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Caribbean Recipes: Easy Caribbean Food to Make at Home

I am currently sailing around the Caribbean and am really enjoying the Caribbean food! I have also been able to cook many easy Caribbean recipes and therefore want to share some with you.

From classics such as jerk chicken to less well-known Caribbean food recipes, including some delicious vegetarian and vegan options!

22 Caribbean Food Recipes That are Easy and Delicious

1. Roti

Caribbean recipe for roti
Photo credit: Tara’s Multicultural Table – Caribbean food

You can find many different versions of roti on the different Caribbean islands.

Most versions are served as a dish with the flatbread served on the side. But I love this folded-up version because it’s an easy recipe and it reminds me of getting rotis from street food vendors in Saint Lucia, taking them to the beach and enjoying them while watching the sunset.

Tip: to make this into a vegetarian dish I often replace the chicken with green beans and a boiled egg. It’s a delicious combination!

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2. Jamaican Jerk Chicken

authentic Caribbean jerk chicken recipe
Photo credit: Christina’s Cucina

This must be one of the most classic Caribbean recipes.

I love this authentic Jamaican jerk chicken recipe that comes straight from Chef Morris in Jamaica.

Tip: in Jamaica Jerk Chicken will often be served with rice and peas, and I love adding some Jamaican banana fritters. You can find recipes for both further down in this article. 

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3. Jamaican Oxtail Stew

Jamaican oxtail stew recipe
Photo credit: Recipes From a Pantry

Jamaican Oxtail Stew is a traditional Jamaican recipe, dating back as far as the 1500s, when the African one-pot cooking traditions were used by the African slaves and maroons on the island.

Usually this Caribbean recipe is known as an expensive dish, but this Jamaican Oxtail Stew is budget-friendly, yet still full of the rich beef flavor.

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4. Caribbean Chickpea and Potato Curry

Caribbean chickpea and potato curry recipe
Photo credit: Little Sunny Kitchen

They eat a lot of meat in the Caribbean and at times I find it hard to find vegetarian dishes. But, this chickpea curry is a great exception and you find variations of it on different Caribbean islands

Caribbean chickpea and potato curry is a healthy vegan curry typically served over rice. It’s a family-friendly recipe, easy to make, and ready in under half an hour!

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5. Jamaican Rice and Peas – the Simple & Quick Version

a quick rice and peas recipe
Photo credit: The Vegan Atlas

Rice and Peas is one of Jamaica’s staples, but you can find it on many other Caribbean islands as well.

I love this recipe because it’s easy and quick to make. It’s great served with Jerk chicken, but as I try not to eat too much meat I often serve this with some Jamaican banana fritters, for which you can find a recipe later in this article.

Or, and I don’t know how much Jamaicans now feel I am ruining their recipe, I sometimes serve it with a fried egg on top and might even substitute the red beans for black beans if that’s all I have. In my defense: I live on a boat, have a tiny kitchen and I often just have to make do with what I can find in remote locations!

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6. Instant Pot Arroz Con Gandules

Puerto Rican Arroz Con Gandules
Photo credit: Fried Dandelions – Caribbean food recipes

Arroz Con Gandules is Puerto Rico’s national dish, along with roasted pork.

This vegan Instant Pot Arroz con Gandules recipe makes a quick and complete weeknight meal. Using pantry staples, you’ll have this dinner on the table in just half an hour!

And although the traditional Puerto Rican version comes with pork, I love this vegan version as a healthier option.

Note: I don’t have an instant pot at the moment, and this recipe is also easy to make without one.

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7. Caribbean Pepperpot Stew

This Caribbean dish comes from Guyana, where it’s still a popular Christmas dish.

In Antigua and Barbuda Fungi and Pepperpot (pepperpot stew with cornmeal dumplings) is considered their national dish.

It’s a simple and deliciously filling stew. It does take some time to make, but if you have the time it’s definitely worth cooking this.

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8. Johnny Cake

Caribbean johnny cakes with cheese
Photo credit: Dqfn13 CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re from the US you might know Johnny cakes as you can nowadays find them in the cuisine of New England.

Johnny cakes originate from the indigenous people of North America and on many Caribbean islands you find this flatbread made with either cornmeal or flour, and sometimes deep-fried.

My first time trying Johnnycakes was in St Maarten, which is why I like to make this St Maarten version of this Caribbean recipe.

I love stuffing my Johnny cakes with scrambled eggs and some vegetables for breakfast, or with cheese as a snack. But I’ve seen them offered with tuna, chicken, pork or just plain, so your options are nearly endless.

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9. Trinidadian Doubles

A Caribbean recipe for Doubles
Photo credit: Food52

This is some of my favorite street food anywhere in the world!

Doubles is a common street food from Trinidad and Tobago, which you can nowadays find on several Caribbean islands.

It is normally eaten during breakfast, occasionally for lunch or as a late night snack, and it’s a popular hangover food for local Trinidadians.

Doubles are made with two baras (flat fried dough) and filled with curry channa (curried chickpeas) and various chutneys.

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10. Trinidad Corn Soup

a bowl of Trinidadian corn soup
Photo credit: Green Bowl 2 Soul

Trinidad corn soup is another popular street food in Trinidad and Tobago.

This vegan soup is full of flavors and textures. It’s so delicious that it might just become your favorite soup once you’ve tried it.

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11. Caribbean Mango Salad

easy Caribbean recipe for a mango salad
Photo credit: The Good Hearted Woman

This Caribbean Mango Salad is bursting with color and light, fresh flavors. It is one of the easiest Caribbean recipes on this list, it is healthy, and goes together in just minutes!

I love this recipe as a quick, light lunch or serve it as a side dish with dinner.

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12. Caribbean Papaya Salad

a simple Caribbean recipe for a papaya salad
Photo credit: Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary

This super easy Caribbean papaya salad recipe comes from the island of St Maarten.

It tastes fantastic with BBQ chicken, shrimp, or other grilled meats/seafood.

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13. Jamaican Steamed Cabbage

a bowl of Jamaican steamed cabbage
Photo credit: Recipes From a Pantry

This Jamaican cabbage recipe is one of those perfect side dishes that goes with almost everything.

The recipe is quick and easy to prepare and bursting with everyday fresh vegetables and herbs. It’s a little slice of the Caribbean served on a plate.

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14. Aruban Pan Bati

a plate of Aruban pan bati
Photo credit: Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary

Pan bati is a bread that is made in Aruba. The literal translation is “smashed bread” because it is so flat. 

In Aruba it is eaten as bread, but also as a pancake with sugar on it or with other fillings.

This pan bati recipe is easy to make and a nice way to have a different type of bread for a change.

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15. Bajan Fish Cakes

a plate of Caribbean fish cakes
Photo credit: Earth, Food and Fire

You’ll often find these fish cakes served at oceanside bars or restaurants in Barbados.

It’s a delicious appetizer that’s great for snacking on with friends.

These Bajan fish cakes are easy to make and delicious when dipped in a spicy mayo!

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16. Caribbean Green Seasoning

Caribbean green seasoning
Photo credit: Little Sunny Kitchen

Green seasoning is a herby and spicy paste that is used to marinate meat, chicken, and fish. And it’s also used in stews, curries, and soups.

It’s a traditional recipe that’s used on many Caribbean islands, and you’re going to love it!

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17. Jamaican Banana Fritters

a plate of Jamaican babana fritters
Photo credit: My Forking Life

This is probably the Caribbean recipe I’ve made the most, just because it’s so simple and a perfect way to use up ripe bananas.

Tip: I often leave out the sugar which makes these banana fritters a great side dish for any stir-fried rice or noodle dish.

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18. Arepa di Pampuna – Curacao Pumpkin Pancakes

a plate of arepa di pampuna
Photo credit: A Taste For Travel

Arepa di Pampuna are sweet pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon and nutmeg. They are popular as a breakfast snack on the island of Curacao,

Enjoy them plain or dusted with sugar.

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19. Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

a bowl of Jamaican cornmeal porridge
Photo credit: Little Sunny Kitchen

This super creamy and delicious Jamaican cornmeal porridge makes a healthy and hearty breakfast.

It’s warming, tasty, and filling!

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20. Pineapple Rum Cake

pineapple rum cake
Photo credit: 365 Days of Baking & More

In large parts of the Caribbean, rum cakes are a traditional holiday season dessert, descended from British the holiday puddings.

With pineapple, dark rum, instant pudding mix, and a boxed cake mix, this recipe is super easy to put together and tastes even better the next day.

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21. Rum Punch

a Caribbean rum punch
Photo credit: Earth, Food and Fire

You can’t go to the Caribbean without being offered a rum punch. And probably more than one!

It’s definitely a bit of a touristy drink, offered to you on most sunset cruises and other excursions, but I love it.

I actually used to make and serve these every day when I lived in St. Maarten and worked at SeaTrek.

Caribbean rum punch is very easy to make with only 4 ingredients!

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22. Caribbean Daiquiri

a Caribbean daiquiri
Photo credit: London Unattached

A classic Caribbean Daiquiri made with white rum from Mauritius will take you back to the sunshine in seconds

The Daiquiri was supposedly invented by an American mining engineer named Jennings Cox, who was in Cuba at the time of the Spanish–American War.

Nowadays it’s a popular cocktail all over the world and one you can order in many bars and restaurants around the Caribbean.

But, it’s also very easy to make this drink at home.

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Enjoy making these delicious Caribbean recipes!

I want to give special thanks to all the amazing chefs who created these Caribbean recipes and gave me permission to share them in this list.

And if you are thinking about traveling to the Caribbean, check out this list of best Caribbean destinations to visit.

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Caribbean Recipes: Easy Caribbean Food to Make at Home

Author: Sanne Wesselman
A traveler, wanderer, digital nomad, and entrepreneur. Owner of marketing company A to Z Marketing.
I spend most of my time living and working abroad and use this website to share "the good, the bad and the ugly" of traveling and living abroad. Visit the About Me page for more info.

7 thoughts on “Caribbean Recipes: Easy Caribbean Food to Make at Home”

  1. The last time I checked Cuba is not only in the Caribbean but is the largest island in the region, and its cuisine is outstanding. Big omission.

    Reply
    • Hi Ed, you are probably right but I haven’t been to Cuba yet (hopefully next year) and Cuban food isn’t something you find a lot of on other Caribbean islands, so I simply don’t feel I am the expert to share what are good Cuban recipes. But, if you have any recommendations for authentic dishes, please do share them! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Some of my favourite dishes here. I used to live in London and, after the nightclubs closed, there were many take away kitchens serving some of these dishes. Wonderful food to eat whilst slowly walking back home at 3am.

    Reply
  3. We had Caribbean food at home last night, and it reminded me of those wonderful warm trips to the region back when we were allowed to travel! One day soon, I hope, we can return. In the meantime, we’ll keep cooking! 🙂

    Reply
  4. What a great option to travel to the Caribbean through our kitchens! Love this collection of recipes! Thanks for sharing Chef Morris’ Jamaican jerk chicken recipe! He’d be delighted!

    Reply

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