21 Delicious Jamaican Food (Best Jamaican Dishes & Drinks Recipes)

5 from 4 votes

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Jamaican Food is well-seasoned and full of flavor. For foodies, Jamaica is the destination for a tantalizing taste of the Caribbean. There are many irresistible and festival recipes besides Jerk Chicken. We’ve collected 21 traditional Jamaican recipes that are incredibly delicious.

Jamaican Food is well-seasoned and full of flavor. For foodies, Jamaica is the destination for a tantalizing taste of the Caribbean. There are many irresistible and festival recipes besides Jerk Chicken. We’ve collected 21 traditional Jamaican recipes that are incredibly delicious.
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These dishes show the full range of Jamaican cuisine and there’s something for everybody on the list.

From meaty and meatless dishes to rich, hearty stews and even traditional Jamaican pastries, this is a roundup of the best Jamaican recipes.

What are Traditional Jamaican Foods?

Jamaican cuisine is colorful, sometimes spicy, and always full of flavor. Traditional Jamaican foods include the national dish, Ackee and Saltfish, which is popularly eaten at breakfast. For lunch, many Jamaicans will have traditional favorites like curry goat or a beef patty.

What Do Jamaicans Eat for Dinner?

Sunday dinner in Jamaica is a grand affair in many households. Here, you will find rice and peas, jerk chicken, brown stew chicken, oxtail, curry chicken along with a healthy serving of vegetables. To drink, have a refreshing glass of sorrel or ginger beer.

1. Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken

Jamaican jerk chicken is famous for its spicy, smoky taste. Recreate this dish at home using a blend of traditional herbs and spices. If you can handle it, turn it up a notch with some authentic scotch bonnet pepper sauce.

2. Ackee and Saltfish

Ackee and Saltfish

Jamaica’s national dish makes a tasty breakfast or brunch. Made with the buttery, savory ackee fruit, this dish is expertly seasoned with fresh onions, peppers, garlic and thyme. Sautee with salted codfish and serve with fresh, crispy fried dumplings.

3. Steamed Cabbage and Saltfish

Cabbage and Saltfish

This tasty meal comes together quickly using inexpensive ingredients. Cabbages are shredded and steamed with fresh garlic, onion and bell peppers. If you can handle the heat, add a bit of scotch bonnet pepper to the pot. Saltfish is the finishing touch on this pescatarian-friendly dish.

4. Authentic Flaky Jamaican Beef Patties

Jamaican Beef Patties

When in Jamaica, a visit to a patty shop is a must. Jamaican beef patties are made with a crispy, golden flaky pastry filled with seasoned meat. If you can’t take a trip, how about making your own addictive Jamaican Beef Patty at home?

5. Jamaican Curry Chicken

Jamaican Curry Chicken

Many cultures have their own method of making curry. Jamaican curry chicken is well-seasoned with traditional herbs and spices and Jamaican curry powder. Add in carrots and potatoes for a hearty, wholesome weeknight dinner.

6. Jamaican Rice and Peas

Jamaican Rice and Peas

Authentic Jamaican rice and peas is made with red kidney beans, creamy coconut milk and spices. This popular side dish is often served with Sunday dinner in many Jamaican households.

7. Jamaican Oxtail

Jamaican Oxtail

You’ll need your pressure cooker for tender, fall-off-the-bone Jamaican oxtail. This popular stew was originally brought to Jamaica by the British. Of course, Jamaicans made it their own by adding spices and seasonings. Some say the Jamaican method is the best way to prepare oxtail.

8. Jerk Seasoning

Jerk Seasoning

Jerk seasoning is a special blend of herbs and spices that can be used to give spicy Jamaican flavor to your favorite meats. Instead of getting it from the store, save money by making your own Jamaican jerk seasoning blend.

9. Jamaican Cabbage

Jamaican Cabbage

Here’s a traditional Jamaican meal that vegans are sure to love. Jamaican steamed cabbage is seasoned with onion, garlic and thyme. If you’re feeling bold, add some scotch bonnet pepper.

10. Jamaican Fried Dumplings

Fried Dumplings

Also known as Johnny Cakes, Jamaican fried dumplings are crispy on the outside, but warm and fluffy on the inside. These savory dumplings are the ultimate comfort food to be enjoyed with your favorite Jamaican meals.

11. Rum Cake

Rum Cake

For dessert, serve up a slice of this famous Jamaican pastry. Made with rum and infused with a buttery syrup, it’s a sweet taste of the Caribbean.

12. Jamaican Curry Goat

Jamaican Curry Goat

This dish is a popular menu item in any Jamaican restaurant. Succulent pieces of goat meat are slow-cooked to perfection in a spicy curry sauce. Serve with your favorite side for a hearty Jamaican dinner.

13. Roti


Also popular in Trinidad, roti was brought to Jamaica by Indian migrants. This soft flatbread is thinner than naan, but is also served with rich, saucy curry dishes.

14. Jamaican Chicken Soup

Jamaican Chicken Soup

Nothing says comfort like chicken soup made by your Jamaican grandma. For the next best thing, cook up a simmering pot of spicy, flavorful Jamaican chicken soup.

15. Brown Stew Chicken

Brown Stew Chicken

Jamaican brown stew chicken is easy to prepare with tons of payoff. Bite-size pieces of chicken are seasoned with garlic, ginger, peppers and scallions and simmered in a thick, flavorful stew.

16. Coco Bread

Coco Bread

For the full Jamaican experience, you’ll need some Coco Bread with your beef patties. Coco bread is a soft, fluffy and slightly sweet bread made with a hint of coconut milk. This hearty bread can be filled with just about anything for a sandwich that’s unlike any other.

17. Jerk Shrimp

Jerk Shrimp

Seafood lovers are sure to love this spicy, sweet Jerk Shrimp recipe. Plump, juicy shrimp are seasoned with an authentic jerk seasoning blend, then seared to perfection. How about a zesty summer salad featuring Jamaican jerk shrimp?

Best Jamaican Drinks

18. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee

Jamaica is known all over the world for Blue Mountain Coffee. Due to the perfect climate of the Blue Mountain region, this coffee is some of the best in the world. Make sure you’re getting authentic Blue Mountain coffee.

19. Ginger Beer

Ginger Beer

Jamaican ginger beer is sweet and refreshing with the fiery kick of ginger. Use fresh ginger for a delicious non-alcoholic drink that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

20. Hot Chocolate Tea

Hot Chocolate Tea

It doesn’t get more authentic than this! Jamaican hot chocolate is made using real cacao for a rich, smooth taste. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg for a cup of hot cocoa that’s far from average.

21. Jamaican Sorrel

Jamaican Sorrel

This drink is traditionally enjoyed by Jamaicans during Christmas, but can be enjoyed all year long. This unique beverage is similar to cranberry juice in color with a unique, sour, berry-like taste. Add sweetener and ginger for a refreshing Jamaican drink.

What Kind of Meat Do Jamaicans Eat?

Most Jamaicans enjoy meat and consume it regularly. Jamaicans eat most kinds of meat, with chicken, pork and beef being popular everyday meals. Goat, mutton and oxtail are served in most Jamaican restaurants or cooked in Jamaican homes. Seafood such as fish, lobster, and shrimp are cooked in a variety of ways.

Many Jamaicans do not eat meat. For this reason, Jamaican cuisine has some of the most delicious vegan and vegetarian meals.

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Jerk Chicken is one of the most popular Jamaican food. It’s incredibly flavorful and super tender and juicy.
5 from 4 votes

Best Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe

By: Izzy
Jerk Chicken is one of the most popular Jamaican food. It’s incredibly flavorful and super tender and juicy.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Marinating Time: 2 hours
Total: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 habanero peppers, (stem removed, and use extra if you prefer extra spicy flavor)
  • 1 inch piece ginger, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • Place chicken thighs into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to a food processor and blend gently.
  • Pour the seasoning mixture on top of the chicken. Mix well, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  • Marinate for at least 2 hours, and ideally overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.
  • Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove chicken from the marinade, and place them onto the baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve and enjoy!


Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 495mg | Potassium: 300mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 211IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate only and will vary based on ingredient brands and cooking methods used.

Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Izzy

I'm Izzy, a food lover and photographer. Here you’ll find a collection of simple recipes that are perfect for busy people. My blog aims to help you make and enjoy delicious and healthy food at home.

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Recipe Rating


  1. We traditionally eat Fried Chicken, Oxtail, and Curry Chicken on Sunday with Rice and Peas or Gungo Peas aka Pigeon Peas, it’s another type of peas. Jerk Pork, Jerk Chicken, Curry Goat, Ackee and Saltfish, Brown Stew Chicken, etc are mainly eaten during the week with plain white Rice or Provision which is Cook Dumplings, Irish Potato, Cassava, Yellow or White Yam, Dasheen or Taro. Those meats can also be eaten on Sunday if you are in the mood for it. Sunday is the biggest day in Jamaica because we eat the most anticipated meals… You forgot to add Callaloo and Saltfish,Bammy Escovitched Fish, and Roast Breadfruit that’s a staple breakfast for us. We drink Cocoa Tea almost every morning, sometimes Ginger Tea and Peppermint Tea, we Jamaicans love that tea, but Blue Mountain Coffee drinks mainly by Kingstonians and up North, not really all over the island. Anyway nice article. Take Care.

  2. 5 stars
    It’s nice that you pointed out how Jamaican cuisine is colorful, sometimes spicy, and always full of flavor. I was watching a food program yesterday and one of its episode talked about Jamaican food, which got me very interested in trying it out. I heard there are Jamaican restaurants outside of the Caribbean now, so I am thinking of going to one later.


  3. Hi you just have to try cooking with the Jerk Sauce from Jerkcentre.com the results are through the roof. Fire and such a delicious taste. It is truly beautiful and blended immaculately.

  4. 5 stars
    Makes me hungry. Having cornmeal porridge with lactaid milk, milk powder and condensed milk for dinner.
    Using nutmeg and cinnamon in it too!

  5. 5 stars
    Great article. My favorite Escovitch fish or Brown stew fish, oxtails and curry goat. Delicious. Pine apple ginger drink. Patties

  6. 5 stars
    thank you Izzy for showing us how Jamaican dishes is colorful, full of flavor and pure deliciousness!!

  7. Great article on Jamaican recipes. I am trying to work on making my meals better. This information helps me to do that.

  8. Hi Izzy there are many more dishes that were cooked in the island such as ***pepper pot soups **Rundown Cook with coconut milk with salted Herring ****Stewpeas with salt beef and pigs tail and Red kidney bean. **Turned Cornmeal with coconut milk and eat with fried fish and many more dishes the Slaves Prepared during Slavery on the island
    I love all of these Jamaican dishes