How to make Haitian Épis: Green Seasoning Recipe

Haitian Épis is a green seasoning made of vegetables, fresh herbs, and spices that serve as the flavor base for almost all savory Haitian food. Haitian épis is similar to various flavor bases across the Caribbean islands and is also known as green seasoning or sofrito. So, if you need good all-purpose seasoning with fresh ingredients, look no further! 

What is Épis seasoning (Caribbean green seasoning) made of?

Épis is made of a combination of garlic, onion or shallots, scallions, peppers, fresh herbs, and oil. 

Ingredients for Epis on a cutting board, peeled garlic, celery, shallot, lime, scotch bonnet, and herbs

Ingredients

  • Parsley
  • Cilantro – Note: some islanders prefer culantro which is similar in flavor and aroma to cilantro.
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Shallots – Alternatively, you can use yellow onions. 
  • Celery stalks – Haitian épis generally contains celery as a staple ingredient while recipes from other islands may omit this ingredient. 
  • Green bell pepper – The green bell pepper helps to add to the signature green color, but red, yellow, or orange bell peppers will work as well. Red bell peppers are slightly sweeter but will not significantly change the flavor of your green seasoning. 
  • Green onions / Scallions 
  • Garlic cloves 
  • Chicken Bouillon or Salt – Leave this out if you want the seasoning to be salt-free. 
  • White Vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Scotch bonnet pepper or Habanero pepper are similar in flavor and interchangeable, but the scotch bonnet is my preference. They are both very spicy. 

How to Make green seasoning in a food processor.

Epis or green seasoning blended in a food processor

Making green seasoning or épis is pretty straightforward. First, gather all of your ingredients, peel, wash, and roughly chop as needed, then place them in the food processor until they create a fresh, bright green paste. This blend of herbs should be similar in color and texture to a thick pesto.

Don’t forget that this is just a general guide and that the recipes vary across islands and even within families. Once you have made this a few times, feel free to adjust the herbs and seasonings to your liking.

Frequently Asked Questions and Substitutions

Green seasoning epis in a jar

How do I store green seasoning (Haitian épis)?

Store your seasoning in an airtight container like a mason jar (glass jar) and keep it in the fridge for daily use. Then, pour the mixture into an ice cube tray to store individual portions in the freezer or freezer bag.

Haitian Epis in ice cube trays
Making a large batch? Spread epis into an ice cube tray and freeze for individual portions.
Haitian Epis in ziplock back in freezer
Place the individual épis cubes in a freezer bag to store.

How can you keep épis or green seasoning? How long in the fridge?

Green seasoning or Haitian épis lasts in the fridge for up to 1 month or three months in the freezer.

Can I make Caribbean green seasoning (épis) without cilantro?

Yes! If you are not a fan of cilantro, you can remove it and add some other ingredients.

Do I have to add the chicken bouillon cube?

No! This is a personal preference. I like to use this as an all-purpose seasoning to make my life easier; I include sodium. However, if you prefer to make this salt-free and adjust salt content while cooking, you can do that too. 

What kind of peppers go in green seasoning?

The most commonly used peppers in epis are scotch bonnet and habanero. In addition, some green seasoning variations use wiri wiri (small, berry-shaped hot pepper from Guyana) or pimento pepper (Mild, sweeter peppers). These spicy peppers are used in combination with bell peppers. 

Where can I buy Caribbean green seasoning?

Bottled green seasoning is sold in the “ethnic” (insert eye roll) aisle in most grocery stores, where you would find items like jerk seasoning. However, I highly suggest making your own because the flavor is just NOT the same. I love a good shortcut, but not this time. 

Can I use a different oil?

Most neutral oils will work in épis, but I prefer olive oil.

Is green seasoning the same as épis?

Essentially, yes. Most Caribbean cuisine features some kind of spicy garlic herb blend as a staple and all-purpose seasoning for many dishes. 

Common Mistakes

Use the food processor instead of a blender because the machine will have strong garlic and spicy flavor that you may not want in your smoothies. 🙂 

How is Haitian Épis used?

Epis is used as a base in most savory Haitian dishes and food across the Caribbean. Some examples include a marinade for meat, diri djon djon (Haitian black mushroom rice), even pasta. I have used this seasoning in food that is not Caribbean because it is so versatile and packs so much flavor. If you are hoping to make a Haitian recipe at any point, you’re probably going to need some of this stuff. 

Check out These Recipes for Examples of How I Use the Seasoning in Daily

Short Rib Chili
Creamy penne rasta pasta with bell peppers
Creamy Penne Rasta Pasta
Do you use a similar green seasoning recipe for your seasoning base? Let me know how you make yours and where you are from! 
Print

Haitian Épis / Caribbean Green Seasoning Recipe

Haitian épis is an essential ingredient and is used as a base in much of Haitian cuisine. This spicy garlic herb mix is a perfect all-purpose seasoning for savory dishes.

  • Author: Stephanie
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 14

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups parsley
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 cup peeled garlic
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper (to taste) 

Instructions

  1. Roughly chop all of your ingredients then place them in a food processor. Slowly pour in the vinegar & olive oil and blend until smooth. Add more olive oil if needed. 
  2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  3. You can also freeze these in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, put them in a zip lock bag for perfectly pre-portioned seasonings.

Notes

Feel free to adjust the flavors as you wish! Every family makes slightly different versions of this, even I switch up every once in a while.

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