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 cuisine is a fusion of African, 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…
Table of Contents
1. Easy Beef Empanada
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!
2. Tostones (AKA Patacones)
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…
3. Conch Fritters
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!
4. Cuban Sandwich
Looking for a snack or easy lunch? Try this Cuban sandwich. Made with tender, mojo roasted pork, ham, cheese and pickles, this authentic Cuban Sandwich will have your mouth watering before it’s even assembled.
5. Croquetas De Salmon (Salmon Croquettes)
Salmon croquettes are crunchy on the outside and creamy inside. These delicious little morsels are lightly breaded and fried béchamel fritters with salmon. Having some get together? Treat your friends with this yum Latin favorite.
6. Jamaican Beef Patties
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!
7. Caribbean Coconut Mussel Curry
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!
8. Puerto Rican Picadillo
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.
9. Trinidadian Curry Chicken
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.
10. Bistec Encebollado (Steak & Onions)
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!
11. Dominican Pollo Guisado (Chicken Stew)
Pollo Guisado, a classic comfort food in many Latin countries. This Dominican version uses simple ingredients to create an amazing depth of flavor.
12. Bahamian Boiled Fish
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!
13. Ropa Vieja
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.
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.
15. Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice (Arroz con Pollo)
Arroz con Pollo, meaning chicken and rice, is one of the Latin comfort foods. This one pan dinner is made with homemade adobo seasoned chicken, sofrito and savory rice. You’ll make this recipe again and again!
16. Chicken Fricassee (Fricase de Pollo)
Fricase de pollo is a traditional Puerto Rican chicken stew that is braised in wine with potatoes and carrots. It’s the kind of dish that warms your heart and fills your belly.
17. Jamaican Jerk Chicken
This Jamaican Jerk Chicken is must if you like some Hot stuff! Completely coated in multiple spices, this chicken will rock your world with flavor. Finish up that recipe with a coat of pineapple sauce and you’ve got a dish everyone will be obsessed with.
18. Pollo A La Barbacoa (Cuban Soy Butter Chicken)
Need a quick and easy Instant Pot chicken recipe? If so, this Cuban soy garlic butter chicken recipe that is known as the beloved pollo a la barbacoa is the perfect one for you!
19. Pernil (Puerto Rican Roast Pork Shoulder)
Pernil is 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!
20. Keshi Yena (Aruban Meat Stuffed Cheese)
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.
21. Vaca Frita (Cuban Shredded Beef)
Vaca Frita is Cuban shredded beef. The beef is flavored with cumin, onions, lime, orange juice and garlic. It’s slowly cooked, shredded by pounding with a meat mallet, then fried till crispy. Served over rice with a side of sautéed plantains and a green salad makes for a Cuban feast.
22. Camarones Guisados (Puerto Rican Stewed Shrimp)
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..
23. Pastelon De Platano Maduro (Sweet Plantain Lasagna)
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…
This Puerto 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.
25. Jamaican Curry Chicken
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.
26. Lechon Asado (Cuban Roast Pork)
Cuban roast pork (AKA lechon asado) is marinated in a flavorful homemade garlic-citrus marinade and slow-roasted to perfection!
27. Habischuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)
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!
28. Jamaican Rice and Gungo Peas (Pigeon Peas)
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!
29. Jamaican Callaloo
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.
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?
31. Hummingbird Cake
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!
32. Rum Cake
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.
33. Coconut Popsicles (Paletas de Coco)
Creamy coconut popsicles that are so coconuty! These coconut cream popsicles are made with less than 5 ingredients and no artificial flavors! The perfect treat for a hot summer day!
34. Bahama Mama
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 cocktail that features coconut rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, a touch of grenadine, and dark rum.
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…
Coquito means “Little Coconut” in Spanish, and is a traditional Christmas drink that originated in Puerto Rico. If you like coconut and rum, you’ll love Puerto Rican Coquito! This creamy coconut-based alcoholic beverage is a staple during the holiday season.
Seasonings & Marinades
37. Homemade Sofrito
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.
38. Jamaican Jerk Marinade
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…
39. Cuban Mojo Marinade
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.
40. Trinidadian Green Seasoning
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.
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!
- Pick out a recipe that sounds tasty. I recommend starting with something you haven't had before, it's always fun to try new foods!
- Make a shopping list. If the dish you are planning to make has unusual sounding ingredients, call your local Caribbean or Latin market, they probably have it!
- Buy your ingredients. Make sure to get good quality, fresh produce and meats, it can really make a difference.
- Cook your delicious Caribbean recipe and enjoy!
- If you love your recipe, please leave a comment. I love hearing from you!
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