Appetizers

14 Easy Jamaican Appetizers (Add Tropical Flavors to Your Table)

Elen Rustick By Updated April 18, 2023

I love discovering new recipes and Jamaican appetizers are no exception!

Jamaican-Appetizers-Main

I’m already very familiar with some of the island flavors such as plantains, jerk-seasoned chicken, green bananas, and of course coconut.

But there is so much more to explore! From Jamaican beef patty, fried chicken, salted codfish fritters to coco bread, I’ve listed the most popular dishes you can add to your appetizer menu.

Read on to discover the delicious flavors of this beautiful Island.

01. Jamaican Beef Patties

Homemade flaky buttery crust, juicy ground beef, and a bunch of authentic Jamaican spices all together in one bite? This is what delicious dreams are made of!

These patties are packed with so many flavors! And real heat too – thanks to the scotch bonnet pepper addition.

And don’t worry, the crust is easy to make! (+ the recipe includes many tips to succeed).

If you want to take the heat down, accompany it with a fresh Jamaican jerk salsa.

02. Jamaican Jerk Chicken

No Jamaican appetizer table would be complete without a jerk chicken. And this one is pure addiction.

Marinated in a delectable jerk seasoning and jerk sauce, the chicken is then baked to brown perfection.

Plus, this recipe can be done with any cut of the chicken you like: chicken breasts or chicken wings!

Served with crispy French fries, a refreshing potato salad, or a zesty lemon cake, you’ll dream of more.

You can also dip the chicken in this sweet honey gold chicken wings sauce for a different Jamaican-southern experience.

03. Jamaican Pumpkin Soup

I’m not particularly a soup lover – but this one is a must-try!

This comforting traditional soup features tender chunks of celery, carrots, potatoes yam and mashed pumpkin. The whole is cooked in an oh-so-creamy coconut milk broth.

The base is vegan but you can add bacon bites for more greed.

On top of this, you can savor melt-in-mouth homemade dumplings. Yum!

04. Jamaican Saltfish Fritters

If you’re looking for authentic Jamaican food, these Jamaican saltfish fritters are for you.

Made with codfish, they’re golden crisp on the outside yet soft on the inside. And of course, they’re loaded with heat!

The batter is easy to make and is directly incorporated with the shredded fish.

Serve them with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream to add freshness to the dish.

05. Jamaican Banana Fritters

Speaking of Jamaican fritters, here’s a recipe you’ll love: banana fritters!

Just like banana bread, this recipe includes ripe bananas that are mashed and mixed with flour, spices, and sugar to make a delicious sweet batter.

The batter is then fried to golden perfection.

It’s tasty on its own but with fresh fruit and cream cheese, it’s like heaven in your mouth!

06. Jamaican Coco Bread

Jamaican coco bread is the Caribbean take on the US dinner rolls.

This tender bread is shaped with a pocket for you to add any fillings of your choice. Popular options are cheese, patties, or callaloo.

It’s soft, it’s buttery, it’s slightly sweet. It has a delectable coconut flavor. But above all, it’s incredibly delicious. Ya mon!

07. Jamaican Jerk Sweet Potato Fries

Say hello to these scrumptious jerk sweet potato Fries!

Unlike French fries, these fries are not fried but baked. So you have all the flavors without the guilt!

And seasoned with thyme, cinnamon, paprika, ginger and topped with fresh cilantro, you’ll travel to Jamaica without leaving your kitchen.

08. Caribbean Style Guacamole

Just the sight of this creamy, decadent guacamole should make your mouth water!

And this Caribbean-style version won’t disappoint you. Loaded with fresh tropical fruits and tasty seasonings, you won’t stop dipping your plantain chips in it.

Mangos chunks add juice and freshness, that counterbalance perfectly the spiciness.

For a funny presentation, this recipe suggests using avocado shells for individual servings.

09. Jamaican Banana Bread

Jamaican banana bread is just like a classic banana bread + a ton of Jamaican flavors!

It’s also moister and more tender. With rum, lime zest, lime juice, pecans and of course coconut; this banana bread is just to die for.

On top of this, you have an irresistible rum-lime juice glaze.

Since it includes alcohol; it’s not recommended for children. Replace with 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice, 1/2 teaspoon of coconut extract, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract if necessary.

10. Jamaican Fried Dumplings

Fried dumplings or “Johnny Cakes” are a staple of Jamaican cuisine and it’s easy to understand why.

The flour-based dough is formed into balls that are then deep-fried. Plus, they require only basic ingredients and are ready in no time!

They’re delicious on their own. But you can serve them with saltfish, callaloo, or scrambled egg for a complete traditional Jamaican meal.

11. Fried Plantains

If you don’t know fried plantains, you’re missing out!

And you don’t have any excuses since this recipe only requires 2 ingredients: plantains and oil (3 if you count the salt).

The best part? Fried plantains can be eaten as a savory appetizer by adding jerk seasoning. Or as a sweet appetizer if you add cinnamon sugar.

It’s so good I could eat them all day! (and night).

12. Jamaican Style Pepper Shrimp

Each bite of these pepper shrimps is an explosion of flavors (and heat)!

The spicy paprika-scotch bonnet peppers seasoning brings spiciness while the butter base sweetens it all.

And thanks to a marinating process, the shrimps are super tenders too.

Since the shrimp are smothered in a sauce, it’s best to eat them with a spike. But licking your fingers is also an option.

13. Caribbean Coleslaw

Have you ever tried Caribbean coleslaw? It’s fruity, healthy, sweet, and full of fresh flavors!

Even if the dressing doesn’t involve mayonnaise (promise you won’t notice it!), it’s no less appetizing. Instead, it features honey, mustard, olive oil, vinegar, hot sauce and jalapenos pepper.

The dressing adds a hint of punch while the vegetables bring that crunch you’re looking for.

The coleslaw is then topped with nuts and mangos. Yum!

14. Ackee And Saltfish

Ackee and saltfish are like eggs and bacon. It’s the perfect love match!

It’s usually served for breakfast, but it deserves its place at your appetizers table, too. The combination of creamy ackee and salty cod fish is simply divine.

This recipe uses “vegan” saltfish but you can use regular fish instead. And if you have issues finding ackee in specialty stores, replace it with jackfruit!

15. Jamaican-Style Corn On The Cob

As soon as you’ll try this Caribbean version of corn on the cob, you’ll love it instantly!

Made with a tangy aioli and topped with parmesan cheese, smoked paprika and parsley, you’ll crave more.

To make this recipe even more simple, you can buy a premade aioli. But the homemade version will give a more authentic taste.

The recipe suggests also two fails of cooking depending on your preference: grilled or boiled. A must-try!

14 Easy Jamaican Appetizers

Directions


  1. Read through the recipe descriptions.

  2. Find your favorite ones.

  3. Try them out in your kitchen.

  4. Wow your friends and family!

More Appetizers Recipes You’ll Love!