Jamaican Rice and Peas

Meatless Monday Jamaica
Bowl of Jamaican rice and peas with wooden spoon on the side
Serves 6-8
Print recipe
  • Prep time 5 mins
  • Cook time 85 mins
  • Ready time 90 mins

Traditionally eaten on Sundays, Jamaican Rice and Peas also make a nice treat on a Meat Free Monday!

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  • ½ cup red kidney beans, soaked overnight
  • 6 pimento berries (allspice berries)
  • 1 large clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (our local hot pepper, flavour hard to imitate)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • pinch of salt (or to taste)
  • 1 large stalk of escallion (or spring onions)
  • 3 cups long grain rice


In a large pot, add red kidney beans, garlic, pimento berries and water.

Boil until the peas are tender – approximately an hour. The liquid will evaporate so top up to the original amount with hot water (4 cups) when finished boiling.

Next add scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, coconut milk and escallion, return to a boil, then add salt to taste (about a pinch).

Add the rice (remember your liquid will be roughly 6 cups and the ratio is 2 cups of liquid to one cup of rice).

Turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all liquid.

Mix before you serve as the peas tend to rise to the top after cooking.


Additional notes

“Jamaican rice and peas is a staple dish, traditionally eaten every Sunday. At Christmas it is made with gungo (pigeon peas) instead of kidney beans. In Jamaica, red kidney beans are called peas.

Rice and peas is a family dish so a huge batch is often cooked and leftovers sometimes taste even nicer. It can be eaten by itself.”

Recipe courtesy of Meatless Monday Jamaica.

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