November 25, 2014

 

cameraWatch our step-by-step video for this recipe below

 

When I was growing up in Jamaica there were unspoken rules about food. One was that you must always serve rice and peas on Sunday. If you served white rice with your Sunday dinner people would think you’re lazy.

 Today people eat rice and peas whenever they want, but I still only like to serve it on Sundays. This traditional recipe is known for it’s fragrant use of thyme and coconut. This version uses coconut milk, but  for the same recipe using creamed coconut (the liquid measurements are different) go to Gungo Peas and Rice and use kidney beans instead. 

 

Foolproof Tip: All the liquid for this recipe – water, coconut milk, liquid from beans – should add up to 4 cups

 

Ingredients
1 can (19oz) Kidney beans, including liquid
1 can (14 oz) Coconut milk
Water (approx 1-2/3 cups)
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Small onion or 2 stalks scallion, chopped
1 tsp Dried thyme
1½ to 2 tsp  Salt, to taste
1 tsp Black Pepper
2  cups Long grain rice (rinsed and drained)

 

Method
1. Drain the liquid from the can of beans into a measuring cup and
add the can of coconut milk and enough water to make four cups of liquid

2. Add liquid, beans, garlic, chopped onion and thyme
to large pot
3. Add salt and black pepper.  Bring to a boil.
4. Add rice and boil on High for 2 minutes.
5. Turn heat to Low, and cook covered until all water is absorbed (about 15 to 20 min).
6. Fluff with fork before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 Servings

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Fay

I’ve been cooking Jamaican food for my family for more than 50 years! Now I'm teaching my daughter Angela and you how to cook my treasured family recipes! I'm happy to be of service and love hearing from you so don't forget to leave a comment below.

Fay

72 Comments

  • Reply
    Sharon
    October 27, 2012

    Made this the other night and the rice was delicious. My whole family loved it.

  • Reply
    lisa
    November 14, 2012

    Hi Ms Fay I have just cooked this and it’s more delicious than buying the dried red kidney beans and soaking
    them over night thankyou so much for making these videoes so easy for other people to learn
    God bless you : )

  • Reply
    Eric
    November 25, 2012

    Hello. I am from Bermuda but living in Canada. Came across your website and I absolutely love it!!! Thank you so very much for sharing . God Bless !

  • Reply
    Sharon
    December 2, 2012

    I just realized that the video doesn’t match the recipe. It says 2/3 cup water on the recipe, but in the video its 2 cups of water. I followed the video the first time and the recipe the second time and my rice was hard due to lack if water. Thought I let you know so others don’t make that mistake.
    I really enjoy this website and have made several recipes that came out great. Thank you.

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      December 3, 2012

      Hi Sharon,
      Thank you for bringing this lack of clarity to our attention. Some confusion may have been caused by the fact that in the video coconut cream is used and in the written recipe coconut milk is used because it is more commonly available. We have now added a note to the video and reworded the recipe so that the total liquid required is clear. All the liquid should add up to 4 cups when using 2 cups of rice. Thank you again. F&A

  • Reply
    Kesh
    December 2, 2012

    This recipe is just the best. The rice was so moist and flyffy. My husband loved it with the brown stew chicken… Keep them coming please.

  • Reply
    Naomi
    December 15, 2012

    Just wanted to stop by and say thank you for sharing your fabulous recipes. I made this last night and it was so amazing! I love that your recipes are easy to understand and follow which makes it great for me having never really cooked Jamaican food before.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2012

    I used to be afraid to use canned peas because I didn’t want the rice to come out white. Thanks a million for this recipe!

  • Reply
    Treya
    January 4, 2013

    Can this recipe be made with brown rice?

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      January 15, 2013

      Hi Treya,
      Thank you for your question. Because brown rice takes longer to cook and uses more liquid than white rice you’d have to revise the measurements. But it should work. Let me know how it goes. Blessings, Fay

  • Reply
    Debra
    January 20, 2013

    Can this recipe be made successfully in a rice cooker – that is, if I tossed all the ingredients together at once into a rice cooker? Thanks Fay.

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      January 20, 2013

      Hi Debra,
      I’ve never tried it but it should work. Let me know how it turns out! Blessings, Fay

      • Reply
        Patrice
        January 4, 2014

        I did try using this recipe in a rice-cooker – no bueno… The ingredients didn’t mix well, so all the seasoning etc seems to have floated to the top and stayed there. I think i’ll try it again though, but maybe boil everything together in a pot then put the water and rice in cooker and see how that works. But I do know rice and peas can be made in a cooker – I have a friend that swears by it.

    • Reply
      Elera C Smith-Andoh
      October 7, 2013

      Hi Ms. Fay,

      I have made your rice and peas recipe in my rice cooker and it turned out great! I also tried making the rice and peas in the rice cooker using regular white rice. I used 3 1/2 cups of water to 2 cups of white rice because I noticed that using 4 cups of water to the 2 cups of white rice, made it too wet.

      Elera

  • Reply
    Cotton
    February 12, 2013

    my friend is Jamaican and I am absolutely delighted that I found you!! You’re spirit is BEAUTIFUL and I know NOTHING about Jamaican food, but have put my confidence in you! I am SO relieved that the ingredients are not as hard to find and overwhelming as I thought cooking foreign food would be. THANKS SO MUCH!!

    Q: Is the coconut milk supposed to be sweet? (i know stew chicken requires unsweet milk) How will it affect the taste of the rice?

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      February 19, 2013

      Hi Cotton,
      Thank you for your interest and support. If you can find unsweetened coconut milk you’re best to use that. But, truthfully, sweetened coconut milk will still make for a delicious tasting rice… really can’t go wrong. Blessings, Fay

  • Reply
    Mrs. Brown
    April 3, 2013

    Thank you for sharing your recipes! I made your rice and peas and festival along with my own BBQ Jerk Chicken, it was AMAZING!!! I finally feel confident making rice and peas. I look forward to testing all of your recipes and appreciate you for the videos! ~Mrs. Adeena Brown

  • Reply
    Curls
    April 3, 2013

    Can you give suggestions on how to cook this with dried beans? I normally cook beans and rice separate but would love to learn how to cook them together. How much dried beans would I need to start with? I know that half a cup gives about 2 cups cooked. Also I use brown rice which I know will require more liquid. Thank you!

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      May 20, 2013

      If you want to use dry beans, soak 1 cup of dry red kidney beans in water overnight and follow the recipe.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    April 9, 2013

    Hi Miss Fay,
    Blessings to you and your family. I just have one q. uestion
    Which is better to use in the rice and peas coconut milk or creame.

  • Reply
    Plumpraisin
    April 10, 2013

    My kids and I enjoyed the rice however I’d use less thyme when making it again. I guess I’m not a big fan of thyme. Thanks for the recipe. **FYI Your written recipe above did not include when the garlic goes in the pot.

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      April 11, 2013

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for noticing the garlic was missing. The recipe has been fixed. Blessings.

  • Reply
    Melissa P
    April 15, 2013

    I made this and your slaw recipe last night to go with some jerk chicken. AMAZING! Thank you for sharing such wonderful recipes with the world! I will definitely be trying some more.

  • Reply
    Petra
    April 28, 2013

    Made this for Sunday lunch. Yum. Variations: 1/2 the recipe, used brown rice and fresh thyme. Will make again.

  • Reply
    Davieon
    June 11, 2013

    I love the rice and peas. Authentic right from kitchen! I made this along with your mighty mac and cheese and your brownstew chicken and it was such a yummy and comforting meal! Thank you Mrs. Faye

  • Reply
    Paula
    July 3, 2013

    Would love to take this dish to a party. How do I alter the recipe to serve 40-50 people?

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      July 26, 2013

      Hi Paula,
      Thank you for your question. I wish I could help you but I’m really not sure. If you know anyone in the catering business they may be able to look at the recipe and help you. Fay

    • Reply
      Martha
      September 15, 2013

      you can do a google search for recipe converters. they allow you to increase or decrease servings in a recipe. I use them and they work…

  • Reply
    Abe
    September 15, 2013

    I have an over abundance of fresh thyme at the moment , how much fresh thyme should I use instead of the 1 tsp. of dried thyme?

    Thank you.

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      September 23, 2013

      Hi Abe,
      Usually a dried herb will be half the amount of the fresh herb so I suggest 2 tsps of fresh thyme will work. Fay

  • Reply
    Fran from Bronx, NY
    September 15, 2013

    The women in my family has always made peas and rice in coconut milk but with black eye peas. It is traditional Sunday or company meal. We have it with Chicken or Roast Beef or Roasted or Stewed Pork Loin. Anyway, I had tried to make it number of times (with success). May I offer an alternative to Kidney beans? Try it with black eye peas.

  • Reply
    Mei
    September 15, 2013

    Hi there, I’m surprised you are using long grain rice instead parboiled rice. Is the traditional recipe using regular long grain rice?

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      September 23, 2013

      Hi Mei,
      Yes, long grain rice is what I use and is traditional. In my time parboiled rice wasn’t popular. Fay

  • Reply
    genise
    September 18, 2013

    MY mom made peas and rice every Sunday when I was a child. She has passed on so making peas and rice just like your recipe brings me back to my childhood thank you.

  • Reply
    rcarter
    October 30, 2013

    Hi i tried this recipe with coconut milk and it came out creamy i tried twice plz help

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      November 12, 2013

      It sounds like you used too much liquid. Foolproof Tip: All the liquid for this recipe – water, coconut milk, liquid from beans – should add up to 4 cups

  • Reply
    Rev
    November 5, 2013

    MAde this today! its awesome!!! thank you soo much!

  • Reply
    Tonya Gigax
    November 8, 2013

    OMG!!!!!! What a delicious and easy way to cook this, I absolutely loved it. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Reva
    January 15, 2014

    Lovely recipe! I’ve made it before and decide to make it again but this time I blended 1 can of the red kidney beans to give the rice a bit more of that rich red color. The dish was bursting w/flavor. I also used Jasmine rice another added bonus. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Hope Clennon
    January 29, 2014

    I just made this for the first time and it’s delicious! Thanks so much for your recipe! The only thing was I had dried kidney beans on hand rather than the tin so I soaked those for half a day and used them instead. As a result the peas weren’t quite as soft as I’m used to because I didn’t realized I should’ve let them boil a little longer before adding the rice. Other than that, I really loved this recipe, rice and peas has long been a challenge for me.

    Thank you!

  • Reply
    April 28, 2014

    I just made this recipe and it turned out great!! I’m from the Caribbean living in the US and wanted a recipe that reminded me of home. I combined it with some stew chicken and it was perfect. It was also really easy to make. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    May 20, 2014

    A few months ago I met the love of my life Damion. He is originally from Jamaica and is always talking about “back home”. One night as we sat talking he told me about the Rice and Peas his mom made every Sunday. I googled rice and peas and found this wonderful website! So I made your recipe of rice and peas and also brown stew chicken and when Damion ate it his eyes lit up and he said “man babe, this is just like home. You have no idea!” It was the best compliment on my food I have ever received as both a professional chef and a home cook. Thank you for the recipes and I will definitely be back for more recipes.
    Michelle

  • Reply
    May 26, 2014

    I’ve read all the comments and they are all positive, i will make this tonight, i will let u know how i did. If it doesn’t come out right, i know i must have done something wrong

  • Reply
    Faith
    June 11, 2014

    I made this recipe for a friend’s baby shower whose husband is Jamaican and it was the highlight of the meal. The husband was surprised and impressed.Thank you for this recipe. It gets better each time I make it!

  • Reply
    ozise
    June 23, 2014

    Think Mrs. Faye it look so delicious I think I am going to try to cook it today the Snapple and rice

  • Reply
    Tracy
    June 25, 2014

    Hi! Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes! I stayed in Jamaica about 20 years ago for 3 months & remember eating rice & peas a lot & enjoying it. Just remembered it one day & thought I would try it on my family. They all loved it! My husband had like 4 helpings & said he thought it was addicting! It tasted just like I remember it tasting! Now if I can figure out jerk chicken & fried dumplings! Thanks again! :)

  • Reply
    tiphoni97
    July 8, 2014

    As long as I have been coming to this website, I have been flubbing rice and peas, and don’t recall this recipe being so simple. Is this new?
    I see the fool proof tip and will definitely take heed to it. My rice and peas ALWAYS come out sticky! In the 4 years I’ve been trying this, I recall 3 times that they were edible!! I will try this method with fingers-crossed; 4 cups of liquid is the trick!
    (Mi want ever1 dat read dis fi understan mi pain. Mi ah mek stew pews, oxtail, friccasee chicken, dumplins, bread pudding, steam fish & one whole bag ah zitun wit no problem, but mi cyant cook rice and peas!!! JOKE TING!)

  • Reply
    shell
    July 22, 2014

    Hi, I am yet to try this recipe. This may be a silly question but does the rice turn out a red colour as from the picture it doesn\’t look it as red as I have had it before. Thank you.

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      August 24, 2014

      Hi Shell, it’s not a silly question. The colour of the rice will depend on the beans that are used. Usually using canned beans will result in a darker rice then when using soaked dry beans. Fay

  • Reply
    leon
    July 25, 2014

    My mom is guyanese and my dad is Jamaican. My mom can cook like nobodies business but she refuses to teach me her recipes. So now I’m here starting my own cooking tradition with your help. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Janai
    July 29, 2014

    This recipe is everything! I used to live in Boston, MA where Jamaican food along with other island foods were everywhere. I was obsessed with it! With me moving to Detroit, MI. you didn’t get the overload of island food. With all my friends from the islands it was very hard to adjust to american food. But I came across your Youtube channel and I almost jumped for joy. I made this rice and peas along with curry goat for my husband to try since he’d never had Jamaican food or any food from the islands for that matter. He fell in love. Thanks to you I can bring the islands to a place where there is none!

  • Reply
    Karrie
    July 30, 2014

    My hubby is Jamaican. I have got some advice from his wonderful family but I don’t always want to be asking for their help. Thank you for making this website. I look forward to trying your recipes. God bless you and your family.

  • Reply
    August 4, 2014

    Thanks so much for this recipe. My mother always says I need to learn how to make Rice And Peas. I was never interested, but decided to surprise her. She is returning from JA today. I’ll let you know how she likes it!

  • Reply
    Alycia
    August 11, 2014

    Can this recipe be made without coconut, my mom and I are severely allergic to it.

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      August 24, 2014

      Hi Alycia, yes you can certainly make this recipe without coconut milk or coconut cream and still have delicious dish.

  • Reply
    Jenn
    August 13, 2014

    Hmmmm… I made a pot today. I have no idea where I went wrong. There was a lot of onion in the pot and I think potentially too much thyme. Is fresh thyme by sprigs better then dried? And ow. Uh onion should actually be visible?

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      August 16, 2014

      The onions should be well chopped, but yes they will be visible. I use sprigs of thyme when possible but dried thyme is good too.

  • Reply
    Al
    August 17, 2014

    Do I just double the amount of ingredients if I am serving 12 people ?

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      August 24, 2014

      Hi Al, if you want to double the recipe I suggest you make two pots of rice as the best way to do it for success. Fay

  • Reply
    Madrica
    August 28, 2014

    I made this dish this evening and the rice is perfect and so delicious. It’s a keeper.

  • Reply
    Celeste
    September 17, 2014

    If it is possible to make this without Coconut milk, is is necessary to substitute something else for the additional needed liquid??

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      September 17, 2014

      Yes, if you can’t use coconut milk just replace with water

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    September 18, 2014

    Making tonight with smothered turkey wings, sounds and smells delicious!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    September 22, 2014

    Thank you for measurements in your rice and peas recipe as although my Mum is Jamaican and has taught me how to cook many things, I could never grasp her fab rice and peas. My mother is amazing cook and unfortunately I cannot cook as well as her but with your recipe I finally am building up confidence in how you do rice and peas with tinned beans as not a fan of the soaking way of doing kidney beans. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    Ellen
    October 8, 2014

    This may be a silly question. When you say pepper, what type of pepper are ypu referring to?

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      October 10, 2014

      Hi Ellen,
      Sorry for the confusion. It refers to black pepper. We’ll clarify it in the recipe.
      Thank you.

  • Reply
    margaret
    October 15, 2014

    I love to learn how to cook jamaican style. love the food so much. Went to montego bay 3 times all ready. The people there are so friendly and so nice. I cooked this and it was a success. Thanks a bunch

  • Reply
    Pon De
    October 16, 2014

    Man, dis ting taste MASTA.

  • Reply
    Friday
    October 26, 2014

    Thank you so much fir this wonderful site, I will be sharing rice n peas today,Sunday, for my friends feel honoured to be sharing this delicious recipe along with plantain. My childhood best friend is Jamaican and we grew up in Hackney, London together. Great memories I can relive through food. Its first time I am cooking it and I only learnt about the coconut milk last weekend. Friday , York, UK

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    November 10, 2014

    Wow what a great recipe! I made a few changes, but nothing drastic. I substituted the water for chicken broth instead, added chopped green bell pepper, and 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. So yummy!!!!

  • Reply
    Lori
    November 11, 2014

    I have seen many recipes for rice and peas, some of them get really complicated! This was by far the simplest and most tasty. No effort to prepare at all and no need to write it down to remember once you’ve made it. Fantastic

  • Reply
    November 19, 2014

    Love your stuff. Just served jerk pork and this rice dish to our pool team and the away team – they loved it :)

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