Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas

Traditionally, “stew peas” are cooked with salted beef, oxtail, or pig’s tail, but here I present a vegan version that will please the palate of the most skeptical.

Beans, or peas, are a Jamaican staple because they are so versatile and flavorful; we incorporate beans in many of our Jamaican dishes, like my Jamaican Rice And Peas and Jamaican Gungo Peas Soup.

Overlay Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas in a beige bowl with dumplings, kidney beans on a grey background with a grey napkin.

How to Make Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas?

Jamaican stew peas with dumplings (spinners) contain a Jamaican version of unleavened dumplings, also known as spinners, usually made with white flour, but regular flour will work. Also, try my Instant Pot Version.

I used whole scotch bonnet pepper for more of the authentic flavor and not the spicy heat. Coconut milk is an essential component of this stew and many other Jamaican dishes. 

For another simple pea stew, check out my Chickpea Stew recipe. Serve your stew peas with Jasmine Rice.

soaked kidney beans in water for vegan Jamaican stew peas

If you are wanting to cook authentic Jamaican dishes, this dish is so easy to make. I have made this dish several times for my guests, and they tell me how amazing it tastes. Jamaican stew peas, an ultimate comfort dish, is my go-to recipe.

When growing up in Jamaica, we tend to make our own coconut milk from fresh coconuts rather than the canned version. It was less expensive and resulted in more flavorful milk.

Now that I live in the USA and don’t usually have access to fresh coconut, I use canned coconut milk in my recipes. I usually purchase Thai Kitchen Unsweetened Coconut Milk.

Vegan Jamaican stew peas in a beige bowl, with a spoonful of stew peas with dumplings


. Since I made this recipe in 2012, I now only eat gluten-free dumplings. I have updated this recipe to include a recipe for Jamaican gluten-free dumplings.

. Substitute 2 cans of kidney beans for the dried kidney beans and omit the water.

. Use 1–14 ounce of coconut milk if you don’t have fresh coconut milk

Other Jamaican Recipes To Try

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Stew peas in a brown bowl on grey background

Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas

Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas is a popular, tasty, and hearty Jamaican stew dish. kidney beans also called red peas in Jamaica, are cooked with a flavorful coconut, fragrant spices, thyme, onion, garlic, and Scotch bonnet pepper.
4.99 from 58 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: jamaican stew peas, vegan Jamaican stewed peas, vegan stew peas
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 132kcal



  • 2 cups dried kidney beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1-14 ounce can of coconut milk
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 –2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 sprig of fresh
  • 1 medium carrot cut into coins
  • 1 whole Scotch Bonnet pepper stem intact or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or 6 berries
  • 1 batch of dumplings/spinners


  • 1/2 cup flour: I used Krusteaz all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


For The Stew Peas

  • Sort and wash beans, and soak them in water (about 3 inches above the beans) overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  • The following day, discard water and rinse beans, place them in a large saucepan with the 6 cups of water, and bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer until tender for about 1 hour.
  • Add coconut milk, carrots, onion, garlic, and continue simmering. Add spinners and thyme and other seasonings, simmer for another 30 minutes or until sauce is thick. Discard pepper before serving. Delicious served with brown rice and a salad!

For The Dumplings

  • Place flour and salt in a bowl. Add water and mix to make a stiff dough. Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into the palms of your hands to make long, thin dumplings. Drop them into the simmering stew.


Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 111mg | Potassium: 456mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 886IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg

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  1. This recipe is incomplete for those who choose not to put the liquid from the can in the pot, that means all the liquid you have is the coconut milk to two cans of beans? I am disappointed having bought all the material I needed.

  2. I have not had meat in 20 years. Always looking of ways to enjoy my JA food without meats. Definitely trying this.

  3. Hello. Thanks for sharing these delicious recipes. I plan to make this recipe with cans peas. Do I drain the peas and then add water? Or do I add the undrained peas to the pot and add the coconut milk? Thanks again.

    1. u can add the can with the water for that extra pea flavored water to go into the stew or just leave it out if u prefer to rinse then add. up to you on what you prefer. there isn’t that much water in the can to make a huge difference to the dish.

  4. 5 stars
    I’m looking forward to trying this recipe …. but pls confirm if oat flour can be used instead, to make the spinners…?

    1. Personally i wouldn’t use it since i have more choices but if its all you have then you can try. the only issue i see with Oat flour is that it might make the dish slimy so its risky. if you don’t t want to take the risk i recommend boiling the spinners in a separate pot. if you feel like taking the risk then boil it all together but again it might make the dish slimy so its up to you.

  5. 5 stars
    Have you ever tried lentils with this recipe instead of peas/beans? I would love to try but not certain about the ingredients proportions

    1. Yes you can use canned kidney beans and skip the soaking of the beans and initial cooking of the beans until tender.

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