A Deliciously Tasty Jamaican Chicken Soup Recipe

Bring Jamaica’s unique and delicious flavors to your table when you’re looking to spice things up in your home menu. You already know that chicken soup is a universal favorite, but it’s time to shake things up. Continue reading for a fantastic recipe and ideas to up your soup game.

What Makes a Soup Jamaican?

Most soups today can be traced back to where the recipes originated. Just think about the ingredients, where you would find an abundance of them, and there’s a chance that’s where the first pot of that particular recipe was put together.

According to TheCultureTrip.com, the Jamaican peoples’ roots can be traced back to several different heritages, including African, Middle Eastern, South American, Indian, Chinese, and European. Suffice it to say that you’re likely to find a little bit of everything in Jamaican food, but there are a handful of items you’ll likely see only in a Jamaican kitchen. These include:

  • Dried pimento berries
  • Ackee
  • Gungo peas
  • Tamarind
  • Callaloo
  • Scotch bonnet
  • Cornmeal
  • Ginger root
  • Coconut

While a recipe might not call for some of these ingredients, they work nicely with many Jamaican dishes. So try them in your recipes after falling in love with this Jamaican chicken soup recipe!

Here’s a Recipe for Jamaican Chicken Soup

Jamaican chicken soup brings a new depth and enjoyment to anyone who tries it. Make sure you have a large stock pot, as it has lots of liquid!

Here is a delicious Jamaican chicken soup recipe to add to your regular menu:


  • 2 pounds of bone-in chicken thighs
  • 8 cups of chicken stock (may use vegetable stock or salted water)
  • 4 cups butternut squash, seeded and diced
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme (or ¾ tsp of dried thyme)
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup of water
  • 6 pimento berries (also known as allspice)
  • 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Put the chicken thighs with the skin side up on a baking sheet. Add a light dusting of salt and pepper.
  3. When the oven is done preheating, place the sheet with the chick on the middle rack and bake for about 35 minutes or until it starts to crisp.
  4. Allow the chicken to cool for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Slip the skin off the thighs and set the thigh meat aside for later.
  5. Next, place the chicken skin outside up onto the same baking sheet and return it to the oven. Cook for 10 or 15 minutes or until the skin is dark brown and crispy. Remove from the oven.
  6. Pour your chicken stock into a large pot or dutch oven with the squash. Bring to a boil and cover. Cook for 20 minutes.
  7. Next, add your cubed potato, onion, garlic, carrots, Scotch bonnet pepper, and thyme. Simmer on low as you get your dumplings ready.
  8. Using a large mixing bowl, add the flour and a little bit of water to make your dough. Only add the water a teaspoon or so at a time to the flour. You want to have dough that isn’t too sticky. Knead the dough lightly as you go, adding more water if too dry or more flour if too sticky.
  9. When the dough is ready, roll balls about 1 ½ inches around in your hands. Once your balls are made, drop them into the soup and then stir.
  10. Now you’ll need to add the pimento berries, corn, and chicken (bones, too!). Simmer the soup again for around 20 to 25 minutes.
  11. Spoon out the Scotch bonnet pepper and chicken bones and compost or toss them out.
  12. Serve your soup in large bowls and top with the chicken skin cracker.

Easier than you think:

Although this recipe seems like it might be complicated, it isn’t. If you can measure ingredients, cut vegetables, use an oven, and mix, you have all the skills to have your soup ready in no time.

Remember that if you don’t like something, you can leave it out or replace it with something you enjoy. If you don’t like dumplings, you don’t have to make or add them. If you love pasta or rice, they make great substitutions.

What if I Can’t Find or Don’t Like the Ingredients?

A couple of ingredients might be tough to find when making your tasty soup. Luckily, you have options if you need to make a substitution.

For example, not everyone has a place where they can buy Scotch bonnet peppers. However, you can easily substitute it with poblano, jalapeno, serrano, habanero, anaheim, or other pepper that brings heat to your recipe.

If you missed it in the ingredient list, pimento berries are also known more commonly as allspice. When you can’t find either one, throw a cinnamon stick or two into the soup instead.

Variations for the Most Delicious Jamaican Chicken Soup Recipe

Chicken Feet

If you were in Jamaica and offered a bowl of chicken soup, you’d like to be served something a little different than what you see here. You’ll pause for a moment until you realize that the soup has chicken feet in it.

While unusual for many, chicken feet are vital to the Jamaican soup experience. If you’d like to try it in your soup, ask your local butcher to clean and trim the feet before you bring them home.

Wash the pieces of chicken feet and then cut them into large but edible-sized pieces. You’ll want to saute your onion and garlic for about five minutes before adding the chicken feet to the pot. Next, add around 4 to 6 cups of your broth and bring the pot to a boil, allowing it to cook partially covered for about half an hour.

Once your chicken feet are thoroughly cooked, add the rest of the ingredients. Cook for another 25 minutes and serve.

Corn on the Cob

Many recipes for Jamaican soups call for corn on the cob to be cooked right in with the rest of the ingredients! Break your cobs into two pieces to fit into the pot, and cook thoroughly. Remove the husk and silk and add to the soup to cook for 25 minutes.

Other Squashes and Pumpkin

While the recipe here calls for squash, you can substitute any squash or use pumpkin puree. If you’re cutting up another squash, add it in place of the butternut and cook as directed. For pumpkin puree, add one cup and cook as usual.

Bring Your Soup to the Next Level With Jerk Seasoning

The flavors in this soup recipe are heavenly, but you can bring even more power to your chicken when you coat it in jerk seasoning. You can buy this seasoning in many grocery stores or make a version on your own. Here’s a quick jerk seasoning recipe to try:


  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp sea salt (may use regular salt)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dry parsley
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


Stir all of the ingredients together and store it in an airtight container. Typical use is 1 tablespoon to 1 pound of meat.

This recipe makes a lot of jerk seasoning, so you may want to scale it back. Once you’re ready to season your chicken, rub it or sprinkle it on your chicken before putting it in the oven to cook. You may also sprinkle it on the skin when you return it to the oven.

Take This Tasty Jamaican Chicken Soup Recipe and Make It Yours

Once you’ve made this soup, you’ll want to have it again and again. You can also see how your favorite foods and spices may change the flavor profile to suit you even more. Either way, If you decide to stick with the original or make your own version of this fantastic soup, it’s likely to be the most requested soup in your home.

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