Condiments, Sauces & Marinades/ Jamaican

Caribbean Green Seasoning

May 19, 2020 (Last Updated: November 28, 2022)

Caribbean Green Seasoning is the perfect marinade or flavour enhancer to a variety of meals. It’s incredibly easy to prepare, and so full of vibrant aromatic flavour! Just toss a delicious blend of fresh vegetables and herbs into a food processor or blender and you’re done. It can be added to savoury sauces, stews, curries, soups and is often used as the base seasoning to meats, poultry, fish and seafood!

caribbean green seasoning in glass airtight jar.

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Caribbean Green Seasoning is the perfect marinade or flavour enhancer to a variety of meals. It’s incredibly easy to prepare, and so full of vibrant aromatic flavour! Just toss a delicious blend of fresh vegetables and herbs into a food processor or blender and you’re done. It can be added to savoury sauces, stews, curries, soups and is often used as the base seasoning to meats, poultry, fish and seafood!

Looking for more delicious seasonings and marinade blends? Try my authentic Jerk Marinade that can be used on meats, poultry, fish and seafood as well, or my all purpose, seasoned salt, and jerk seasoning blends!

caribbean green seasoning blended in food processor.

Green Seasoning

I’m personally a huge fan of homemade seasonings and herb blends. It’s a simple way to take your everyday mundane meals to a whole other level. This Caribbean Green Seasoning is one of my all-time-favourite fresh blends and one in which I always have on hand!

It’s the perfect way to impart the genuine taste of traditional island flavour into your food. Staples such as scallions, thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, onion and garlic definitely make an appearance in this recipe. You will also notice I list “green seasoning” in many of my recipes, whenever you see it just reference this blog post. Now, without hesitation let’s get into it!

You’ll Love this Caribbean Green Seasoning, Here’s Why…

  • Easy to Make – this herbaceous seasoning blend is ridiculously easy to make. Simply toss all ingredients into a food processor or blender and you’re done!
  • Always Have on Hand – you can store this blend in the back of your freezer in an air tight container or freeze into small grab-and-go pucks!
  • Use up Leftover Herbs – this is a great way to use up and store end of season herbs from the garden or from a leftover bundle and store for future use.
  • The Building Blocks – this seasoning blend incorporates some of the quintessential herbs and veggies used in Caribbean cooking all in a convenient puck or jar.
  • Versatile – it’s totally customizable and versatile so you can blend how you like and use how you like.
caribbean green seasoning blended in food processor.

What is Caribbean Green Seasoning?

Caribbean green seasoning is a versatile herbaceous blend of vegetables, aromatics and fresh herbs, blended and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. It is often used throughout the Caribbean islands and in certain parts of Africa as a marinade for meats, poultry, fish, and seafood or as a flavour enhancer for savoury sauces, stews, curries and soups.

What is in Green Seasoning?

Due to the versatile nature of this seasoning blend, it can be prepared using a variety of differing ingredients depending on where you are from, or the purpose. However, it is typically made using green vegetables such as green sweet peppers or celery, herbs like thyme and parsley, and aromatics such as garlic, ginger and onions.

Again, depending on region or island some may swap ingredients to what’s readily available or simply to their liking, such as green sweet peppers for celery, or basil for cilantro.

What is Caribbean Green Seasoning Used For?

It is used as a marinade for meats, poultry, fish, and seafood or as a flavour enhancer for savoury sauces, stews, curries and soups.

If using fresh from the fresh, you can take a tablespoon or more and add to dishes as they are being prepped or take a frozen puck and add during the cooking process.

overhead view of caribbean green seasoning in glass airtight jar.

How Do You Use Green Seasoning?

Add about 1 to 2 tablespoons of green seasoning to recipes, such as this Jamaican Curry Goat or my Jamaican Oxtail Recipe. Or in curries such as my reader fave, Jamaican Curry Shrimp (Seafood) or Jamaican Coconut Curried Salmon. It can be used as an accompaniment to traditional jerk seasoning in this Honey Jerk Shrimp recipe, or this Quick & Easy Jamaican Jerk Chicken.

Here are some other recipes that use Caribbean Green Seasoning:

Where to Buy Caribbean Green Seasoning?

You can find green seasonings at your local West Indian, African and Caribbean grocery stores in the ethnic foods aisle/section or online. However, there’s nothing that compares to the freshness of making this blend from scratch. It has no additives or preservatives, and uses readily available, pantry staple items.

Difference Between Marinades, Seasonings, Rubs and Sauces

All seasonings, marinades, rubs and sauces add great flavour to dishes, however they do vary. See below for an explanation:

Marinades: are typically a liquid mixture in which you soak your meat in, before cooking. They have two purposes, to either add flavour and/or to tenderize your meat before cooking. Marinades typically contain something acidic whether vinegar or citrus which is the tenderizing agent.

Seasonings: are a blend of herbs and spices, commonly salt and pepper ground into small, even-sized particles and are often added to meats and foods prior to cooking the dish.

Rubs: rubs are also a blend of herbs and spices applied to the surface of meats/foods, however they are usually coarser in texture than seasonings and are applied much more liberally.

Sauces: are typically thicker in consistency and added to dishes that are done or near to being done to enhance and bring out flavours as well as add moisture.

green seasoning ingredient flatlay.

Ingredient and Ingredient Notes

  • Thyme – use fresh thyme. Before adding to food processor ensure the hard stems are removed.
  • Parsley – adds a subtle herbaceous fresh flavour, you can use either curly or Italian parsley.
  • Basil – this also adds great flavour, and can be swapped with fresh cilantro if this is your preference.
  • Escallion – also known as scallions, green onions or spring onion, add them to the processor or blender roughly chopped with roots removed.
  • Garlic – this adds an incredible pungent taste and flavour to the seasoning. Use an entire head of garlic, or about 12 to 15 cloves.
  • White Onion – this aromatic is sharper and more crisp than yellow onions and tastes great raw of cooked. Use one large white onion, chopped into quarters.
  • Green Sweet Bell Pepper – use green, not any other colour to stay true to the “green hue” of this seasoning. You can swap this for celery as desired.
  • Scotch Bonnet Pepper – if you like heat, add the entire scotch bonnet pepper. You can also remove the seeds and add the flesh or cut off your desired amount and add the the processor or blender.
  • Ginger – this is optional as some disapprove of the taste in certain dishes. Add a small amount as you do not want it to overpower the other ingredients.
  • Pimento Seeds – also known as allspice berries, you can add them whole or crushed.
  • Olive Oil – add to processor or blender to help blend ingredients to desired texture/consistency as well as extend the freshness if storing in the fridge.

What You Need to Make this Recipe

  • Large Cutting Board – use this to prep you fresh ingredients.
  • Knife – to prep ingredients.
  • Food Processor – you can also use a traditional high-speed blender to blend the ingredients together into a marinade.
  • Spatula – to scrap down the side and remove the green seasoning from the base.
  • Airtight Glass Storage Jar – or ice cube trays for storage.

How to Make Caribbean Green Seasoning

  1. Prep Ingredients – wash, cut, slice, and chop all the ingredients and set them aside – this saves time.
  2. Add Ingredients to Food Processor – add all ingredients to a food processor or blender. Pulse until finely chopped, pureed, or desired texture is reached.
  3. Use – as a marinade for meats, poultry, fish, and seafood or as a flavour enhancer for savoury sauces, stews, curries and soups.
  4. Store – store in an airtight glass jar in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Alternatively, you can freeze in ice cube trays and transfer to a freezer bag once frozen.

Recipe Tips and Notes for Success

  • Add Onions First – add the chopped onion to the base of the processor or blender first, as it has the most water content and will help things along.
  • Amount of Herbs – feel free to add more or less of each herb to suit your taste.
  • Rinse and Pat Dry Herbs – rinse off the herbs and then pat dry before adding to the blender or food processor.
  • Glass and Metal – if using a glass mason jar, ensure you use a metal lid and not plastic.
  • Use Gloves – when handling and cutting the scotch bonnet peppers use gloves to prevent burns.
  • Back of Fridge – store in the rear of refrigerator to ensure temperatures remain stable when resting.
  • Colour – the bright vibrant green colour will naturally get darker over time, don’t worry this is normal.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Herbs – you can substitute any herbs you have on hand or preferred, such as rosemary, thyme, basil, cilantro, culantro, chives etc.
  • Green Vegetables – swap the green sweet pepper for celery or use both!
  • Scotch Bonnet Pepper – if you like heat, add the entire scotch bonnet pepper. You can also remove the seeds and add the flesh or cut off your desired amount and add the the processor or blender. Alternatively, you can use habanero pepper or your favourite hot pepper.
  • Onions – some may also add shallots or yellow onions.
  • Salt – if using, add to taste.

How to Prep Ahead

You can make green seasoning up to two to three days before you plan on using it if you stored in the fridge. However, it is best to make and use this recipe on the same day for maximum freshness and flavour. You can also prep your herbs and veggies ahead of time and blend on the day of use.

jamaican green seasoning in ice cube tray.

Storage Instructions

Fridge Instructions – I recommend storing in an airtight glass jar, in the coldest part of your fridge (usually on the bottom shelf, towards the rear of fridge), to keep fresh the longest.

Freezer Instructions and Tips – alternatively, you can also freeze approx. a tbsp or more of green seasoning in each slot of an ice cube tray. Once frozen, remove from tray and keep frozen in a freezer safe bag.

Store frozen for up to 3 months.

The cubes can be used directly from the freezer without thawing. However if you are using it as a marinade, thaw first by defrosting overnight in the fridge, then stir to mix the ingredients together again.

Best Jars for Preserving Freshness

For optimal freshness, here are some features you should look for in a jar for storing green seasoning:

  • Glass – durable, food-safe and reusable.
  • Air-Tight Seal – to all for maximum freshness.
  • Flip Lid Design – makes opening and closing the jars easier.
  • Wide Mouth Opening – allows for easy filling, removing, and cleaning of jar.

See My Story Below for Step-by-Step Instructions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Do I need to thaw frozen green seasoning before using?

No. It is not necessary to thaw before using, simply add the cubes to your recipe and proceed as normal.

Does green seasoning use vinegar or citrus?

It depends on the recipe and use. Although this recipe does not call for any vinegar or citrus, it can be added to introduce a touch of acidity and preserves the blend for a longer period of time.

What kind of peppers are in green seasoning?

For this recipe, we use sweet bell peppers, as well as scotch bonnet pepper for flavour and spice. However, you can use any type of pepper and add the the blend.

Can I use dried or dehydrated ingredients?

It is best to use fresh ingredients when making green seasoning.

green seasoning on spatula.

Interested in more Condiments, Marinades and Seasonings? Check These Out!

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This blog post was published in May 2020 and has been updated with new images, additional tips and recipe notes.

caribbean green seasoning in glass airtight jar.

Caribbean Green Seasoning

Caribbean Green Seasoning is the perfect marinade or flavour enhancer to a variety of meals. It's incredibly easy to prepare, and so full of vibrant aromatic flavour! Just toss a delicious blend of fresh vegetables and herbs into a food processor or blender and you're done. It can be added to savoury sauces, stews, curries, soups and is often used as the base seasoning to meats, poultry, fish and seafood!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Condiments, Sauces & Marinades
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 3 cups
Calories 383 kcal

Equipment

  • Large Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Food Processor or blender
  • Spatula
  • Airtight Glass Storage Jar or ice cube trays

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bundle Fresh Thyme (15g), hard stems removed
  • 1 bundle Fresh Parsley (20g)
  • 1 bundle Fresh Basil (30g)
  • 6 – 8 stalks Escallions (80g), green onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 head Garlic 12 to 15 cloves
  • 1 large White Onion chopped into quarters
  • 1 large Green Sweet Bell Pepper chopped into large pieces
  • 1 whole Scotch Bonnet Pepper (9g), optional, see notes sections
  • 1 pinch Fresh Ginger (27g)
  • 12-15 Pimento Seeds allspice berries
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil

Instructions
 

  • Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender. Pulse until finely chopped, pureed, or desired texture is reached.
    ingredients in food processor.
  • Store in an airtight glass jar in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Alternatively, you can freeze in ice cube trays and transfer to a freezer bag once frozen.
    green seasoning on spatula.

Video

Notes

a. If you’ve opted to freeze all or some of your green seasoning, you have a few options. You can either distribute evenly in a ice cube tray, freeze, and store in Ziploc bag. Or, you can pour into a Ziploc bag, freeze flat, and break off pieces as you go.

Nutrition

Calories: 383kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 3gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 26gSodium: 16mgPotassium: 373mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 829IUVitamin C: 63mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 2mg
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green seasoning on spatula.

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