The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (2024)

Caribbean cuisine is as vibrant and colorful, with lots of punch of flavors, as it’s people or land or waters. All of those islands doting this beautiful ocean are full of culinary marvels and mouth watering dishes that have been passed from generation to generation.

Caribbean cuisineis a fusion ofAfrican, Creole, Cajun, Amerindian, European, Latin American, Indian/South Asian, Middle Eastern and even Chinese. People have come to this part of the world from all over, bringing their food traditions and flavors. Today we are presenting you the Best of the Best Caribbean recipes.

From Jamaica to Aruba, Trinidad to the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico and so many others.

From their tasty appetizers like tostones and empanadas, to their delicious mains like picadillo and pastelon, to their sweet desserts like rum cakes and flan… You are going to find everything and some more in this list of the best Caribbean recipes. Set your taste buds ablaze by trying all these in your very own kitchen. Have fun…

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (1)

1. Carne Guisada (Latin Beef Stew)

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (2)

Carne Guisadais a Caribbean flavor bomb of a stew. Melt in your mouth tender chunks of beef along with veggies and plenty of flavor enhancers.

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2. Pernil (Puerto Rican Roast Pork)

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (3)

Pernilis a marinated, slow roasted pork shoulder or leg with crispy pork skin and tender, flavorful meat underneath. It is most popular in Latin American countries around Christmas, but is delicious all year!

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3. Jamaican Curry Chicken

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (4)

This Jamaican curry chicken recipe is a hearty one-pot meal that is full of bold flavors. Marinated chicken in their beloved curry powder is cooked slow and low to create one amazingly tasty curry chicken.

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4. Asopao de Camarones(Shrimp and Rice Soup)

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (5)

Camarones Guisados is succulent shrimp stewed in a Puerto Rican-style tomato sauce. It’s loaded with garlic, onions and plenty of fresh cilantro. Simple and delicious..

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5. Ropa Vieja (Cuba’s National Dish)

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (6)

This slow cooker Ropa Vieja is made with tender, juicy beef, bell peppers, onions and Spanish olives. Everything is slow cooked in aromatic crushed tomatoes and seasonings to make it one extremely delicious meal. Try it once and this will sure go in your rotation.

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6. Jamaican Jerk Chicken

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (7)

ThisJamaican Jerk Chickenrecipe is dedicated to all of my fellow spice lovers. Marinated in an amazing concoction of ingredients, it’s a total flavor bomb with a customizable level of kick.

It’s a tropical delight that will totally tickle your taste buds. And you can either grill or bake it, so it’s not only great for cookout season, but all year round.

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7. Vaca Frita (Cuban Crispy Shredded Beef)

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (8)

Time to get cooking another Cuban favorite…Vaca Frita!! It’s very straight forward, and tastes so delicious.

Flank steak is slowly stewed for hours and tenderized. But we are not stopping there. Once the meat is fork tender, shred it and fry it to crispy perfection with lots of garlic and lime.

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8. Jamaican Curry Shrimp

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (9)

Look at this Curry Bowl!! Bold and insanely inviting! My ultimate comfort food,Jamaican Curry Shrimp, is a vibrant, spicy, and incredibly flavorful dish that perfectly captures the essence of Caribbean cuisine.

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9. Fricase de Pollo (Cuban Chicken Fricassee)

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (10)

ThisFricase de Pollorecipe is a hearty and delicious stew, where tender chicken thighs braise in a well seasoned, wine-infused broth.

The Cuban version ofChicken Fricassee, it is a beautiful combination of flavors, and gets further bulked up with potatoes, carrots, bell peppers and olives.

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10. Bistec Encebollado (Steak & Onions)

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (11)

Bistec Encebollado, simply meaning steak and onions in Spanish. If you don’t know Bistec Encebollado… well, it’s about time you learn this Latin flavor bomb!

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11. Rasta Pasta

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (12)

Rasta Pasta!Are you ready for a colorful meal bursting with flavor? Here it is!

This is a creamy pasta loaded with red, green and yellow peppers. You can also top it off with shrimp or chicken. It’s generously seasoned with Jamaican jerk seasoning and finished off with freshly grated parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

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12. Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (13)

Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans) are an essential Puerto Rican side dish whenever you’ve having rice. They’re perfectly creamy, tender, simple to make, and bursting with Latin flavors!

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13. Bahamian Boiled Fish

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (14)

How does a nice hearty bowl of seafood goodness sound? Don’t let the name deceive you, this Bahamian staple is anything but boring! Hearty, flaky fish simmered in a delicious broth with potatoes, onions, tons of lime juice and a bit of hot kick. This is classic island comfort food!

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14. Puerto Rican Sancocho (Caribbean Beef & Vegetable Stew)

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (15)

ThisPuerto Rican beef stew recipe is a hearty soup with chunks of tender beef, root vegetables and more! Don’t worry if you miss one or two vegetables, we promise it would still taste awesome in their absence.

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15. Jerk Shrimp

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (16)

Juicy, plump shrimp with BOLD island flavors…Jerk Shrimp!Caribbean style.

Spicy, balanced with the right amount of sweetness and loads of zesty, bright flavors. Just a few simple ingredients from your pantry and you can create an amazingly delicious shrimp recipe in under 20 minutes.

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16. Arroz con Gandules

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (17)

This Arroz con Gandules recipe may be my new favorite rice dish! Tender rice with pigeon peas, generously flavored with salted pork, sofrito, tomato sauce and some great Latin seasonings.

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17. Dominican Pollo Guisado (Chicken Stew)

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (18)

Pollo Guisado, a classic comfort food in many Latin countries. This Dominican version uses simple ingredients to create an amazing depth of flavor.

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18. Caribbean Coconut Mussel Curry

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (19)

Creamy… coconutty… seefoody… Extra yummy Caribbean coconut mussels. Easy, delicious, and sure to please any crowd! Try this delicious Caribbean style curry, but be warned, you will get hooked!

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19. Pinchos (Puerto Rican Chicken Skewers)

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (20)

Pinchos are just your simple meat-on-a-stick meal, but these tender bites are super delicious. Get ready to grill one of the most popular street foods out of Puerto Rico…Pinchos De Pollo!!

The snuggly threaded chicken cubes are marinated in amazing island flavors and grilled to perfection, then slathered with BBQ sauce. Yes, very unique chicken kebabs!

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20. Puerto Rican Picadillo

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (21)

Picadillo is a classic, home-style, Latin American dish. There are many variations, but this is our favorite so far! Ground beef is flavored with all Latin seasonings and mixed in with bell peppers, olives and raisins. Sounds weird, but all the flavors just work wonderfully together. This is one of my favorite Caribbean recipes.

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21. Tostones (AKA Patacones)

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (22)

These crispy Latin tostones are a great alternative to your basic French fries. Easy… Yummy… Exotic! I bet ya, you cant stop at one. Grab some plantains next time in the market and make them in a zippy…

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22. Jamaican Style Pepper Steak

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (23)

ThisJamaican Pepper Steakis a spin off of the popular Chinese dish, this time featuring tender beef and peppers braised in a flavorful and tangy sauce. Treat your friends with this yum Latin favorite.

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23. Trinidadian Curry Chicken

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (24)

This curry chicken from the Caribbean island country of Trinidad hits close to home. Curry powder and fresh herbs and aromatics in their green seasoning form the base of this super simple chicken affair.

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24. Trinidadian Green Seasoning

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (25)

Add some flavor to your food with this Caribbean staple. Green seasoning is the perfect addition to your stews and rices, and makes a great marinade for your meats and seafoods.

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25. Jamaican Rice and Peas

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (26)

Coconut-infused rice and gungo (pigeon) peas is all mixed with scallions, thyme, Scotch bonnet, and allspice. It is the perfect easy and complementary side dish to make for dinner tonight!

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26. Cuban Mojo Pork

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (27)

For all the Cuban food lovers, here is a very simple and delicious, yet very iconic Cuban dish,Mojo Pork!!

Rich and succulent tender shredded pork with amazing flavors created by citrus juice, plenty of garlic and some select herbs. All you are doing is making a quick Mojo Marinade and cooking the pork slow and low for hours, smothered in citrusy Mojo.

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27. Jamaican Jerk Marinade

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (28)

Hey, Mon! Add some island flair to your food with this famous Jamaican marinade! Make it mild or make it spicy, either way get ready for an explosion of flavor! That’s must if you are craving for some jerk chicken…

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28. Cuban Mojo Marinade

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (29)

This Cuban Mojo Marinade will add a Latin flair to your grilled and baked meats. Citrusy and garlicky, this exotic and refreshing marinade whips up in 10 minutes or less.

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29. Homemade Sofrito

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (30)

A key ingredient in many Latin cuisines. This sofrito is based on the Puerto Rican version. Makes a nice marinade as well! Make a big batch and you are ready for unlimited Latin meals.

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30. Doubles

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (31)

Doubles are a Trinidadian street food staple. This doubles recipe features curried channa stuffed between two lightly fried baras (hence the name doubles!). Think chickpea sandwich with lots of flavor. A delicious combination that’s packed with flavor.

Get the Recipe @ sweetandsorrel

31. Keshi Yena (Aruban Meat Stuffed Cheese)

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (32)

Keshi Yena is the National dish of the Dutch island of Aruba. Seasoned ground beef is encased in melty, gooey cheese. Easy to make and mild in flavor, this is a must try Caribbean dish.

Get the Recipe @ carnediem

32. Pastelon De Platano Maduro (Sweet Plantain Lasagna)

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (33)

Lasagna with sweet plantains? Sure, this world is full of surprises when it comes to food and flavors. But a combination of sweet and salty ingredients surprisingly work extremely well. One of these days, give this Latin favorite try. Who knows, you might keep on making your lasagna this sweet and savory way…

Get the Recipe @ thehealthyfoodie

33. Jamaican Callaloo

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (34)

Jamaican Callaloo is a popular local staple green leafy vegetable, cooked with onion, garlic, tomatoes, thyme and Scotch bonnet pepper. Perfect healthy side dish for a tropical breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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34. Easy Beef Empanada

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (35)

These empanadas are crescent-shaped, savory pastries made of flaky pie crust and filled with warmly-spiced ground beef and vegetables. They are extremely popular in Caribbean and other Latin countries. Make a double or triple batch and freeze some for a future freezer meal!

Get the Recipe @ numstheword

35. Flan

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (36)

Creamy caramel flan is a traditional Latin American dessert recipe. A rich custard topped with caramel sauce and fresh berries. Its silky and smooth texture is what makes this so delicious and irresistible!Who wouldn’t like to dig into this one?

Get the Recipe @ cookedbyjulie

36. Hummingbird Cake

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (37)

Hummingbird cake is a Jamaican invention. It is an easy, sweet taste of the tropics with banana, pineapple, toasted pecans, and the best cream cheese frosting! Make this recipe for dessert today!

Get the Recipe @ browneyedbaker

37. Jamaican Beef Patties

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (38)

Jamaican beef patties, spicy flavorful beef stuffed in an amazing super easy buttery dough. They come together quickly and fly off the table in no time. Simply delicious!

Get the Recipe @ flawlessfood

38. Cuban Sandwich

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (39)

Looking for a snack or easy lunch? Try this Cuban sandwich. Made with tender, mojo roasted pork, ham, cheese and pickles, this authenticCuban Sandwichwill have your mouth watering before it’s even assembled.

Get the Recipe @ tastesbetterfromscratch

39. Rum Cake

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (40)

This rum cake recipe is made from scratch. It has the most tender, moist crumb, and is drenched in rum flavor without being overpowering. A fantastic dessert that’s equally suitable for weekly family dinners, fancy parties, or holiday celebrations.

Get the Recipe @ browneyedbaker

40. Conch Fritters

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (41)

A spiced batter littered with fresh conch meat is deep fried until golden. These conch fritters are a little taste of the islands that are downright addicting!

Get the Recipe @ lemonsforlulu

41. Bahama Mama

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (42)

A luscious blend of fruit juices and coconut rum will give you a tropical feeling no matter how far away are you from the beach. Bahama Mama is a sweet tropical co*cktail that features coconut rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, a touch of grenadine, and dark rum.

Get the Recipe @ willcookforsmiles

42. Mojito

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (43)

This Mojito Recipe is simple, easy to make, and totally delicious. You will find yourself coming back to this recipe over and over again! So cool and so refreshing…

Get the Recipe @ simplejoy

So my friends, now that you have learned so much about this wonderful island cuisine, how about trying some of these delicacies in your home?

Make some of the seasonings and marinades in bulk and keep that bottle ready in your refrigerator. All those picadillos and curriess or jerks are breeze then.

Bookmark or pin this post of great Caribbean recipes so you can keep coming back for new flavors…

See you next time!

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (44)

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Foods

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Add some island flair to your kitchen with this collection of 40 great Caribbean Recipes. Your family will think they're dining in a tropical bistro when you serve up some of these great dishes! For a quick start, try this simple jerk seasoning.


  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp allspice powder
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp nutmeg powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder


  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Store in an airtight container.


  1. If you love your recipe, please leave a comment. I love hearing from you!

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (45)

Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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    The 40+ BEST Caribbean Recipes (2024)


    What is the most popular dish in the Caribbean? ›

    Top 5 Caribbean national dishes
    1. Jerk Chicken – Jamaica. ...
    2. Coucou & Flying Fish – Barbados. ...
    3. Green banana and salt fish – St Lucia. ...
    4. Sancocho – Dominican Republic. ...
    5. Fungee & Pepperpot – Antigua and Barbuda.

    Which island has the best food in the Caribbean? ›

    Best Caribbean Island for Foodies
    • Barbados. Barbados is often titled as the culinary capital of the Caribbean, and with good reason. ...
    • Grenada. Grenada, known as the “Spice Isle,” is in the southeastern Caribbean. ...
    • Jamaica. ...
    • Puerto Rico.

    What are 4 native foods to the Caribbean? ›

    Corn, cassava, chayote, beans, peanuts, guava, pineapple, and hot peppers (e.g. Scotch Bonnet peppers) are all native to the Caribbean. Other fruits that grow in the Caribbean include lesser-known fruits like naseberry, passion fruit, jackfruit, and soursop.

    What are 4 common ingredients in Caribbean cuisine? ›

    Caribbean dishes

    Ingredients may include garlic, onions, scotch bonnet peppers, celery, green onions, and herbs like cilantro, Mexican mint, chives, marjoram, rosemary, tarragon and thyme.

    What is the #1 Jamaican dish? ›

    One of Jamaica's most famous dishes

    Jerk chicken is one of the most well-known dishes to come from Jamaica. The meat is marinated in spices with scotch bonnet pepper, pimento and scallion before being cooked over coals and pimento wood.

    What are 2 prominent foods in the Caribbean? ›

    10 Iconic Caribbean Dishes You've Got To Try at Least Once
    • Bahamas: Conch Fritters.
    • Antigua and Barbuda: Fungee and Pepperpot.
    • Puerto Rico: Mofongo.
    • Dominican Republic: La Bandera.
    • St Lucia: Creole Bread.
    • St Kitts & Nevis: Stewed Salt Fish with Dumplings, Spicy Plantains, and Breadfruit.
    • Jamaica: Jerk Chicken.
    Jun 30, 2020

    Which is the safest Caribbean island? ›

    What are the Safest Caribbean Islands to Travel?
    • Grenada.
    • Montserrat.
    • St. Barts (Saint-Barthélemy)
    • The British Virgin Islands.
    • Saint Lucia.
    • Turks and Caicos.
    • Sint Maarten (Saint-Martin)
    • Saint Kitts and Nevis.

    What is a typical Caribbean meal? ›

    Rice and Pigeon Peas

    You'll see rice 'n' pigeon peas on the menus across the Caribbean but especially in Barbados, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. This classic Caribbean dish is made by simmering the peas and rice in a coconut broth and seasoning the broth with spice, garlic, onion, and sweet peppers. Rice and pigeon peas.

    What food is the Caribbean famous for? ›

    Seafood. All those islands, all that ocean. Seafood, whether swimming or in a shell, is a Caribbean highlight. Long a staple of sailors crossing the Atlantic, flying fish are a firm and tender whitefish, best served grilled and hugely popular on Barbados and the Windward Islands.

    Why is Caribbean food so good? ›

    Fresh Food and Culinary Ingenuity

    One benefit of dining on cuisine from an island in the Caribbean is that the ingredients are locally-grown or caught fresh from the surrounding waters. Jamaican food is based on using the fresh ingredients that you have around you to create the widest variety of dishes possible.

    What seasoning is used in Caribbean cuisine? ›

    Caribbean cuisine features allspice in many dishes, including meat and sweet potato stews. Sweet and spicy, this Caribbean native is a key player in Jamaican jerk seasoning. It combines the warm flavors of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.

    What are 2 popular cooking methods of the Caribbean? ›

    NOT all Caribbean cuisine is spicy. Grilling, BBQ and Roasting is a very popular cooking technique. Regardless of how hot the climate is, the Caribbean cooking includes many soups and stews. While bananas and plantains might look alike, their taste, texture, and uses in cooking are completely different.

    What are 6 Caribbean foods? ›

    Food guide

    It is divided into the six Caribbean food groups: staples, vegetables, fruits, legumes, foods from animals and fats and oils; and surrounded by images of people doing physical activity.

    What is a traditional Caribbean dish? ›

    Jerk chicken: Often combined with rice and peas, jerk chicken is one of the most traditional Jamaican food options. The flavoursome meal is marinated with hot Jerk spice, which includes Scotch bonnet peppers, and is a popular way of cooking in the Caribbean.

    What is the Bahamas most popular dish? ›

    Seafood is a staple in the Bahamas. Conch, a large tropical mollusk (sea snail) with firm, white flesh, is the national dish of the Bahamas. Conch can be prepared in a number of ways: served raw with lime juice, raw vegetables and even fruit called conch salad.

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