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Easy Jamaican Steamed Cabbage Recipe

Jamaican Steamed Cabbage, a vibrant dish with a tantalizing blend of spices, is not just a great recipe but a wonderful blend of flavors that captures the essence of Jamaican cuisine.

Growing up in a Jamaican household it will be tough to find a meal without our signature Jamaican cabbage. In my very Caribbean neighborhood in Brooklyn, there is no restaurant that doesn’t serve cabbage as apart of every meal.

As far as I can remember I have been eating steamed cabbage with a protein like Jerk Chicken and Rice and Peas. This dish is a mandatory part of Jamaican Cuisine. It’s a great side dish too when you want to incorporate more veggies into your diet.

The earthy sweetness of cabbage, combined with the bold heat of scotch bonnet peppers and rich undertones of thyme, creates a flavorful standalone side dish that can easily become the star of your table.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use different types of cabbage? Absolutely! While this recipe calls for white cabbage, feel free to experiment with green cabbage, red cabbage, or even napa cabbage. Each type brings its own unique texture and flavor.

What if I can’t find Scotch Bonnet peppers? Scotch Bonnet peppers add a distinct heat to this dish, but if you’re having trouble locating them, chili powder or another hot pepper can be a good substitute.

Is this dish kid-friendly? Yes, with a few adjustments. You can reduce or omit the hot peppers to make it more palatable for children.

Can I make it ahead of time? Certainly! This cabbage dish keeps well and can be stored for later consumption.

What Ingredients Do You Need For This Jamaican Side Dish?

  • Coconut Oil
  • Onion (small onion, sliced)
  • Garlic Cloves (chopped)
  • Sprigs of Thyme (tied together)
  • White Cabbage (half of a very large head, sliced)
  • Carrot (medium, julienned)
  • Red Bell Pepper (sliced finely)
  • Yellow Bell Pepper (sliced finely)
  • Scotch Bonnet (minced, or use chili powder)
  • Water
  • All Purpose Seasoning
  • Dairy Free Butter
  • Black Pepper
  • Himalayan Pink Salt
  • Green Onion (for garnishing)
  • Olive Oil (optional substitute for coconut oil)
  • Green Cabbage (alternative to white cabbage)
  • Red Cabbage (for a colorful variation)
  • Napa Cabbage (another alternative)

How do you make it? Step by step instructions:

Melt the coconut oil on medium heat then proceed to sautee the onion, garlic along with the sprigs of thyme until soft and tender.

Add the cabbage, carrot, bell peppers and scotch bonnet, fold and stir. The pan may seem overcrowded but the cabbage will reduce.

Continue to stir and fold until the cabbage reduces, this should take up to 5 minutes.

Once reduced, lower the heat and add the water so the cabbage can begin steaming.

Steam with cover for 15 minutes (10 minutes or less if you want the cabbage to be a bit crunchy).

Remove the lid and add the seasonings.


Where to serve this easy side dish?

This Jamaican steamed cabbage recipe is a perfect side dish for various occasions, from casual nights at home to Sunday dinners. It pairs wonderfully with Jamaican rice and peas, jerk chicken, or even as a main course with white rice or my famous festival recipe. Its vibrant colors and flavors make it a great side dish for both family meals and larger gatherings.


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This dish maintains its flavors well and can be easily reheated in a large skillet or microwave.

Tips for Making This Recipe with Kids

  • Involve them in washing and prepping the vegetables.
  • Let them add the ingredients to the skillet and stir under supervision.
  • Teach them about the health benefits of the various vegetables, highlighting the lot of vitamin C in cabbage.
  • Adjust the spice level to suit their taste, perhaps replacing Scotch Bonnet with a milder pepper or omitting it altogether.

Why This Recipe Works

Jamaican Steamed Cabbage works well for several reasons:

  • Balanced Flavors: The perfect balance of spices, fresh vegetables, and the bold heat of Scotch Bonnet peppers creates a dish that’s rich in flavor.
  • Versatility: It’s a versatile dish that can be adjusted to be a main dish or a side, with options to vary the kind of cabbage and the level of heat.
  • Nutrition: Packed with vitamins and ideal for weight loss plans, this cabbage dish is both healthy and delicious.
  • Ease of Preparation: With a straightforward prep time and cooking time, this recipe is accessible for cooks of all levels.
  • Kid-Friendly Adaptability: It can be easily adapted to be more kid-friendly, making it a great recipe to prepare with children.

Here are some more delicious Jamaican recipes to try:

Easy Jamaican Steamed Cabbage Recipe
Yield: 6-8 servings

Easy Jamaican Steamed Cabbage Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Jamaican Steamed Cabbage combines vibrant vegetables like white cabbage, carrots, and bell peppers with a tantalizing mix of spices and the bold heat of Scotch Bonnet peppers, creating a flavorful dish perfect as a side or main course. This easy-to-make, nutritious recipe is adaptable for children and can be stored in an airtight container, making it a versatile choice for family meals and special occasions alike.


  • 2 tablespoon of coconut oil

  • 1 small onion sliced

  • 3 garlic cloves chopped

  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme tied together

  • ½ a head of a VERY large white cabbage sliced

  • 1 medium carrot julienned

  • 1 red pepper sliced finely

  • 1 yellow pepper sliced finely

  • ½ scotch bonnet minced (or use ¼ teaspoon of chilli powder)
¼ cup of water

  • 1 teaspoon of all purpose seasoning see post for recipe

  • 1 tablespoon of dairy free butter

  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

  • Himalayan pink salt to taste


  1. Melt the coconut oil on medium heat then proceed to sautee the onion, garlic in the pan along with the sprigs of thyme until soft.
  2. Add the cabbage, carrot, bell peppers and scotch bonnet, fold and stir. The pan may seem overcrowded but the cabbage will get smaller as it reduces.
  3. Continue to stir and fold until the cabbage reduces in volume, this should take up to 5 minutes.
  4. Once reduced, lower the heat and add the water.
  5. Cover the skillet with a lid and steam for 15 minutes, a little bit less
  6. Remove the lid and season with the all purpose seasoning, black pepper, butter and salt to taste and stir.
  7. Serve accordingly and sprinkle the cabbage with additional loose thyme.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 104Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 4mgSodium 267mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 4gSugar 6gProtein 3g

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