Jamaican Rice And Peas Recipe

This easy to prepare and delicious Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe is a must try! It has long grain brown rice and it is cooked in seasoned coconut milk for a true taste of the island.

Jamaican Rice And Peas Recipe

If you would like to know how to cook Jamaican Rice And Peas, you have come to the right place.


Jamaican Rice And Peas in a blue bowl

Jamaican Rice And Peas recipe, is one of my all-time favorite dishes to make. I have been making this dish since I was a child, except that I used white rice instead of brown. Now my favorite rice to use is Lundberg Organic Jasmine Rice.

I have now included an Instant Pot Jamaican Rice And Peas version and also check out my popular Turmeric Coconut Rice.

Jamaican Rice And Peas With Coconut Milk

How To Make Jamaican Rice And Peas Recipe

Back home in Jamaica, we refer to kidney beans as peas, hence the name. So typically we wouldn't say 'Jamaican Rice And Beans'. back home in Jamaica.

I have heard the term Jamaican Rice And Beans mentioned here in the USA and right away I knew that the person is not fully aware of the correct terminology. Traditionally Jamaican rice and peas recipe is eaten every Sunday for dinner, using dried kidney beans that are soaked the night before with freshly squeezed coconut milk.

A pot of soaked kidney beans is cooked until tender in water, coconut milk, thyme, scallion, Scotch bonnet pepper, and seasonings are added along with rice. Then the Jamaican rice and peas are allowed to cook until the rice is tender and all the liquid has evaporated.

Thyme, the herb of choice, and scotch bonnet pepper are added to the pot whole for flavor. If you are fortunate to find Scotch Bonnet Pepper in the supermarket, be careful not to open the pepper because it is extremely hot. (I'm talking from experience).

Jamaican Rice And Peas Recipe

Normally, most Jamaicans in Jamaican cook Jamaican food without recipes. So I grew up making  Jamaican Rice And Peas without a recipe; I just make sure the ri­­­ce has enough water and that I have all the ingredients listed. If the water dries out I add a little extra water and I’m good to go. For the purpose of sharing with my readers, I create recipes.

Fresh beans and coconut milk are the preferred ingredients but living here in the USA is difficult for me to find fresh coconut. My favorite coconut milk in a can that doesn't have preservative is: Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk

No formal gathering in Jamaica is complete without some Jamaican rice and peas recipe…I hope you enjoy this little taste of the tropics in the convenience of your home! I love to serve my rice and peas with Baked Plantains and Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower

Rice And Peas Jamaican

I grew up in Jamaica where I would help my mother in preparing the coconut milk. I would pick the coconut, remove the husk using a machete and crack the shell open.

Then remove the coconut flesh with a knife and grate it using a fine grater. I would then squeeze the milk with added water and strain. This was all done by hand, and it was quite a task, but it was worth it because nothing beats the flavor of fresh coconut milk.

In Jamaica, we use pigeon peas or kidney beans interchangeably. You can use either or, and as a matter of fact, I have used almost any kind of beans I have on hand. I have used lentil, black beans, and pinto beans with yummy results. So go ahead and be creative and break some traditions!

Jamaican Rice And Peas

Jamaican Rice And Peas Without Coconut Milk

There are some people who don't like the taste of coconut milk, you can prepare Jamaican rice and peas without coconut milk, you can substitute it for water or vegetable broth. If you don't mind the flavor of coconut milk but you don't have any, add a tablespoon of cold pressed unrefined coconut oil.

How To Make Jamaican Rice And Peas

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Categories: ,


308 kcal / 1287 kJ
10 g
7 g
46 g
Per portion

Cooking Time

15 min
1 h
Ready in:
1 h 15 min
12 servings



Instructions For Dried Kidney Beans

  1. If using dried kidney beans, rinse and sort beans and place into a large pot. Cover with approximately three inches of water and soak overnight.
  2. The following day, drain and rinse beans and place into a large pot. Add water, onion, spring onion, garlic, ginger, thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, and allspice.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender about 45 minutes.
  4. Add coconut milk and salt.
  5. Add rice and stir with a fork to combine, check to make sure there the liquid is about 1 1/2 inches above the rice.
  6. Cover pot, bring to boil again. Reduce heat and cook for about 50 minutes- 1 hour.
  7. Depending on the variety of rice, it may take less time. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Instructions Using Canned Kidney Beans

  1. Add canned kidney beans, coconut milk, water, onion, spring onion, garlic, ginger, thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, allspice, and salt in a large pot.
  2. Add rice and stir with a fork to combine, check to make sure there the liquid is about 1 1/2 inches above the rice.
  3. Cover pot, bring to boil again. Reduce heat and cook for about 50 minutes- 1 hour.
  4. Depending on the variety of rice, it may take less time. Fluff with a fork and serve.


Jamaican Rice And Peas Recipe

Michelle Blackwood

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

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  1. KoLa W.
    July 11, 2019

    Just read the recipe and as a Jamaican who already knows how to make rice and peas (tread lightly if you dare say peas and rice), the ingredients and instructions are spot on!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      July 11, 2019

      Thank you Kola, I’m a Jamaican so I understand what you are saying. My goal is to share our delicious recipes to a wider audience.

  2. Jackie
    June 9, 2019

    Just tried this with jasmine, note to self- keep an eye on it. Don’t burn, Cuts time to around 15 mins.

    This rice is phenomenal! So delicious I could not stop eating it, nor could everyone else. Flavors are spot on and bring me right back to Jamaica. Thank you so much! Coconut brings a little sweetness to the heat of the scotch bonnet pepper. Amazing. Love love love.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      June 9, 2019

      Jackie, I’m so happy you enjoyed it. Thank you for your feedback and your adjustment of the time.

  3. Jackie
    June 5, 2019

    Hi I plan on using jasmine rice should I just follow the instructions on bag for how long it should cook and the amount of liquid?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      June 5, 2019

      You can, but you would have to take into account the amount of coconut milk and also water. What I do with any rice is to make sure the liquid is about 1 inch above the rice and beans bring to a boil, cover pot and reduce heat to the lowest tab and simmer until rice is tender.

  4. Fredessa
    May 26, 2019

    This is my second time making this recipe. It is delicious and I can’t wait until it is done. Simmering now! Michelle, I love your recipes!

  5. Tee s
    May 20, 2019

    Is the rice supposed to be cooked or dried? What if i cooked my brown rice by itself? Can i add the mixture to it?

  6. Samantha
    May 14, 2019

    This is my favorite rice and bean recipe. A house favorite. Thanks!

  7. Heather
    April 15, 2019

    HI! I have everything in the pot as I type this and it smells amazing even without bringing to a boil. I just realized that I should have boiled the liquid before adding the rice. This is not stated in step one, but confirmed in step 3, “bring to boil again.” I should have read the recipe more carefully before putting everything together. The only reason why I am commenting (not to ridicule) is because the liquid is too think to ensure there is an inch and a half of liquid over the rice. So for anyone in my position, bring the liquids and aromatics to a boil before adding rice, then bring to a boil again before covering. Common sense, but this recipe is new to me so I just went with it. It smells so good now that it’s simmering, I can’t freaking wait.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      April 16, 2019

      Heather, thank you for your feedback. If the rice is not tender enough, you can always add more water, cover tightly and keep cooking on the lowest setting, the steam will eventually cook the rice. Hope this helps.

  8. Seema
    April 6, 2019

    Thank you for this wonderful Jamaican rice and peas recipe. I am in the process of making it, using coconut milk and pigeon peas canned. Using Thai chili peppers (2) instead and can’t wait to try this for dinner! Yum!!! <3

  9. Sharlette
    January 12, 2019

    Can I use basamati rice? If so how many cups?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      January 12, 2019

      Hello Sharlette, If it is basmati brown rice then the recipe uses the same amount as written. I only tried it with brown rice.

  10. Fredessa
    November 22, 2018

    This recipe is easy to follow and looks delicious. Question: do you put the Scotch Bonnet in whole or should I deseed it?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 22, 2018

      Fredessa thank you, my suggestion is for you is to cook it whole because it is very hot

  11. Laura
    September 12, 2018

    So excited to be making this! As an experienced cook, the directions were confusing on how much water to add when using canned beans. Hope I made the right choices!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      September 12, 2018

      Thank you Laura for your feedback, I will edit the directions.

  12. Jessica Pinney
    July 23, 2018

    What a delicious looking side dish! I never knew that kidney beans were called peas in Jamaica. You learn something new every day!

  13. Nicole
    July 23, 2018

    Seriously, I love Jamaican food. I love beans and rice like this!

  14. Michele
    July 23, 2018

    I’m definitely a rice and beans lover! I could eat that alone for breakfast lunch and dinner. Your recipe sounds so flavorful and delish!

  15. Natalie
    July 22, 2018

    This looks so good. I absolutely love the flavors combo in this rice. I never tried anything like this one before. I must give this a go. It’s so healthy too which is a great plus.

  16. prasanna hede
    July 21, 2018

    Rice and beans is a regular in my house and this recipe would be perfect.I will save this.

  17. Kiki Johnson
    July 20, 2018

    I love rice and peas…especially now that we make Jerk Chicken on our BBQ every week! There are so many recipes out there but yours looks especially delicious! The ratio of rice to liquid is so important and yours looks perfectly cooked! Will save for later!

  18. Nicoletta Sugarlovespices
    July 20, 2018

    My husband had Jamaican friends and always talks about this dish they would make for him. He loves it! I will show him your recipe so now we can make it ourselves!

  19. Christine
    July 20, 2018

    This looks SO delicious! I’m Central American, so this food reminds me of home in a way ;) Especially the yummy fried plantains! Delicious!

  20. aditi bahl
    July 20, 2018

    Great recipe. This really gives me a very Indian feel of flavors. We have kidney beans curry and rice and this one is another version of beans and rice well spices and sauted. Oh i can almost feel the aroma in the picture.I have to try this one for sure.Thanks

  21. Tara
    July 19, 2018

    Great recipe! Would go great with a chicken main dish, thanks for sharing!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      July 19, 2018

      Thank you Tara, I hope you try it with my Vegan Curry Chicken recipe. It tastes better than chicken!

  22. Martyn
    July 19, 2018

    I have not had many Jamaican dishes, the ones I have had were very tasty! Ill have to give this rice dish a go and think ill be bookmarking a few of your other recipes! Thanks!

  23. Kelsey
    July 18, 2018

    Rice is always a big hit at my house! I have to make this for my family!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      July 18, 2018

      That’s so cool, thank you!

  24. Bene
    April 17, 2018

    Thanks for all your Jamaican recipes. I am planning a raggae night so will definitely use your recipes. In your recipe you call for brown rice but in your comments you say jasmine rice is your favourite rice. So which rice is best to use for this recipe?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      April 18, 2018

      Awesome Bene, hoping all the success in your event. Thank you very much for choosing my recipes, I only use brown Jasmine Rice if you use white you might need less water and it will cook faster.

  25. Meredith
    February 6, 2018

    I am accustomed to making rice and peas the Barbadian old fashioned way and love it. I tried this recipe while doing a 21 day Cleanse. The results were fantastic. Thank you!!!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      February 6, 2018

      Thank you Meredith for your feedback, going to google the Barbadian way. I hope your Cleanse was successful and you are feeling great!

  26. Noma
    November 20, 2017

    I just tried this tonight and we love it? Thank you for sharing

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 20, 2017

      That’s great to know Noma, so happy you loved it and thanks a lot for your feedback!

  27. Pammy
    August 23, 2017

    Michelle, thanks for this and all your amazing recipes!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      August 23, 2017

      You are welcome Pammy, thank you for your feedback!

  28. Debi
    August 23, 2017

    So what is the dish behind the Rice and Peas? Is that posted on your web site? That looks interesting.

    • Pammy
      August 23, 2017

      Debi, the dish behind is Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower. This post contains a link to a recipe. Also a link to the baked plantains.