Jamaican Stew Peas with Dumplings Spinners (Vegan)

Jamaican stew peas with dumplings (spinners), is a popular hearty Jamaican dish. It is made with kidney beans, also called red peas in Jamaica.

Jamaican Stew Peas with Dumplings Spinners (Vegan)

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

Jamaican stew peas with dumplings (spinners) also contain a Jamaican version of unleavened dumplings also known as spinners, they are also usually made with white flour but I used whole wheat pastry flour instead for added vitamins, minerals, and fiber.The stew is cooked in coconut milk and flavored with thyme, onions, scotch bonnet pepper. 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.

If you are wanting to cook like a Jamaican then this dish is a dream come true! This dish is so easy to make, I have made this dish several times for my guests and they tell me how much it tastes amazing!

When growing up in Jamaica, we tend to make our own coconut milk from the fresh coconuts than the canned version. It was less expensive and resulted in a more flavorful milk. Now that I live in the USA and don’t usually have access to the fresh coconut,  I use canned coconut milk in my recipes. I usually purchase Thai Kitchen Unsweetened Coconut Milk.

Jamaican Stew Peas with Dumplings Spinners (Vegan)


. Since I made this recipe in 2012,  I now only eat gluten-free dumplings, so 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 can coconut milk if you don’t have fresh coconut milk

. Follow me on Instagram and if you make this recipe be sure to tag me #healthiersteps

Stew Peas


  • 2 cups dried kidney beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 onion, minced and/or 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1 sprig thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper (with stem intact)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger grated(optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground all spice optional
  • 1 recipe for dumplings (spinners)


Soaking beans night before

Ingredients I used

Cooking on the stove

Sort and wash beans, soak in water overnight or for at least 8 hours. The following day discard water and rinse beans, place in a saucepan with water and bring to 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!



  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat pastry)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Pinch salt



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 palm of hands to make long thin dumplings. Drop into simmering stew.

Gluten -Free Spinners/Dumplings

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1 tablespoon potato starch

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

Pinch sea salt


Place brown rice flour, potato starch, ground flax seeds, and salt in a bowl. Add water and mix to make a stiff dough. Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into the palm of hands to make long thin dumplings. Drop into simmering stew.

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Jamaican Stew Peas with Dumplings


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  1. I doubled this recipe today and found the coconut milk it called for was way too much. The cans I used were only 13.5 oz each. Still way too much. Stew never darkened like in the pic. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks so much. Its still delicious just very rich!

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Hello Lily, coconut milk is not the same from one brand to another. Next time use only 1 can or purchase Lite if you don’t like the rich coconut flavor. The kidney beans are not the same either, there is light kidney bean and dark kidney beans, their flavors are basically the same, though. I prefer to buy dark kidney beans, I usually find the dark kidney beans at an Indian grocery store.


    Thank you so much for this resource. The recipe was delicious and I can’t wait to try more on this site.

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Hello Pearline, you are welcome! This recipe is a great dish that you both will enjoy. Congrats on your decision to eat less meat.


    Tried this recipe today using our Instant Pot (I cut the water down to 3 1/2 cups) and it came out perfectly! This reminded me of home (sans the meat) but was very flavourful. I was not blessed with significant culinary skills and I found your directions easy to follow. Thank you for making cooking look easy!!

    • Michelle Blackwood

      That is great Nancy, I’m so happy to hear that it turned out great for you and you loved it. I need to get an instant pot and an air fryer as soon my husband makes more storage space for my kitchen gadgets.

  2. Hi Michelle,
    Happy Holidays to you and your family. Do you own an instant pot electric pressure cooker? I got one for my Birthday in November and would love if you could covert some of your amazing recipes for cooking in the instant pot.

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Hello Marsha, I don’t own one but if I am blessed with one. I will definite convert some of my recipes!

    • Michelle Blackwood

      It is meatless stew peas, did you look at the gluten-free spinners they aren’t the regular. The taste is awesome, you won’t even miss the meat. A lot of people think that it won’t taste good without the meat or processed Grace’s Earth Chef’s Veggie Chunks Stew Peas!

  3. I love your version. I do the lazy man style by using can small red peas or black beans, this cuts cooking time. Thanks so much.

  4. I am of Jamaican decent and still very much a heavy meat eater. I stumbled across this recipe and because I had all of the ingredients in the house, I tried it and LOVED IT! It has all the flavor and taste of a dish with meat which is often my concern with Vegetarian dishes. I plan on trying your Jamaican Pumpkin Soup recipe next. Thank you for sharing.

  5. This deserves a Facebook posting this month! It looks perfect for a cool Fall day here up North to warm up the bellies! Mmmmmmmmm… I can’t wait to try it in the morning! I have all the ingredients but the scotch bonnet pepper. Do you have any spice cupboard substitution recommendations for that?

  6. I made it and it was a great success at home and at church! Someone said after tasting it “OK, which Jamaican gave you this recipe?” :) I said “Michelle Grubb Blackwood”…I also directed others to your http://www.HealthierSteps.com website where they can find other wonderful vegan recipes and natural skin care products. Thanks again Michelle!

  7. Thanks Michelle, I love trying new recipes for my husband – here is another one that’s going on my list. This would be good with some homemade bread. Yum yum!!

  8. I printed this recipe out to try. We have at least one bean/legume meal each week for health and budget reasons. This one looks like something my family will really enjoy. We like spice.

  9. I make that all the time, it
    taste better without the meat sometimes I put veggie chucks in it. Taste of home love it Michell’s thanks for the memory

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