Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas

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Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas is a popular, tasty and hearty Jamaican stew dish. kidney beans also called red peas in Jamaica cooked with a flavorful coconut, aromatic spices, thyme, onion, garlic, and Scotch bonnet pepper.

Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas

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

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 the fresh coconuts 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 the 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 can coconut milk if you don’t have fresh coconut milk

Other Jamaican Recipes To Try

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Categories: ,


184 kcal / 769 kJ
8 g
6 g
25 g
Per portion

Cooking Time

10 min
1 h 30 min
Ready in:
1 h 40 min
12 Servings


Stew Peas



For The Stew Peas

  1. Sort and wash beans, soak in water overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  2. The following day, discard water and rinse beans, place them in a large saucepan with water and bring to boil, lower heat to simmer until tender for about 1 hour.
  3. 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

  1. 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.

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

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  1. Esther
    January 26, 2020

    Following your recipes all the way from the UK!! Made this tonight – absolutely delicious. I used tin peas instead, so it wasn’t as dark, but it did develop a nice colour. I was worried about it being watery, so I turned the heat up towards the end to thicken it. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes ☺️

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      January 26, 2020

      Hello Esther, Greetings to you! I’m happy you enjoyed it, yes you did the right thing to cook until it was thick enough to your liking. Thank you for leaving your feedback.

  2. Tae
    January 23, 2020

    Thanks so much for this recipe. It was delicious. The coconut milk flavor was a bit strong but I don’t think I used unsweetened. I will try that next time and I think it will be perfect!!! I am not a good cook but this was very easy to make and I will definitely be making this again.

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      January 23, 2020

      I’m happy you enjoyed it Tae, definitely use unsweetened coconut milk. Thank you for sharing your feedback

  3. Kisrene
    January 19, 2020

    Thank you Michelle for this wonderful recipe. As a Jamaican who’s is slowly going vegan, I was so relieved to see my favourite dish vegan. To this recipe I added Caribbean 1 sweet potato, 1 cassava, and 2 green banana (all slices thick) to add flavour and help thicken the stew. Finally I used 2 cups of flour and a bit of cornmeal (1/4 cup) to make more spinners. I served this with steamed white rice. It was so delicious both my son and husband had 3 servings. They both agreed it tastes like the authentic Jamaican stew peas with oxtail and did not miss the meat.

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      January 19, 2020

      Kisrene, that’s so wonderful to read. I love how you added the extra ground provision and green banana. I’m so happy that you and your family enjoyed it. Thank you so much for sharing your feedback. I really appreciate it.

  4. Carling
    December 20, 2019

    I’ve made this several times now and I and my tween daughters love it bc it reminds them of Grandma’s authentic dish but this is faster! We double the spinners recipe too lol THANK YOU!

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      December 20, 2019

      Carling, that’s so awesome, I’m so happy that you and your daughters enjoy it and that it brings back lovely memories of Grandma’s recipe, thank you so much for sharing your feedback.

  5. Lorri Cook
    December 15, 2019

    Thank you for all of your delicious recipes!!

  6. Karin
    October 10, 2019

    This was soooo good! My husband is jamaican so I was worried when he tried it but he was pleasantly surprised!
    I made the recipe exactly with the instructions for using canned beans. The only thing is that for next time, I will need more dumplings than this, I only got about 5/6 of them. That wasn’t enough for my kids that wanted more dumplings :)

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 10, 2019

      Karin, I’m so happy your family enjoyed it, yes you can always make more dumplings, I normally make tiny spinners style dumplings so I end up with a lot.

      • Karin
        October 18, 2019

        Hi just an update. You were right, my mother in law came over and said I had to make them smaller. LOL
        I included this for thanksgiving dinner last monday (canadian) and my guests LOVED it! THANK YOU!

  7. Maura
    October 5, 2019

    Sorry Michelle my own mistake! I just saw your note about omitting the water if using canned beans. Haha! Thanks for the recipe. I will do it again without the water. Live and learn :-)

  8. Maura
    October 5, 2019

    Hi Michelle. I tried this recipe tonight and used canned kidney beans and double ingredients including water but it came out too watery. How can I adjust the water amount when using canned beans? It’s sitting now though and the flavors are coming out. Thank you :-)

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 5, 2019

      Maura, all you need to is use less water next time and cook for longer now until you are satisfied with the texture. Enjoy!

    • Maura
      October 5, 2019

      Sorry Michelle my own mistake! I just saw your note about omitting the water if using canned beans. Haha! Thanks for the recipe. I will do it again without the water. Live and learn :-)

      • Michelle Blackwood
        October 5, 2019

        No problem, it happens but really some people like my hubby loves his more on the watery side, you will find as it cools it will thicken as well. Just remove the cover and cook stirring until you will the consistency you love, the flavor will intensify as well.

  9. Shenell J
    August 20, 2019

    Hi Michelle! Thanks for sharing this recipe, I can’t wait to try it. I am curious, do you think I can make it in the slow cooker? How many hours should I give it, 8+ hours?

  10. Angelita Hudson
    June 24, 2019

    This was really good and easy, my 6yr old daughter ate 3 bowls. I used spelt flour for the dumplings.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      June 24, 2019

      Angelita, thank you so much for your feedback, I’m so excited that you and your 6-year-old enjoyed it. Thank you for your feedback.

  11. Brandon
    June 12, 2019

    This was great! How would I adjust if I wish to make a double batch?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      June 12, 2019

      Thank you Brandon, you double all the ingredients except the salt, pepper, dried herbs, and spices. Multiply them by one and a half the original amount called for in the recipe to calculate the new amount in the doubled recipe. Then, adjust to taste and add more, if necessary.

  12. Rose
    June 6, 2019

    This was lovely, thanks for sharing this great neat free recipe!!

  13. Sue
    March 25, 2019

    I made this last week for my family; they loved it! I didn’t make the spinners, as we don’t care for them, but thickened the sauce with flour, towards the end. I’m making it again as I write, and this time I’m trying it with potatoes and celery as well as the carrots, as I used to do with beef stew. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 25, 2019

      Thank you Sue for your feedback, I’m so happy that you and your family loved it. I understand that you didn’t care much for the spinners since it might have a different texture and taste of what you are accustomed to. I hope your adjustments turn out tasting great, you might need to add some extra vegetable broth with the additional veggies.

  14. Hannah
    March 6, 2019

    I am making ynos as we speak… The only alternatice that I used was kidney beans from a can… However I didn’t use the water but used stock as suggested… It’s been on for half and hour andnits nor darkened. What darkens it?? Mines a allspice he of coconut milk!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 6, 2019

      Hannah, sounds great and should be very flavorful. The reason mine is dark is because I used soaked dark kidney beans, that is the only reason. But the taste will be same whether you use light or dark kidney beans.

  15. Natalie
    February 20, 2019

    If we omit the entire 6 cups of water when using the canned kidney beans, then the only liquid will b the coconut milk…? Should I be using the liquid from the canned beans?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      February 21, 2019

      Add 1 cup vegetable broth or water plus the coconut milk, if using canned kidney beans.

  16. Luca
    January 20, 2019

    I only had black beans on hand but they’re simmering now and oh-my-goodness, SO GOOD. Bookmarked your blog.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      January 20, 2019

      That’s awesome Luca, thank you for trying them and hope you enjoy my other recipes.

  17. Beth
    December 3, 2018

    I have made this Stew Peas many times and it’s always a hit in my home.

  18. Karlene Perry
    October 28, 2018

    I made the turn cornmeal and must say it was very enjoyable and would make it again

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 28, 2018

      Karlene, I’m so happy you enjoyed it. Thank you for your feedback.