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Jamaican Steamed Cabbage recipe

Jamaican steamed cabbage is very simple and easy to prepare it makes a brilliant mid-week dinner. This dish is rich in flavour the whole family will love it.

Jamaican steamed cabbage

There are so many reasons to try steamed cabbage, it takes little time to cook, it is very healthy, it taste great and children loves to eat it.

It is rich in fibre, low in fat and contains very little calories.

In addition to that, it is high in antioxidants, vitamin C and most of all, cabbage is very cheap to buy.

What Cabbage To Use

The easy to cook cabbage dish is made with white cabbage.

The best white cabbage to use it the one with light green leaves that tightly packed in a round ball shape.

Fresh white cabbage

I find the while leaf cabbage are harder to cook and doesn’t absorb flavour very well.

Ingredients For This Steamed Cabbage

To make steamed cabbage you need a few ingredients listed below.

Jamaican steamed cabbage ingredients
  • White cabbage: Shard or chopped the cabbage into thin strips
  • Carrot, scallion, onion, garlic, thyme, tomato, scotch bonnet pepper, bell pepper: Essential ingredients

How To Cook Jamaican Steamed Cabbage

Jamaican style steamed cabbage is cooked slightly different from a plain steamed cabbage recipes.

Other vegetables such as bell pepper, onion, thyme, scallion, tomato and carrot are seasoned and steamed together.

Step 1. Shred the cabbage and set aside

Step 2. Prepare the carrot, bell pepper, onion, garlic, scallion and tomato.

Step 3. Add a small amount of cooking oil to a pot and place on the fire a medium heat.

Step 4. Add the chopped garlic, onion, scotch bonnet pepper, scallion and thyme and sauté for a minute or two

Step 5. Stir in the bell pepper and tomato

Step 6. Add the shredded cabbage, season with salt and black pepper. Stir well.

Step 7. Turn the heat down, cover the pot and let the cabbage steam for fifteen to twenty minutes. Half what through add the carrot.

How simple is that?

steamed cabbage

What To Serve It With

In Jamaican, steamed cabbage is eaten both as a side dish and a main .

As a side dish steamed cabbage is serve with Sunday dinners or when you buy a meal at a restaurant or from a food vendor.

Usually in the middle of the week, steamed cabbage is prepared as a main served with pumpkin rice, boiled white rice or hard food.

Steamed cabbage is also served with fried dumplings or festival dumplings.

Storing And Reheating Leftovers

Refrigerate: Store leftovers in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Freeze: Store leftovers in a freezer safe container and freeze for up to one month.

Reheat: Warm up in the microwave on medium high setting one minute at a time until heated through.

Dish Variation

Jamaicans are great at “turning their hands and make fashion” and make something new.

We often add saltfish and corn beef to the steamed cabbage and make it a use dish.

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Jamaican steamed cabbage

Jamaican Steamed Cabbage recipe

Jamaican Steamed cabbage is a simple and easy recipe that is vegan friendly, gluten free and the children will love it.
4.62 from 31 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Jamaican
Keyword: Jamaican Steamed Cabbage recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 138kcal
Author: Lesa


  • 1 Large cabbage
  • 1 Medium onion
  • 1 Medium carrot
  • 2 Small tomatoes Diced
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • 1 Bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • ¼ tsp Black pepper
  • ¼ Scotch bonnet pepper (optional) Seed remove and finely chopped
  • 3 Sprigs Thyme
  • Salt To taste


  • Cut the cabbage into four quarters, remove the middle, wash the cabbage leaves, shred and set aside.
  • Peel, wash and chop the carrot into thin strips.
  • Chop the onion and bell peppers into small pieces.
  • Finely cut the garlic or use a garlic crusher
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium heat then add the onion, garlic, scotch bonnet pepper and thyme and let it sauté for about two minutes.
  • Stir in the bell pepper and tomato
  • Stir in to cabbage season with salt and black pepper.
  • Cover and steam for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the carrot half way through.


It you don’t like spicy food leave out the scotch bonnet pepper.


Nutrition Facts
Jamaican Steamed Cabbage recipe
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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  1. 5 stars
    Added some ginger and a few more seasoning. It was really good.

  2. I’ve seen other recipes that said to add some water. Does there need to be some water added?

    • Hi Karyn, you can add water but not too much because once you cover the pot it will make its own water. And if you water the cabbage before cooking it, it will have that water in it as well.

  3. 5 stars
    I loved it , very simple to make, few ingredients, and the taste was awesome!!! Will make again .. I cooked it for Christmas Dinner

  4. RMichael Curran

    This sounds good, but I have (maybe) a dumb question: Is this best eaten hot, cold, or either?


  5. Avery Powell

    Rmichael Curran….YES! lol I’ve only purchased from an amazing Jamaican eatery in the DC area, and I HAVE to get a good recipe because I’m going broke buying it every other day! Just looking at the ingredients/preparation Lesa’s given us, it looks like it’ll taste VERY similar…..looking forward to giving it a go. I enjoy it best hot when first picked up/delivered. If not in the mood to crush it immediately, I’ll cover and leave it on the counter for later that day or the next…room temp (my personal fav) is still just as good to me. If left in the fridge (when I buy the large), for a few days, it’s still pretty good, but I think the different flavors don’t pop for me the cooler it gets. But I’d eat a Jamaican Steamed Cabbage popsicle over anything hot from McDiabetes! lol

  6. RMichael Curran

    Avery – Thanks for responding. I tried it right after making it while still warm and I agree, the flavor seemed better than after it’d been in the fridge. Good stuff!!!

    • Avery Powell

      No problem Rmichael – Yep, hot or cold, it’s good stuff. Thanks again Lesa for sharing. I’m stepping out with my son to run some errands, and trust me, one of the stops is the international market!

  7. Christine Stroy-Martin

    5 stars
    This recipe is awesome! My whole family loved it. I live in South Florida, so I love Jamaican food. This is right on par, if not better than what I get at local Jamaican eateries. I will be making this more often.

  8. cecil mosby

    5 stars
    This cabbage recipe is awesome. I’m not into spicy so a eliminated the scotch bonnet pepper. LOL Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Allison Graham

      I also add butter, allspice berries(pimentos) and a tblspn. of brown sugar.

    • G’afternoon Less! How are you doing today? I will be making mine with jerk chicken that has been marinating for the last couple of days and macaroni and cheese. And for dessert a strawberry shortcake cake with homemade syrup and jam. 😊🤗

  9. I see thyme in the instructions, but not in the ingredient list. If so, how much?

  10. Rhys Johnson

    5 stars
    Tnank you. I’m going home to try this right now. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  11. 5 stars
    This was awesome! Very simple to make and everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!!

  12. Anna-Marie H Menhenott

    5 stars
    This was my first time making this recipe. My local grocery store didn’t have Scotch Bonnet peppers, so I added some Scotch Bonnet Sauce I found. This accompanied my beans and rice and jerk chicken PERFECTLY!! Great recipe.

  13. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe. I will continue to use others as well.

  14. 3 stars
    Step 6 – tomato?

  15. Dietary Fiber Girl

    Did you change the recipe?

  16. 5 stars
    I made this for Christmas. I make delicious southern-style smothered cabbage but I wanted Jamaican-style cabbage for our holiday meal. My family 💗 it! I never tried it without water before and it was sooo good.

  17. 5 stars
    I never put tomato in before- much better than adding any liquid! Also I never added garlic. I grate a little fresh turmeric into it for an earthy edge, and add a little cumin.
    Thanks so much for your website and your recipes, especially when you talk about when and how you and other Jamaicans eat various dishes.

  18. 5 stars
    We love this recipe! We add some small broccoli florets and some finely-sliced collard greens to the pot sometimes. Either way, it’s fire!

  19. 5 stars
    This was delicious! Skipped the chile because my kids don’t like spicy food and had to sub dried thyme for fresh. Overall, very tasty and comforting! Thank you!

  20. M Shallcross

    5 stars
    Didn’t have a scotch bonnet pepper so used a Jalapeno instead, but this was absolutely delicious. It’s rare that my girls get excited about something that I make, but they mentioned how much they loved it and how they went back for seconds and even thirds. One for the recipe book, will defiantly make again. Thank you for sharing.

  21. 5 stars
    I’ve been looking for an authentic Jamaican cabbage recipe and this is best one I’ve used. It was delicious. My market didn’t have scotch bonnet peppers, so I used 1/4 of a small habanero – it was really hot! I won’t use that much in the future, but the flavor was on-point! Thank you for sharing!!!

  22. 5 stars
    When I owned my vintage clothing shop in Florida, on the way to work on Saturday mornings I noticed a sign on the side of the road broadcasting “Jamaican Curry!” I made a note of it. So, the next Saturday, I stopped. There were two Jamaican ladies that were as nice as could be. They had a large table and two beach umbrellas, and a grill. I ordered their goat curry with rice and they threw in a side of steamed cabbage. It was amazing! I had eaten lots of goat curries and make a mean lamb curry myself. Theirs was the bomb and to this day, I judge all curries based on theirs, even my own. That was 20 years ago and this last batch of my goat curry I feel would have stood up to their criticism. I know this isn’t a post about the curry but it all worked together and the cabbage is quite memorable.

    Everyone, definitely make this cabbage dish. It’s fantastic.

  23. Very good recipe, turned out well. I added a little curry powder to perk it up a bit. I will def make this recipe again.

  24. Thanks for posting those recipe I really enjoy it , I find a way to enjoy cabbage and eat vegetables . Because my doctor always run after me to eat vegetables . Thanks again

  25. 5 stars
    sooo delicious thank you!

  26. Typo alert! Half “what” through add the carrot.

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