Best Ever Jamaican Rice And Peas

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Ready for some tasty Caribbean flavor?? Then it’s time to make Jamaican Rice and Peas that goes with almost everything. We are sharing 2 quick and easy ways to make this affordable, popular Caribbean side dish.

Suitable for Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten-Free diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

Jamaican Rice and Peas in a red bowl with silver serving spoon set next to a blue cloth napkin

As you know peeps, I loooooove making Caribbean and Jamaican inspired dishes. The flavors are out of this world and this Jamaican rice and peas recipe does not disappoint either.

With a dash of Caribbean flavor from everyday ingredients you already have, you’ll be ready to make this dump and start frugal side dish in no time.

While this is a popular Caribbean side dish, this recipe has substituted a few things to keep it lighter in calories, more nutritious, and convenient, yet still jammed full of authentic Caribbean flavors.

So, let’s grab our everyday ingredients already in your panty and get to work on this Jamaican rice and peas side dish.

close up of jamaican rice and peas served in a red bowl

Make On The Stovetop

  1. Add all the Jamaican peas and rice ingredients to the saucepan and mix well.
  2. Cover the saucepan and bring to boil. Stir with a spatula, then reduce heat to low and steam for about 15-20 minutes or until rice is soft.
  3. Switch off the heat, mix and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. That is it folks!
image collage showing the steps for making jamaican rice and peas

Make In The Rice Cooker

  1. Add all the Jamaican rice and peas recipe ingredients to the rice cooker and mix well.
  2. Season with salt and cook according to your rice cooker instructions. Yeap folks, it’s that simple.
jamaican rice and peas in a ceramic serving dish with spoon

Jamaican Rice and Peas With Coconut Milk Tips

  • This frugal side dish is often found with chicken, oxtails or fish but pairs well with just about everything.
  • To keep this dish lighter in calories, I make this with light instead of regular coconut milk and coconut oil, as some other recipes may call for.
  • You can make this with white rice but if you prefer you can make it with brown rice. But you will need to cook it for longer and with more stock.
  • If you’re looking to make this strictly vegan or vegetarian, make sure to use vegetable stock not chicken stock as both are listed as options.
  • This can be a simple dump and start recipe for the stovetop or the rice cooker, but do NOT forget to stir it all together so the seasonings get to flavor all of the ingredients, not just one place.
finished jamaican rice and peas recipe

Can You Freeze Jamaican Rice and Peas?

Absolutely, you can freeze this Jamaican rice and peas recipe! It’s traditionally a side dish, but I know folks who have doubled this affordable recipe and turned it into a main dish. You can easily make more to have for leftovers at a later date.

red bowl filled with jamaican rice and peas

How To Freeze Jamaican Rice and Peas

Make sure you let the rice and peas cool before storing them in your storage containers and freezing for later use. Once in your freezer, this can be frozen for 3 months.

Related : Best Glass Meal Prep Containers

How to Reheat It

To reheat your rice and peas at a later time, you can thaw and reheat in the microwave according to your microwave instructions or put the container in the refrigerator the night before to thaw and then reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

a red bowl filled with jamaican rice and peas

Why Is This Recipe Called Rice And Peas If There Are No Peas?

Folks, I know it can be a little misleading to be making a recipe that is called rice and peas when it doesn’t actually have any peas in it.

This recipe truly originated from the Akan tribe in Ghana, West Africa, although the cooking method and ingredients vary vastly. With the slave trade to Jamaica, the tribe members brought this delicious meal and the Jamaicans have put their own cultural spin on it.

a bowl of jamaican rice and peas with silver serving spoon and blue cloth napkin

As Sundays were the rest day for the slaves, this became the popular day that the slaves would make rice and peas for comfort and an easy dish to toss together.

So, why call it rice and peas? Those native to Jamaica or the Caribbean refer to beans as peas. So, while parts of the world are expecting a different ingredient, when making this Jamaican dish you’ll be using beans, not peas.

Simple Recipe Variations

Traditionally, this Jamaican rice and peas recipe uses kidney beans, but as you know, I prefer black-eyed beans so you’ll see them used.

Depending on your dietary needs, you can use vegetable stock versus a meat-based stock to keep this recipe vegan or vegetarian. I also love adding some Jamaican Curry Powder to this recipe.

If interested, you can also add in any other vegetables you have on hand to increase your veggie intake with this fantastic and frugal side recipe.

Traditional rice and peas calls for fresh beans over canned beans. But as most people have canned beans for convenience, that is what I use in this recipe.

jamaican rice and peas recipe completed and ready to serve

Some Serving Suggestions

Serve your Jamaican Peas and Rice with any of the following (it goes with just about anything):

jamaican rice and peas in a red bowl

More Jamaican Recipes

If you like the Jamaican flavors, then you’ll want to check out these other quick, easy and delicious Caribbean recipes:

Weight Watchers Points

There are 9 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of Jamaican Rice and Peas.

Thank you for reading my Jamaican rice and peas recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue dreaming up recipes, traditional African recipes, African fusion recipes, Sierra Leone recipes, travel plans and much more for you. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, UK food blog.

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Jamaican Rice and Peas in a red bowl with silver serving spoon set next to a blue cloth napkin
Print Recipe
4.84 from 6 votes

Jamaican Rice and Peas

This Jamaican Rice and Peas recipe is quick, easy and so flavorful!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Caribbean, Western
Servings: 10
Calories: 303kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

  • 4 green onions (spring onions) chopped
  • 3/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ginger pureé
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 3 cups (600g) basmati rice
  • 14 oz (400g) can black-eyed beans or kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 2.9 cups (700ml) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1.6 cups (400ml) light coconut milk
  • salt to taste

Instructions

Jamaican Rice and Peas – Stovetop Instructions

  • Add all the Jamaican peas and rice ingredients to the saucepan and mix well.
  • Cover the saucepan and bring to boil. Stir with a spatula, then reduce heat to low and steam for about 15-20 minutes or until rice is soft.
  • Switch off the heat, mix and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Jamaican Rice and Peas – Rice Cooker Instructions

  • Add all the Jamaican rice and peas recipe ingredients to the rice cooker and mix well.
  • Season with salt and cook according to your rice cooker instructions.
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Notes

Jamaican Rice and Peas With Coconut Milk Tips

  • This frugal side dish is often found with chicken, oxtails or fish but can pair well with just about everything.
  • To keep this dish lighter in calories, I make this with light coconut milk instead of regular coconut milk and coconut oil, as some other recipes may call for.
  • You can make this with white rice but if you prefer you can make it with brown rice. But you will need to cook it for longer and with more stock.
  • If you’re looking to make this strictly vegan or vegetarian, make sure to use vegetable stock not chicken stock as both are listed as options.
  • This can be a simple dump and start recipe for the stovetop or the rice cooker, but do NOT forget to stir it all together so the seasonings get to flavor all of the ingredients, not just one place.

Jamaican Rice and Peas Serving Suggestions

Jamaican Rice and Peas Weight Watchers Points

There are 9 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of Jamaican Rice and Peas.

Nutrition

Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 264mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 82IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    I absolutely loved this recipe as a base, but I felt the proportions were a bit off. I reduced the rice to 2 cups, (used brown basmati) added an entire can of full-fat coconut milk, and doubled the stock. I added some fegugreek, chopped parsley and cayenne for a bit more flavor as well. Even at two cups of rice I have a TON of leftovers, but I will freeze and enjoy.

    Thanks for the recipe. I ordered your cookbook as well – looking forward to receiving that!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve been to the Caribbean a lot and I love their peas and rice — I think they call them Pigeon Peas — and they’re sold in our grocery in the frozen foods section. Think I could substitute that?

  3. 5 stars
    What a filling and flavorful side dish. I don’t think about black eyed peas often enough. I need to try this recipe.

  4. Hey Bintu,

    Rice is really versatile because when we add some ingredients to it – provides amazing dish.

    I like fried rice but when it mixes with some veg or non veg, taste improves.

    I’ve tried lots of recipe regarding this and every time I didn’t get disappointment.

    Eventually, thanks for sharing your recipe with us.

    With best wishes,

    Amar Kumar