Jamaican Party Food

by Kyra Sheahan
Rice is a popular Jamaican dish that is easy to make.

Rice is a popular Jamaican dish that is easy to make.

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Bring the flavor and flair of the islands to you by hosting a Jamaican-themed party. With brightly colored decorations, island music and the right party food, you may forget about the fact that you aren't actually on the sands of Jamaica. At your get-together, offer some of the traditional types of foods that are served in Jamaica for parties or festivities, so that you can recreate the ambiance authentically.

Jerk Meats

Jerk chicken and pork are common dishes served in Jamaica, and they are appropriate party foods because you get to use your grill. Jerk chicken or pork combines a variety of spices and sauces that give the meat a sweet and spicy flavor. The meat is marinated overnight and then grilled when ready to eat. For your party, you can make jerk meat skewers on bamboo sticks to pass out as a party snack, or serve full entrees with larger pieces of jerk meat.

Rice and Peas

Rice and peas is a traditional Jamaican accompaniment dish served alongside the main course. For your party, make a giant pot of rice and peas and set it out for your guests to serve themselves buffet style. To make Jamaican rice and peas, make sure you include the necessary ingredients such as fresh garlic cloves, scotch bonnet pepper, scallions, coconut milk and fresh red peas.


Plantains are like bananas, and in Jamaica they are commonly fried and eaten as snacks or with meals. Make fried plantains for your party by splitting and slicing the plantains and then frying them in oil. Press on the plantains as they cook in the fryer with a potato masher so that they flatten. Once the plantains turn a golden brown, remove them from the heat and plate them on a party dish. You can stick toothpicks into each one so that guests at your party can remove them from the plate and pop them in their mouths.

Fruit Salad

Serving fruit salad at your party is a refreshing and appropriate dessert for your Jamaican theme, as Jamaican desserts should be kept light. You can slice up a variety of fruits, such as mango, papaya, pineapple and watermelon, and scoop some into small ice cream bowls for your guests. To give your fruit salad something extra, make a special sauce for it by combining coconut milk with sugar or honey and then drizzling it over the top of the fruit.


Another light dessert option is that of pudding. In Jamaica, coconut pudding, potato pudding and banana pudding are popular dessert options that are also refreshing and easy to serve and eat at a party. Prepare your pudding and create individual servings in martini glasses for your party guests. Top it off with an umbrella toothpick for some island flair.

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