An authentic Jamaican Rice and Peas (rice and beans) recipe that’s loaded with big flavor from coconut milk, fresh thyme, spices, and more. This here side dish is a Caribbean staple and often served alongside hearty main entrees, so delicious!
- 1 cup dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight & then drained
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper, left whole- do not cut!
- 4–6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Jamaican allspice
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 cups chicken stock or broth, plus more as needed
- 1 (13.5- ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 cups uncooked long grain rice, rinsed until the water runs clear
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- In a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat; add in the drained beans, onion, scallions, garlic, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, bay leaves, allspice, salt/pepper-to taste, stock/broth, and coconut milk. Stir all the ingredients together and cover the pot with a lid. Allow the beans to cook until mostly tender, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, add the rice grains into a large bowl and cover completely with cool water. Use your hands to gently swish the rice around and then drain. Repeat this process at least 6 times until the water runs clear, removing surface starch from the rice. Then carefully drain the rice and set aside until called for in the recipe.
- Back to the peas, check peas for tenderness by (carefully) testing: use a spoon to gather a bean and softly pinch, looking for a firm but semi-tender feel. At this point, the peas may not be completely soft but will also not be rock-hard either (they’ll continue cooking later).
- Once peas have achieved this state, add in the rinsed rice and butter, and stir to fully combine. Immediately reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover the pot with a lid.
- Let the rice cook for 25-30 minutes. Keep an eye on the rice as it may cook faster or take a bit longer. If you see that some of the liquid has evaporated too quickly before the rice has cooked through, add about 1/4 cup more stock/broth to replenish, as needed. Then remove the pot from heat and let rice sit, covered/undisturbed, for at least 10-15 minutes to continue cooking, steaming through.
- Then take a fork and fluff rice, discarding the scotch bonnet pepper, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Taste the rice and adjust seasoning with more salt/pepper, if desired. Serve these rice and peas immediately alongside your favorite main entrees or as-is. Enjoy!
- Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.
Keywords: rice and peas, rice and beans, jamaican food, jamaican rice and peas, caribbean recipes