How to make Jamaican Stew Peas

Close up shot of Jamaican Stew Peas in a bowl with peas on the sides
Aerial shot of Jamaican Stew Peas with a bowl of rice on the side
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If you hear the term Peas in Jamaica, you might be surprised to see what you’re actually eating are beans. Jamaicans usually refer to baked beans, broad beans, and butter beans; however, all the others are considered peas. This recipe will show you how to make Jamaican Stew Peas, traditional comfort food for most local people. If you are familiar with Peas and Rice, this dish also uses Red Kidney Beans as its main ingredient. The beans or peas are slow-cooked in a mixture of local herbs, seasonings, spices, and coconut milk to create a rich, creamy dish. This dish goes well with steamed rice and any of your favorite Jerk Meats.

How many calories are in Jamaican stew peas?

This recipe has 246 calories in a bowl of Jamaican Stew Peas. 

What rice is used for Jamaican rice and peas?

The rice used to make rice and peas is typically a long grain white rice or even parboiled rice to speed up the cooking time. 

What is Stew Peas made of?

Red beans or "peas" are the aromatic flavors of onion, ginger, garlic, peppers, coconut milk, scotch bonnet, thyme, and spices. Some recipes include adding turkey necks or pigs tales to flavor stew peas. It all depends on your preference, but any version is tasty. 

How long does red peas take to cook?

It takes about 45 minutes to make this recipe. Using canned beans can save some time, if using dried beans add some time on for soaking and cooking the beans. 
Author: Rachel Ottier-Hart
Average: 5 (3 votes)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins


Optional Ingredients


Strain And rinse the beans, add to a saucepan, and add water until the beans are covered; then place the pan on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once the pot is boiling, reduce the heat to medium; cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
Areal view of a pot with red beans and water
While the beans are boiling, place an medium-sized skillet on medium-high heat and add the coconut oil.
Overview of a skillet of coconut oil heating up
When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic, ginger, green onion, bell pepper, and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
Overview of vegetables being added to a skillet
Once the onions are translucent, add the thyme, allspice, and cumin and mix and cook for another 3 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Herbs and spices being added to a skillet of vegetables
After the beans have been cooking for 10 minutes, stir in the cooked seasoning mixture, coconut milk, and dumplings with the beans and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes uncovered. For the spicy option add the whole scotch bonnet pepper to the pot to poach in the cooking liquid during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Do not let it pop or burst in the pot or the dish will be very hot.
Areal view of coconut milk and dumplings being added to stew peas
When the liquid begins to reduce, test one of the beans if it’s easy to mash with your finger or a fork, remove from the heat, and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Remove from the pot and discard with a slotted spoon before serving.
Overview of a pot of stew peas with a scotch bonnet being removed
Serve warm with rice and some delicious Jerk meat and enjoy
Overview of a bowl of Jamaican Stew peas next to a bowl of rice
Optional Ingredients
Add the pre boiled pigtails to the pot during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

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Stewed Jamaican Red Beans, jamaican stew peas, how to make, recipe, peas and rice

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