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Jamaican Coconut Shrimp Stew

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Jamaican Coconut Shrimp Stew, a quick, light and spicy shrimp dish simmered in coconut milk, inspired by my trip to Ochos Rios, Jamaica.

Jamaican Coconut Shrimp Stew, a quick, light and spicy shrimp dish simmered in coconut milk, inspired by my trip to Ochos Rios, Jamaica.Jamaican Coconut Shrimp Stew

My husband and I are a huge fan of Jamaican food! While visiting Jamaica we got to experience the food and culture and even took some cooking classes their. Some other Jamaican dishes I love, Jamaican Red Beans and Rice, Jamaican Coconut Brown Stew Chicken, and Jamaican Slow Cooker Jerk Pork.

I’ve always been a fan of Jamaican food, when I worked in the city my coworker would bring me a Jamaican Beef Patty sandwich on sweet bread which was far from light, but so so good! So when I went there on vacation, I made it my business to eat as much of they local food as possible. There was a cooking demo one of the days while I was there and they made this really simple dish which I’ve recreated here. Beware, the Scotch Bonnet pepper is VERY hot. This tiny little pepper packs a lot of heat, I used only 1/4 of the pepper with the seeds and membranes removed and it was still spicy, but not too much that I couldn’t eat it. If you like spicy food feel free to add more.

Warning, wear gloves while handling the pepper to avoid burning your fingers, or accidentally touching your mouth or eyes.

Jamaican Coconut Shrimp Stew, a quick, light and spicy shrimp dish simmered in coconut milk, inspired by my trip to Ochos Rios, Jamaica.

Quick Jamaican shrimp recipe. Raw shrimp in a skillet.

Jamaican Coconut Shrimp Stew, a quick, light and spicy shrimp dish simmered in coconut milk, inspired by my trip to Ochos Rios, Jamaica.

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Jamaican Coconut Shrimp Stew

4.80 from 10 votes
Jamaican Coconut Shrimp Stew, a quick, light and spicy shrimp dish simmered in coconut milk, inspired by my trip to Ochos Rios, Jamaica.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: jamaican
Jamaican Coconut Shrimp Stew – A quick, light and spicy shrimp dish simmered in coconut milk, inspired by my trip to Ochos Rios, Jamaica.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 6 shrimp, 1/4 cup sauce


  • 1 lb peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
  • 1 tbsp mild jerk seasoning, such as Walkerswood
  • 1/2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1 scotch bonet pepper, seeded and diced (I only use 1/4)
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • chopped scallions or cilantro, for garnish


  • Season shrimp in a bowl with jerk seasoning.
  • Heat a large skillet on medium low, add the butter or oil and chopped vegetables, cook until soft 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp, increase heat to medium and cook 3 minutes, add the coconut milk, cover and simmer until the shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro or scallions and serve.

Last Step:

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Serving: 6 shrimp, 1/4 cup sauce, Calories: 182 kcal, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Protein: 23 g, Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 4 g, Cholesterol: 176 mg, Sodium: 225 mg, Fiber: 1 g


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Jamaican Coconut Shrimp Stew – a quick, light and spicy shrimp dish simmered in coconut milk. Smart Points: 4 Calories: 182

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77 comments on “Jamaican Coconut Shrimp Stew”

  1. Another great recipe! I had a big bag of shrimp from Costco and used two tablespoons of WalkersWood mild jerk. I marinaded the shrimp for a few hours. I find this jerk to be plenty hot on its own so didn’t add the scotch bonnet. I sauteed two bell peppers and added an onion, garlic and fresh ginger since I had it on hand. I also seasoned my veggies with salt and pepper before adding the shrimp and can of coconut milk. It still needed a little salt at the end but after that was perfect. I served it with sweet plantain on the side to cut some of the heat. Definitely adding this to my rotation of recipes because it was sooooo easy with a huge flavor payoff!

  2. Outstanding. My husband and I bothe loves it. Wicked easy to make with pre-cooked shrimp. I used the whole bell pepper and a whole jalapeno.

  3. Has anyone tried this with chicken? It looks amazing and I love shrimp but my husband does not… so always wondering if I can get away with swapping some thin chicken strips for
    Shrimp in recipes!

  4. Incredible recipe! We all loved it! Next time I’d add another scotch bonnet though to amp up the heat!

  5. Thank you for this recipe. I was skeptical at first, especially because there was no salt. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the flavour. My sister and housemate enjoyed it too. I substituted scallions with green onions as my grocery store did not carry it.

  6. Avatar photo
    Michael T. Keller

    This was more amazing than I thought. Super yummy. Thank u for sharing. Will definitely be making this again. 

  7. Tasting this the night it was made I would give it a 2. Even with extra jerk seasoning it was just okay. But the next day leftovers were a 4! I guess the spices just needed time to really mingle. Some dishes are just better the next day that way!

  8. This is one of my favorite recipes on this site. So flavorful. So easy and fast to prep and cook for a weeknight meal. I use hot Jamaican Jerk seasoning and a full habanero pepper (including ribs and seeds) for a double batch of this, because I like heat. So so good.

    1. hit the “print” button to the right of the recipe and under the photo of the recipe. Another screen will come up and hit “print” on that screen. As long as your computer/phone/etc. is connected to a printer, it will print the recipe.

  9. We also enjoy sampling the Jamaican food when there. Can’t wait to try this. Do you by chance have a jerk ckicken recipe?

  10. I just made this today and it is delicious! I used Bada brand Jerk seasoning and a red habenaro pepper. I used 1/2 of the pepper because I like my dishes spicy and it was perfect! Just be careful to not let the coconut milk overcook or the fat will separate. It will still taste the same just not look as pretty. I prepped 4 servings with 1/2 cup rice for food prep for the week and I will definitely make again! Thank you!

  11. Turned out great, my kids even loved it! Next time I’m going to add extra bell peppers and double the sauce, per family request.

  12. This recipe is FANTASTIC!  I made it for my family tonight and it was a bit hit.  It’s super simple to make, and it’s a great weeknight dinner because it comes together so fast.  My family loves flavorful food, and because of your recipes we can enjoy great food without guilt!  I’ve lost 25 pounds since the beginning of the year thanks to you, Gina!  <3

  13. I don’t know what I did wrong, but I made this tonight and it was a mess. It smells great but my coconut milk looks like it curdled and separated and my shrimp aren’t cooked even after and covering and simmering for a total of about 12 minutes. I followed the recipe except for the hot pepper because my kids can’t eat spicy food. I simmered for 3 minutes and when I lifted the lid of my pan I had this nasty looking mess with curdled/separated coconut milk and raw shrimp. I cooked it 3 more minutes and the shrimp still weren’t looking cooked (I even tasted it, thinking the milk was throwing off the color of the shrimp, texture was not that of cooked shrimp). I did it a few more times, even bringing the mix to a boil and covering before reducing the heat. Still have unevenly cooked shrimp. Any ideas why I had this result? We were all so looking forward to this meal but my husband has now run out for burgers ????

    1. I used smaller shrimp (weighed out 1lb myself), as well as made sure they were completely thawed before cooking. I also put the coconut milk in when the shrimp were almost cooked, and dropped the temperature of the pan to a light simmer. If the coconut milk boils it will separate as you saw. It will still taste the same just not look nice. Just be sure to cook the shrimp about 80% before putting the milk in next time. 🙂

  14. So good! I made this tonight and since I couldn’t  find the jerk  seasoning I used Cajun seasoning. We loved it! Thanks Gina! You rock!

  15. This was delicious!! I followed the recipe except I used a whole jalapeño instead of the scotch bonnet. It was the perfect amount of heat and sweet. I will definitely be making this again!

  16. Avatar photo

    i made this a few weeks ago and LOVED it – but it was a bit too spicy for my husband, so i made my own JERK seasoning for the next time (i had cleaned out my spice cabinet, so it was easy to do). i made it again this week, but i NEVER labeled my JERK spice, and accidently used ras el hanout – and it was still VERY yummy – a happy accident! i also recommend eating this over quinoa – get that extra protein in!

  17. I've had this one bookmarked until I had all the ingredients at the same time! Had it for lunch today. To make it vegan (or for a meatless Monday) I used Jackfruit. I also used pickled jalapeño for the bonnet (just availability). Served over noodles! Yummy!! Thanks!

  18. Oh my! So yummy but if you substitute for habenoro pepper heed the warning of wearing gloves and don't try a little tiny bit for fun!!! 😉 took us an hour to recover from the burn! Very tummy dish!

    1. I thought the same thing after making it the first time. I just roasted the cauliflower rice for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. It soaked up the stew liquid without getting mushy!

  19. Avatar photo

    i made this last night – just got back from jamaica and the stars were aligned! it was so yummy! unfortunately, too spicy for the hubs, but that means more for me! (will make my own JERK seasoning so we can enjoy it together)

  20. This looks so good… I have one person who is allergic to shrimp so I'm thinking of trying it with bay scallops. A perfect Friday dinner for Lent!

  21. Im from Australia could someone tell me what jerk seasoning is please and can I use something else …thanks

    1. Google it. I used a recipe from the food network very easy to put together. This meal was so good we are making it again tonight! We added 1 cup of farro and 1 cup of tri-colored shredded cabbage for some crunch and color. Thank You Gina

    2. Avatar photo
      Skinnytaste Gina

      It's pretty involved to make, they sell it on amazon. In Jamaica, the chef even used jarred but if you can't find it, I am sure you can google a spice blend to get close.

    3. Even though I am in the land of "jerk" (Bahamas), I didn't have it handy so I made my own using this recipe:

  22. Like the first commenter both my guys are allergic to shrimp, I think chicken breat cut into chunks would be a good substitute. Sounds delicious.

  23. Avatar photo
    Katie @ Adulting Daily

    This looks so delicious! I haven't heard of that pepper before–any substitute ideas?

    1. I used pickled jalapeño because I didn't want to pull out the gloves to chop a fresh (yes, lazy). Don't know how close to bonnet it is but it was tasty.

  24. Just wanted to say thanks for all the great recipes. These and my pre-diabetes class have helped me lose 70 lbs since Sept '15. Dwight

  25. I think this would be really good with some cut up boneless fish.

    I sometimes find light coconut milk in the aisle with the Asian foods. The same aisle that has the soy sauce.

  26. I am soooo bummed that my local Trader Joe's is out of coconut milk right now – something about their supplier. It's the only store in the area that carries light coconut milk. I can't wait to make this when the coconut milk comes in.

    1. I am surprised that is the case, nearly any store on Long Island carries the light but I guess we are lucky. Anyway, If there is an ingredient you use often and have a hard time getting, Amazon is your friend.

    2. Avatar photo
      Skinnytaste Gina

      Here's a tip… light coconut milk is basically coconut milk with water! So use full fat, just use less and add half water.

  27. This looks so delicious! I've been having your recipes for lunches the past 2 weeks and I already lost 4lbs. It's great to lose some weight while eating great food!

  28. Avatar photo
    Food, Life, Love

    How would this be with chicken?? My fiancé is allergic to shellfish but the recipe sounds so good!