you love of a cake with a refreshing shot of rum.


18. Mango Chicken Bake

Mango Chicken Bake

Mangos intensify the flavor of different meats and vegetables.

To make this tropical chicken bake all you’ll need is leftover pineapple chutney and washed chicken. From there it’s as simple as combing all the ingredients into a casserole dish and baking until finished.


19. Sticky Jerk Salmon

Sticky Jerk Salmon

You may not be surprised to find out how versatile jerk sauce is—especially if you’ve visited a Caribbean island. Adding it on top of salmon is no different.

This glazed salmon recipe is perfect for date night because it’s inexpensive to make and elegant to plate.

To make a mango slaw you’d simply combine mango with other vegetables and cook them down into a sauce. This slaw tops the salmon and makes the dish a ten out of ten!


20. Ponce-De-Creme Bread Pudding

Ponce-De-Creme Bread Pudding

This bread pudding recipe makes the perfect addition to your traditional Trinidadian meal.

Ponce-De-Creme is a boozy dessert you can finish in four bites. Its texture is soft like cornbread and moist like cheesecake.

To make this pudding as good as the Islanders you should use dark rum, day-old bread cubes, and a half cup of golden raisins.


21. Raisin Buns

Raisin Buns

You don’t need to be a fan of raisins to enjoy this recipe. It combines the soft taste of buns with the chewy taste of raisins and cheese.

This recipe makes approximately six buns by combing flour with dry yeat, butter, and brown sugar.

Many Caribbean islands have different versions of raisin buns but you can’t go wrong with this easy recipe.


22. Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja is the national dish of Cuba, but you don’t need to visit Cuba to get the best of their fares.

Ropa Vieja is made by shredding skirt steak and simmering it for about 20 minutes with other colorful ingredients.

This recipe is the closest you’ll get to authentic Ropa Vieja.


23. Rainbow Rice

Rainbow Rice

Rainbow rice is a tasty way to spice up your traditional rice dish. To make this dish you’ll need leftover chutney from a previous meal and plenty of colorful veggies.

When finished, you can eat your rainbow rice by itself or pair it with your favorite entree.

In the Caribbean, Islanders commonly pair this meal with fried plantains and jerk.


24. Ginger Tea

Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is perfect to sip in the wintertime. It’s refreshing, light, and warming as it glides down your throat.

Ginger is well-known for boosting our immune system, so it’s no surprise it’s been incorporated into teas for healing the common cold.

If you’re feeling down, or just thirsty, check out this ginger tea recipe.


25. Sofrito


If you’ve eaten Caribbean food before, you’ve probably had sofrito without realizing it.

It’s well known as the base for traditional Puerto-Rican and Latin American fares.

Its made from generously blending peppers, cilantro, and tomato and storing for weeks in an airtight container.


26. Coconut Tarts

Coconut Tarts

This tart recipe will remind you of why you like coconut. And although native to Portugal, you can make these tarts right at home.

Tarts are perfect for feeding crowds of adults and children alike.

You’ll need a generous amount of sweetened flake coconut to complete to make them but read through this recipe entirely to ensure you have everything.


27. Jerk Pulled Pork

Jerk Pulled Pork

Pulled pork tastes great on everything.

Pair it with popular side items for a comforting weeknight meal, or top it on top of tortillas for spicy Caribbean tacos. You could even top them on nachos.

Jerk pulled pork is best cooked in a slow-cooker but can be cooked on the stove to get similar results.


28. Pikliz


These funky pickles are the perfect way to tie your meal together.

This meal originated in Haiti and combines the vibrant flavors of cabbage, peppers, and vinegar. You can intensify the potency of your pikliz by marinading for several days.

Once ready, serve as a side dish or eat by itself as a snack.


29. Banana Ketchup

Banana Ketchup

If you’re a fan of the sauce, you’ve got to try this banana ketchup recipe.

It’s a special combination of savory sweet and makes the perfect dressing for any meal.

Unlike regular ketchup, this ketchup is made with ginger, brown sugar, tomato paste, and of course bananas.

Try this sauce on your next homemade Caribbean recipe.


30. Cou and Flying Fish

Cou and Flying Fish

Send your tastebuds on a trip to Barbados with this Cou Cou and Flying Fish recipe. As another national dish, this recipe takes time and practice to master.

The base of this dish is cornmeal and okra. The dish is simmered together in a saucepan and combined with butter to thicken.

The Cou is best served with “flying” fish when hot.


31. Pigeon Peas

Pigeon Peas

Dove peas, or pigeon peas, are a modern Caribbean side dish commonly paired with chips or enjoyed by themselves.

Pigeon peas are as homey as chili and great for feeding a crowd. You’ll especially love this recipe because of how rich and creamy the base is.


32. Three-Bean Salad

Three-Bean Salad

Three-bean salads are a great pick-me-up in the morning or a great prequel to your dinner entree. It’s packed with fiber and other fresh ingredients—so don’t worry about cheating your diet.

This salad combines garbanzo beans, kidney beans, and green beans.


33. Jerk Spice Mix

Jerk Spice Mix

If you don’t have this spice mix in your pantry yet, this recipe will surely make you stock up.

To make the perfect jerk spice mix you’ll need a combination of ginger, onion flakes, thyme, white pepper, bouillon, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, paprika, and several other seasonings.

You can make the most of your jerk spice by marinating your entree in this mix overnight.


34. Haitian French Toast

Haitian French Toast

You’ve never had your french toast like this.

Haitian french toast is distinctive because it uses french baguettes for bread and a cup of orange juice for an added punch of citrus.

Haitian french toast is best served with breakfast meats such as bacon and fresh fruits such as strawberries.


35. Caribbean Breeze

Caribbean Breeze

This drink is the perfect refresher for hot summer days.

To enjoy this magic elixir you’ll just need a few simple ingredients: including cranberry, pineapple, lime juice, and several servings of alcohol.

Our favorite way to make a Caribbean breeze is with dark rum, banana liqueur, pineapple vodka, and plenty of ice.


36. Bacalaitos


If you want a fish dinner tonight, then give this one a try.

It’s different from your traditional fish dinner, as it uses an uncommon fish base known as salted pollock.

This dish is served in a lot of Spanish households as an appetizer, but you can pair your Bacalatios with greens for a balanced meal.


37. Tamal en Cazuela

Tamal en Cazuela

This dish is a Cuban staple and uses a lot of basic ingredients found in your pantry.

In Cuba, the process to make tamales is complex and patient. The meal is carefully rolled, tied, and steamed to perfect before being served.

You can imitate this Cuban tradition with this simple recipe. Don’t forget the orange marinade!


38. Cuban Slider

Cuban Slider

It doesn’t get any simpler than sliders. This Cuban version houses ham, cheese, and pickle under a warm Hawaiian roll.

Cuban sliders are great for entertaining tiny hands and large crowds.

Turn your sliders up a notch by following this recipe for a spiced mustard sauce.


39. Puerto Rican Mofongo

Puerto Rican Mofongo

This dish will satisfy the entire family and leave your kitchen smelling wonderful.

Mofongo is made with peeled plantains, a few pounds of pork shoulder, and fresh Mojo de Ajo.

You can make your own Mojo de Ajo by following this easy recipe as well.

Mofongo doesn’t require a lot of skill to make but it does require patience. Set aside at least five hours to get this recipe just right.


40. Bahama Mama

Bahama Mama

A Bahama Mama is a certain way to relax after working all day. To make this magic relaxer you’ll need plenty of fruit juice and lots of rum.

The best part about this drink recipe is it can be tweaked and altered to create different types of Bahama Mamas.

Use this recipe to make an easy one.


41. Breadfruit Run Down

Breadfruit Run Down

In Grenada, the national dish is breadfruit oil down. This recipe will show you how to make an easier version of the somewhat complex Caribbean fare.

Its main ingredient is soaked in coconut milk to heighten its flavor profile and then cooked with smoked ham hocks.

Breadfruit may be a new ingredient for you, but you can start incorporating it into your diet with this easy recipe.


42. Bacalao a la Vizcaina

Bacalao a la Vizcaina

If you’re looking to bring more Caribbean fare to your table, try this recipe.

This Spanish fare is salted cod in Biscay sauce and made from the process of hanging and preparing tiny choricero peppers.

You can opt to buy store-bought choricero peppers, but freshly made is always the best way to go.

Pour your sauce over the fish before serving.


43. Pepper Sauce

Pepper Sauce

This Caribbean mango sauce will have you coming back for seconds.

This sauce is made from blending habanero peppers, mango, vinegar, honey, and spices.

Drizzle over your favorite veggies, chicken, and fish for a spiced-up delicacy.

Store the pepper sauce in the fridge for a couple of days to preserve its freshness—although I doubt it’ll last that long.


44. Keshi Yena

Keshi Yena

Take a trip to Aruba with this national delicacy.

To make Keshi you’ll need presliced gouda, skinless chicken breasts, plenty of seasoning, and dried prunes. Then you’re on your way to making the perfect quiche.

You don’t need a bunch of fancy ingredients to make this traditional fare; you could even make it with leftover rotisserie.

Serve with salad for a well-rounded meal.


45. La Bandera

La Bandera

This Dominican staple is better than any rice dish you’ve had before, so be sure to stock up on fresh cilantro.

The recipe combines rice, beans, and chicken into a tasty stew best paired with traditional sides. The best sides for this meal include arepitas de maize, torrejas de berenjena, and salad.

La Bandera is named after the Dominican flag and never fails to bring Spanish flair to the table.


Easy Caribbean Recipes, Final Thoughts

There’s truly nothing like Caribbean food. Behind the vibrant culture is a kitchen of delicacies fueling the exhilarating energy.

From the Bahamas to Grenada, you can get a taste of life on each island by trying some of these recipes.

Happy cooking!

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