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Simple and Delicious
The Jamaican Oats Porridge Recipe!

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Jamaican Oats Porridge Recipe | Image Source: Now You're CookingJamaican Oats Porridge Recipe | Image Source: Now You're Cooking

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

The fastest and simplest Jamaican breakfast you can make might be oats porridge. It is a staple in every Jamaican household not only for how easy it is to make but definitely because it is creamy, hearty, nutritious and delicious.

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We know that right across the globe, oats is a constant on most of our grocery lists. Itโ€™s believed that we were introduced to it back in the colonial era by the British, and today we use it for several popular Jamaican recipes, like strong back and of course, oats porridge.

While we have oats porridge, what you may have in your country is oatmeal, both of which are popular breakfast dishes. To the naked eye, they may seem very similar, but the dishes have some key differences. Here's a breakdown of the differences between the two:

Ingredients: Jamaican oats porridge typically includes instant oats, water, milk, spices (such as cinnamon and nutmeg), salt, and sweeteners like condensed milk or sugar. Oatmeal, on the other hand, is often made with rolled oats or steel-cut oats, water or milk (such as cow's milk or almond milk), and may include additional ingredients like fruit, nuts, seeds, or sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup. Oatmeal can be customised using various toppings and flavours to suit individual preferences.

Texture: Our oats porridge tends to have a thicker and creamier consistency when compared to oatmeal. The added coconut milk, powdered milk (Lasco), or condensed milk contributes to its rich and velvety texture. Oatmeal can vary in texture depending type of oats and the cooking method used to prepare it. Steel-cut oats will give you a chewier texture, while rolled oats produce a softer and creamier consistency.

Flavour Profile: Jamaican oats porridge has a distinctive flavour profile characterised by the subtle sweetness of coconut milk, warmth from spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and a hint of richness from condensed milk or sugar. Oatmeal has a more neutral flavour profile, with the oats serving as a blank canvas for various toppings and flavourings. Oatmeal can be sweetened with fruits, honey, or maple syrup, or savoury toppings like cheese and herbs can be added for a different flavour experience.

Now that thatโ€™s out of the way. Letโ€™s get to the recipe.

Jamaican Oats Porridge Recipe


  • 1 cup instant oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut milk or 1 cup vanilla or creamy malt lasco drink
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons condensed milk (or sweeten to taste with sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and cinnamon stick to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Once boiling, stir in the instant oats and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the oats simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 to 10 minutes or until they begin to thicken.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk or vanilla Lasco, ground nutmeg, and salt. Continue to cook the porridge for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until it reaches your desired consistency.
  4. Remove the cinnamon stick from the porridge and discard.
  5. Stir in the condensed milk (or sweetener of your choice) and vanilla extract. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary.
  6. Remove the porridge from the heat and let it cool slightly before serving.
  7. Ladle the porridge into bowls.

You can have your porridge on its own but it's Jamaican tradition to have porridge, including Oats porridge, with a slice of hard dough bread or with water crackers.

I canโ€™t let you go without highlighting a few health benefits available in every bowl of Oats Porridge. Our Oats Porridge isnโ€™t just flavourful and tasty; it's also packed with nutritional benefits. Oats are whole-grain, and rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A bowl of oats porridge provides sustained energy helps regulate blood sugar levels, and supports heart health.

The added coconut milk (if you so choose to use it), adds creaminess and a dose of healthy fats, further enhancing its nutritional profile. Oats is a common addition to many people on a health journey and our oats porridge is a tasty way to add it to your diet.

So, should you be adding oats porridge to your morning breakfast ritual? Absolutely. Give this recipe a try and let us know what you think, and donโ€™t be stingy, share it with your friends and family, and they will thank you for it.

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References & Sources For The Jamaican Oats Porridge Recipe

  1. Cassells, N. (no date) Jamaican porridge recipes - easy recipes for cornmeal, peanut & banana, My-Island-Jamaica. Available at: (Accessed: 17 April 2024).
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