Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Recipe

Jamaicans love their porridge and I’m no exception! Ever since I was a child, cornmeal porridge has been a breakfast favourite. I tried to introduce some other kinds of Jamaican porridge to my kids when they were young, like banana and peanut porridge, but this was the one that stuck. It’s really easy to make if you know the rules. 1. Add the cornmeal to cold milk and 2. Stir, stir, stir. If you follow these two simple rules you’ll have creamy, smooth porridge every time. Don’t follow the rules, and you’re sure to have lumps.

Some people use water to make their porridge, but I prefer using 1% milk, though any milk will do. The traditional way to sweeten cornmeal porridge is with condensed milk, but, as you can see in the video, I prefer sweetening to taste with sugar. This recipe serves two but can be easily doubled or tripled to feed lots of hungry mouths!


2 1/2 cups cold Milk
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 Cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Pimento berries
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Evaporated Milk
1 Tbsp Sugar


1. Pour milk into a saucepan over Medium-high heat
2. Stir in cornmeal, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and pimento
3. Continue stirring until mixture starts to thicken
4. Stir in vanilla, evaporated milk and sugar
5. Lower heat and stir until porridge is thick and creamy
6. Remove cinnamon sticks and pimento berries and pour into bowls

Makes 2 servings

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cornmeal porridge
Comments (25)
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  • Gerard

    Thank you so much for that porridge recipe. And for the special way you presented. The love you have for people and cooking shines through in every video. Gerard

  • ren

    My gran makes hers just like this. It’s a good way to encourage children to eat their porridge especially when there are so many sugary cereals out there that are not good for children or their diet.

    Many thanks

  • Matt Deleon

    This is fantastic! Just like mom use to make when I was a kid.

  • keisha brown

    I am SOOOO excited to have found a recipe that mimics the taste of my moms!!!
    Cant’ wait til my baby boy is big enough to eat this!

  • Shannon

    Fay you are amazing! I’m so happy I found this site. I am a male and I never learned to make my favorite Jamaican dishes because I always had my mother, sister or an aunty around to make them for me. In adulthood I am away from my family more than I am with them and I date mostlty non Jamaican women so if I want these dishes I have to make them myself. This site is a blessing!!

  • Giselle

    I really love your reciepes, lots of inspiration!
    One problem though; can I use something else instead of Pimento berries?
    I dont find it anywhere in my contry…

    Love from Norway!

  • Debbie

    Hi Ms. Fay,
    First, let me say a big THANK YOU for your delicious authentic recipes that you deliver with such LOVE…I am african american with southern roots that was born and raised in NYC…being in NYC I have always had amazing Jamaican mom and pops authentic restaurants to fill my soul and belly with great flavor…I am sooo happy that now I can cook all my favorites at home now also…I just tried your brown stew chicken and it was AMAZING!! Next up…porridge and curry goat….YUMMY…Thank you Ms. Fay for your amazing personality and the love that shines through!!

    Thank you!

  • Miriam Thomas

    Hi Ms. Fay, Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I made it for my husband this morning and he LOVED it. Thanks again you are an angel.

  • Jeremy


    After searching for a cornmeal porridge recipe on u-tube i came across yours,i remember my granddad making this when i was a child & i couldn’t remember how…..
    thank-you so much,i’ve made it loads of times since i found your vid,i really should try another one of your recipes soon.
    I’ve joined your web site & i throughly enjoy watching your videos,they make me smile….

  • Davieon

    I made this tonight because I was in the mood for Cream of Wheat but I didn’t have any. Needless to say i’ll never eat Cream of Wheat again! This just taste like home. Very warm in taste of seasoning not temperature it just warms your heart. Mmm thanks so much Mrs. Faye!!

  • Wanda

    This was perfect. I have tried others and it did not come out as well. Can’t wait to try your other recipes.

  • SimoneMichele

    When I was younger I used to tek hardough bread and roll pieces up and put it in there. Lol I was wondering if you know any Gilzeans from Clarendon or Morgans from May Pen. You look familiar. I love the videos you post. I’ll be using then for my husband and daughter this week.

  • Petra

    Made this with almond milk. Loved it. Hubby did not like it with the almond milk so next time I will make it with regular milk for him. overall I would say this recipe is a keeper.

  • Antwan

    This recipe brings back happy memories thanks

  • Khaidja

    Thank you so much for this recipe! My grandmother fed me porridge all the time when I was young, it was my favorite thing. Now, with your help, I’ve successfully made my first batch. It brings me right back to childhood. I can’t wait to try the other recipes you’ve provided! I want to surprise Grandma by cooking for her for once.

    I appreciate all your hard work! You’re doing a wonderful thing.

  • Ava

    Wow, I made this today so good. I didn’t have whole milk so I used water and I did use the powder cinnamon instead of the sticks, it did make the porridge a little darker but other than that it was great. Thank you so much, now I finally know how to make porridge!!!

  • Nan

    Omigosh! That porridge is delicious! Now I have a quick, cheap and easy answer when I;m hungry and don’t know what to fix.

  • Blizjshaw Blake

    Hi, Ms. Fay! Thumbs up for this recipe.
    This is exactly how my grandmother’s porridge tasted– minus the salt. I’ve been trying to make it like my grandmother for some time. It’s been to no avail.
    Foremost, I was taught to make it by aunt, my grandmother’s daughter. It is true: things get lost with each generation.
    Secondly My aunt instructed me to use water. I think water takes away from it’s “rich” factor. Milk is a more appropriate option; and after having made it this way, I KNOW my grandmother used milk.
    Thirdly, I was scorned for being too “American” and using measurements; this turned into being coerced into using eye measurements which led to failure. Never again!
    Thank you for your R&D efforts, and for providing this recipe with accurate measurements.
    The next time I follow this recipe, however, I will do without the salt. It was a bit overbearing for me. But, as you always say, “Salt to taste, cuz everybody is different.” 😉

    Thank you, Ms. Fay.

  • Jean

    Lawd have mercy! I thought I could cook but this recipe mimics exactly what my mom and momma use to make. I recently lost my mom, Lord rest her soul, your recipe made me feel like she was with me this morning. THANK YOU.

  • Niccy

    Thank you for sharing. I just made this for my little girls and they loved it. It tastes just like how my mum makes it.

  • Jay

    Hi, can you please help me to make cornmeal cake i used to have this when I was younger thought I would try and make it now age 35 never again. It was dry like bammi my jaws started to go num after the endless chewing. I made my wife and kids sample some and now the atmosphere in the house is gone tense my wife things I tried to poison her as I have just renewed our life insurance. PLEASE help it is all going wrong all this over cornmeal cake.

    • Fay & Angela

      Hi Jay,
      Please to hurt your family…LOL. Perhaps you’re talking about cornmeal pudding not cake? Fay

  • shimone

    This recipe left me with the nicest porridge. out of them all thank you very much.

  • Pamela

    On a recent trip to Jamaica, to visit my uncle, I was reminded of this beautiful porridge which he lovingly made, especially for me almost every morning. Brought back such wonderful memories of my parents’ cornmeal porridge from childhood. I tried making it myself on my return and the result was awful; I had not tried it since…until now… your recipe was spot on, I made it with soy milk and no sugar at all as I found the cinnamon was enough. Loved it, Many thanks!

  • Ingrid

    I always make my cawnmeal porridge with a bit of oats blended up with the cawnmeal and milk. My oldest daughter has encouraged me to try using almond milk instead of cow’s milk (we have almost totally eliminated cow’s milk from our diet). Now that I see that someone has tried cawnmeal porridge using almond milk…I will too! Will follow up with comments on the taste.