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Jamaican Stew Peas

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This Jamaican Stew Peas recipe is pure comfort in a bowl. Made with red kidney beans and flavored with herbs, spices, coconut milk, and stewing meat. This hearty stew is packed with so much flavor.

jamaican stew peas in bowl with white rice

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Stew peas is a recipe that my parents loved to add to our weekly dinner rotation. That’s likely because it was not only delicious, but it was quite easy to make. It’s a rich and hearty stew that’s made with red kidney beans, rather than peas, and other herbs and spices like onions, scotch bonnet pepper for flavor, coconut, and thyme.

Traditionally, Jamaican stew pea recipes include salted pigtails or salted beef to add flavor. However, my mom, who was nice enough to give me her recipe, used neither of these. She uses smoked turkey necks because they are easier to find and they’re healthier.

The stew is then finished by adding skinny Jamaican dumplings, known as spinners, to thicken it up. You’ll want to serve this stew with white or brown rice for a full and comforting meal. I generally use the pressure cooker to make my stew peas, but you can use the stovetop or slow cooker as well.

Be sure to check out my brown stew chicken and curry chicken recipe for other Jamaican favorites.

How to make Jamaican Stew Peas

Gather your ingredients. You will need dried red kidney beans that have been soaked overnight or for at least 8 hours. You can also use canned beans if needed.

ingredients for stew peas

Add turkey necks, soaked kidney beans, 3 cups of the water the beans soaked in, yellow onion, green onions, thyme, coconut milk, and garlic to the pressure cooker.

stew peas ingredients in pressure cooker before cooking

Cover and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes, then allow the machine to naturally release for 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.

While your machine is naturally releasing, start to make your spinners. Add all-purpose flour and salt to a bowl and stir to combine. Slowly add in enough water until a smooth ball is formed. Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll them into a cylinder. You can make your spinners skinny but I like mine to be a little thicker.

collage of how to make jamaican spinners

Once all the pressure has been release on your pressure cooker, open it and press sauté on the machine. Once the mixture begins to simmer, add in the spinners and the whole scotch bonnet pepper and allow the stew to simmer for 5-7 minutes until the dumplings are cooked.

Remove the pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste.

stew cooking with scotch bonnet pepper and spinners added

Serve the stew with rice and enjoy.

spoon holding up kidney beans with spinner on top

Slow Cooker

You can also make this recipe in a slow cooker. Dried Red kidney beans need prepping before adding to the slow cooker. Boil the soaked dried kidney beans in water for at least 10 minutes before adding them to the slow cooker along with the turkey necks, 3 cups of the water the beans boiled in, yellow onion, green onions, thyme, coconut milk, and garlic. Slow cook on low for 8-10 hours, adding the spinners and whole scotch bonnet pepper during the last hour. Remove the scotch bonnet pepper and season with salt and black pepper before serving. 

Stovetop

Add turkey necks, soaked kidney beans, 3 cups of the water the beans soaked in, yellow onion, green onions, thyme, coconut milk, and garlic to a large pot on the stove and place on medium-high heat until it begins to simmer. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and cook beans until softened, about 1.5-2 hours. During the last 30 minutes, add the spinners and whole scotch bonnet pepper. Remove the scotch bonnet pepper and season with salt and black pepper before serving. 

Notes on Jamaican Stew Peas

  • You can sub the dried kidney beans with two 15 oz canned kidney beans. If using canned beans, reduce the amount of water added by 1 cup.
  • Adding the scotch bonnet pepper whole will not make the dish spicy, it just draws the flavor from the pepper. Do not cut the pepper unless you want this dish to be very spicy. Make sure the scotch bonnet pepper does not have any bruises or holes in it before adding.
  • If you can’t find scotch bonnet pepper, habanero pepper makes a great substitute.
  • You can add any stewing meat you’d like, such as smoked turkey tails, turkey wings, ham hocks, etc. If using salted pig feet, be sure to soak the feet overnight to remove the excess salt. Stewing beef may also be used in this recipe to flavor the peas.
  • It will take about 20 minutes for your machine to rise to pressure.
jamaican stew peas in bowl

And there you have, delicious Jamaican stew peas. If you’re looking for other popular Jamaican recipes, check these out:

Jamaican Stew Peas

This Jamaican Stew Peas recipe is pure comfort in a bowl. Made with red kidney beans and flavored with herbs, spices, coconut milk, and stewing meat. This hearty stew is packed with so much flavor.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Caribbean
Keyword jamaican stew peas, jamaican stew peas and rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Rise to pressure and natural release 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 553kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

Stew Peas

  • 1 lb smoked turkey necks or turkey tails, wings, ham hocks, etc
  • 2 cups dried kidney beans soaked overnight in 4 cups water or two 15 oz canned beans, undrained*
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 springs fresh thyme
  • 15 oz can coconut milk
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste

Spinners

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5-6 Tablespoons water

Instructions

  • Add soaked kidney beans, 3 cups of the water the beans soaked in, a can of coconut milk, turkey necks, onions, garlic, and thyme to a pressure cooker.
  • Cover and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes, then allow the machine to naturally release for 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.
  • While your machine is naturally releasing, start to make your spinners. Add all-purpose flour and ½ teaspoon salt to a bowl and stir to combine. Slowly add in enough water until a smooth ball is formed. Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll them into a cylinder.
  • Once all the pressure has been released on your pressure cooker, open it and press sauté on the machine. Once the mixture begins to simmer, add in the spinners and the whole scotch bonnet pepper and allow the stew to simmer for 5-7 minutes until the dumplings are cooked.
  • Remove the pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with white or brown rice. Enjoy 🙂

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • After soaking kidney beans, place beans and water in a large pot on the stove and boil for 10 minutes. Add this to the slow cooker along with the smoked turkey, yellow onions, green onions, thyme, coconut milk, and garlic. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, adding the spinners and whole scotch bonnet pepper during the last hour. Remove the scotch bonnet pepper and season with salt and black pepper before serving.

Stovetop Instructions

  • Add turkey necks, soaked kidney beans, 3 cups of the water the beans soaked in, yellow onion, green onions, thyme, coconut milk, and garlic to a large pot on the stove and place on medium-high heat until it begins to simmer. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and cook beans until softened, about 1.5-2 hours. During the last 30 minutes, add the spinners and whole scotch bonnet pepper. Remove the scotch bonnet pepper and season with salt and black pepper before serving.

Notes

  • You can sub the dried kidney beans with two 15 oz undrained canned kidney beans. If using canned beans, reduce the amount of water added by 1 cup.
  • Adding the scotch bonnet pepper whole will not make the dish spicy, it just draws the flavor from the pepper. Do not cut the pepper unless you want this dish to be very spicy. Make sure the scotch bonnet pepper does not have any bruises or holes in it before adding.
  • If you can’t find scotch bonnet pepper, habanero pepper makes a great substitute.
  • You can add any stewing meat you’d like, such as smoked turkey tails, turkey wings, ham hocks, etc. If using salted pig feet, be sure to soak the feet overnight to remove the excess salt. Stewing beef may also be used in this recipe to flavor the peas.
  • It will take about 20 minutes for your pressure cooker to rise to pressure.

Nutrition

Calories: 553kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 585mg | Potassium: 1198mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 97IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 7mg
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Recipe Rating




David Hobbs

Wednesday 29th of September 2021

I only had whole wheat flour. The dumplings came out heavy and chewy. Picked them out.

Tanya

Thursday 30th of September 2021

Hey David, all-purpose flour would work best. I should have indicated that in the blog post. However, whole wheat flour can be added to all-purpose flour, I just wouldn't use whole wheat by itself. My mom even started adding oats to her dumplings but I've yet to give those a try.

mykel

Saturday 25th of September 2021

I'm going to try this using stewing meat (beef).