23 Jamaican Breakfast Ideas – Ultimate Guide (For All Eating Lifestyles)

If you are wondering what Jamaicans typically eat for breakfast your mouth will be watering with this list of 23 delicious Jamaican breakfast ideas. Covering all the traditional Jamaican breakfast options you’ll be spoilt for choice with iconic dishes, such as ackee and saltfish with fried dumplings, steam veggies with bammy, mackerel with boiled hard food, or tropical fruit salads to choose from.

Jamaican breakfasts traditionally consist of a hearty home cooked meal made from fish, vegetables or meat accompanied by an array of boiled or fried sides, such as dumplings, plantain, breadfruit, boiled dumplings, green banana, yam, and potato.

Other Jamaican breakfast favourites include eggs with frankfurters and beans, porridge, natural juices and smoothies which are especially popular with the younger generation. Whatever Jamaican breakfast dishes you decide to try you can guarantee that your taste buds will be tantalized and you’ll be full until way past lunchtime!

1. Ackee and Saltfish with Fried Dumplings (Vegetarian)

Ackee-and-Saltfish-with-fried-dumplings

Ackee and Saltfish is proudly known as the national dish of Jamaica with good reason. The irresistible combination of flaked salted cod and creamy ackee that has been sautéed with onion, garlic, tomato, sweet pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, and thyme is quite simply delicious.

This dish is regularly served in Jamaican homes and the finest eateries and hotels across the island and can be enjoyed with a wide variety of accompaniments. Why not try ackee and saltfish with fried plantain and dumplings, roast breadfruit, boiled dumplings, and yam, or Jamaican hard dough bread.

2. Jamaican Porridge (Easily Veganised)

Cornmeal porridge

Jamaicans love to make porridge for breakfast as it comes together quickly, feeds many mouths, and is super filling and yummy. There are so many varieties of porridge that are typically eaten for breakfast in Jamaica, you could have a different flavor every day of the week and then some!

Locally grown Jamaican ingredients such as banana, plantain, peanut, and breadfruit, make unexpected but totally delicious porridge. Other firm Jamaican favorites include cornmeal, hominy corn, bulgar, rice, or oats porridge.

Did you know, that no matter which variety of Jamaican porridge is made, it is typically served with a slice or two of bread?

3. Steamed Callaloo with Boiled Dumplings (Vegan)

Steam Callaloo with boiled dumplings

Steamed Callaloo is a delicious and nutritious dish that is prepared with onions, garlic, carrots, and thyme and can be served with any number of traditional Jamaican sides like dumplings, breadfruit, and plantain.

Callaloo is a locally grown vegetable from the same family as spinach, that is packed full of iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and dietary fiber. Callaloo is a kitchen garden favorite, as once sown it grows in abundance and is a cut and come again crop.

4. Salt Mackerel with Pumpkin, Yam and Green Banana (Vegetarian)

Salt mackerel with boiled food

Starting the day with a steaming plate of salt mackerel with boiled dumplings and ground provisions will have you ready for anything.

This delicious and filling breakfast can be enjoyed with any combination of boiled ground provisions. Jamaican favorites include boiled green banana, boiled dumplings, yam, sweet potato, Irish (white) potato, or pumpkin, which are the ideal accompaniment for mopping up the gravy.

5. Steam Cabbage with Fried Dumplings and Plantain (Vegan)

Steam Cabbage, Fried Plantain and Fried Dumplings in Take Out Box
@blessedandgiftedja

The humble cabbage is elevated to the culinary heights in Jamaica by slicing it into thin ribbony shreds and steaming it with onion, garlic, tomato, sweet pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, carrots, french beans, and okra. Packed full of vitamins and minerals this Vegan-friendly breakfast option is surprisingly delicious and versatile.

The best part is that Steamed Cabbage can be served with all manner of traditional Jamaican sides, such as hard dough bread, bammy, fried dumplings, Johhny cakes/festival, fried plantain, pressed green plantain, roast n fry breadfruit, or a mixture of boiled food, such as dumplings, green banana, yam, and sweet or Irish (white) potato.

6. Saltfish Fritters (Vegetarian)

Salt fish Fritters

Saltfish fritters, aka ‘Stamp and Go’ are enjoyed as a breakfast option for the whole family. The most delicious are crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside with flakes of salty cod threaded through the dough.

These delicious saltfish fritters can be enjoyed alone or served as part of a breakfast or brunch platter, with other Jamaican favorites like steamed vegetables and, plantain, as they are ideal to share.

7. Steam Vegetables and Saltfish with Bammy (Vegetarian)

Bammy

Jamaicans love to elevate their veggies by shredding their greens, with onion, garlic, tomato, sweet pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, carrot, and okra and steaming them together in their own juices. The addition of saltfish (codfish) to the steamed vegetables is surprisingly satisfying, but serving it with freshly made Bammy takes it to the next level.

Bammy is made from grated cassava that is formed into cakes and fried until golden and crunchy on the outside. Did you know that Bammy descended from a simple flatbread recipe invented by the Tanio / Arawak, who were the first recorded inhabitants of Jamaica?

8. Liver with Green Banana and Boiled Dumplings

Liver and Green Banana
@caribgrillusa

This old-time favorite is especially popular with country folk and the traditionalists, who appreciate that Jamaican cuisine makes use of most, if not all of the animal’s body parts. It comes together by sauteeing the liver, with onion, garlic, tomato, sweet pepper, and scotch bonnet pepper, before adding browning and a little liquid to simmer down and form a rich and hearty gravy.

Served with a satisfying mixture of popular Jamaican ‘ground provisions’, such as yam, pumpkin, sweet potato, green banana, and dumplings this hearty breakfast idea is sure to keep you full until lunchtime. Ground provisions are also locally known as ‘cooked food, ‘hard food’, and ‘boiled food’ in Jamaica.

9. Banana Fritters (Vegan)

Banana Fritters

These crispy, fluffy, sweet, and yummy fritters are a firm family favorite and make a sweet change from their savory cousins, saltfish or corn fritters. There is no need to throw away those overripe bananas when they make the perfect ingredient for these delicious banana fritters!

Quickly coming together with little fuss these delicious banana fritters are sure to be a crowd-pleaser and can be served alone or as part of a breakfast or brunch platter, with other sides like steamed vegetables and plantain.

10. Fresh Tropical Fruits (Vegan)

Tropical fruits

Jamaica is blessed with an abundance of locally grown seasonal fruit that is often hand-picked straight from the garden. Enjoyed as a fresh and natural breakfast option, there are plenty of tropical fruits to choose from in Jamaica.

Depending on the time of year you visit you can enjoy mangoes, pineapple, papaya, melon, naseberry, soursop, sweetsop, oranges, grapefruit, bananas, starfruit, Otaheite apples, passionfruit, ugli fruit, guava, June plum and many more!

11. Frankfurters with Egg and Bread

Frankfurters egg and bread

For a fuss-free breakfast with little prep work involved, you can’t go wrong with frankfurters, egg, and hard dough bread! Quick, easy, and filling this type of breakfast option is especially loved by parents and children alike.

Hard Dough bread is a traditional Jamaican loaf bread that has a dense structure but is surprisingly soft and springy with a slightly sweet flavor. This delicious bread is sold islandwide and is available in sliced and unsliced, white, and wholewheat varieties.

12. Natural Juices (Vegan)

With an abundance of fruits and vegetables readily available in Jamaica, natural juice is becoming a popular choice for those who prefer a lighter, healthier, and more portable breakfast option.

Many Jamaicans have access to seasonal fruits and coconuts growing in their gardens, making natural juices very popular in Jamaica. Jamaican natural juices are made by blending or juicing whatever fruits are in season and readily available, with water, coconut water, or sugarcane juice, finished with a splash of lime and ginger to give it that extra flavor zing!

13. Red Herring with Boiled Dumplings, Green Banana, and Potato (Vegetarian)

Red Herring is either smoked or tinned and therefore doesn’t need to be soaked or boiled to remove the salty coating, which makes it a much faster dish to prepare. The flaked herring is added to sauteed onion, garlic, tomato, sweet pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, and thyme to make an oily gravy with a deliciously rich flavor profile.

This delicious and filling breakfast can also be enjoyed with any combination of boiled ground provisions. Jamaican favorites include boiled green banana, boiled dumplings, yam, sweet potato, Irish (white) potato, or pumpkin, or why not try it with some fried dumplings.

14. Tinned Mackerel in Tomato Sauce with Festival (Vegetarian)

Tinned Mackerel

This popular Jamaican breakfast ingredient, known locally as ‘dutty gal’ is a readily available and economical choice for a quick, easy, and filling meal. The tinned varieties of mackerel are pre-prepared in a tomato sauce, that is added to sauteed seasonings like onion, garlic, tomato, sweet pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, and thyme.

Seasoned tinned mackerel can be eaten with anything that’s available! So expect to see it shared with hard dough bread, Jamaican breakfast dumplings – whether that be fried, boiled, festival / Johnny cakes or fritters, fried breadfruit, plantain, or even leftover rice from last night’s dinner!

15. Corn Fritters (Vegan)

corn fritters

Corn Fritters are delicious with their crispy-chewy texture with the little pop of sunshine every time you eat a piece of sweetcorn! Easy to prepare with pantry basics these sweetcorn fritters come together with a little finely chopped scallion, scotch bonnet pepper, and bell pepper.

The fritters are perfect for adding to a breakfast or brunch platter as they make a nice savory change from saltfish fritters that are both Vegan and child friendly if you go easy on the scotch bonnet pepper!

16. Steamed Vegetables with Bammy (Vegan)

If you know you know! Bammy and steam vegetables are perfection and a must-try if you are in Jamaica. Bammy is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside and made from 100% pure grated cassava that is grown in Jamaica.

Soaked in coconut milk and browned off in a little butter Bammy is totally moreish and the perfect accompaniment to Jamaican-style steamed vegetables. Jamaicans love to steam their veggies by shredding their greens, with onion, garlic, tomato, sweet pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, carrot, chocho, and okra which is such a satisfying combination.

17. Banana Fritters with Steam Callaloo (Vegan)

Steam Callaloo with Banana Fritters in Calabash
@blessedandgiftedja

Fritters are a popular Jamaican breakfast choice when time is short as, unlike traditional dumplings, they need no kneading. Banana fritters make use of overripe bananas and provide a hot, tasty, filling, and economical meal, especially when accompanied by some delicious steamed Callaloo which has a mild earthy taste.

You’ll be coming back to this delicious Vegan meal time and time again as it’s so easy to put together and surprisingly delicious and satisfying!

18. Steam Pak Choi with Festival (Vegan)

Steam Pak Choi with Festival in Calabash
@blessedandgiftedja

Steamed pak choi is super healthy and tasty and makes a nice change from steamed cabbage or earthy callaloo, which is commonly offered as a Vegan Jamaican breakfast option.

Festival is the sweet cousin of regular Jamaican fried dumplings. With a little sugar, vanilla essence and spice added they are delicious with their crispy outside and soft and bouncy center. Festivals are often shaped like little sausages or knots which are super fun to pull apart and nibble on!

19. Steam Veggies with Pressed Green Plantain (Vegan)

@jamaican_sweetvegan

Pressed Green Plantain is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, with a slightly salty taste, which makes a savory change from Fried Ripe Plantain. The trick to making perfect pressed green plantain is to fry the plantain on both sides, before pressing it until it flattens, then give it a quick dip in salty water, before refrying until golden.

Teamed with your favorite steamed veggies and some roast breadfruit and you have a Jamaican Vegan breakfast plate of dreams! Jamaicans enjoy steaming a range of leafy greens such as callaloo, pak choi, or cabbage, with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and thyme. This helps to create a healthy and delicious balance to the fried sides, which some will argue are the best part of the meal!

20. Butter Beans with Boiled Ground Provisions (Vegan)

@pluckerapp

Butter Beans are widely available in Jamaica and marry together well with vegetables to create a filling and tasty Vegan Jamaican breakfast dish. The butter beans are super delicious when added to sauteed onion, garlic, tomato, sweet pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, okra, and thyme to make a slightly oily gravy with a deliciously light flavor profile.

This delicious and filling breakfast can be enjoyed with any combination of boiled ground provisions. Jamaican favorites include boiled green banana, boiled dumplings, yam, sweet potato, Irish (white) potato, or pumpkin, which are the ideal accompaniment for mopping up the gravy.

21. Seasoned Baked Beans and Fried Plantain with Hard Dough Bread (Vegan)

@eat_plantbased_

For a fuss-free vegan breakfast with little prep work involved, you can’t go wrong with seasoned baked beans, fried plantain, and hard dough bread! Quick, easy, and filling this type of breakfast option is especially loved by parents and children alike.

Hard Dough bread is a traditional Jamaican loaf bread that has a dense structure but is surprisingly soft and springy with a slightly sweet flavor. This delicious bread is sold islandwide and is available in sliced and unsliced, white, and wholewheat varieties.

22. Jamaican Oats (Vegan)

@ms.blackcurls

Whilst overnight oats may not necessarily be a ‘thing’ in Jamaica, Jamaicans do love to conjure up their own variation of this delicious breakfast option which is usually served in a glass rather than a bowl.

This Jamaican Vegan breakfast is super healthy and easy to take on the move. The addition of some Vegan protein powder makes it the perfect choice for a pre or post-workout meal.

23. Smoothies

Smoothies
Jamaican smoothies are bound to put a smile on your face with their mouth-watering tropical flavors and vitamin-boosting qualities. Made from any number o in-season fruits such as mangoes, pineapples, bananas, soursop, and coconut they’re sure to be a family favorite.

If you’re a lover of smoothie bowls for all the toppings who can blame you! These tropical delights reach the next level with shredded coconut, diced fruits, and a sprinkle or two of crushed nuts.