Trinidadian Callaloo (With Variations)


Shivonne Du Barry / Flickr CC 2.0 

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 4 to 5 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
647 Calories
32g Fat
59g Carbs
47g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 5
Amount per serving
Calories 647
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 16g 79%
Cholesterol 88mg 29%
Sodium 527mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 59g 21%
Dietary Fiber 35g 124%
Protein 47g
Calcium 587mg 45%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Callaloo is a type of soup made in Trinidad and Tobago, although many Trinidadians consider it a side dish. It's a must-have on the table for the traditional Sunday meal. Each country in the region has its own version of callaloo. Trini Callaloo is a concoction of dasheen—eddo and taro leaves—okra, crab, salt meat, onions, pimento peppers, scotch bonnet peppers, green onions and thyme, all cooked in fresh coconut milk.


  • 12 dasheen leaves (or eddo/taro leaves, chopped)
  • 7 stalks okra (chopped into 1-inch pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup onions (diced)
  • 4 pimentos (chopped)
  • 2 large crabs (cut into quarters)
  • 1 (3-inch) piece salt meat (or beef or pork, cut into 3 pieces)
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 stalks green onions (white and green parts, chopped)
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (crushed)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper
  • Salt (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add all ingredients except the scotch bonnet pepper and the salt to a large pot. Stir to mix.

  3. Cover and bring to a light boil over medium heat, allowing the callaloo cook for 15 minutes.

  4. Add the whole scotch bonnet pepper.

  5. Cover the pot again and allow to cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the ingredients are cooked through and vegetables are very soft.

  6. Remove the hot pepper, crab, and salt meat from the pot.

  7. Use a swizzle stick or an immersion blender to puree the mixture. Add salt to taste, if necessary.

  8. Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with the hot pepper and crab.

  9. Enjoy!

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.


  • Puree the soup in a food processor if you don't have an immersion blender or swizzle stick. 
  • Serve the soup by itself or pair the Callaloo with rice or dumplings.
  • Leftovers can be safely refrigerated for up to two days. 

Recipe Variations

  • Make the dish milder by decreasing the amount of scotch bonnet, one of the hottest peppers available. If you're not a fan of eye-popping heat in your dishes at all, substitute a jalapeno. Yellow ones are the mildest jalapenos, but they're still on the hot side. 
  • For a Jamaican variation, season the callaloo with tomatoes, onion, scallions, and margarine. Serve it with saltfish, roasted breadfruit, boiled green bananas, and dumplings.