Caribbean Christmas Dinner Inspiration
A Caribbean Christmas involves food - and lots of it! Every family’s Caribbean Christmas dinner menu varies, but you can expect it to include dishes like traditional Christmas turkey, honey ham, jerk pork, macaroni cheese, curry goat and Christmas rum cake (also called fruit cake or black cake). For families of the Windrush Generation, you could also find some classic British Christmas dinner staples, like Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and pigs in blanket, a fusion of the two cultures after years of living in the UK.
Gathering together with family and friends is one of the best parts of the Christmas season, and sitting down to a good meal is a key part of it all. If you’re in charge of cooking for your family’s Christmas meal this year, if you want to contribute a dish to the meal or if you’d just like to try making some Caribbean recipes for yourself this post is for you! I’ve put together a list of video recipes from chefs and food blogs to get some Caribbean Christmas dinner inspiration.
CARIBBEAN STARTERS OR SMALL PLATES
For your Christmas dinner, you might want to provide a few small plates for people to nibble on before the main meal or if you’re feeling fancy you may serve a starter as part of a three-course meal! This first list provides some inspiration for starters and small plates that can be served alongside the main meal, or before. Some examples of dishes in this category include saltfish fritters, Jamaican patties, Trinidadian doubles, and fried dumpling.
CARIBBEAN SIDE DISHES
Before getting to the main dishes for Christmas dinner, there’s also the side dishes to think about! There are so many different Caribbean dishes that work great for Christmas dinner. Side dishes can include Jamaican hard food like green banana, yam, plantain, cassava and breadfruit. There’s also the other popular dishes, including macaroni pie, potato salad and rice & peas. I’ve include some videos below of various recipes I’ve found, including a Caribbean take on stuffing by Original Flava.
Now for the mains - these are the dishes at the centre of Christmas dinner. I’ve included a traditional Christmas Caribbean turkey recipe from Original Flava, as well as some famous Caribbean dishes such as curry goat, jerk chicken, escovitch fish and jerk pork. There’s also a vegan nut roast recipe from Original Flava to add an option for vegetarians and vegans. Other dishes that can be served for Christmas dinner include fried chicken, jerk salmon and honey ham.
Last, but not least, we have desserts! In a British-Caribbean family you will find these Caribbean desserts alongside the traditional British desserts such as mince pies, a yule log and an arctic roll. Below I’ve included the classic Caribbean Christmas recipe for Caribbean black cake (also known as fruit cake or rum cake) from Island Girl Recipes plus a vegan version from Rachel Ama. There’s also two extra Caribbean desserts, coconut drops from Original Flava and sweet potato pudding from Chef Ricardo.
I hope you found some great Caribbean Christmas cooking that you can incorporate into your Christmas dinner. Be sure to check out the YouTube channels of all the chefs and food bloggers included in the post for even more delicious recipes that you can make all year round!
If you prefer a cookbook over following recipe videos, have a look at these Caribbean cookbooks for further inspiration:
Original Flava: Caribbean Recipes from Home by Craig & Shaun McAnuff
Ainsley's Caribbean Kitchen by Ainsley Harriott
Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae Cookbook by Levi Roots
Caribbean Vegan by Taymer Mason