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Rice and Peas

Rice and Peas is the most popular Jamaican side dish and it's for a good reason. The beans and rice are infused with coconut milk, pimento and fresh seasoning like scallion, garlic, and thyme, giving it a taste that is so good and so satisfying, it's almost like a meal all by itself. It's traditionally a Sunday dinner dish and a true labor of love made with milk from freshly grated coconut. This version uses canned coconut milk which will definitely do the job when you are short on time or fresh coconut is not available.

Download Printable Recipe:

Rice and Peas Recipe
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Ingredient Prep: 15 min

Cooking time: 2.5 hrs


  • 1 cup dry red kidney beans

  • 4 cups white rice (long grain)


  • 2 whole cloves of garlic - bruised

  • 2-3 scallions - bruised

  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper - whole

  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 tsp whole pimento seeds

  • 1 Tbsp salt


  • 1 can whole coconut milk

  • 2 Tbsp organic virgin coconut oil (for vegan) or butter

1. Wash and drain the red beans, add to 6 cups of cold water in a large pot, cover, bring to a boil, and cook for 1.5 hours or until tender, adding 2-3 more cups of water after the first 45 minutes.

2. Use the end of your knife handle or another kitchen tool to bruise the scallion and the garlic. This will help release the flavor into the broth. Add the rest of the seasoning and the coconut milk. Simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Wash and drain the rice and add it to the broth. Stir gently to combine everything and make sure there is about an inch of liquid above the rice. Add a little bit more water if you need to and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, turn down the heat, and cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, use a fork to gently turn the rice, cover tightly again, and cook for 10 more minutes.

4. Remove the pepper and thyme and serve with your favorite main course!

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