Drum roll, please……..It’s the Jamaican Steamed Cabbage Recipe. It is easy to prepare, super delicious, and nutritious. This dish is a total knockout and surprises me with its unique taste.


If you are interested in cooking your way through different regional cuisines, Jamaica is a good place to start. The Jamaican food culture is something I’ve always found to be unique and richly diverse. For those who have yet to experience this mouth-watering cuisine, here’s my Jamaican steamed cabbage recipe.

Steamed cabbage is a well-known Jamaican dish, made with cabbage, onions, and seasoning and it has numerous health advantages (find more details below). 

Since we were young, we were told that fresh is better. However, this isn’t always the case. While fresh veggies are great, sometimes it’s best to live a little and not be so rigid about everything. This dish is a perfect example. 

This cabbage recipe adds a colorful and vibrant mood to any menu. So, pair this colorful side dish with any dinner to add a little bite and vibrant color. If you happen to go to a Jamaican restaurant here in the USA, more than likely Jamaican Steamed Cabbage will be on the menu.

Also Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding, and Jamaican Rice And Peas.

Jamaican steamed cabbage in a beige bowl on a cream background

Why Will You Love This Recipe?

Quick and simple — Only around 15-20 minutes of cooking time will be required for this simple one-pot dish. Cooking is simple, and cleaning is also easy.

Budget-friendly — This dish is prepared with readily available ingredients. Wonderful for using up cabbage, and other veggies that have been lying around.

Serve in a variety of ways —  It can be served for a quick dinner, or as a side dish for a variety of meats, fish, or vegetables.

Perfect for any occasion — It’s a great meal to bring to potlucks or serve at parties because you can simply double or triple the recipe to feed a huge crowd. Simply ensure that you have a large enough saucepan for this.

Diets— This recipe is gluten-free, low-carb, and keto diets friendly.

Healthy— This dish is also healthy and nutritious thanks to the cabbage and potato.

Leftovers — This is a fantastic filling for late-night snack quesadillas. It would also be delicious in handmade spring rolls.

Jamaican steamed cabbage in a beige bowl

Is Jamaican Steamed Cabbage Healthy?

Apart from its delicious taste, Jamaican Steamed Cabbage is extremely healthy, as the base is cabbage. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that, unlike popular belief, is highly healthy.

Cabbage is a nutrient-dense vegetable that is low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

It is also high in fiber and rich in antioxidants such as sulfur and polyphenols compounds. 

Antioxidants shield the body from free radical damage. A free radical is a molecule that is unstable due to its odd number of electrons. When their levels reach an abnormally high level, they might cause damage to your cells.

Antioxidants found in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage have been shown to prevent chronic inflammation.

Cabbage is rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that may help against heart disease, cancer, and vision loss.

Health Benefits Of Cabbage

Additionally, vitamin C improves the absorption of nonheme iron, which is abundant in plant-based foods.

This crunchy veggie is high in soluble fiber, a form of carbohydrate that cannot be processed in the intestines. Insoluble fiber contributes to the health of the digestive tract by adding volume to stools and supporting regular bowel movements.

Cabbage contains potent antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are flavonoid pigments found in plants. A number of studies have linked eating foods high in this pigment to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Potassium assists in maintaining a normal blood pressure level. Increasing your diet of potassium-rich vegetables such as cabbage may aid in the reduction of high blood pressure.

Cabbage is high in soluble fiber as well as plant sterols. These compounds have been found to lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Blood clotting is dependent on Vitamin K. Cabbage is high in vitamin K1, providing 85 percent of the RDI in just one cup (89 grams).

Apart from cabbage this dish also contains healthy ingredients like carrot, bell pepper, scotch bonnet peppers, and thyme. All of which are extremely nutritious and possess many health benefits.

Make sure to include plenty of cabbage and scotch bonnet peppers which are high in capsaicin. You’ve been told that this pepper is really hot!

  1. Jamaican Steamed Cabbage Ingredients

    You’ll need is the following ingredients:

    • Green Cabbage: Make do with whatever variety of cabbage you’ve got on hand. Simply modify the cooking times
    • Carrot: I add carrots for a little sweetness.
    • Olive Oil: I used olive oil. Why? Because it is healthy. However, you can use your favorite or available one.
    • Onion/Garlic: Onion sets the base for the dish. As for garlic, you simply can’t miss the garlicky flavor! If you do not have fresh ones you can use dried ones.
    • Red Bell Pepper: Red bell pepper offers a citrusy and sweet flavor. They add beautiful color. If you want your dish to be visually more appealing, you can use red, yellow, and green peppers.
    • Thyme: Some Jamaicans dislike thyme, but I like to use fresh thyme in my recipes. Thyme gives a nice background to every dish.
    • Green onion: You get a grassy yet savory flavor by adding the green onion. If you do not have green onions, you can use scallions as well.
    • Salt to taste
    • Scotch Bonnet Pepper: To make the heat to the next level, I used dried scotch bonnet powder. It also adds fragrance to this Jamaican cabbage. It is, however, fully optional.

    If you choose, you can skip it. Alternatively, if you prefer the flavor but not the heat, add the pepper whole and then remove it before serving. It is well worth it.

    • Vegetable Broth: You can use any broth you have on hand and even make your own with vegetable peelings. If you are not vegan you can use beef or chicken broth for a more rich and deep flavor. You can use water if you don’t have any broth on hand.

    How To Make Jamaican Steamed Cabbage?

    To prepare Jamaican Steamed Cabbage, shred cabbage, and carrot thinly discarding the inner core of the cabbage. Fresh thyme is the herb that is traditionally used for this dish, although for most of the year, I have thyme in my garden, at times I use Culinary Thyme Leaves.

    1. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, cut them in half, using a knife slice thinly discarding the inner core. Shred or thinly slice the carrot.
    2. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Sauté onion, garlic, bell pepper, thyme, green onion,, and salt.
    3. Add cabbage and carrots and stir well. Add water or broth and whole Scotch Bonnet pepper.
    4. Cover and allow to cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

    What To Serve With Steamed Cabbage?

    Steamed cabbage is served as a side dish as well as the main course in Jamaica.

    This dish is served with Sunday dinners and in restaurants and food vendors as an accompaniment.

    I like to serve it with simple Rasta Pasta and delectable Vegan Stuffed Eggplant.

    Steamed cabbage can be served alongside Cassava Dumplings or Vegan Chicken and Dumplings.

    Here are a few dishes that go well with this Jamaican Steamed Cabbage:

    Chef’s Notes

    • Cut the cabbage into equal-sized pieces to ensure that it cooks evenly.
    • Add more vegetables to make it a main meal. Like adding in some potatoes, peas, etc.
    • The biggest challenge with this dish is that the cabbage must be gently steamed over medium heat. If the heat is turned up too high and the pan is too warm, the cabbage may dry up, adhere to the pan’s bottom, and even burn. As a result, ensure the heat is set to medium.
    • If you dislike spicy foods, leave scotch bonnet pepper.
    • For meal prep, you can easily double the recipe.
    • Make a cabbage soup by adding more stock.
Overlay of Jamaican steamed cabbage on a beige background

How To Store The Leftover Steamed Cabbage?

You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container. Gently reheat them in a microwave oven set to 50% power.

What Variation I Can Do In This Dish?

Making something from nothing is a specialty of the Jamaican people.

We frequently combine steamed cabbage with saltfish and corn meat to make a usable dish.

Other Amazing Cabbage Recipes

  1. Curry Cabbage
  2. Roasted Cabbage Steaks
  3. Vegan Cabbage Soup Recipe
  4. Ital Stew Recipe
  5. Cabbage Balls

Other Frequently Asked Questions:

How Long Does Cabbage Take To Steam?

Cabbage takes around 10 mins to steam.

Is It Possible To Have Too Much Cabbage?

Even though we adore cabbage, a big head is too much for one to two people. Raw cabbage in salads and leftovers is fine with me, but not for a week! The huge heads are often cut into smaller pieces in several stores. Also, the cello bags of chopped cabbage that you can buy at a grocery store will work for this, as well.

If you don’t mind paying a bit extra for the bags, you’ll save a few minutes of prep time and avoid wasting cabbage. You’ll have to figure out what works best for your family.

What Other Greens Can I Substitute For Cabbage?

You can replace the cabbage with kale or any other leafy green.

What Are The Options For The Rest Of The Cabbage?

The cabbage can be chopped up and frozen to be used at a later date. Alternatively, if you’re feeling ambitious, try making:

Can You Make The Dish With More Vegetables?

Yes, if you like to add leeks, chopped cauliflower, peas, broccoli, and mushrooms. Although this isn’t how it’s done traditionally, there’s no reason you can’t do it now.

Can I freeze Jamaican Steamed Cabbage?

Any you have some leftover cooked cabbage you can freeze it; just ensure the containers you select are freezer-friendly.

Give this recipe a try. I hope you like and enjoy this Jamaican Steamed Cabbage. And, don’t forget to share your feedback in the comments!…. Have Fun Cooking!

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(Per portion)
  • Energy: 43 kcal / 180 kJ
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Carbs: 7 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Cooking: 10 min
  • Ready in: 20 min
  • For: 6 servings



  1. Remove outer leaves of cabbage, cut in half, using a knife slice thinly discarding the inner core. Shred or thinly slice the carrot.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Saute onion, garlic, bell pepper, thyme, green onion, and salt
  3. Add cabbage and carrots and stir well. Add water or broth and whole Scotch Bonnet pepper.
  4. Cover and allow to cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
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.