Easy Cachupa Recipe

Blessing Funmilayo
Blessing Funmilayohttps://afrifoodnetwork.com/
Hello, my name is Funmilayo, and i love to write about food, beauty, fashion and wellness. So welcome to my Food world! I share histories, discoveries, uniqueness, tips, and tricks on different dishes .Come let's take this adventure together. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do and hope to see you back here again soon.
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Cachupa is without doubt Cape Verde’s most popular meal. If you grew up in Cape Verdean family, you’ve probably eaten cachupa since you were toddler. 
Hominy, beans, seasoned meats, and veggies make up this hearty stew. Every family has its own variation, and even within families, no two cachupa pots are the same.

What Is Cachupa?

It is a famous dish from the Cape Verde islands, West Africa. It is a slow-cooked stew of corn, beans, cassava, sweet potato, fish or meat, and often morcela. Referred to as the country’s national dish, each island has its own regional variation.
There are many different versions, but most are based on some kind of pork or perhaps freshly caught fish, although vegetables may be substituted.

Cachupa Vs. Munchupa

This topic is so controversial that I initially promised myself that I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole. But I changed my mind, because it’s healthy discourse.

Cachupa vs. munchupa seems to be generational debate. In Cape Verde, cachupa is the only name that is used, regardless of which island you’re on. People who were raised in Cape Verde (and many 1st generation-ers) sometimes cringe when they hear the word munchupa.

On the other hand, some Cape Verdeans who have lived in the United States for generations say munchupa. That’s the name of the dish that has been passed down through the generations in their family. 
Whether you’re on Team Cachupa or Team Munchupa, most individuals have strong attachment to their chosen name and strong opinion about which is the correct one. 
am adamant about my position, but also respect people’s family customs. What is my recommendation? Put whatever label you choose on it and move on with your life. 
The issue has been resolved! and even within families, no two cachupa pots are alike.

Main Ingredients For Cachupa

Here’s a quick look at the main ingredients grouped by category:

Meat: While there are versions of this dish in Cape Verde that are meatless, or that use fish, meat is usually a staple in cachupa. I use meat because it’s rich in flavor. Some people go heavy on the meat, I don’t, but feel free to use more or less depending on your preference.

Hominy and Beans: Cachupa is a corn and legume-heavy dish. Hominy (dried corn) is the main ingredient and beans always accompany the corn. I use a combination of dried cranberry beans, feijão pedra (translates to “rock beans”, and white lima beans.

Using dried beans is a must, because the starch that comes off of the beans while cooking helps to thicken the stew. This dish is intended to simmer for a long period of time and canned beans won’t hold up in this dish.

If you have a hard time finding feijão pedra (rock beans), a good substitute is navy beans. Pink beans (frijoles rosados), or small red kidney beans are good substitutes for cranberry beans if need be.

Vegetables: Root vegetables are used for this dish, since they’re a staple in Cape Verde. I personally use yuca, but sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots are all good additions and are often used in combination with each other.

I cut the mandioca into 1 and ½ inch rounds and then cut the rounds in half, remove the peel and then cut each half round into 2 (I hope that makes sense!).

Mandioca is a hard vegetable to cut through so make sure to use a sharp knife and safely apply pressure. Use a wooden cutting board! The peeling shouldn’t be too hard once you’ve cut the rounds in half. There’s a faint line where the skin meets the flesh of the yuca. Place the knife under the skin to loosen it from the flesh.

Greens also give this dish a great flavor! Collard greens are by my far my favorite and what I recommend. Cabbage is another tasty option. If someone tells you that people don’t put cabbage in cachupa, you can kindly let them know that’s false.

Spices and Seasonings: The great news is that you don’t need to run out and buy any special seasonings for this dish. Crushed garlic, yellow onions, smoked paprika, a bay leaf, salt, pepper and a bouillon cube or 2, are all you need for this recipe.

Depending on the meats you use, you can reduce the amount of salt you use. Cured meat with high salt content, such as salt pig and chouriço, are common. 
Another thing to remember is that the flavors in cachupa develop gradually because the ingredients are added in stages. You can wind up with an overly salted meal if you apply too much salt at the start.
start with one bouillon cube at the beginning of the cooking process and then add anotherat the finish if the cachupa needs extra flavor.

How To Make Cachupa

The full recipe is below so I’m just going to keep this very high level. Cachupa takes about 5 hours to make.

  • Season the corned beef and salt pork together in the same bowl overnight. There is no need to season the chouriço.
  • Also, soak the feijao pedra (rock beans) overnight. They take a very long time to cook otherwise.
  • Saute the aromatics, brown the salt pork and corned-beef and add the tomato paste and bouillon to the pot.
  • Bring the rinsed hominy and water to a boil, and let simmer for 1 hour.
  • Add the rinsed cranberry beans and feijão pedra (rock beans), and let simmer for another full hour.
  • Discard the pork fat, shred the corned-beed if desired, and return it to the pan with the fava beans, mandioca and greens. Let the pot simmer for about 45 minutes.
  • Add the chouriço to the pot, and let it cook for about 20 minutes. Once this time is up, taste the cachupa and add another bouillon cube if needed. The beans should be soft by now. You can test this by pinching each type of bean between 2 fingers. The hominy should be tender when you cool it and into it. Let the cachupa simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Turn the flame off, and let the cachupa rest for 20-30 minutes. This step allows the flavors to settle.

Cachupa Cooking Notes & Tips

  • Cachupa takes a good 4-5 hours to cook so start it early in the day!
  • Some people soak the hominy overnight so that the cachupa cooks faster.
  • Keep a kettle of boiling water on-hand to add more water to the dish as needed. If you keep the pot covered and the flame low at all times, the liquid shouldn’t evaporate too much. If the liquid level falls below the handle of the pot, just level it off with some more hot water. Don’t add cold water to the pot!
  • Make sure to stir the pot every 30 minutes with a spoon that’s long enough to reach the bottom of the pan. Reaching the bottom of the pan helps to ensure that nothing sticks and burns.
  • It’s a great idea to shred the meat after a few hours of cooking, to make room in the pot. Press a fork against the meat, you’ll be able to shred it using barely any pressure. No need to use 2 forks.
  • This dish tastes great with a few drops of hot sauce.

Now let’s eat with our eyes!

Some suggestions for Amazon links to “Canned tuna”.

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Recipe by Crystal DaCruz
Cachupa is a rich stew from Cape Verde that’s made with hominy, beans, vegetables and seasoned meats. This scaled down recipe feeds 8 people.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cape Verdean
Servings 8



  • 1 and ½ pounds corned beef brisket, cut into pieces
  • 1 pound salt pork, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons of crushed garlic, divided
  • 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 extra-large bouillon cubes
  • 2 teaspoons of tomato paste
  • 18 cups of water
  • 1 and ½ cups of dried yellow hominy (or samp)
  • ½ cup of feijão pedra (rock beans) (soak them overnight)
  • ½ cup of cranberry beans (soak them overnight)
  • ⅔ cup of large white lima beans
  • 1 medium sized mandioca (yuca)
  • 4 cups of chopped collard greens or kale, rinsed
  • 1 pound of chouriço or linguiça, sliced into rounds



  • Season the corned beed and salt pork the night before with the vinegar, bay leaf, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the crushed garlic. Let the meat marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Soak the feijao pedra (rock beans) overnight as well.
  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large stockpot and add the chopped onions, and other tablespoon of garlic. Transfer the bay leaf from the seasoned meat to the pot. Saute the onions until they are fragrant.
  • Add the marinated meats to the pan (in a single layer if possible) and let the meat brown for about 10 minutes (5 minutes on each side). Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
  • Add 1 bouillon cube and the tomato paste to the pot and whisk until the bay leaf has dissolved and the the tomato paste is smooth. Add the meat back to the pot and add the water. The water level should reach the handles of the pot. Cover the pot with a lid.
  • Bring the pot to a boil and thoroughly rinse the hominy and add to the pot. Let it reach a boil again, and then turn the flame down to low. Cover the pot with the lid and simmer for 1 hour. Check on the hominy every 30 minutes to give it a stir and make sure that there is plenty of water. (It helps to have a kettle of boiling water on-hand throughout the cooking process, so you can add more water at any point if needed. Do not use cold water.)
  • After the first hour is up, add the feijão pedra and cranberry beans to the pot, stir and cover it again with the lid. Stir and check the water level every 30 minutes. The liquid will thicken as it cooks.
  • Once the second hour is up, remove the meat from the pan (if desired), and “shred” it by lightly pressing a fork against the meat. This step is optional but helps break up some of the pieces of meat, and make more room in the pan for the remaining ingredients. You may notice that the fat from the salt pork will become detached from the meat. Feel free to discard the fat.
  • Add the meat back to the pot, stir it again and add the fava beans, yuca, and greens. (If the greens are too bulky add about half the greens at first, let them cook for 10 minutes and then add the rest) Let everything cook for about 45 minutes.
  • The chourico is the last ingredient to get added to the pot. Once you add it, let it cook for about 20 minutes. At this point you want to stir and taste the cachupa. Add another bouillon cube if desired. Let everything simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Turn of the flame and let the cachupa rest (covered) for 20-30 minutes. Ladle it into bowls and serve with a few drops of hot sauce or chili paste.



  • You can cut the beef brisket into bite-sized chunks or into rib-sized pieces. Do whatever your preference tells you to.
  • White hominy or a mixture of yellow and white can be used (yellow and white are not packaged together). There is no difference in taste between white and yellow, I just like the color of the yellow.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Blessing Funmilayo
Blessing Funmilayohttps://afrifoodnetwork.com/
Hello, my name is Funmilayo, and i love to write about food, beauty, fashion and wellness. So welcome to my Food world! I share histories, discoveries, uniqueness, tips, and tricks on different dishes .Come let's take this adventure together. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do and hope to see you back here again soon.

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