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30 Caribbean-Inspired Recipes for a Tropical Escape

Bring the fare of everyone's favorite tropical hotspot into your own kitchen with these easy Caribbean recipes, including lunches, dinners and desserts.

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Easy Caribbean Chicken

This is a very simple recipe that uses easy-to-find ingredients. Serve with some steamed vegetables for a complete meal. Use cubes of pork or even shrimp instead of the chicken. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Caribbean Wontons

I first served these fresh and fruity treats as an appetizer at a summer luau. My family and friends now enjoy them as a dessert for occasions throughout the year.—Melissa Birdsong, Gilbert, South Carolina
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Cuban Sliders

Bake till these wonderful little rolls are lightly toasted and the cheese melts. The leftovers keep really well in the fridge, and they make a lovely cold snack. —Serene Herrera, Dallas, Texas
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Caribbean Potato Soup

My bright and hearty soup features an unusual blend of ingredients, including okra, kale and black-eyed peas. No kale on hand? Use spinach instead. —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Mama's Puerto Rican Chicken

My mom has a vast repertoire of recipes, and this extra-crispy, spiced-up chicken is the best one of the bunch. We love it served with a side of traditional red beans and rice. —Edwin Robles, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Caribbean Coconut Rum Cake

My take on a traditional Jamaican recipe, this moist cake packs a rum punch. You may wish to card your guests before serving. The longer the rum soaks in, the better—overnight is best. —Jenn Hall, Collingswood, New Jersey
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Roast Beef Caribbean Style

This recipe took first place in the 2011 South Dakota Beef Cook-Off. Cooking the roast uncovered for the first 30 minutes gives it a crusty exterior similar to barbecued brisket, and the flavorful sauce adds just a hint of heat. —Susan Patrick Watertown, SD
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Easy Cuban Picadillo

My girlfriend gave me this delicious recipe years ago. I’ve made it ever since for family and friends, and they all love it. My daughter loves to take leftovers to school for lunch the next day. —Marie Wielgus, Wayne, New Jersey
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Cuban Panini

Cuban Panini

Out of all the panini recipes I make, this is my favorite. The Cuban sandwich is a twist on the old ham and cheese, usually with ham, Swiss, pickles, condiments and sometimes, as in this hearty version, smoked turkey. —Janet Sanders, Pine Mountain, Georgia
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Jamaican-Style Beef Stew

This delicious stew makes a hearty supper with a lighter touch. The leaner cut of meat, herbs and seasonings and fresh vegetables make it so flavorful, you'll want another bowl! —James Hayes, Ridgecrest, California
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Caribbean Bread Pudding

A completely unexpected dessert from the slow cooker, my bread pudding is loaded with wonderful tropical flavors. I like to garnish it with a slice of fresh pineapple, whipped cream and a cherry—just like a pina colada! —Elizabeth Doss, California City, California
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Jamaican Jerk Pork Chops

These sweet, spicy chops can be thrown together in minutes but definitely don’t taste like it. Serve it with a side of jasmine rice and you’ll feel like you’re on a tropical vacation. —Allison Ulrich, Frisco, Texas
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Jamaican Salmon with Coconut Cream Sauce

We try to eat salmon a lot because it's so healthy, and I love thinking of new ways to make it different and delicious. This dazzler is easy and is my go-to meal for company. —Joni Hilton, Rocklin, California
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Chicken-Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers

Here's a different take on traditional stuffed peppers. I substituted chicken for the beef and used Cubanelle peppers in place of the green peppers that are usually featured in such a dish. —Ron Burlingame, Canton, Ohio
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Caribbean Shrimp & Rice Bowl

I had a similar rice bowl on vacation and re-created this lighter version at home. It takes me back to the islands every time I make it. Try grilling the shrimp for more beachy flavor. —Lauren Katz, Ashburn, Virginia
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Jamaican Chocolate Cookies with Caramel Creme

I made these for an office party cookie contest—and not a crumb was left on the platter! Sweet potatoes are the secret ingredient. Canned sweet potatoes will work, too, if you're short on time. —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Jamaican Ham and Bean Soup

"Island vacation in a bowl” might be the best way to describe this hearty soup. A splash of lime juice and a hint of jerk seasoning add tropical taste. —Mary Lou Timpson, Colorado City, Arizona
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Caribbean Jerk Chicken

Get ready to rock the grill with this wonderfully fragrant, spicy chicken. The bold marinade includes hints of cinnamon, cayenne and thyme. We like to think of this dish as “chicken with attitude." —Judy Kamalieh, Nebraska City, Nebraska
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Cuban-Style Pork Chops

These are like Cuban sandwiches without the bread, so they’re a bit more elegant. Let your family customize the chops with pickles, mustard and other condiments. —Erica Allen, Tuckerton, New Jersey
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Caribbean Chicken Stir-Fry

Fruit cocktail in stir-fry? You might be surprised by how good this dish is. It's a promising go-to option when time's tight. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Slow-Cooked Caribbean Pot Roast

This dish is definitely a year-round recipe. Sweet potatoes, orange zest and baking cocoa are my surprise ingredients. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
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Agua de Jamaica

This agua de Jamaica recipe features an iced tea made from hibiscus—tart and deep red like cranberry juice. Add rum if you like. —Adan Franco, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Caribbean Chipotle Pork Sliders

Our favorite pulled pork sliders combine the heat of chipotle peppers with cool tropical coleslaw. The robust flavors make these a big hit with guests. —Kadija Bridgewater, Boca Raton, Florida
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Caribbean Curried Chicken

Having grown up in the Virgin Islands, I've eaten my fair share of authentic curried chicken. This recipe hits the mark with big, bold flavors. It's delicious served over rice. —Sharon Gibson, Hendersonville, North Carolina
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Cuban Pork Wraps

Hot and juicy pork in tortillas may remind you of a Cuban sandwich with ham and cheese. We always include the pickles, of course. —Aimee Bachmann, Bellevue, WA
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Caribbean Chips with Apricot Salsa

With their subtle sweetness, these well-seasoned chips are equally delicious as an appetizer or alongside a savory meal. They'll be a welcome change of pace for your family's taste buds. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Caribbean Chutney-Crusted Chops

"I like to impress my guests with delicious meals, and these lamb chops are one of my best entrees," says Josephine Piro from Easton, Pennsylvania. "It all started with a jar of chutney I received in a gift basket and didn’t know what to do with. Folks think I fuss all day over these sophisticated chops…but they’re done in 30 minutes flat—and they’re fabulous!"
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Pork Roast Cubano

It takes me just minutes to prepare this recipe and the slow cooker does the rest of the work! It's a one-dish meal that's real comfort food for my family. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Caribbean Chicken Stew

I lived with a West Indian family for awhile and enjoyed watching them cook. I lightened up this recipe by leaving out the oil and sugar, removing the skin from the chicken and using chicken sausage. It's just as good. —Joanne Iovino, Kings Park, New York
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Caribbean Grilled Ribeyes

I made this mind-blowing steak with my father-in-law in mind. He loved it, and so did everyone else. You can serve it as part of all types of meals, but it's especially good alongside seafood. —De'Lawrence Reed, Durham, North Carolina

Annamarie Higley
Annamarie Higley is an Associate Print Editor for Taste of Home magazine, as well as the brand's special issue publications. A midwestern transplant originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, trivia-ing, and—you guessed it!—all things cooking and baking.
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