Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl

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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.

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 traditional Jamaican green banana porridge.

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Bowl

Jamaican Cornmeal 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 Ingredients

  1. Cornmeal – fine cornmeal is the best, but it is hard to find organic fine cornmeal so sometimes I use medium grain cornmeal and cook for longer.
  2. Water – important to mix the cornmeal with before cooking, it helps to prevent your porridge from turning lumpy, especially if you are making this recipe for the first time.  I have added the cornmeal directly to the boiling liquid but it requires experience to know to mix fast enough and pour the cornmeal slowly.
  3. Almond Milk – traditionally cow’s milk is used with condensed milk but any non-dairy milk is a good sweetener.
  4. Coconut Milk – used for its creamy texture and amazing tropical flavor.
  5. Sweetener – you can use sugar, maple syrup, agave, or your sweetener of choice. 
  6. Spices – vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon are the traditional spices used. 
  7. Salt – to taste
  8. Fruits – for topping, add fruits of choice. I added banana and naseberry but I love to top it with whatever fruits are in season, like pineapple, passion fruit, berries, mango.

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 cornflour and loved the results. To make the porridge, I mix cornmeal in half the almond milk and water until lumps disappear. I then bring the remaining 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 the 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.

Tips For Making Cornmeal Porridge

  1. Use a non-stick pot to prevent the base of the pot from burning. 
  2. Make sure your pot is large and deep, when you bring the milk to boil, they tend to boil over the sides of the pot onto the stove but a large pot will help to prevent this. 
  3. Also, don’t close the lid of the pot when bringing the milk to a boil.  
  4. When you add the cornmeal mixture, keep stirring with a whisk until the porridge gets thick and begins to splatter. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, partially cover your pot and leave a little space for the steam to vent.

Other Jamaican Recipes To Prepare

  1. Jamaican Cornmeal Pudding
  2. Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding
  3. Rice And Peas
  4. Steamed Cabbage
  5. Jerk Cauliflower Bowl

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(Per portion)
  • Energy: 221 kcal / 924 kJ
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Carbs: 42 g

Cooking Time

  • Preparation: 5 min
  • Cooking: 15 min
  • Ready in: 20 min
  • For:
  • 2 servings



  1. Mix cornmeal in a medium bowl with one cup of almond milk and water until smooth.
  2. Bring the remaining almond milk, coconut milk, and salt to a boil in a pot on medium-high heat. (Make sure you are watching the pot so the liquid doesn't boil over the sides, use a large pot)
  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!




Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

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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Rate this recipe

  1. Cloe Moore
    October 14, 2020

    Cannot wait to try this recipe!!

  2. Anita
    October 11, 2020

    I only have access to the usual (not so fine) cornmeal, would it still work?

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      October 11, 2020

      Anita, yes it will work fine, add an extra cup of water and you might need to cook it a little longer. Once it reaches a boil. reduce heat to simmer. It will taste just as delicious.

  3. Erica
    September 6, 2020

    First time trying cornmeal porridge. It was delicious. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  4. Victoria Wank
    July 23, 2020

    Thank you for posting this recipe! Memorial Sloane Kettering in NY offers this for breakfast in their cafeteria. That’s where I first discovered it. This recipe tastes just like MSK’s version. Delicious!
    (My iPhone won’t let me rate the recipe, but it would be 5 stars)

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      July 23, 2020

      Hi Victoria, that’s so wonderful, I’m so happy you enjoyed my recipe. It’s quite possible that they found my recipe online since its been around for many years. Thank you so much for your feedback, I really appreciate it.

  5. Jamillah
    May 1, 2020

    This was delicious! Sweet and yummy.

  6. Anne
    February 18, 2020

    Love it! ♥️♥️

  7. Leilani
    January 16, 2020

    So yummy!

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      January 16, 2020

      Thank you Leilani.

      • Julia
        June 24, 2020

        Absolutely loved this recipe! Very easy and nutritious. I substituted 2 parts almond milk and one part oat milk instead of the coconut milk and it turned out creamy and delicious. Topped with blueberries, raspberries, and roasted cashews. Nutmeg can be overpowering so I’ll use less next time!

        Thanks so much for this vegan spin on a traditional recipe!