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Jamaican Steamed Cabbage

Jamaican Steamed Cabbage

Kate Hahnel
Learn how to make this flavourful Jamaican Steamed Cabbage with carrots. You will need 1 cabbage head, onion, olive or coconut oil, cloves of garlic, thyme, paprika, a carrot and scotch bonnet pepper (optional). Also included is an optional Instant Pot method. This fried Jamaican cabbage goes well with jerk chicken or any other meat dishes or as a meal on its own, making it a great vegan option.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Carribean, Jamaican
Servings 5
Calories 158 kcal


  • Medium-sized pot or a non-stick wok
  • Chopping board and sharp knife, alternatively a food processor to quickly shred the cabbage.


  • 1 cabbage medium-sized
  • ½ onion medium
  • ½ cup scallions or green onion sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ large bell pepper red
  • ½ large bell pepper yellow
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 carrot medium
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper optional


  • Ingredients preparation: start by preparing the ingredients. Wash the vegetables first. Cut the cabbage in quarters, slice-off and remove the hard middle part and shred the cabbage. Slice the onions, scallions, scotch bonnet pepper (optional). Crush the garlic and slice the carrots and peppers julienne style.
  • Set the stove on medium heat: In a medium-sized pot, heat oil and fry the onions and garlic. Next add the scallions, scotch bonnet pepper and thyme to the pot.
  • Fry the cabbage: Add the cabbage, carrots, salt and stock or water, then allow to steam for about 10 minutes before adding the julienned peppers. Normally, the peppers are added to the pot together with the cabbage but I find adding them at a later stage gives the dish so much more flavour. Allow to steam for a further 10-15 more minutes.
  • Adjust again for salt and pepper : add more if you prefer then serve.


  • Set the Instant Pot to SAUTE and NORMAL temperature. Add olive oil and allow to heat. Fry the onions, thyme and scotch bonnet pepper (optional) until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and allow to saute for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the cabbage, julienned peppers, carrots and vegetable stock or water.
  • Lock the lid of the Instant Pot and set the nozzle to SEAL. Set the settings of the Instant Pot to PRESSURE COOK or MANUAL and set the time to 3 minutes on HIGH.
  • Once the set cooking time has passed, set the nozzle to vent for pressure QUICK RELEASE.
  • Open the lid and stir. Add more salt if needed then serve.



  • Scotch bonnet pepper – the scotch bonnet is optional. You can substitute it for black pepper or red pepper in this Jamaican cabbage recipe. You can also use a combination of all of the above if you prefer it spicier.
  • Gloves – scotch bonnet can be dangerous, especially if it lands on your eyes. You can use gloves, if you feel you could forget and rub your eyes, ouch!!
  • Pot – if your pot or pan is not large enough, you can add the cabbage in batches to the pan. Allow wilting before adding the next batch to the same pot. The only problem with using this method is that your cabbage will cook unevenly, in the sense that the batches that went into the pot first tend to be softer, while the later batches tend to be crunchier.
  • Cooking time – the time needed to cook this Caribbean cabbage will depend on how crunchy you like it. The traditional way is, however, to give the cabbage enough time to steam, normally around 20 minutes.
There is really no limitation on how you can adapt this Jamaican steamed cabbage. Examples of recipe variations include:
  • Corned beef for Jamaican corned beef and cabbage
  • Add smoked paprika for a bit of heat
  • Grilled fish or shrimps
  • Add some sausages or fried bacon
  • Enhance the flavour using all-purpose seasoning


Calories: 158kcal
Tried this recipe? Leave a rating by clicking on the stars above on this recipe card.Tag me on Instagram using the hashtag #paleolowcarbkate !