Spicy Jamaican Cabbage Recipe

spicy Jamaican cabbage side dish
spicy Jamaican cabbage side dish - Erin Johnson/Mashed

Prepare to embark on a culinary journey that celebrates the essence of Jamaican cuisine. From the rich undertones of thyme to the bold heat of scotch bonnet peppers, each ingredient plays a crucial role in creating an unforgettable taste experience. This easy-to-follow recipe strikes the perfect balance between heat and sweetness, ensuring a delightful accompaniment to any main course or a flavorful standalone side dish.

Erin Johnson's spicy Jamaican cabbage recipe is a delightful symphony of flavors that will transport your taste buds to the sun-kissed beaches of Jamaica. Bursting with a tantalizing blend of spices, this vibrant dish beautifully combines the earthy sweetness of cabbage with a fiery kick of heat. "This is a perfect side dish for a cookout or for a casual night at home by the grill," Johnson says. "I love having this as a side dish for fish tacos or any grilled meat or fish."

Read more: Mistakes Everyone Makes When Prepping Vegetables

Gather Your Spicy Jamaican Cabbage Ingredients

Jamaican cabbage ingredients
Jamaican cabbage ingredients - Erin Johnson/Mashed

To make this spicy Jamaican cabbage, you can start by gathering your ingredients: an onion, scotch bonnet peppers, garlic, tomatoes, scallions, thyme, cabbage, bell peppers, carrots, salt, and pepper. You'll also need some cooking oil to sauté everything together.

If you're having trouble locating scotch bonnet peppers in your area, don't fret. Johnson tells us, "This is traditionally made using scotch bonnet peppers, but those can be hard to find. I use habaneros because they are readily available, but you could use jalapenos for a milder heat or eliminate them altogether." Choose your own adventure based on your tolerance for heat.

Sauté The Aromatics And Veggies

garlic and onion in pot
garlic and onion in pot - Erin Johnson/Mashed

Get out a large pot and heat it over the stovetop at a medium flame. Once it is hot, add the sliced onion and diced scotch bonnet pepper. Stir and sauté these veggies until they are fragrant. Then, add the garlic, tomatoes, scallions, and thyme. Continue to cook the mixture for about 5 minutes — your vibrant, veggie-packed dish is well on its way.

Steam The Cabbage

cooking cabbage in pot
cooking cabbage in pot - Erin Johnson/Mashed

Now, it's time to add the star of the show: cabbage. Add the shredded cabbage to the pot and cover it with a lid to steam for 10 minutes. During this time, the tough raw cabbage will begin to cook down and become tender.

Don't worry, this side dish is nothing like the mushy steamed veggies you were served in your childhood. Johnson is very cognizant of adding texture to this dish, which is why all of the veggies have not been added yet. She says, "I like to leave the peppers and carrots with a little crunch for a textural difference." We'll add those in the final step.

Add The Remaining Veggies And Seasonings

cooking cabbage and peppers
cooking cabbage and peppers - Erin Johnson/Mashed

Lastly, add the bell peppers and carrots to the pot. Stir everything together again before placing the lid back on, then allow the dish to cook for a final 10 minutes before seasoning to taste with more salt and pepper. From there, it's ready to serve.

As far as leftovers, Johnson advises, "Reheat this in a skillet on the stove for best results." The skillet will not only warm the dish through, but it will ensure that the veggies get browned and take on more flavor, whereas the microwave could make them a bit mushy. Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, where Johnson says they will last for up to 3 days.

Spicy Jamaican Cabbage Recipe

spicy Jamaican cabbage on plate
spicy Jamaican cabbage on plate - Erin Johnson/Mashed

Prep Time: 10mCook Time: 25mYield: 6 servingsIngredients

  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil

  • 1 onion, sliced

  • 1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced

  • 3 large scallions, chopped

  • 1 bunch thyme

  • ½ head cabbage, shredded

  • 2 bell peppers, cut into strips

  • 2 small carrots, julienned

  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot. Sauté the onion and scotch bonnet pepper until fragrant.

  2. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, scallions, and thyme, and cook for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the cabbage, stir, cover, and allow to steam for 10 minutes.

  4. Stir in the bell pepper and carrot, cover, and cook for 10 more minutes.

  5. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Read the original article on Mashed.