These amazing Jamaican Vegan Recipes are a must-try. You can enjoy my incredibly delicious meatless recipes that cater to both meat-eaters and plant-based eaters alike.

I’ve spread a lot of Jamaican food recipes across my website, and I decided to gather a few in one location for those interested in trying something new or wanting to cook old favorites themselves.

History Of Jamaican Cuisine

Jamaica was originally called Xaymaca, which is known as a land of wood and water, our nutrient-rich soil grows some of the best products,  with an abundance of fruits and vegetables.

Jamaica, once known as a rich realm of flora and fertile soils, boasts an agricultural tapestry vibrant with fruits and vegetables. This land supported diets focused heavily on plant-based ingredients, making it a natural haven for embracing veganism.

Among the most prominent advocates of this lifestyle were the Rastafarians, who typically refrain from animal products, with some incorporating fish into their diets—a cultural signature strongly associated with the music legend Bob Marley.

Although I now live in Florida and have more options. To ensure authenticity and accessibility, I simplify the recipes as much as possible, allowing them to be prepared anywhere in the world.

Indian, Caribbean, African, Middle Eastern, Asian, and most other international markets carry the majority of the items needed for these recipes, making them accessible to people all over the world.

They are organized in groups, with breakfast, soup, side, main, and dessert dishes included. They are not only vegan but they are also gluten-free.

Breakfast

Vegan Ackee

vegan ackee on beige plate with boiled dumpling and yellow yam

Vegan Ackee

Of course, we start with a classic, Vegan Ackee. Jamaicans usually eat this dish for breakfast, along with dumplings and callaloo (also included below), but it can be enjoyed for any meal.

Banana Fritters

Banana fritters with slices of banana on a blue plate on wooden backgroun

Jamaican Banana Fritters

These Banana Fritters are similar to pancakes, but without the need to dress them up, thanks to
the bananas.

They’re sweet and delicious all by themselves, so they’re a great breakfast item
for your kids on busy mornings.

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

Jamaican cornmeal porridge overlay in a beige bowl on a grey background

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

With this island twist on the classic warm cereal, one finds a comforting blend of spices and sweetness that harmonizes in a creamy, satiating bowl. This dish reinvents the Jamaican love for corn-based porridge, inviting variations with different toppings like fruits and coconut to suit individual tastes—or enjoyed simply as is.

  • Base: Fine cornmeal
  • Texture: Creamy, smooth
  • Flavor profile: Sweet with a hint of spice
  • Variations: Can add fruits, coconut, etc.
  • Dietary notes: Vegan and gluten-free

This porridge-like is eaten very often in Jamaica, as popular as oatmeal is here in the USA. There
are various types, but one of the most popular is made with cornmeal.

I dressed it up and added fruits and coconut, and just like with oatmeal you can dress this Cornmeal Porridge up as
you please or leave it plain. Check out my Instant Pot Cornmeal Porridge.

Banana Porridge

Banana Porridge is a Jamaican breakfast favorite, made with green bananas, flavorful coconut milk, and spices. I have enjoyed green banana porridge as a child, the unique flavor is nothing like ripe banana but it is incredibly delicious. The flavor is sweet and creamy with a blend of spices and vanilla extract, making it the perfect breakfast treat.

Plantain Porridge

This is a commonly found Nigerian plantain porridge recipe that has found its way to Jamaica. Traditionally it is eaten alone, but you can add toppings if you like, especially if you’d like to get some additional protein. Try with chia seeds, hemp hearts, chopped nuts, dried, fresh, or stewed fruit, cacao nibs, or coconut flakes

Soups

Spinach Soup

This Spinach Soup is a version of pepperpot soup, which is a dish originating in West Africa that
is popular in the Caribbean.

In Jamaica, meat and callaloo are usually used, but I used spinach,
left out the meat, and added lots of herbs and seasonings to make it flavorful and delicious.

Over lay spinach soup in beige bowl

Gungo Peas Soup

Gungo or Pigeon Pea Soup is delightfully hearty, with all the necessary nutrients to fill you up in
the beans, vegetables, and gluten-free dumplings.

Jamaican gungo peas soup overlay in white bowl with dumplings

Jamaican Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup is probably one of the most comforting soups I’ve had and is filled with hearty

vegetables. If you like your soup smooth and creamy, I also have a recipe for Jamaican Pumpkin Soup Pureed.

Jamaican pumpkin soup in bowl with dumplings

very simple and quick Jamaican soup recipe that takes less than 25 minutes to prepare!

Red Pea Soup

This is my vegan and gluten-free version of Jamaican red peas soup. Red peas soup is traditionally cooked with salt beef, salted pig’s tail, or chicken feet. Like my Jamaican Stew Peas, this red pea soup has lots of flavors that you won’t even miss the meat.

Yellow Yam Stew

If you are looking for a new, exciting, delicious stew recipe, look no further than this Jamaican Yellow Yam Stew. I use hearty Jamaican yams in a coconut milk-based broth for a perfect dinner.

Sides

Jamaican Callaloo

Kale, spinach, or collard greens are not very popular in Jamaica. Our leafy green of choice is
Callaloo, and is eaten as a side with pretty much all of our traditional dishes.

overlay of Jamaican callaloo in a saucepan

Jamaican Callaloo

Steamed Cabbage

Another side item that you will always find in any Jamaican meal is Steamed Cabbage, with
shredded carrots were added as well.

It may sound boring, and I will admit, it is fairly simple, but the seasonings
make it taste spectacular with any main dish you choose.

Steamed cabbage in a grey bowl on a grey background

Steamed Cabbage

More Side Dishes

Boiled Dumplings

Boiled dumplings are typically eaten with ackee or various meat dishes, along with callaloo or
cabbage, and other various boiled root vegetables. They are a great filling addition to any meal.

Overlay of boiled dumplings in white bowl on wooden background with grey napkin and ackee in background

Boiled Dumplings

Jamaican Rice And Peas

Absolutely no Jamaican meal is whole without rice and peas. There are various methods, and
any Jamaican will have a different version, but they’re all delicious.

The two most common
legumes used are kidney or pigeon, it is your preference. Also Try Jamaican Rice And Pigeon Peas, Instant Pot Rice And Peas.

Jamaican Rice and Peas in a brown bowl on a brown plate on a white background

Jamaican Rice and Peas

Rasta Pasta

Pasta salad is not normally something you would associate with Jamaican food, but we do have
our own version called Rasta Pasta.

Rasta Pasta is named after the notable Rastafarians who first made this
dish popular.

Rasta pasta in white bowl on grey background

Rasta Pasta

Bammy

Bammy is a family favorite, growing up in Jamaica depending on where you live, I believe it is safe to say most people purchase storebought, but making fresh bammy is tastier. 

 

Jamaican Chop Suey

It is quite apparent from the name that Jamaican chop suey is the Jamaican version of Chinese chop suey. If you are a bit confused, relax! It’s a simple formula.

Yellow Yam Fries

These delicious Yellow Yam Fries are such an innovative way to use a popular Jamaican ingredient eaten for generations for nutrition and vitality. Customize the seasonings to your favorites to make it your own!

 

Boiled Green Bananas

Learn how to boil green bananas in multiple ways using simple methods.  Green banana is boiled and served as a high fiber, low-calorie side dish in many Jamaican and Caribbean homes. It is a great substitute for potatoes in the diet.

Sautéed Chocho (Chayote)

This delicious Sauteed Chocho And Carrots is an easy vegan side dish, slices of Chocho (chayote) and carrots cooked with onion, garlic, green onion, and thyme until tender yet crispy.

Baked Plantains

These juicy baked plantains are a delight, they are sweet, melt in your mouth, and are healthy. Baked in the oven compared to traditional frying, this is comfort food at its best, served as a side, dessert, or snack.

Mains

Instant Pot Jackfruit and Potato Curry

Ask anyone about Jamaican food, and one of the first things they will mention is curry chicken.
Now with this easy Instant Pot Jackfruit Potato Curry, you can make your own tender chicken-
like dish.

overlay of curry jackfruit with potato

Instant Pot Jackfruit and Potato Curry

Jerk Cauliflower

Of course, we know cauliflower is all the rage, and of course, I have my own cauliflower recipe!
Various jerk dishes are another classic group of Jamaican dishes.

Overlay of jerk cauliflower with rice and peas and green beans on a black plate

Jerk Cauliflower

Ital Stew

In Jamaica, Rastafarians are known for their plant-based, all-natural diets. One of their most
a popular dish is known as Ital Stew.

Ital Stew overlay in a grey bowl on wooden background

Ital Stew

Vegan Run Down Recipe

This dish traditionally involves mackerel cooked down in a spiced coconut sauce also called ‘Oil Down’ in other Caribbean Islands.

This Eggplant Rundown might seem like a random replacement, but the texture mimics mackerel very well

Overlay of vegan rundown on white plate with dumplings and green banana

Vegan Rundown

Stews

Vegan Stew Peas

An extremely popular dinner item is definitely Jamaican Stewed Peas. Kidney beans are cooked
down in coconut milk and spices, with dumplings added. It results in the perfect comfort dish
for these cool winter months.

Stew peas in a brown bowl on grey background

Vegan Stew Peas

Curried Tripe And Beans

Curried Tripe and Beans use chewy bean curd (tofu) skin, a favorite mostly in Asian cuisine.

cuisine, to replicate actual tripe traditionally used in Jamaica. With added butter beans, curried
with delicious coconut milk and spices, it creates a dish with an amazing flavor and texture
profile.

Overlay of curry tripe and beans on blue plates on grey napkin

Curried Tripe and Beans

Vegan Brown Stew Chicken

Vegan brown stew chicken is a vegan take on a delicious Jamaican dish. It is flavorful with a deep color and an umami flavor that leaves you in awe.

Vegan Saltfish Rundown

This Vegan Jamaican Saltfish Rundown recipe tastes amazing, the flaked hearts of palm, cooked in flavorful seasoned coconut milk with onion, garlic, thyme, and scallions, it tastes just as good as how my mom made it.

Green Banana Rundown

Enjoy this Green Banana Run Down, made with green bananas cooked in coconut milk, onion, garlic, scallion, thyme, pepper, and spices until thick and creamy.

Desserts

The most memorable sweet item that was not a snack from a corner shop is probably Sweet Potato
Pudding.

It isn’t what Americans would consider pudding, but would be more familiar to those
familiar with British puddings.

Sweet Potato Pudding on a white plate, glass of water on the background

Sweet Potato Pudding

Cornmeal Pudding

Also called cornmeal pone, Jamaican Cornmeal Pudding is a flavorful dessert that combines cornmeal, coconut milk, raisins, and spices. It is firm pudding consistency with a sweet and creamy coconut custard topping.

cornmeal pudding slice on a white place while the remaining pudding on a cutting board.

Jamaican Cornmeal Pudding

Jamaican Fruit Cake

Also known as Christmas Cake or black cake in other parts of the Caribbean, is a holiday must-have if you couldn’t tell from the name.Basically, it is the classic choice for any special event.

Jamaican fruit cake on a white plate

Jamaican Fruit Cake

Gluten-Free Gizzada

Gizzada is a perfect blend of flaky shell pastry and soft, chewy, and sweet filling. It is a delicious dish that works perfectly well as a dessert and a snack. It is also a perfect gift for holidays and Christmas.

If you look around at different cuisines, you will find several dessert recipes that are vegan, gluten-free, and utterly delicious. For someone who has a sweet tooth, these recipes are a treasure

Jamaican Blue Draws

This amazing Jamaican blue draws, also known as Duckunu/duckunoo, or tie-a-leaf is a delicious treat, made from cornmeal, sweet potato, green banana, freshly grated coconut, coconut milk, and a blend of spices, wrapped in green banana leaf and boiled for a moist and incredibly tasty pudding. 

Jamaican Spice Bun

Jamaican Spice bun is a sweet bread that is very popular in Jamaica, It is moist,  with warm spices and plump dried fruits. I’m so excited to share with you my vegan, gluten-free version of this Jamaican staple.

Drinks

Jamaican Sorrel

Sorrel Drink, once a Christmas specialty in Jamaica, is now popular and served all year round.It has great health benefits too!

Peanut Punch

People throughout the Caribbean enjoy this flavorful vegan peanut punch, not just in Jamaica. I make this classic beverage using peanuts, coconut milk, and spices, and sweeten it with maple syrup to create a deliciously flavorful drink.

Irish Moss Drink (Sea Moss)

After making the Irish moss mixture, you can blend it with condensed milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg to create a delicious drink.

In this version, I used lentils instead of ground meat and placed them in a gluten-free and vegan crust.

vegan Irish moss in two glasses on a grey background

Vegan Irish Moss

Honorable Mentions

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

This amazing Jamaican jerk seasoning is tasty, economical, and easy to prepare, with authentic Jamaican flavors, including allspice, thyme, nutmeg, and cinnamon. This spice rub is great for roasting vegetables, tofu, or chickpeas.

Jamaican Jerk Sauce

This amazing Jamaican Jerk Sauce is so easy to prepare in a food processor or blender and is great on vegetables, tofu, or pasta. People around the world recognize and make this popular Jamaican marinade, which is well-known throughout the diaspora.

Jerk sauce in a bottle surrounded by Jamaican spices on a black concrete background

Jerk Sauce

 

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