13 Easy Jamaican Salad Recipes

Easy Jamaican Salad Recipes

Jamaica is an island country known for its food. From jerk chicken to a Bahama mama cocktail, this island nation does food extremely well. One of the underappreciated aspects of Jamaican cuisine is the salads – these are light and delicious and taste entirely different from American salads. Here are some of the best Jamaican salad recipes.

1. Jamaican Garden Salad

Jamaican Garden Salad

This Jamaican garden salad is one of the easiest and most delicious recipes you could make. With only a few ingredients, you’ll be able to create a fresh, mostly vegetable recipe that will leave you feeling full and healthy.

The ingredients are simple: cabbage, carrots, tomato, green pepper, and cucumber. It’s all sliced and arranged into a bowl and topped with a thousand island dressing.

Most restaurants in Jamaica serve a salad like this one as a regular garden salad. Unlike many American salads, these salads are built on cabbage instead of lettuce. The base of vegetables gives them a fresh taste and more variety.


2. Jamaican Cabbage Salad

Jamaican Cabbage Salad

One of the most common types of salad in Jamaica is a wilted salad based on cabbage. This type of salad is kind of like coleslaw without the mayonnaise – shredded cabbage, carrots, and other veggies make for a light and delicious salad.

For this specific cabbage salad, all you need is cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, and celery. Once you cut all of these ingredients into long strips and mix them, you will let them sit in the dressing.

The dressing for this cabbage slaw-like salad is made with vinegar, sugar, boiled water, and olive oil. After a while, the vegetables will soak up the dressing and result in a light, tangy salad.

However, unlike regular coleslaw, this salad isn’t left to soak in the freezer and be served cold. Instead, it’s served warm right after being made. The dressing soaks into the veggies but also acts as a regular dressing.


3. Jamaican Pineapple Salad

Jamaican Pineapple Salad

A simple way to make a salad taste more Jamaican is to add jerk seasonings. This salad does just that, with grilled pineapple, jerk dressing, and simple ingredients. With this simple salad, you’ll bring the sweet heat of the islands to any barbecue.

The base of this Jamaican pineapple salad is red leaf lettuce and chopped sweet peppers. This simple base provides an excellent vehicle to bring out the flavors in the grilled pineapple and dressing.

Grilled pineapple gives the salad its body and sweetness, with warm grill marks to remind you of an island barbecue. You can add chicken or fish to the salad for some protein, but it is delicious with or without.

Of course, the main source of flavor in the dressing. Made from pineapple juice, fresh ginger, and jerk seasoning, this vinaigrette is the perfect complement to the sweet pineapple and simple peppers and lettuce.


4. Jamaican Green Salad

Jamaican Green Salad

Another simple, yet delicious salad recipe, this Jamaican green salad uses the kind of vegetables that are commonly found throughout the island of Jamaica. It is a great option to serve as a side or to add jerk chicken for a full meal.

The ingredients for this salad are simple: lettuce, cucumber, sweet peppers, and spinach. All of these ingredients are shredded or minced so that the entire base of the salad is small pieces.

While you can use any salad dressing you desire on this, the one the recipe suggests mixes orange juice and sweet and spicy sauce for a Jamaican twist.

This salad is versatile, simple to make, and tasty. The dressing is sweet and spicy and has enough flavor to cover the simple under ingredients without smothering the fresh flavors of the vegetables underneath.


5. Caribbean Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

Caribbean Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

This Jamaican-inspired salad tastes like the Caribbean, even though it doesn’t originate from the island. A more American-style salad, this salad has a lot of Caribbean-inspired flavors and toppings.

The lettuce base is topped with mandarin oranges, pineapples, cilantro, dried cranberries, and green onions. Sesame and chia seeds complete the flavor profile. On top of this, you can add your choice of protein (salmon, chicken, and black beans are excellent choices).

This salad is made more delicious by the honey-lime vinaigrette. Made with honey, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, canola oil, and grated onion, is sweet and tangy. The entire salad tastes like a summer cocktail and is an excellent addition to any barbecue.

The protein in this salad can completely change the flavor. For a more Caribbean feel, try jerk chicken or smoked salmon. However, if you want to stay vegetarian, black beans can add the protein you need and preserve the island flavor.


6. Jamaican Steamed Cabbage Salad

Jamaican Steamed Cabbage Salad

This warm, steamed cabbage salad is the most popular in Jamaica. It overflows with vegetables and flavors. On top of this, it’s incredibly easy to make, and you can complete it in under twenty minutes.

The ingredients for the slaw itself are cabbages, carrots, onion, and bell peppers, all julienned and shredded. Once they’re cut up and steamed, you can dump the dressing on top and serve immediately.

The dressing involves vegetable broth, garlic, thyme, oil, and white wine vinegar. Once all of these are whisked (or blended, if you are using fresh garlic), you can add them to the vegetables and serve the salad.


7. Jamaican Salad with Pineapples and Raisins

Jamaican Salad with Pineapples and Raisins

Another salad similar to coleslaw, this Jamaican dish is naturally sweetened by the fruits included. It has a tang from the vinegar in the brine but balances both flavors remarkably well.

The main ingredients of this cabbage coleslaw are cabbage, carrots, raisins, and pineapple. The moisture of the pineapple soaks into the cabbage and carrots, adding a natural tangy sweetness that the raisins only further.

The salad dressing can vary, depending on how spicy you like your salads. However, this recipe calls for mustard, apple cider vinegar, oil, spring onion, and jalapeno pepper. If you don’t like spicy food, you can leave off the jalapeno!


8. Classic Jamaican Garden Salad

Classic Jamaican Garden Salad

In Jamaica, this salad is often served alongside jerk chicken, because of its sweet and subtle flavors. It balances out the intense, spicy flavors of the jerk chicken. Cabbage, carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, and green peppers are the base of this garden salad.

The key to creating a perfect Jamaican Garden salad is the appearance. The cabbage and carrots are shredded at the bottom and the tomato and cucumber wedges decorate the top in a circle. However, you don’t have to worry too much (it will taste fresh and amazing).

Whichever dressing you use, ensure that you have the correct salad by tasting it alongside the best Jamaican cuisine. While you can eat a Jamaican garden salad with American food, it was made to counter the tastes of jerk chicken, fried plantains, and fried ice cream.


9. Jamaican Fruit Salad

Jamaican Fruit Salad

Of course, no salad list is complete without a fruit salad. This Caribbean-themed fruit salad can be served in a hollowed-out pineapple or a regular fruit bowl–whatever you have on hand. However, the fruits will transport you to an island getaway.

This fruit salad consists of bananas, oranges, grapefruit, cherries, hazelnuts, melon pieces, and kiwi fruits, with the option for whatever your favorite red or dark berries are. The beginning fruits are all native to Jamaica or the surrounding island countries and essential for agriculture.

Instead of a salad dressing, the juices from the fruits combine to make a sort of dressing. You can also add the juice of a lemon to draw out the flavors and pull things together. It’s the perfect end to a summer meal, sweet, tart, and the Caribbean.


10. Jamaican Confetti Rice Salad

Jamaican Confetti Rice Salad

Last but not least, this Jamaican confetti rice salad is probably the most complicated on this list. However, it makes up for it with astounding tropical flavors, zesty heat, and the perfect amount of grains to make it hearty and filling.

The base of this grain salad is white rice. On top are coconut, pineapple, capsaicin peppers, jalapenos, and green onions. Finally, the sauce has multiple ingredients but is flavored with lime juice and vinegar.

This cold rice salad is a great option for any barbecue, especially if there are already vegetable-heavy salads there. The sweetness of the pineapple and the spiciness of the peppers combine marvelously.


11. Jamaican Matrimony Fruit Salad

Jamaican Matrimony Fruit Salad

Another fruit salad, this recipe calls for mangoes, grapefruit, oranges, and plums. However, it kicks it up a notch by adding fruit liqueur (usually sherry) and condensed milk. The result is a sweet, creamy, tangy, fruit salad that works as dessert or a side dish.

The Matrimony salad is a classic Jamaican dish and uses the fruits commonly found on the island. The addition of sherry and condensed milk make it more than any ordinary fruit salad, however!


12. Tangy Jamaican ColeSlaw

Tangy Jamaican ColeSlaw

Many of these salads have a base of shredded cabbage with vegetables, making them similar to a coleslaw. However, this slaw is made completely of shredded vegetables and a tangy, vinegary sauce (with no mayonnaise).

With cabbage, onions, carrots, and garlic, this slaw tastes like many of the regular salads of Jamaica. However, it has a twist in the marinade. A pinch of dijon mustard in addition to the vinegar and oil adds a unique tang. If you like cole slaw, you’ll love this salad!


13. Jamaican Jerk Pasta Salad

Jamaican Jerk Pasta Salad

Jamaica isn’t known for its pasta salads, but no salad list is complete without one. The island is famous for its jerk chicken and spiced sausages. Throw some of these meats into a cold pasta salad, and you have a delicious barbecue menu item.

This Jamaican pasta salad has all the delights of a cold pasta salad–perfectly cooked pasta, a zesty vinaigrette, and chopped veggies and cheese. However, it adds the spicy jerk chicken, adding a specific Jamaican twist.


Easy Jamaican Salad Recipes, Final Thoughts

These salad recipes rely on fresh veggies, homemade dressings, and the ability to let things soak for a while. Once you’ve mastered the art of slicing veggies and mixing them, you’ll be able to create and enjoy all of these salads and taste a little of the island wherever you are.

If you’re after more recipes, you can always check out these Jamaican cookbooks.

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