Jamaican Rice and Peas

Jamaica is a beautiful island located in the Greater Antilles and was the home of Bob Marley, one of my favorite musicians.

Some ingredients used in Jamaican cuisine are similar to the ingredients used in Colombian cuisine. Some examples of this are: plantains, yuca, coconut milk, beans, avocado, tropical fruits and anatto.

As you may know by now, my friend Joan from Foodalogue is having a virtual culinary tour and this week she is going to Jamaica. So, I will be joining her with a traditional Jamaican side dish, rice and peas.

Soon you may be asking, “where are the peas in this recipe?”. Well, in Jamaica, beans are called peas. This recipe is flavourful and delicious and is especially good with fried plantains on the side.



(6 servings)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 habanero pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 11/2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme


  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot. Add the scallions and cook about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and habanero and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the rice and stir until well combined.
  2. Add the beans, salt, pepper, water, coconut milk, butter and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and let it simmer over low heat for about 35 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Fluff with a fork and serve warm.
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  1. says

    Even though I knew red beans were used when a Jamaican recipe calls for peas, I went the literal route and used green peas. Glad you authenticated the dish. Thanks for keeping me company along the way.

  2. says

    Erica, this rice dish sure looks delicious…almost can taste the coconut milk in it…by the way, love the plantains as well. We loved Jamaica…it brings lots of great memories :-)

  3. says

    What a beautiful plateful! Rice and beans are such a wonder and I love seeing the ways they are put together. But it is those mouthwatering fried plantains that really make the plate!

  4. says

    To be honest, I’m pretty sure everything tastes good with fried plantains on the side. God I love those things.

    This dish looks amazing! Apparently I really like Jamaican food.


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