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Jamaican Callaloo Recipe

Jamaican callaloo is a popular island leafy green side dish, that is lightly steamed with onions, garlic, scotch bonnet, scallion and thyme.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Jamaican
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 109kcal
Author Charla


To wash the callaloo

  • 1 bunch of callaloo about 1½ -2 lb
  • 1 tablespoon salt (5g) can use any salt for the cleaning

To cook the callaloo

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil (5g)
  • medium sized onion chopped
  • 2 scallion sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ red bell pepper optional, chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet chopped and de-seeded
  • 2-3 tablespoon hot water (30ml)
  • 1 tablespoon dairy free butter (15g)
  • 1 teaspoon all purpose seasoning (5g) see notes and tips
  • black pepper and pink salt to taste


To clean the callaloo

  • Start by inspecting the callaloo leaves, any leaves with holes, too much debris or are dying should be discarded.
  • Use a paring knife to peel/strip the thin membrane from the stalk of the callaloo bunch.
  • The thicker/bumpy parts of the stalk should be chopped off and discarded (don't get rid of all of the stalk just the bad parts)
  • Rinse the callaloo leaves and stalk several times.
  • The callaloo leaves and stalk in a large bowl with cold water and sprinkle in some salt.
  • Soak the leaves/stalk for about 20 minutes before rinsing off in cold water.
  • Drain off the salt water and rinse the callaloo in a colander.
  • Slice the stalks and chop the callaloo leaves (you may find it easier to roll and bunch a few together prior to chopping) then set aside in a medium sized bowl.

To cook the callaloo

  • In a large frying pan, add the olive oil, saute the onion, scallion, garlic and red bell pepper until they are soft and translucent.
  • Add the tomato, thyme and scotch bonnet pepper and continue to cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Top with the callaloo and carefully fold it in.
  • Steam the callaloo by pouring in the hot water.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover with the lid and steam the callaloo for 5-7 minutes or until tender.
  • Remove the lid, add the butter then season with all purpose seasoning along with black pepper and pink salt to taste.


  • It is crucial to soak the callaloo, this will help to shift any embedded debris that may not been easily seen.
  • This is recipe link for my home All Purpose Seasoning
  • Remember this is the Jamaican version of callaloo and not to be mistaken for the Trinidadian/Dominican/Grenadian version that uses dasheen bush.
  • Preparing fresh callaloo can be time consuming so you may want to do this in 2 steps i.e the night before.
  • Season the callaloo to taste i.e you don't have to add tomato or all purpose seasoning etc..
  • You may want to apply some oil to your hands as you are peeling the stems (sometimes it can cause discolouration).
  • You will want to inspect the leaves first, removing any wilting, dead or leaves with holes in them.
  • Feel free to chop the callaloo first then freeze down the rest of it.
  • Callaloo does wilt as it cooks so what may seem like a lot initially, will minimise.


Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1772mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 890IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg