Healthy Caribbean Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Spicy Jerk Shrimp

Rating: Unrated
5
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.

Arroz con Pollo

Rating: Unrated
9
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.

Blackened Salmon Sandwich

Rating: Unrated
1
Blackened salmon is great in a sandwich with a spread of mashed avocado and low-fat mayonnaise plus peppery arugula leaves, cool tomato slices and zesty red onion. We grill our Cajun-style salmon so there is no need for any added cooking oil. Catfish makes an excellent stand-in for the salmon but you'll want to use a grill basket if you have one to keep the fish from breaking apart.

Slow-Cooker Arroz con Pollo (Chicken & Rice)

Rating: Unrated
1
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.

Cuban Beef Picadillo over Plantain Mash

Ground beef cooked with tomatoes and briny olives can be found all over Latin America. This is a favorite Cuban variation served over plantains, starchy vegetables that look like giant bananas. You can also serve the picadillo over rice or potatoes, so this easy dinner recipe is versatile too.

Jerk Chicken & Pineapple Slaw

Rating: Unrated
1
Ready in under 30 minutes, this spicy chicken dish with sweet pineapple slaw is perfect for any night of the week.

Puerto Rican Fish Stew (Bacalao)

Rating: Unrated
5
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.

Instant-Pot Mojo Pork

Rating: Unrated
3
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.

Pineapple & Avocado Salad

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

Curried Fish

Rating: Unrated
7
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.

Slow-Cooker Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja is a Cuban dish of meat, peppers and onions. Literally translated it means "old clothes," a reference to the colorful pieces of red and yellow peppers and tomatoes in the dish. Garnish this slow-cooker Ropa Vieja with additional fresh oregano leaves, if desired.

Cuban Cauliflower Rice Bowl

Rating: Unrated
5
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 mojo sauce drizzled on top gives this easy lunch or dinner a Cuban flair.

Inspiration and Ideas

Pressure-Cooker Chicken & Rice (Arroz con Pollo)

Rating: Unrated
3
Satisfy your Mexican-food craving with this healthy recipe. Just dump all your ingredients into an electric multicooker, such as the Instant Pot, in this easy recipe for flavorful arroz con pollo.

Sautéed Shrimp with Mango Salsa & Coconut Cauliflower Rice

Rating: Unrated
9
Shrimp and rice get a tropical makeover in this healthy 400-calorie dinner. Instead of rice, we've combined riced cauliflower and coconut milk for light coconut rice topped with spicy shrimp and a juicy mango-avocado salsa to cool it all down. Squeeze on some fresh lime juice before digging in to take this easy meal to the next level.

Jerk-Spiced Chicken with Charred Pineapple Salsa

Jamaican jerk chicken is traditionally marinated at least overnight and then grilled low and slow for fall-apart tenderness. Here, we coat chicken in store-bought seasoning but cook it in a pan for a faster version. Searing pineapple caramelizes its natural sugars and releases some of its juices—making for a more flavorful salsa that plays beautifully with the seasoning on the chicken.