Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl

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Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl

This Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl is a twist on the very popular traditional cornmeal porridge in Jamaica. Creamy and delicious, with the perfect blend of sweetness and spice. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free and tastes amazing!

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl

Cornmeal porridge is the most popular breakfast cereal that is served in Jamaica, it is commonly given to children as their first cereal and it is believed to be an important source of nourishment in Jamaica.

Let me make it clear, I am Jamaican by birth and I grew up in Jamaica and migrated to England when I was 19 and later to USA where I now reside in Florida with my husband Devon, 2 children Daevyd, Devannah and dog Macho.

I grew up making cornmeal porridge the traditional non-vegan way until I became vegan 21 years ago. So this recipe is authentic Vegan Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge.

My Caramelized Banana Oatmeal Porridge is also another variation of tradition Jamaican green banana porridge.

My mom made it on a regular basis, she cooked fine cornmeal with milk, and sweetened it with sugar and condensed milk. She added cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Well for this recipe, I used almond milk and coconut milk instead and I sweetened it with pure cane sugar (sweeten according to taste).

I have also sweetened it with maple syrup and coconut sugar. Coconut sugar will make your porridge dark brown and doesn't look as pretty as the photos here. I prefer to use maple syrup or coconut sugar but I wanted to present a more traditional looking cornmeal porridge.

Traditionally we would just have the cornmeal porridge with crackers, bread, and butter but I wanted to make a more nutritious bowl, so I added fruits and toasted coconut flakes. So pretty and comforting!

Come on and think outside the box, why not add some delicious tropical fruits on top of your bowl of cornmeal porridge? Substitute with your favorite fruits, this is only a recipe idea!

Also, try my Instant Pot Cornmeal Porridge recipe.

Cornmeal Porridge Bowl

How To Make Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl

When making this porridge, you want to use fine cornmeal for a creamy smooth texture. I have used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free corn flour and loved the results. To make the porridge, I mix cornmeal in water until lumps disappear. I then bring almond milk and coconut milk to boil. I whisked the cornmeal mixture into the boiling milk. For this step, you have to be constantly mixing.

I lower heat and allow the cornmeal to fully cook. Depending on the consistency you like, you may have to add extra water a little at a time while stirring. I like mine thick so I didn't need to add extra water.

After cooking, I stir in sweetener and spices. I included the traditional spices used in Jamaica, you can substitute with a combination of cardamom and coriander or just omit and it will taste just as good. I then divide porridge into two bowls and top with banana, mango, passion fruit, and toasted coconut flakes. You can substitute with fruits of your choice.

I am so excited to start a new facebook group, sharing lots of delicious vegan recipes, health tips etc. from our members, please join us at Vegan Recipes With Love! If you tried this Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl, please comment below and let us know how you like it. Also, please follow us on Instagram!




221 kcal / 924 kJ
4 g
3 g
42 g
Per portion

Cooking Time

5 min
15 min
Ready in:
20 min
2 servings



  1. Mix cornmeal in a medium bowl with water until smooth.
  2. Bring almond milk, coconut milk and salt to bowl in a pot on medium-high heat.
  3. Add cornmeal mixture and stir continuously using a whisk. While the porridge thickens, it is important to continue mixing to prevent lumps from forming.
  4. Reduce heat and cover pot and allow porridge to simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  5. Add sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon and allow cornmeal porridge to cook for 5 more minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  6. Divide cornmeal porridge into two bowls, top with fruits and toasted coconut flakes. Serve immediately!



When you try this recipe, let me know how you like it in the comment box below and I would love to connect you on: Join me in my facebook group!

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

Michelle Blackwood

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

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  1. Semo
    August 15, 2019

    Loved this! I used 2/3 cornmeal and 1/3 almond meal for some added protein. My first time on your blog, so great to find! :D

    • Michelle Blackwood
      August 15, 2019

      Thank you for your feedback and welcome to my website, I love your adjustment, such a great idea. I’m happy you loved it.

  2. Chef Mireille
    May 23, 2018

    what a delicious way to start the day – I can easily dig into this bowl

    • Michelle Blackwood
      May 23, 2018

      Hello Chef Mireille, thank you for stopping by!

  3. Debb
    March 1, 2018

    I have tried this recipe a few times now and it’s delicious! I don’t put cinnamon in my i put start anise instead.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 1, 2018

      Thank you Debb for your feedback, I love star anise so delicious in it!

  4. Kathy
    February 25, 2018

    Can this be reheated ? Looks amazing ❤️

    • Michelle Blackwood
      February 25, 2018

      Thank you. It can Kathy but it is tricky, you have to add liquid because it gets thick when cool. You will have to use a whisk and stir it really hard to get rid of any lumps so you will end up with a smooth porridge. I also recommend using a non-stick pot in the first place so the bottom won’t burn.

  5. Dunori
    March 24, 2017

    I’ve heard/seen others use the mix first then cook method with the cornmeal but never tried it myself yet; I always just dump the cornmeal in the boiling liquid but the looks of the dish definitely have me considering the other technique. Also even though I’ve had cornmeal porridge many times before, never with such beautiful toppings which is yet another idea I will be borrowing next time I make it. Thanks!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 25, 2017

      Dunori, I find that when I mix first with water or milk that it reduces the possibility of having lots of lumps. Another way is to mix the cornmeal with all the liquid ingredients and constantly stir with a wire whisk while cooking. It takes a while to get to where it is boiling.

  6. Abra's Kitchen
    March 13, 2017

    Wow this looks incredible! It’s like a tropical Island in a breakfast bowl :-)

  7. The Vegan 8
    March 12, 2017

    Michelle, I love love this amazing and unique idea! I love cornmeal and grits and love this Jamaican twist. It is just so pretty and colorful too!

  8. Erin
    March 11, 2017

    I just brought some cornmeal will have to to try this soon. I love the toasted coconut on top.

  9. Alisa Fleming
    March 11, 2017

    Your Jamaican themed recipes are always so enticing and this one is no exception. Those flavors sound marvelous and the porridge looks so creamy.

  10. Linda from Veganosity
    March 10, 2017

    This is such a great alternative to oatmeal. I love grits, so I think I’d really love this recipe. Thanks!

  11. Wanderlust Vegans
    March 9, 2017

    That looks like a tasty and nutritious breakfast. It great to see some vegan recipes that I’ve never tried before. There seems to be quite a few vegan Jamaican recipes out there that are delicious.

  12. hey sharonoox
    March 9, 2017

    I’ve never tried this before but it looks so yummy! Love the photos and the nice bowl presentation.

  13. Richard Bivins
    March 9, 2017

    This looks good but don’t think its on the approved list for my new paleo diet. Your Caramelized Banana Oatmeal Porridge looks even better and I may have to try it on one of my free pass days.

  14. Tatum Skipper
    March 9, 2017

    Never been a fan of porridge but this one looks yummy! I love making recipes inspired by places I’ve been so Jamaica is the perfect place. It all looks so colorful and healthy!

  15. eazynazy
    March 9, 2017

    Oh god this is mouth wateringgg….It looks so yummy. Thanks for the recipe ….Saved

  16. Amanda
    March 8, 2017

    This sounds really interesting. I’ve never had cornmeal for breakfast. It does sound delicious, especially with mango and coconut. I’ll have to look for fine cornmeal and give it a try.

  17. Jessica Harlow
    March 8, 2017

    This looks like such a comforting dish! Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla are my favorite flavors and I think I’d love the texture of this porridge!

  18. Author Brandi Kennedy
    March 8, 2017

    I’ve actually never had cornmeal porridge before (it looks a bit like the cream of wheat cereal my mother used to make when I was a kid though), but this bowl looks like a lovely breakfast! You did a great job making it so pretty, too.


  19. David Elliott
    March 8, 2017

    I wouldn’t have thought of making porridge, but this does look fantastic. The fruit is the perfect touch for this dish and it brings bright colors to it as well.

  20. Glenda
    March 8, 2017

    I’ve never seen this dish before. Your Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl looks so tasty and delicious.

  21. Sophia | Veggies Don't Bite
    March 8, 2017

    I have never heard of cornmeal porridge but it looks awesome! Reminds me a bit of that cream of wheat I used to have as a kid!

  22. Jessica Taylor
    March 8, 2017

    I can’t wait to try this! My daughter is going to really love it!

  23. Shobika
    March 8, 2017

    Wow it looks so yummy. I definitely need to try this one out. The ingredients just make my mouth so watery haha.

  24. Elaine @ Dishes Delish
    March 8, 2017

    How intriguing with the cornmeal. I love all the ingredients and can’t wait to try it.

  25. Jessi Joachim
    March 8, 2017

    This looks amazing! I have never tried anything like it, but I think I need to try it out here soon!

  26. Amber Myers
    March 8, 2017

    Oh yum, what great flavors! I’d so give this a try. It looks spectacular.

  27. Mel | A Virtual Vegan
    March 7, 2017

    I HAVE to try this! It’ looks so delicious and I love cornmeal. I would never have thought to eat it for breakfast. Can’t wait to give it a try!

  28. Jenn
    March 7, 2017

    This is such a great idea! I have made porridge out of oats, quinoa, brown rice, even millet, but I have never thought to use cornmeal before. Like a sweet polenta! I can’t wait to try this!

  29. Natalie | Natalie's Food & Health
    March 6, 2017

    I prepare cornmeal porridge quite often. I love it because it’s nutritious, and you can top it with almost everything. And it’s super easy to make. Love your version with nutmeg and cinnamon, and tropical fruits. I think I saw fresh mango delivered in the store the other day. I think I’ll be trying this very soon. Looks delicious :)

  30. Dianne
    March 6, 2017

    So many delicious flavors in one bowl! This looks like a great way to start the day.