Healthy Caribbean Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Cuban Cauliflower Rice Bowl

Rating: 5 stars 7
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.

Spicy Jerk Shrimp

Rating: 5 stars 6
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.

Slow-Cooker Arroz con Pollo (Chicken & Rice)

Rating: 5 stars 2
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.

Caramel Cream Cheese Custard (Flan de Queso)

Rating: 4.33 stars 4
Every panaderia (bakery) in Puerto Rico has many flavors of flan, from vanilla to guava. Reduced-fat cream cheese gives this version a rich, comforting texture.

Soup Joumou

This Haitian squash soup is a classic dish served on New Year's Day to commemorate Haiti's independence from France on January 1, 1804. The soup is traditionally made with calabaza squash—a winter squash that is also called green pumpkin. If you can't find calabaza, you can use butternut squash. Traditionally, the soup is made with beef, but you can substitute goat meat if preferred. If you are plant-based, a flavorful vegetarian version can be made by adding the homemade epis seasoning to the soup mixture while the vegetables are cooking. If using meat, be sure to allow it to marinate overnight for full flavor.
By Johane M. Filemon, M.S., RDN

Puerto Rican Fish Stew (Bacalao)

Rating: 4.78 stars 8
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: 5 stars 6
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.

Sautéed Shrimp with Mango Salsa & Coconut Cauliflower Rice

Rating: 4.64 stars 11
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 Chicken & Pineapple Slaw

Rating: 5 stars 2
Ready in under 30 minutes, this spicy chicken dish with sweet pineapple slaw is perfect for any night of the week.

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

Banana-Coconut Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Rating: 3 stars 1
When blended with frozen ripe bananas, coconut meat (a.k.a. coconut manna or coconut butter) is transformed into the base for this creamy banana-coconut dairy-free ice cream. This dairy-free banana-coconut ice cream recipe uses coconut butter, which is made from finely ground whole coconut meat and has the texture of natural peanut butter. Coconut butter can be found in jars near other nut butters, baking oils and sometimes even in the supplement department of natural-foods stores and well-stocked supermarkets.

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.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Blueberry-Banana Smoothie (Batido)
Rating: Unrated 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.
Pineapple Smoothie
Rating: Unrated 2
A touch of pineapple-orange juice concentrate adds even more pineapple flavor to this refreshing smoothie.
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.