Caribbean Coconut Pumpkin Pigeon Peas

May 26, 2021
I feel like pigeon peas are the most underrated bean of all time. They are also called gandules, and I didn’t discover them myself until a few years ago. They look almost like a combination of a lentil and a pea, and they taste pretty similar to a mash up of the two as well. These are popular in Caribbean cuisine and I was recently given a rough recipe to make a stew out of them.

The base of this stew is made from a blend of coconut milk, pumpkin, and diced tomatoes. It is super hearty, packed with flavor, and nutritious. You can use fresh, frozen, or canned pigeon peas, depending on your preference. Goya actually sells a can of gandules con coco which is super convenient when you’re in a hurry or don’t feel like spending too much time in the kitchen. You can add a scotch bonnet pepper or some cayenne powder if you would like some heat. This can be enjoyed alone or served alongside some rice or greens.
caribbean coconut pumpkin pigeon peas with rice in a brown bowl against a brown and black background

Caribbean Coconut Pumpkin Pigeon Peas

utensils YIELDS 2–3 servings
herb graphic for recipe card
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 15oz can pigeon peas
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • to taste salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • handful fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup scallions, diced
  • juice from 1 lime
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1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium low heat. Add the brown sugar and stir for a minute or so until it melts.

2. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for a couple minutes, until they begin to soften.

3. Add the pigeon peas and spices and stir well to coat. Pour in the coconut milk, pumpkin purée, diced tomatoes, and water.

4. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let it cook until it begins to thicken and a stew forms, about 25 minutes. 

5. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro, scallions, and lime juice. Serve.

Also by Lauren: Vegan Haitian Pumpkin Soup (Joumou)

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Photo: Lauren Sacerdote

Lauren is a homebody who likes to spend time with her cat, explore new ideas in the kitchen, relax in the sun with a good book, and promote healthy living to friends and family.


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