5 Delicious and Nutritious Caribbean Dishes


Caribbean cuisine is known for its vibrant flavors and colors, which reflect the region’s culture and environment. Across the islands, tasty dishes have been enjoyed for generations.

One popular dish is jerk, a spicy seasoning used to flavor chicken and other meats. Originating in Jamaica, jerk is famous for its fiery taste. The meat is either smoked or grilled, absorbing the rich flavors of the seasoning.

Spicy Jerk Chicken

Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 50 minutes Servings: 5 Serving Size: 150 g

This recipe offers the best Jamaican jerk chicken, whether you grill it or bake it! The delicious aroma comes from marinating the chicken in a flavorful marinade for hours. Who can resist the tasty char and spicy kick? It’s a must-try recipe!

For a delicious Caribbean meal, serve it with fresh pineapple and coconut rice.

What you’ll get per serving:

  • Calories: 334
  • Protein: 38 grams
  • Fat: 19 grams
  • Carbs: 5 grams


  • 5 chicken thighs or legs (bone-in, skin on) – remove extra fat and skin if desired
  • 3 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (remove the stem) – be careful, it’s spicy!
  • 1 small piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Grab a big resealable bag (gallon size). Put the chicken pieces inside.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients except the chicken in a blender or food processor. Pulse it a few times to chop it up, but leave it a little chunky.
  3. Pour the yummy sauce over the chicken in the bag. Close the bag, squeezing out any extra air, and rub the sauce all over the chicken. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for 3-24 hours (the longer, the tastier!).
  4. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and line it with aluminum foil.
  5. Take the chicken out of the marinade. Put the chicken pieces on the baking sheet, leaving space between them.
  6. Bake the chicken for 45-50 minutes, or until it’s cooked through. You can broil it for a few minutes at the end to make it browner. OR
  7. If you prefer grilling, preheat your grill to medium-high (about 400 degrees Fahrenheit).
  8. Clean and oil the grill grates with tongs and a paper towel dipped in oil.
  9. Put the chicken on the grill and cook it, turning it occasionally, until it’s cooked through (about 30 minutes).
  10. If the chicken is browning too fast, turn down the heat.

Grilled Caribbean Jerk Shrimp

This yummy jerk shrimp recipe is perfect for any meal! You can serve it as:

  • An appetizer (a fancy starter before the main course)
  • A salad topping
  • The main course (the biggest part of the meal)

This recipe makes 4 servings, and each serving is about 6 ounces (170 grams).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound of jumbo shrimp (peeled and cleaned)
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil
  • Half a scotch bonnet pepper (remove the seeds for less spice) – be careful, it’s hot! – chopped finely
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon of allspice
  • Chopped cilantro and fresh lime wedges (optional garnish)

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Grab a big bowl and put the shrimp in it.
  2. In a smaller bowl, mix together all the other ingredients (except the shrimp, cilantro, and lime wedges). To make it easier, use a blender or food processor.
  3. Pour the sauce over the shrimp and mix well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  4. Heat your grill (gas or charcoal) to medium-high heat (about 475 degrees Fahrenheit).
  5. Once the grill is hot, add the shrimp and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until they are pink and cooked through.
  6. Serve your jerk shrimp with a sprinkle of salt, chopped cilantro (if using), and lime wedges for squeezing.

Ackee and Saltfish

This dish called ackee and saltfish is the national breakfast of Jamaica! It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a delicious and filling breakfast or brunch.

The ackee has a nutty flavor, and the saltfish is nice and salty with a firm texture. These two opposites balance each other out perfectly, making a tasty combination!

What you’ll need (Ingredients):

  • 8 ounces of salt cod (dried fish)
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil (vegetable or canola oil works well)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped yellow onion
  • ½ a bell pepper (color doesn’t matter)
  • ½ a scotch bonnet pepper (be careful, it’s spicy! You can remove the seeds for less heat) – chopped finely
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves (chopped)
  • One 18-20 ounce can of ackee (a Jamaican fruit)
  • Salt and pepper

Let’s cook it (Instructions):

  1. Prep the Salt Cod: Rinse the salt cod under cold water until it’s not too salty anymore. Soak it in a bowl of fresh water for 1 hour, or put it in the fridge covered with water all night.
  2. Cook the Salt Cod: After soaking, put the salt cod in a small pot with fresh water and bring it to a boil. Cook it for about 40 minutes, or until it flakes easily with a fork. If it’s still too salty, drain the water, add fresh water, and boil for another 20 minutes.
  3. Flake the Salt Cod: Once cooked, remove the bones and skin from the fish. Flake the fish into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Sauté the Veggies: Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, until softened.
  5. Add the Fish: Add the flaked salt cod to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Finish the Dish: Add the tomato, scallion, and thyme to the pan and cook for 5 minutes more. Gently stir in the ackee and cook for 3 minutes, being careful not to mash it.
  7. Serve it Up! Serve your ackee and saltfish right away with sliced avocado on the side. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Caribbean-Spiced Roast Chicken

This recipe makes a yummy chicken dish with tropical spices! The chicken stays nice and moist while cooking, and the spices add a delicious flavor.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Makes 6 servings
  • Each serving is about 250 grams

This recipe is for a delicious roast chicken with a sweet and spicy rum glaze. It’s perfect for a special occasion or a tasty weeknight meal!

Here’s what you’ll need (Ingredients):

  • 1 ½ tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • 2 ounces of rum (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper (be careful, it’s spicy!)
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 whole chicken (around 3 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Let’s cook it (Instructions):

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius).
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the lime juice, rum, and brown sugar. Set this mixture aside for later.
  3. Now, let’s make the spice rub: Combine the cayenne pepper, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, salt, and thyme leaves.
  4. Brush the chicken with vegetable oil and then sprinkle the spice rub all over it.
  5. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and bake it for about 90 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a fork.
  6. While the chicken is baking, take the rum glaze you made earlier and brush it over the chicken every 20 minutes to keep it moist and flavorful.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked through, take it out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

Escovitch Fish

This recipe is for a delicious Jamaican dish called Escovitch Fish. It’s fried fish with a spicy pickled vegetable topping.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Makes 4 servings
  • Each serving is about 310 grams

The best part? It’s super easy to make! You’ll love the crispy fish and the flavorful, spicy pickled vegetables on top.

This recipe is for a delicious and spicy Jamaican dish called Escovitch Fish! It’s crispy fried fish with a yummy pickled vegetable topping.

Here’s what you’ll need (Ingredients):

  • 2 pounds of fresh fish (any type will work)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, cut into thin strips
  • 4 scotch bonnet peppers (remove the seeds from 2 for less spice, leave 2 whole)
  • 10 pimento berries (allspice berries)
  • 2 ounces of apple cider vinegar
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 lime or lemon (for washing the fish)

Let’s cook it (Instructions):

  1. Wash the Fish: Rinse the fish in water with some lime or lemon juice.
  2. Dry the Fish: Use paper towels to remove as much water as possible from the fish.
  3. Season the Fish: Mix together the salt and black pepper. Season the fish all over, rubbing the spice mix into the shallow cuts you make on the sides.
  4. Fry the Fish: Heat some cooking oil in a pan (enough to cover half the fish) over medium-high heat. Add half the garlic cloves, 5 pimento berries, and one whole scotch bonnet pepper to the oil. Carefully place the fish in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the fish is crispy on both sides.
  5. Sauté the Vegetables: Remove everything from the pan except for about 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onions, remaining pimento berries, sliced scotch bonnet pepper, and carrot strips to the pan over low heat. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Make the Pickling Sauce: Add the vinegar and brown sugar to the pan with the vegetables. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Assemble the Dish: Pour the pickling sauce over the fried fish. Let it sit for a while so the flavors can mix together.
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