Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge is smooth, creamy, and comforting. A popular breakfast dish in Jamaica, this porridge is the perfect recipe to start the day.
This porridge is the breakfast of champions! It’s so comforting and it’ll keep you full and ready to tackle your day. I grew up eating it and I’m so glad that my kids now love it too.
When made right, cornmeal porridge is smooth with no lumps and perfectly sweetened and spiced. You’ll want to stick with traditional Jamaican flavors (allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg) for the perfect balance of flavors.
I’ve made this version with a can of coconut milk but you could also use dairy milk in its place, whichever you prefer. The only must-have ingredient for this recipe is fine cornmeal, which yields the smoothest and creamiest porridge.
Be sure to try my green banana porridge too.
How to make Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge
First, add 2 1/2 cups water, 1 can of coconut milk to a 4 qt heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, add 1 cup cornmeal and 1 1/2 cup water to a large mixing cup and whisk until smooth. This is how to avoid getting lumps in your cornmeal porridge. Please do not skip this step.
Once the liquid in the pot begins to gently boil, whisk in cornmeal mixture and continue to whisk for about 1 minute, ensuring there are no lumps. Reduce heat to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When there are about 5 minutes left, stir in vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
Remove from heat and stir in condensed milk to sweeten it.
Serve and enjoy.
What is cornmeal?
Cornmeal is a meal ground from dried corn. You can find various grain sizes in the market. For this recipe, you want to make sure the label states “fine cornmeal.”
Are cornmeal and cornflour the same?
Although they come from the same type of grain, they are not the same. Corn flour is ground until it takes on a powder form. You want to make sure you’re using “fine yellow cornmeal” for this recipe.
What do you serve cornmeal porridge with?
Typically, I eat this by itself. A bowl really fills you up. You can serve it with fruit, breakfast meat like bacon, and eggs on the side if you wish.
What does cornmeal porridge taste like?
Cornmeal porridge has a smooth, creamy, and rich texture, similar to polenta. While polenta tends to be served savory, porridge has a sweet, nutty flavor and is usually spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.
- The condensed milk does add a delicious flavor to the porridge. If you prefer to keep the recipe dairy free, you can either leave out the condensed milk and use sugar to sweeten or use sweetened condensed coconut milk.
- I used a can of coconut milk in this recipe but regular dairy milk can be used instead. In fact, I grew up eating it made with regular dairy milk and it’s still delicious.
Looking for other Jamaican breakfast recipes? Try these out:
- Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish
- Callaloo and Saltfish
- Jamaican Carrot Juice
- Jamaican Fried Dumplings
- Saltfish Fritters
- Pressure Cooker Cornmeal Porridge
Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Recipe
- 4 cups water separated
- 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
- 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground all-spice
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk or to taste
- Add 2 1/2 cups water, 1 can coconut milk to a 4 QT heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, add 1 cup cornmeal and 1 1/2 cup water to a large mixing cup and whisk until smooth.
- Once the pot begins to boil, whisk in cornmeal mixture and continue to whisk for about 1 minute, ensuring there are no lumps. Reduce heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid.
- Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When there is about 5 minutes left, stir in vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and all-spice. Remove from heat and sweeten with condensed milk.
- Serve and enjoy.
- The condensed milk does add a delicious flavor to the porridge. If you prefer to keep the recipe dairy-free, you can either leave out the condensed milk and use sugar to sweeten or use sweetened condensed coconut milk.
- I used a can of coconut milk in this recipe but regular dairy milk can be used instead.
Saturday 25th of March 2023
Made it just as described in the recipe and it was delicious! Thank you!
Tuesday 28th of March 2023
Thanks Miranda! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe :)
Wednesday 13th of July 2022
This looks really good, but I'd just be making it for myself. How long does it keep?
Thursday 14th of July 2022
Thanks Brian. I usually keep it on the fridge for 1-2 days.
Saturday 11th of June 2022
Oh my goodness, I improvised my own recipe for cornmeal porridge several years back (not knowing it was an actual thing that existed!!) and it is *very* similar to yours! I used to make it with dairy milk, but now I use barista blend oat milk as I've moved to a plant-based diet. After it's cooked, I stir in a tablespoon of maple syrup, 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg before serving. It is my most favorite breakfast ever! Thank you for sharing this.
Sunday 9th of January 2022
Hi! Thank you for this recipe. I have a question. You said that you could use regular dairy milk instead of the canned coconut milk. But how much regular milk would you use in place of the coconut milk?
Monday 10th of January 2022
Hi Nikiesha, you would sub the same amount (about 1 and 3/4 cup).
Saturday 9th of October 2021
Hello, My grandma recently passed and she and my mothers side of the family are all from the island of St. Lucia I’m currently in the kitchen making stewed chicken praying it tastes like how she made it when I was growing up. Her oatmeal was another favorite meal of mine, I was wondering if the recipe and instructions you gave can work with oatmeal as well? Thank You