Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas --- a recipe that pays great homage to the traditional, well-known Jamaican dish---Stew Peas. Made with red kidney beans, full-fat coconut milk base, handmade "spinners" aka dumplings, bell peppers, carrots, and seasoned with traditional Jamaican spices, this bowl of goodness is completely creamy and savory. A kick of heat for those who enjoy a bit of spiciness---thanks to traditional scotch bonnet peppers and is best served with white rice or alone as a soup/stew. Entirely Vegan + Gluten-free.
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Jamaican Stew Peas is a staple in the Jamaican culture and one that I remember eating a lot growing up. Traditionally, stew peas is made with pig's feet and beef chunks, which makes for the perfect combo of saltiness and savory.
While I've had my fair share of delicious stew peas, I definitely wanted to share this vegan version that I've been enjoying lately.
Although I still enjoy traditional Jamaican dishes like this Stew Chicken or Curry Chicken, I really love creating meatless and/or vegan versions of some of my favorite eats.
This particular recipe is really rich and hearty and comes jam-packed with a ton of flavor from the red kidney beans, carrots, garlic, onions, bell peppers, coconut cream/milk, and a host of herbs + seasonings.
But most of all, you can't have stew peas without the 'spinners' (aka dumplings) which is just a skinny version of regular dumplings. They actually make for the perfect bite and are easy to enjoy. With this dish, you can totally enjoy it as a soup (just don't thicken it at the end) or atop nicely steamed white rice-----I like to use Jasmine rice or Basmati rice for a healthier option.
An easy weeknight or weekend meal that comes together easily over the stove top and a few short steps. This is a rich and hearty recipe that takes just 30 minutes to whip together. You’ll start by sautéing your garlic and onions before adding in the carrots, bell peppers, herbs + seasonings, coconut milk and veggie stock. Then finish everything off with homemade 'spinners' (aka dumplings) and let is simmer until fully cooked and thickened.
To make the stew peas, you’ll need:
Growing up around Jamaicans meant that you would enjoy Stew Peas, Curried Goat (My Fave!), Goat Soup, Salt fish + Ackee, and so many other flavorful dishes pretty often.
Originally, I made this recipe in 2018, which was great, however, since bettering my cooking skills (I'm self-taught so it's been a learning curve), I've decided to re-attempt this recipe and a few others recently and I must say that I've DONE IT!
Making minor tweaks, I've re-created this recipe into a much creamier, savory, and flavorful dish and I do hope that many of you enjoy this! Plus, the spicy flavor is more pronounced.
I must admit that this blog has come such a long way from when I started and in such a short period of time (although it felt like FOREVER in real life. Haha!). So of course, I have to ensure that I create even bigger goals so that the challenge remains!
However, I've been thinking a lot about this journey and realized that sometimes I've been so focused on getting to the next step that I haven't turned around to see how many steps I've actually climbed in the process.
One of the major components of Jamaican stew peas is bulked up with tender and fluffy dumplings called 'spinners'. They’re made from:
The spinners are super easy to make and just use three ingredients. The one key is to not add all of your water at once. This will make a too-wet dough that will fall apart when you cook them. Making spinners is also a fun task for little ones to help with if you have kids in the kitchen.
Whipping together a creamy soup/stew isn’t hard at all, however, it can be tricky when trying to figure out the right ingredients to use for both the perfect flavor + texture. This stew peas is no exception. Therefore, I’ve rounded up a few tips + recommendations to help with understanding how to best make this stew peas, serve it, and everything in between:
When it comes to thickening your vegan soups/stews in general, it can be done in various ways. Many recipes use yogurt, arrowroot starch, potatoes, or other starches. However, I chose to use coconut cream which adds a nice texture. You can use canned coconut milk as well, however, you would need to refrigerate it for 24 hours so that it thickens and becomes cream-like as well.
If you like a thick stew, you can add a thickening agent to the sauce. Use 1-1 ½ tablespoons at a time mixed with 2 tablespoons of water to dilute. Then pour the mixture into the sauce, simmering for an additional few minutes to activate the thickener.
Some thickening agents you can use are:
With leftovers, you can always refrigerate the remaining amounts in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, for optimal freshness. Can also be frozen for 4-6 months. To defrost, simply place stew peas in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature before re-heating on the stove top to serve.
Much like the original dish, this Vegan Stew Peas dish can be served with white rice (I like to use Jasmine rice), brown rice, or basmati rice. However, if you're not in the mood for any rice at all, feel free to eat this by itself as a soup, especially since there are dumplings and veggies included---just don't thicken things at the end.
Here are just a few reasons that you’ll be making this hearty Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas on repeat:
To make this stew peas gluten-free, simply substitute the flour for the dumplings with GF-friendly flour. Also, ensure that the coconut milk/cream is GF-friendly.
As for this dish----Stew Peas is a great staple in the Jamaican culture. In addition, this dish has a counterpart----Stew Peas soup, which is very similar but of course, is served with additional veggies (potatoes, pumpkin, etc.) and isn't eaten with white rice like this dish. I thoroughly enjoy the soup version as well since I love soup.
Traditionally, this dish is cooked with salted beef or pigtails, but since it's a Vegan version, I chose to add a bit of sweetness----sweet potatoes and an additional veggies---green bell peppers and onions to keep things hearty.
Believe me, you won't miss the meat one bit. Yum!
Here, I’ve curated a list of cooking + baking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite baked goods or cooked meals, especially with this Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas. Everything from my fave wooden spoons, dutch ovens, and more. SEE THEM HERE!
If you make these Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas, be sure to Tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea!
Tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea
Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas.
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Hi ! Just found you on instagram and i love how your recipes are simplified abd use everyday ingredients. Thank you for the substitutions as well.
I love stew peas but was wondering if you could tell me how to incorporate the salted beef or any meat to this dish please? Thank you .
Hi Cheryl! I am so happy to have you here! Awww, absolutely----I'm so glad that you love the way that I do my recipes! As for incorporating meat, I definitely recommend trying out the following linked recipe. I've seen my parents pressure cook the meat first and then adding it in once you've made the gravy and beans simmer a bit. At that point, you just let everything simmer and cook through and get tender. 🙂
Hi, I saw that you missed a few important ingredients and steps. There were carrots to the instructions but not in the ingredients also there is no instruction as to when to add the beans. Thanks.
Hi Janet! Thanks so much for pointing that out! I've ensured that those are now added! 🙂
2018 certainly was a tough year of lessons and learning! I am looking forward to what 2019 will bring. This stew looks incredible, I love hearty stews like this, and the flavors sound so delish. Perfect comfort food!
Yes, Cheers to a great 2019 Danielle! Thanks so much!
A really delicious bowl of tasty ingredients. Perfect for a winter warmer and so easy to make ahead of time. Always helpful with these busy weeks in December.
And yes, it is really important to look back at your year and see what you have done. It's not all about what we haven't done. Lovely idea.
I so agree, Helen! It definitely is important to see what you've done. We just have a habit of always looking at the opposite!
That sounds so very tasty, I am loving all of the flavours in this particularly that punch of chili... Love it!
Yes, I love adding a bit of heat to most of my dishes! So good, Brian!
Looks so hearty and comforting! Perfect for the winter!
Yes, it really is Natalie!
What GREAT advice. I'm totally the same way - I think only forward and about what I HAVEN'T done instead of appreciating all that I've already DONE. Great reminder. And delicious looking stew!! Here's to a great 2019!
Yes, indeed! Thanks so much! Cheers to a great 2019!