Enjoy a mosaic of flavors with these country-specific recipes from Chef Jouvens, Chef Williams, Chef Créole, Paulette Daley, Keila Rivera, and Publix Aprons®.
Caribbean ingredient highlights.
Caribbean cuisine is as rich and varied as its countries, yet certain ingredients are staples of its unforgettable flavor combinations. You’ll find these ingredients in the recipes on this page.
Part of the banana family, they’re sold either green or semi-ripe (with a mottled skin), or ripest and sweetest with a black skin. Plantains are often fried or boiled—or even made into fries, as they have similar texture to potato.
Scotch Bonnet Pepper
The famous chili pepper is an iconic ingredient in Caribbean cooking. It’s very hot, so make sure you use with care. Remove the seeds and inner ribs before cooking for less spice, or chop it up or add the whole thing for extra spice. If you can't find the Scotch bonnet pepper—or want something with a little less spice—the red habanero pepper is a good substitute.
Yuca is the root of the cassava plant. The large, tapered roots are similar in shape to a sweet potato and can be anywhere from one to several pounds in size. Yuca’s high starch content makes it rather dry, so including a sauce helps.
While at its core, paprika is ground red pepper, there are many varieties depending on how it’s prepared. Sweet paprika, which is generally found in Caribbean cuisine, tends to be lighter, while smoked paprika is more savory and spicier. Paprika is used as both a flavor component and a garnish.
Creole and Jerk Seasonings
Spices in jerk and creole seasonings include thyme, pimento, and ground chili peppers. They can also be used to add a spicy kick to dishes.
Cumin is traditionally used in Colombo powder, garam masala, and curry powder. Caribbean curry dishes often begin by sautéing cumin seeds in oil, to give them that distinct flavor, before adding other ingredients.
Also known as a “pear” in Jamaica, green avocado is often sliced and used as a side to a dish.
The coconut is iconic in Caribbean culinary customs. From rice or Johnny Cakes subtly laced with coconut milk to super sweet cocobrut candy, Belizean, Creole, and Garifuna cuisines often incorporate this tropical mainstay.