Give your rice a Caribbean makeover with this amazing Jamaican Rice and Peas recipe. It’s a flavor bomb, loaded with a mixture of exotic and tropical tastes.
This easy rice dish is a perfect side for a variety of grilled meats and seafoods, and is an absolute must alongside a spicy batch of Jerk Chicken.
So mix up a glass of your favorite cocktail, and get ready to go on island time…
This Jamaican Rice and Peas is certainly one of the most unique I have tried, as it simmers in coconut milk. This gives it a rich and slightly creamy texture that you don’t find in typical rice recipes.
The generous addition of my favorite aromatics also makes this recipe a total win in my books.
Jamaican Rice Ingredients
- White rice – Although regular long grain may be more traditional, I always prefer basmati for it’s texture and natural aromatic nature.
- Coconut milk – We use reduced fat. You can use full fat, but the lighter version imparts plenty of flavor.
- Aromatics – Onion, ginger, garlic and scallions.
- Kidney beans – Though not technically “peas”, they are traditional in this dish.
- Scotch bonnet pepper – For a little kick. If you can’t find it, you can substitute habanero.
- Thyme – A staple in many Caribbean dishes.
- Allspice – One of the most common spices in Jamaican cuisine.
How to Make Jamaican Rice and Peas
1. Sauté: Heat oil in a large pot (we used a 5qt dutch oven) over medium high heat. Sauté onion, ginger, garlic, scallions, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme and allspice for 5 minutes.
TIP: If you prefer a spicier dish, slice open the scotch bonnet pepper.
2. Boil: Add coconut milk and 1.5 cups of water to the pot. Increase temperature to high and bring to a boil.
3. Cook: Stir in rice and drained beans. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
What to Serve with Rice and Peas
We love it with a variety of brightly seasoned meat dishes. Think…
- Jamaican Curry Chicken
- Skillet Pork Chops
- Blackened Salmon
- Hawaiian Chicken
- Pollo Asado
- and, of course, Jerk Chicken…
Leftovers and Storage
You can refrigerate leftover rice and peas in an airtight container for 3-4 days. When ready to eat, reheat the leftovers in the microwave.
TIP: Cooked rice can grow bacteria quickly if not kept at proper temperature. After cooking, allow rice to come to room temperature, then refrigerate within one hour.
If you wish to freeze the leftovers, spread them evenly on a baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator. Then once it has completely cooled, portion the rice into ziploc bags, then freeze.
Whenever you’re in a tropical mood, cook up a big batch of this Jamaican Rice and Peas. It’s such a flavorful side dish, it just may outshine the main!
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Jamaican Rice and Peas, on out Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 3 scallions, diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 inch ginger, finely chopped
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper (see note 1)
- 5-6 allspice berries, whole
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 13.5oz can coconut milk
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 cups long grain rice (see note 2)
- 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- Heat oil in a large pot (we used a 5qt dutch oven) over medium high heat. Sauté onion, ginger, garlic, scallions, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme and allspice for 5 minutes.
- Add coconut milk and 2 cups of water to the pot. Increase temperature to high and bring to a boil.
- Stir in rice and kidney beans. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- In absence of scotch bonnet, you can substitute with habanero. If you prefer spicier rice, slice the pepper with a knife. Otherwise leave it whole.
- Regular long grain is traditional, but we use basmati.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 243Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 0mgSodium 107mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 4gSugar 2gProtein 6g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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