Healthy Caribbean Recipes

Find healthy, delicious Caribbean recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Slow-Cooker Arroz con Pollo (Chicken & Rice)

Rating: 4.5 stars 5
This one-pot chicken dinner, inspired by the traditional dish of Spain and Latin America, comes together easily in the crock pot. The instant brown rice is added near the end, to keep it from overcooking.
By Laura Walsh

Bacalao Guisado (Puerto Rican Fish Stew)

Rating: 5 stars 11
Bacalao, salted dried codfish, is the defining ingredient in traditional Puerto Rican fish stew, but salt cod requires overnight soaking and several rinses in cool water before it can be used, so we opt for fresh fish in this quick version. Serve with crusty rolls to soak up the juices.
By Scott Rosenbaum

Spicy Jerk Shrimp

Rating: 5 stars 7
Here's a shrimp sheet pan supper that's roasted and caramelized to perfection! The pineapple in this recipe makes a sweet sauce that balances the heat of the Jamaican jerk seasoning.
By Diabetic Living Magazine

Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Rice Bowl

Rating: 5 stars 8
In this riff on a healthy grain bowl recipe, we use cauliflower rice instead of another whole grain like brown rice to cut back on carbs and load up on veggie servings. A simple citrusy drizzle, inspired by Cuban mojo sauce, finishes these vegan rice bowls, perfect for lunch or dinner.
By Carolyn Casner

Pineapple & Avocado Salad

Rating: 5 stars 8
This refreshing, simple Cuban salad recipe captures the flavors of the tropics. Serve alongside spiced chicken or pork, with rice and beans.
By Darra Goldstein

Jerk Chicken & Pineapple Slaw

Rating: 5 stars 3
Ready in under 30 minutes, this spicy chicken dish with sweet pineapple slaw is perfect for any night of the week.
By Diabetic Living Magazine

One-Pot Arroz con Pollo

Rating: 4 stars 2
Juicy cuts of chicken get cooked alongside rice, onion, tomatoes and broth in this irresistible one-pot dish that pulls inspiration from the Puerto Rican arroz con pollo. For added fiber, brown rice stands in for the white rice typically used.
Portrait of Wendy Lopez
By Wendy Lopez

Sweet Potato Pudding Cake

Rating: 4.5 stars 8
This cake was inspired by the one of the most popular Jamaican desserts, sweet potato pudding. Traditionally, raw shredded sweet potatoes are used, but we found that sweet potatoes sold in the U.S. don't provide the same texture as those in Jamaica. Instead, we mix mashed sweet potato with eggs and flour to get a slightly different, but equally delicious, cheesecake-like result.
By Carolyn Malcoun

Blueberry-Banana Smoothie (Batido)

Rating: 5 stars 3
Refreshing and colorful fruit smoothies called batidos are served at Cuban snack bars all over Florida--try this recipe with blueberries and banana for a vacation in a cup.
Eating Well Bio Page
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Smoky Black Bean & Pepper Soup

Rating: 3 stars 2
Unlike many black bean soups, this Cuban-inspired one is pepper-packed and leaves the beans intact for a more interesting texture. It's equally delicious served on its own or over rice.
By Lisa Holderness Brown

Asopao de Gandules (Pigeon Pea Stew)

Rating: 5 stars 1
This simple vegetarian stew makes a hearty and inexpensive main course. It showcases fresh pigeon peas (gandules verdes), which are a staple in Puerto Rico. The small, round legume is similar in size to an English pea. Serve this with rice, tostones (fried plantains) or viandas (steamed or boiled root vegetables). Read more about this recipe.
By Verónica Quiles Maldonado

Curried Fish

Rating: 4 stars 10
Though curried goat, chicken and shrimp are more popular in Jamaica than fish, food journalist Jacqui Sinclair's curry with mild mahi-mahi is a delicious and light alternative. Serve over rice.
By Carolyn Malcoun
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Inspiration and Ideas

Instant-Pot Mojo Pork
Rating: Unrated 7
In Cuba, lechon asado (roast pork) is marinated in mojo, a citrus-herb sauce. In this Instant-Pot pork recipe, the pressure cooker infuses similar flavor into pork shoulder. No pressure cooker? Braise the meat in a large pot in a 300 degrees F oven for 4 to 5 hours.
Arroz con Pollo
Rating: Unrated 12
Arroz con pollo, or chicken cooked with rice, is a common dish in Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean. We use quick-cooking brown rice here to help you get this on the table in just 40 minutes. Serve with a mixed green salad tossed with cilantro-lime vinaigrette.
Pork Picadillo
Rating: 5 stars 4

Picadillo, with its lively sweet-and-sour taste, is a classic Cuban dish that almost every family has a version of. It's traditionally made with ground beef, but because beef is expensive and in very short supply, Cubans use pork instead in this easy recipe. Picadillo is a great party dish, since it reheats well. Serve with rice or polenta.