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Jamaican Chickpea Stew

Jamaican Chickpea Stew

Jamaican Chickpea StewThis Jamaican Chickpea Stew recipe makes a quick and easy vegetarian meal with Jamaican-spiced black beans and chickpeas and served over brown rice.

Having grown up in an area where there are more ethnic food restaurants than American-style restaurants, I’ve had an interest in international cooking ever since I knew how to sauté an onion. While a typical teenager would frequent burger or pizza joints, my friends and I made the rounds at our local Thai, Japanese, Mexican, and Indian restaurants. As a result, I’m always excited at the prospect of cooking up new-to-me food.

When I saw Cooking Light’s recipe for Jamaican Chicken Stew, I instantly knew I wanted to give a meatless version a shot. To me, there is nothing more satisfying than a flavorful stew served over hot brown rice. Plus, I was eager to learn about another international cuisine. So I fired up the ol’ Google and learned all about Jamaican food.

Jamaican Chickpea StewAbout the Recipe

Along with its beautiful beaches, Jamaica is known for its vibrant and flavorful food. Jamaican cuisine is influenced by a number of other countries and continents, including Spain, Africa, England, India, China, and France. A typical main dish includes spiced seafood or chicken with rice and beans or peas. Curries and stews made with flavorful spices are commonplace, and fried plantains are normally served alongside. Beverages are just as fun as the food, as Jamaicans are famous for their fresh fruit juices, ginger beer, homemade sodas, and let’s not forget: rum!

Jamaican Chickpea Stew
This recipe incorporates many of the typical flavors used in Jamaican cooking, but instead of using chicken for the stew, I made it meatless by adding a can of chickpeas. I also omitted the capers from the inspiration recipe because I didn’t have any on hand, and I knew the stew would be flavorful enough without them.

I was amazed by how easy this Jamaican Chickpea Stew was to make. It requires just two steps: sauté the onion with the spices, then simmer with the remaining ingredients for 15 minutes. Plus, the ingredients list is super simple. Between your spice cabinet and your pantry, I’m willing to bet you already have all of the ingredients on hand to do dinner island-style.

Jamaican Chickpea Stew

Jamaican Chickpea Stew

This simple, spicy, and satisfying vegetarian stew takes only 20 minutes to whip up. Inspired by Cooking Light's Jamaican Chicken Stew.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained

For serving:

  • 3 cups cooked brown rice


  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, thyme, allspice, red pepper flakes, and salt; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the red wine, black beans, chickpeas, and tomatoes. Bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Taste and add additional salt if desired. Serve over brown rice.


Preparation tip: If your rice isn't already cooked, start it about 15 minutes before you make the stew. It should be ready right about the same time the stew is!
Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks!

This recipe was originally published on 4 June 2014.

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  • Reply
    Matthew McMillan
    October 12, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Big up for the recipe! I’ve literally just made it. Tastes really good, i may have gone to far wit the chilli flakes but still. Cheers 🙂

  • Reply
    Julie Mary
    December 22, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Second time making this one. I love it! <3

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Jamaican chickpea stew is my favorite beany comfort food dish. As a vegan-ish Jamaican, the authentic flavors here really satisfy that gustatory nostalgia for home.

    When I’m feeling extra, I pair it with Caribbean coleslaw. And when company’s coming, I’ll whip up some fried dumplings and/or fried plantains, for good measure.

  • Reply
    September 16, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    5 stars
    I didnt have any black beans and decided to make this anyway. Wow! The flavors are amazing. Thanks for sharing this delicious dish. I’ll definitely be making this again and I’ll make sure I have black beans on hand.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2020 at 8:48 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve been making this once or twice a month for the past four years probably. I can’t believe I never reviewed it! Even meat eaters love it. It tastes delicious and complex even though it’s so simple to make. Highly recommend-especially now that we are all looking for quarantine pantry recipes.

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