Sauce Pois – Haitian Bean Sauce

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Last Updated on December 29, 2020 by Chef Mireille

Have you ever had Haitian food?

I have never met a person who tasted Haitian food and did not love it. Anytime I tell people I am half Haitian, I immediately get asked if I know how to make 1 of 2 things – Black Rice (Djon Djon) or Sauce Pois.

For me, Sauce Pois is the best example of Haitian comfort food.

…but before we go down the Sos Pwa rabbit hole, don’t forget to check out some of my other Haitian Recipes.

Sauce Pois - Haitian Red Bean Sauce aka Sos Pwa or Sauce Pwa.

I remember on my first visit back home when I had gone away to college, my parents asked me what I wanted to eat and they were prepared to make anything I wanted.  All I wanted was rice and beans.  I refused to eat the meat and vegetables they prepared with it, for dinner.  For days, lunch and dinner was just a bowl of plain rice and sauce pois with a bit of Sos di Malice for spice.

This Sauce Pois is so flavorful, nothing else is needed. It makes a delicious and filling meal for Vegetarians.

Kidney Beans

Sauce Pois or Sos Pwa is only ever made with kidney beans. Large dark red kidney beans are preferred for a deep rich color.

However, they have been hard to come by recently. Therefore, I had to resort to using light kidney beans. If you can source the dark kidney beans, it is preferable.

How to make Sauce Pois

The first step is to make epis. Epis is a Haitian Seasoning Paste that is the foundation of all Haitian cuisine.

To make it in reserve, use this Haitian Epis recipe and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

If you don’t have any epis made, I have included an instant version in the recipe below.

How to make Haitian Red Beans - Sauce Pwa

Serve over white rice.

Haitian Sos Pwa - aka Sauce Pois or Sauce Pwa is a delicious flavorful. Rice and Red Beans is a complete #vegetarian meal with all of your essential amino acids.


  • For a more refined Sauce Pois or Sos Pwa, most people will strain the bean puree before adding it back to the pot and discard the skins. However, you are losing the fiber rich part of the beans. If you prefer a smoother bean sauce, you can strain the puree.
  • Smoked or salted meat is sometimes added.
  • Coconut milk is sometimes added at the end. If desired, you can add a little coconut milk at the end.

It’s all a matter of personal preference and family customs.  Hope you enjoy this little bit of Haiti on your plate!

While many an American would call Fried Chicken or Mac & Cheese comfort food, this is the ultimate comfort food to me!

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Sauce Pois – Haitian Red Bean Sauce

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 20 minutes
Soaking Time8 hours
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Caribbean, Haitian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 75kcal


Instant Epis or 1/2 cup of pre made epis

  • 1 bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 scallions
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • a large handful of parsley
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bouillon cube

Sauce Pois Ingredients

  • 1 cup red kidney beans soaked overnight
  • 1/2 Scotch Bonnet Pepper habanero
  • salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk optional


  • If you don’t already have epis made, make Instant Epis.
  • Process the bell pepper, garlic, scallions, thyme, parsley, cloves and bouillon cube in a food processor until finely ground.
  • Alternately, use 1/2 cup of pre made epis.
  • In a large pot, combine beans, epis, Scotch Bonnet and 4 cups water.
  • Stir and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook until the beans are very tender, 45 minutes – 1 hour
  • Let cool for a few minutes.
  • Remove the Scotch Bonne and discard if desired.
  • Puree most of the beans and water, leaving maybe 1/3 cup of whole beans in the pot. Puree the Scotch Bonnet with the beans if you did not discard it.
  • Strain the bean puree if you prefer a more refine sos pwa or return the pureed beans to the pot as is and stir in the rest of the water.
  • Add salt.
  • Bring back to the boil and simmer for another 10 minutes for the Sauce Pois to thicken.
  • Add coconut milk if using and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Serve with steamed rice.


  • For a more refined Sauce Pois or Sos Pwa, many people will strain the bean puree before adding it back to the pot and discard the skins. However, you are losing the fiber rich part of the beans. If you prefer a smoother bean sauce, you can strain the puree.
  • Smoked or salted meat is sometimes added.
  • Coconut milk is sometimes added at the end. If desired, you can add a little coconut milk at the end.
  • It’s preferable to use dark kidney beans for a deep rich color.


Calories: 75kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 283mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1051IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I’d love to share them!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Even when I returned from hostel, I used to ask mom for a very simple lunch which includes rice and a gravy. We surely miss it in hostel. Very nice write up Mir. The sauce pois looks nice and it resembles the gravy we prepare here in India…

  2. I had this yummm sauce with a frittata and I have been a fan since then. I never knew what it was called. Thanks for the details Mer. Appreciate the fact that you remember such finer things in life.

  3. You sound like a south Indian and as Harini said, I can truly understand. Our comfort food over centuries has been rice and beans too.
    This sauce can work as a filling soup too.

  4. I liked the way you have written this post. I can really visualize you and your friend hunting for plantains and then being shell shocked at the price :).

    We realize the worth of the most basic, simple, taken for granted things only when we are away and cannot have it any more!

    Nice sauce, btw. How do you eat this? Is it like dal-chawal where you just pour it over the rice and mix? Do you have any side dish to go along with this?

  5. When i saw the name i thought it might a sauce with green peas, coz petit pois means green peas in french, but i was completely surprised to this dish Mir, since i had mom's foods everyday i never missed her foods, can guess it..

  6. Lovely post Mir. I can totally relate to you — when I came to the US 12 years ago, going to an Indian grocery and getting the veggies was very rare. I visited Indian 1.5 years later and all I wanted was bottle gourd, bitter gourd etc.
    Sauce pois sounds so hearty & yumm!!

  7. Liked your write up Mir.We sure miss the comforts of home cooked food when we stay away. I have had that experience too.
    This looks like a simple dish but very comforting and sounds so much like Indian food.

  8. What a great no fuss red kidney bean recipe. Sometimes I’m looking for recipes using kidney beans that are not Indian or Kenyan version. I think I’ve found one that I like – Sauce Pois. Looks just yum with rice.

  9. Hmm I can relate to your story Mir all I wanted was sambhar:D . I love the simplicity of this dish n think it will be just right for hubby n me. Low on masala.

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