Discover the rich flavors and cultural heritage of Cape Verde with our step-by-step recipe for Cachupa. Made with corn, beans, vegetables, and meat, this traditional dish is a culinary delight that reflects the vibrant culinary traditions of the archipelago. Explore the history and nutrition facts of Cachupa, and learn how to prepare this iconic Cape Verdean stew. Perfect for gatherings and special occasions, experience the taste of Cape Verde with our authentic Cachupa recipe.

Cachupa is a traditional and hearty dish from Cape Verde, a beautiful archipelago located off the coast of West Africa. It is considered the national dish of Cape Verde and is often prepared during special occasions, gatherings, and festive celebrations. Cachupa is a flavorful stew made with a variety of ingredients, including corn, beans, vegetables, and meat or fish.

Cachupa, the national dish of Cape Verde, has a rich and fascinating history deeply intertwined with the cultural heritage of the archipelago. Cape Verde, located off the west coast of Africa, was discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century and later became an important trading post for the transatlantic slave trade.

The origins of Cachupa can be traced back to the arrival of corn in Cape Verde. Corn, also known as maize, was brought to the islands by Portuguese colonizers and quickly became a staple crop due to its adaptability to the local climate. The introduction of corn revolutionized the culinary landscape of Cape Verde, leading to the creation of various traditional dishes, with Cachupa being one of the most iconic.

The dish is believed to have emerged during the era of slavery in Cape Verde. Slaves from different regions of Africa were brought to the islands and had to make do with the limited resources available. Cachupa was born out of the necessity to create a hearty and filling meal using inexpensive and readily available ingredients.

Originally, Cachupa was a simple dish made with corn, beans, and water, cooked slowly over an open fire. Over time, as Cape Verdean society evolved, so did the recipe for Cachupa. The dish began to incorporate additional ingredients such as meat, fish, vegetables, and spices, reflecting the influences of both African and Portuguese cuisines.

Cachupa also played a significant role in Cape Verdean culture and social gatherings. It became a symbol of unity and community, often prepared during festive occasions, family celebrations, and religious festivals. The preparation of Cachupa became an opportunity for families and friends to come together, sharing stories, traditions, and creating lasting memories.

Today, Cachupa holds a special place in Cape Verdean cuisine and is cherished as a national culinary treasure. While it has evolved and diversified over time, with different regions and families having their own variations, the essence of Cachupa remains deeply rooted in Cape Verdean identity and heritage.

In recognition of its cultural significance, Cachupa was declared the national dish of Cape Verde in 2011, further solidifying its status as a culinary icon. It continues to be enjoyed by both locals and visitors, serving as a delicious reminder of Cape Verde's history, cultural diversity, and resilience.


1- 2 cups of dried corn kernels

2- 1 cup of dried beans (such as kidney beans or black-eyed peas)

3- 1 onion, finely chopped

4- 2 cloves of garlic, minced

5- 2 tomatoes, diced

6- 2 bay leaves

7- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

8- 1 pound of meat (such as pork, beef, or chicken), cut into bite-sized pieces (optional)

9- 1 pound of smoked sausage or chorizo, sliced

10- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

11- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced

12- 1/2 cabbage, shredded

13- Salt and pepper to taste

14- Water for boiling

Here's a step-by-step description of how to prepare Cape Verdean Cachupa:

Step 1:

Prepare the Corn and Beans In a large pot, combine the dried corn kernels and beans. Add enough water to cover the ingredients and let them soak overnight. The next day, drain the water and rinse the corn and beans.

Step 2:

Cook the Corn and Beans In the same pot, add fresh water to cover the corn and beans. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for about 1-2 hours or until the corn and beans are tender. Make sure to stir occasionally and add more water if necessary.

Step 3:

Sauté the Aromatics In a separate pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until they become fragrant and translucent. Then, add the diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes until they soften.

Step 4:

Add Meat and Sausage (Optional) If you're using meat, add it to the pan with the sautéed aromatics and cook until it browns. You can also add the sliced smoked sausage or chorizo at this point and cook until they release their flavors.

Step 5:

Combine the Ingredients Transfer the cooked corn and beans to the pot with the sautéed aromatics, meat, and sausage. Stir everything together and add the bay leaves. Pour in enough water to cover the ingredients and bring the mixture to a simmer.

Step 6:

Add Vegetables Add the diced sweet potato, carrot, and shredded cabbage to the pot. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste. Continue simmering the cachupa for about 30-45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded together.

Step 7:

Serve and Enjoy Once the cachupa is ready, remove the bay leaves and serve the dish hot. It is often enjoyed with a side of bread or rice.

Note: Cachupa is a versatile dish, and different regions in Cape Verde may have their own variations. Some versions include additional ingredients like pumpkin, yams, or other vegetables. You can also adjust the spiciness by adding chili peppers or hot sauce if desired.

Nutrition Facts :

  • Calories: 350-400
  • Total Fat: 12-15g
  • Protein: 15-20g
  • Carbohydrates: 45-50g
  • Fiber: 8-10g
  • Sodium: 400-500mg
  • Potassium: 800-1000mg
  • Vitamin A: 100-150% DV
  • Vitamin C: 30-40% DV
  • Iron: 10-15% DV

Please note that the nutrition facts may vary based on the specific ingredients and quantities used in your Cachupa recipe.

  • Dried Corn Kernels (2 cups):
  •  Calories: 500-600
  • Carbs: 110-120g
  • Protein: 10-12g
  • Fat: 3-5g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Provides energy, high in fiber for digestive health, potassium for blood pressure regulation.

benefits:Rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin C and magnesium. They promote digestive health, improve vision, and support skin health.

Dried Beans (1 cup, cooked):

  • Calories: 200-220
  • Carbs: 40-45g
  • Protein: 12-15g
  • Fat: 1-2g
  • Sodium: 0-5mg
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Good protein source for muscle building, fiber for satiety and heart health, potassium for nerve and muscle function.

benefits:Excellent source of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. They help maintain a healthy weight, stabilize blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Onion (1 medium):

  • Calories: 40-50
  • Carbs: 10-12g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Contains vitamin C, low in calories, adds flavor without added fats.

benefits: Contains antioxidants and compounds that may reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and support immune function.

Garlic (2 cloves):

  • Calories: 10-15
  • Carbs: 2-3g
  • Protein: 0.5g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Contains some vitamin C, adds flavor and potential health benefits.

benefits:Known for its medicinal properties, garlic can boost the immune system, reduce blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels.

Tomato (2 medium):

  • Calories: 30-40
  • Carbs: 7-9g
  • Protein: 1-2g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 0-5mg
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Good source of vitamin A and C, low in calories, adds moisture and nutrients to dishes.

benefits:Rich in vitamins C and K, as well as lycopene, tomatoes are beneficial for heart health, skin health, and reducing the risk of certain cancers.

Bay Leaves (2 leaves):

  • Calories: 5-10
  • Carbs: 1-2g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Adds flavor, may have some antioxidants.

benefits:Contains antioxidants and vitamins A and C, which may help improve digestion and reduce inflammation.

Vegetable Oil (2 tablespoons):

  • Calories: 240-260
  • Carbs: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 28-30g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Vitamins and Minerals: High in fat for cooking, adds richness to dishes.

benefits: Provides healthy fats and vitamin E, which are important for cell function and skin health.

Meat (pork, beef, or chicken, 1 pound):

  • Calories: 600-800
  • Carbs: 0g
  • Protein: 80-100g
  • Fat: 30-40g
  • Sodium: Varies based on preparation
  • Cholesterol: Varies based on type and cut
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Good source of protein and essential nutrients, such as iron and zinc.

benefits:Good source of protein, iron, and B vitamins. It supports muscle growth, energy production, and overall health.

Smoked Sausage or Chorizo (1 pound, sliced):

  • Calories: 800-1000
  • Carbs: 5-10g
  • Protein: 20-30g
  • Fat: 60-80g
  • Sodium: Varies based on type
  • Cholesterol: Varies based on type
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Contains protein and adds flavor and richness to the dish.

benefits:Adds flavor and protein to the dish.

Sweet Potato (1 large, peeled and diced):

  • Calories: 160-180
  • Carbs: 35-40g
  • Protein: 2-3g
  • Fat: 0-1g
  • Sodium: 70-100mg
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Vitamins and Minerals: High in vitamin A, fiber, and potassium, supports eye health and digestion.

benefits:Rich in vitamins A and C, sweet potatoes support vision, immune function, and skin health.

Carrot (1 large, peeled and diced):

  • Calories: 30-35
  • Carbs: 7-8g
  • Protein: 0.5-1g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 40-50mg
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Vitamins and Minerals: High in vitamin A, supports immune function and eye health.

benefits:High in beta-carotene, fiber, and antioxidants, carrots promote eye health, digestion, and skin health.

Cabbage (1/2, shredded):

  • Calories: 20-25
  • Carbs: 5-6g
  • Protein: 1-2g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 15-20mg
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Good source of vitamin C and fiber, supports digestion and immune health.

benefits:Contains vitamins K and C, as well as fiber, which may help with digestion and heart health.

Salt and Pepper:

  • Calories: Negligible
  • Carbs: Negligible
  • Protein: Negligible
  • Fat: Negligible
  • Sodium: Use in moderation for flavor
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Provides flavor, use sparingly to control sodium intake.

benefits:Used for seasoning, but should be used in moderation to avoid excessive sodium intake.

Water for Boiling:

  • Calories: 0
  • Carbs: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Hydrates ingredients during cooking process.

benefits: Essential for hydration and cooking the ingredients.

These values are approximate and can vary based on specific brands, cuts, and cooking methods. Adjustments may be needed for dietary preferences and health considerations.


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