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A skillet of Ackee and Saltfish

Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish (Paleo, Keto, Gluten-Free)

This delicious Ackee and Saltfish recipe is Jamaica's national dish made in one-pan for a satisfying, amazing, flavoursome meal!
Course Main Entree
Cuisine Jamaican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 312kcal
Author Charla


  • ½ lb saltfish or 1 cup of my unrefined version of homemade saltfish
  • 1 19oz can ackee I prefer Grace brand
  • 4 tablespoon coconut oil olive oil works too (add more if needed)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme stem on or de-stemmed
  • ½ scotch bonnet finely chopped (skip if you don't want heat)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika optional
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped, optional


  • If using store bought saltfish, soak overnight and boil the next day to de-salt the fish. Use two forks to flake - skip this step if you are using my unrefined version of saltfish.
  • Drain off the ackee in a colander and rinse with water. Set aside.
  • Melt the coconut oil on medium heat.
  • Saute the onion until soft and tender, then add the red and green bell peppers and tomatoes.
  • Cover the skillet, reduce heat to low and leave so the peppers soften, should take 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium, then add the saltfish and tomato paste to the skillet. Stir so the bell peppers and onions combine and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Season the vegetables and saltfish with the thyme and scotch bonnet and stir, then add the paprika.
  • Pour the ackee into the middle of the skillet and carefully fold the ackee no more than 3 times into the saltfish. Do not over fold/stir or the ackee will turn to mush.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet and allow the ackee to heat through for 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with black pepper prior to serving.


  • Purchase store-bought salt fish or use my unrefined version instead! This recipe calls for about ½ pound salt fish or cod.
  • Ackee must be picked and boiled properly before consuming it. It is difficult to find fresh ackee outside of Jamaica because, yes, it is considered poisonous if it is NOT cleaned/handled properly. However, don't let that deter you from making this amazing recipe! The Grace brand is the way to go!
  • Be gentle when cooking with Ackee since it is a delicate ingredient. It is advisable not to overcook because it melts easily. Make sure to also avoid continuous stirring.
  • Skip the scotch bonnet. Scotch bonnets are a classic Jamaican ingredient, but they are super spicy, so feel free to omit to keep this recipe mild.


Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 4021mg | Potassium: 1038mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1064IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 2mg