Haitian Bouillon: A Savory Delight

Haitian cuisine is a beautiful fusion of African, French, and Caribbean flavors. Haitian Bouillon is one of the most popular dishes showcasing this blend of cultures. 

This savory stew is a must-have in Haitian households, and it’s popularly consumed on festive occasions and holidays. This delectable dish is frequently prepared each Saturday evening as an entrée. 

History of Haitian Bouillon

Haitian Bouillon has its roots in West African cuisine, where stews were popular for meats and vegetables. 

When French colonizers arrived in Haiti, they brought their tradition of slow-cooking meats in a rich broth. 

Over time, Haitian cooks combined the two styles to create the unique dish we know today as Bouyon.

Bouillon Haitian Ingredients

The ingredients for Bouillon Haitian vary depending on the region and family recipe. However, some common ingredients include:

Boost your dish with beef, goat, or chicken (often boneless for extra punch)

raw meat on white ceramic bowl

root vegetables such as yams, sweet potatoes, and plantains; green leafy veggies such as cabbage, spinach, and kale; along with spices like parsley, thyme, and garlic; plus scotch bonnet peppers to up the heat.


The joy of preparing Haitian beef stew is a laborious devotion that demands patience and contemplation. 

The meat must first be marinated, browned in a generous pot and then removed before the vegetables are sautéed until they mellow. 

Next, this mixture is reinfused into the pot with all its flavorings and an appropriate amount of water to submerge everything adequately; 

Subsequently, allow hours of simmering until both components are duly tenderized and ready for consumption!

Haitian Bouillon Recipe

  • 1/2 chicken, cut in 8 pieces, without skin
  •  1/2 pound cubed beef
  •  1/2 pound oxtails, cut in 1-inch rounds
  •  1 lime, cut in half
  •  1/2 tablespoon pikliz (see recipe on page 46)
  •  1/2 large onion, chopped
  •  2 scallions, sliced
  •  2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
  •  1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
  •  1/4 tablespoon black pepper, or to taste
  •  1 clove
  •  1 bay leaf
  •  1 sprig of parsley or cilantro
  •  1/2 thyme sprig
  •  1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  •  1 celery stick, sliced
  •  1/2 malanga (yautia), peeled and cut into large chunks
  •  1 plantain, peeled and cut into large chunks
  •  1/2 cassava (yucca, manioc), peeled and cut into large chunks
  •  1/2 (10-ounce) package of frozen spinach or fresh
  • Flours if you plan on adding dumplings

Gently cleanse meat with lime and rinse it under a cold stream. Inject it liberally with epis or pikliz, onion, scallions, garlic cloves, and salt/pepper for at least an hour before cooking.

In a large pot, combine meats with a marinade and brown them over medium high heat for forty minutes. Flip the meat occasionally so that all sides are uniformly colored. 

partly opened blue metal pot on stove

Add one quart of water with cloves, bay leaves, parsley, or cilantro; then cook everything covered on low heat for forty minutes until all scum has been removed from the broth – you want it to remain clear when complete!

Gently combine 6 cups of water with your chosen root vegetables and set aside for 20 minutes. After that time, bring it to a boil for as long as you desire, even if it’s just one cup!

If you include dumplings in your soup, dollop a spoonful of batter atop the broth and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes without disturbing it. 

If not preparing any dumplings, lower the heat to let them slowly cook; cover or uncovering is at your discretion, depending on how thick you desire the broth to be!

This yield a serving of 6 people

Bouillon Soup Serving Suggestions

Haitian Bouillon is an interesting mix of savory and piquant flavors that often accompanies a side of rice alongside an avocado slice. 

Other families may add dumplings or breadfruit for extra texture to bring the stew up to snuff.

Health Benefits

Haitian Bouillon is a nutritious and filling meal packed with vitamins and minerals. 

The root vegetables in the stew are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, which provide sustained energy. 

The meat adds protein and iron, while the greens provide essential vitamins and minerals.


As mentioned earlier, Haitian Bouillon varies depending on the region and family recipe. 

Some families add okra or eggplant to the stew, while others use beef instead of chicken. 

Some cooks even make a seafood version of the stew using fish or crab.

Haitian Bouillon Soup Without Meat

Haitian Bouillon Soup is a classic creation that often utilizes meat such as beef, pork, and chicken to craft its savory flavor. 

However, if you opt for a vegetarian or vegan twist on this richly-flavored dish, take advantage of its irresistible blend of vegetables like cabbage, carrots, potatoes, yams, beans, and beans dumplings. 

Haitian Bouillon - Meatless vegetable salad on white ceramic bowl beside bread and sliced bread

Infuse it all with an aromatic mix of herbs, including garlic, and thyme parsley, for an enticing aroma!

Haitian Bouillon is a delicious and hearty stew perfect for a special occasion or a cozy night.  Haitian Bouillon is an integral part of the cuisine in its country’s households, offering an irresistible fusion of cultures and flavors. 

If you opt for a tried-and-true recipe or invent one based on your preferences, this savory concoction will receive rave reviews from anyone who tastes it! So why don’t you give it a whirl and enjoy Haiti’s delectable taste?

Related posts