Jamaican Callaloo

This Jamaican Callaloo recipe from Kwame Onwuachi's book, My America, is filled with protein-rich leaves cooked until tender and given spice and fulsome flavor with the addition of peppers and tomatoes.

Jamaican Callaloo
Photo: Photo by Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins

"What to call callaloo is a problem that has bedeviled Caribbean cooks forever," says 2019 F&W Best New Chef Kwame Onwuachi, who shared this recipe. In Jamaica, the name refers both to the leafy greens of amaranth and the dish made from braising those leaves down in stock with aromatics.

Callaloo may be found at Caribbean grocery stores, but if you cannot find callaloo, Onwuachi recommends substituting a blend of spinach and collards: 1 medium (8-ounce) bunch spinach, thick stems removed, leaves and tender stems roughly chopped (about 3 1/2 cups packed) and 1 small (8-ounce) bunch collard greens, thick stems removed, leaves and tender stems roughly chopped (about 3 1/2 cups).


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 medium-size (10-ounce) yellow onion, cut into small cubes (about 1 3/4 cups)

  • 1 medium-size (7-ounce) red bell pepper, cut into small cubes (about 1 cup)

  • 5 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 5 teaspoons)

  • 1 teaspoon Peppa Sauce (see Note)

  • 1 pound fresh callaloo, thick stems removed, leaves and tender stems roughly chopped (about 7 packed cups) 

  • 2 cups vegetable stock

  • 2 medium-size (3 1/2-ounce) plum tomatoes, cut into small cubes (about 1 cup)

  • 2 teaspoons House Spice (see Note)

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium until shimmering. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, and peppa sauce; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add callaloo, stock, tomatoes, and house spice; cook, stirring occasionally, until callaloo starts to wilt, 4 to 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until callaloo is tender, about 50 minutes.

  2. Increase heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by two-thirds, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in salt, and serve.


Associated Recipes: Peppa Sauce and House Spice

Make Ahead

Callaloo can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.

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