Vegan Callaloo Dip

Kwame Williams

Vital Dining, Montclair, NJ

"Callaloo (also known as amaranth) is a common Caribbean mustard green. The leafy vegetable is typically cooked the same way collard greens are cooked in the southern United States. It can be found fresh (or canned) in most West Indian and Asian markets. Feel free to substitute a mix of collard greens, mature spinach, and/or Swiss chard if callaloo is not available.” —Kwame Williams



  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, cut into medium dice 
  • 1 1/2 bunches (about 3 cups) chopped fresh callaoo (or one 11-ounce can callaloo, drained)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 Scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Vegan Béchamel:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 can coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • Black pepper and sea salt to taste

To serve:

  • Assorted crudité
  • Chips


Prepare the callaloo: heat the oil in pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until onions are translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the greens, garlic, Scotch bonnet pepper (if using), and salt. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often with tongs, or until greens wilt.

Prepare the vegan béchamel: heat the oil in a pot over medium–high heat. As the oil heats, sift the flour and add to the pan, stirring vigorously. Toast the flour in the oil stirring continuously for about 3 minutes, or until flour is fragrant and slightly browned. Whisk in the coconut milk and continue to stir to allow the sauce to gradually thicken.

The sauce will continue to thicken as the mixture simmers. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened but is not gummy. Remove from the heat and add salt and black pepper to taste. Feel free to add any spices you’d like (garlic powder or nutmeg work well here).

Add the sautéed greens to the béchamel sauce and mix to combine. Transfer the dip to a serving dish and serve either hot or chilled with assorted vegetables and chips.


4 to 6 servings