Easy Jamaican-style Rice & "Peas"

Jamaicans call this dish "rice and peas" but they're not peas like we know them. They're red beans or kidney beans. Traditionally, rice and peas was always cooked on a Sunday but today it is eaten on any day of the week and has become one of Jamaica’s signature dishes.

If you're looking for an easy, nutritious meal, try this flavorful take on beans and rice! The sultry, smoky heat lingers just long enough to make this a very enjoyable Caribbean treat! Coconut milk is traditionally used in this dish, but I substituted dried, shredded coconut which really gave it a nice texture and wonderful flavor, too!

  • 1 cup brown rice (I used basmati for extra flavor) + 2 cups fresh water
  • 1½ cups cooked, salt-free kidney beans (equivalent to 1 can)
  • ½ cup water (if using canned beans, use the bean juice instead)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut (or ¼ cup coconut milk)
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup finely chopped, sweet onion
  • ½ tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh, chopped)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet pepper (Scotch Bonnet peppers are VERY hot! If you can't find them in your market or if you prefer a milder heat, you can use any pepper variety. I used a Thai chili pepper since I did not have a scotch bonnet on hand.)
  1. Cook the rice, as you normally would. Set aside.
  2. Place the remaining ingredients in a sauté pan and cook on low for about 20 minutes. Add more water if things start to get too dry and sticky.
  3. Toss the bean mixture with the cooked rice.
  4. Top with some freshly sliced green onion.

extra yummy with some avocado!

Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main. Enjoy!

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