Coconut Rice and Beans

Inspired by Jamaican rice and peas, this flavorful side uses canned kidney beans and is enriched with coconut milk.

Jamaican Rice and Peas
Elise Bauer

When doing research for our recent Jamaican goat curry recipe, what came up most often as an accompaniment was something those from Jamaica call "rice and peas". (Several commenters suggested this dish too.)

Traditionally the "peas" are pigeon peas, often substituted with kidney beans (which is what we are using). The rice is cooked in coconut milk.

Oh my gosh. This is one of those I-can't-wait-to-make-it-again dishes.

A bowl of coconut rice with beans
Elise Bauer

Our version is a little different from the traditional rice and peas in that we sauté onion and garlic to start the recipe, then add a little fresh grated ginger for added zing.

Serve it with curry, roasted meats, jerk chicken or all by itself. The rice is especially good with a little lime juice sprinkled on to serve.

Rice Classics from All Over

Coconut Rice and Beans

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 6 to 8 servings

The chile is cooked whole with the rice and is there just for a bit of flavor. It doesn't make the rice hot at all, as it stays whole and you discard it at the end.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 2 cups long-grain rice

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option)

  • 2 cups coconut milk

  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans

  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme

  • 1 Scotch bonnet chili (can substitute a whole habanero)

  • Lime, optional


  1. Sauté onions:

    Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until they begin to brown on the edges.

  2. Add garlic and rice:

    Add the garlic and rice, stir well and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring often.

  3. Add remaining ingredients:

    Add the grated ginger, salt, water, stock and coconut milk and stir well. Add the kidney beans and sprinkle the thyme over everything. Add the whole Scotch bonnet chile (or habanero); it will season the rice much like a bay leaf would.

  4. Cook:

    Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat to low and cover. The rice should be done in about 15-20 minutes, depending on the type of rice you are using (some long grained rice takes longer to cook). Check after 15 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat, cover:

    Once done, remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes.

  6. Serve:

    Fluff with a fork. Sprinkle with a little lime juice if you want. Discard the habanero (or eat it, if you dare!)

    Jamaican Rice and Peas
    Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
289 Calories
17g Fat
27g Carbs
7g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 289
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 21%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 440mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 2mg 8%
Calcium 57mg 4%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 340mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.