Caribbean Jerk Shrimp Bowls
Published Mar 10, 2021, Updated Mar 20, 2023
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These Caribbean jerk shrimp bowls combine jerk seasoned shrimp, roasted plantains and zesty pineapple salsa. Everything is nestled on a bed of rice for a flavorful bowl meal!
I am so excited to share this recipe! It’s one of those recipes that I’ve been making in my kitchen for months, but haven’t had a chance to share.
And I just know it will be a hit!
If you’re like me, you’ve been missing traveling to fun places with delicious food. I personally love traveling to the Caribbean… mostly for the beautiful beaches and the food!
Since I haven’t been anywhere tropical since our Grand Cayman babymoon, I figured it was time to share a Caribbean-inspired recipe so we can all get a taste of the tropics at home!
These bowls feature jerk shrimp, roasted plantains, rice and a refreshing pineapple salsa with black beans. The combination of flavors are so delicious and the bowls are pretty easy to whip up.
What is Jerk Seasoning?
For starters, let’s chat about jerk seasoning.
Jerk seasoning originated in the Caribbean, specifically Jamaica. Jerk seasoning recipes vary but they usually have a variety of spices including allspice, thyme, garlic, peppers, cinnamon, paprika, thyme and a little sugar.
I used Simple Truth organic jerk seasoning from Kroger, which uses coconut sugar for the sweetener.
I personally love using seasoning blends like jerk seasoning or blackened seasoning in recipes because it packs a ton of flavor and you don’t have to remember to marinate ahead of time!
Simply coat your protein and then cook.
Ingredients for Caribbean Shrimp Bowls
You only need a handful of ingredients for these jerk shrimp bowls!
- shrimp – peeled and deveined, raw shrimp. Previously frozen is fine!
- jasmine rice
- black beans – canned or homemade, either works!
- sweet plantains – We are legit obsessed with Neilly’s Sweet Ripe Plantains and they work beautifully in this recipe. Look in the freezer section of your grocery store! But if you can’t find them, you can easily make your own oven-roasted plantains.
- pineapple – I prefer using fresh, but thawed frozen pineapple works too.
- cherry tomatoes, red onion, fresh cilantro, jalapeno, limes
- jerk seasoning – This is a must for the recipe! You can use store-bought like I did or make your own.
- sea salt and pepper
- hot sauce – optional, for serving.
Substitutions & Notes
To make vegetarian or vegan – Simply swap out the shrimp for extra-firm tofu in this recipe.
Rice – I used Thai jasmine rice, but any rice works if you can’t track down jasmine rice. Feel free to use cauliflower rice as well!
Dressing Ideas for Caribbean Bowls
The pineapple salsa adds a ton of flavor and acts as a dressing for these jerk shrimp bowls, but if you want to really amp up the flavor (or love extra sauce) you can totally add a sprinkle of hot sauce on top or drizzle on a little dressing. My cilantro lime dressing or tomatillo dressing would be amazing drizzled on top.
How to Make Caribbean Bowls
Roast plantains – Start by roasting the frozen plantains according to the package directions. We usually roast them in the oven, but lately I’ve been using my air-fryer because they roast up so quickly. 400°F for about 8-10 minutes in the air-fryer!
If you can’t find the frozen plantains, grab fresh (make sure they’re ripe!!) and roast those up. Here’s how:
- Start with very ripe plantains. You’ll want them to be mostly brown or yellow with lots of brown/black spots. Peel and chop diagonally into 1/2-inch chunks.
- Spray a parchment lined baking sheet with cooking spray. I like using avocado or coconut oil spray.
- Place plantains on the tray and spray the tops with a good amount of cooking spray. Sprinkle on a little sea salt and bake at 400°F for about 20-30 minutes or until golden. Flip plantains about halfway through baking.
NOTE: Unripe or green plantains aren’t sweet and won’t be great in this recipe.
Prepare rice – While the plantains are roasting, make the rice. Sort and rinse the rice before cooking. Combine rice with water in a large pot and add salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork and keep warm until ready to serve.
Make black bean mixture – Mix black beans, pineapple, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, salt, pepper and lime juice in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
Cook shrimp – Toss the shrimp with jerk seasoning. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp turn pink, about 2-3 minutes.
Assemble bowls – To serve, place rice in each bowl, top with shrimp, a scoop of the black bean pineapple mixture and 3-4 roasted plantains. Garnish with cilantro and hot sauce if using.
More Shrimp Recipes to Try
- Cauliflower Grits with Blackened Shrimp
- Garlic Shrimp and Asparagus with Zucchini Noodles
- Shrimp Stir-Fry Salad
- Kale Caesar Salad with Grilled Lemon Pepper Shrimp
- Easy Coconut Shrimp Curry
- Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas
- Grilled Shrimp
- Shrimp Scampi Sheet Pan Meal
Be sure to check out the full collection of shrimp recipes here on EBF!
Caribbean Bowls with Jerk Shrimp
- 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup chopped pineapple, fresh is best but thawed frozen works too
- 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup diced red onion
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro + more for topping
- 1-2 Tablespoon diced jalapeno
- 2 limes, juiced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Roast plantains: Roast plantains according to package instructions. You can use the oven or the air-fryer for this!
- Make rice: While plantains are roasting, prepare rice: sort and rinse rice before cooking. Combine 1 ½ cups rice with 3 cups water in a large pot. Add 1 teaspoon salt, if using. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover with lid and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and keep warm until ready to serve.
- Make pineapple salsa: add pineapple, black beans, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, salt, pepper and lime juice in a bowl. Toss to combine.
- Cook shrimp: toss shrimp with jerk seasoning. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir until shrimp turn pink, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Serve: place rice in each bowl, top with shrimp, a scoop of black bean pineapple mixture, and 3-4 roasted plantains. Garnish with cilantro, hot sauce and dressing, if using.
- Can’t find the frozen plantains? No worries! See my notes above for how to roast up fresh, ripe plantains.
- Add avocado… I didn’t include this in the recipe, but these bowls would be delicious with avocado on top as well.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.