Authentic Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe

5/5 - (1 vote)
  • Active Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings

When it comes to Jamaican cuisine, few dishes are as beloved and iconic as Jamaican Rice and Peas. This flavorful and aromatic dish is a staple on the island and holds a special place in the hearts of Jamaicans worldwide. It’s a dish that brings families together, often served on Sundays alongside baked chicken or other Jamaican delights. In this article, I’m delighted to share my mom’s authentic recipe for Jamaican Rice and Peas, a true representation of the island’s culinary heritage.


  • 1 cup dried kidney beans, rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice


  1. Prepare the Beans: In a large saucepan, cover the dried kidney beans with the 3 cups of water and bring them to a boil over moderately high heat.
  2. Season the Beans: Stir in the finely chopped onion, scallions, minced garlic, allspice berries, thyme sprigs, Scotch bonnet pepper (you can use a habanero pepper as a substitute), grated fresh ginger, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
  3. Add Coconut Milk: Pour in the unsweetened coconut milk, which will infuse the dish with its signature blush color.
  4. Simmer the Beans: Cover the saucepan and let the mixture simmer over low heat until the kidney beans are tender. This should take about 1 hour, but be sure to adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer throughout the cooking process.
  5. Introduce the Rice: Stir in the long-grain white rice, ensuring it’s well combined with the bean mixture. Again, cover the saucepan and let it simmer over low heat until the rice is tender, and the liquid is absorbed. This typically takes around 30 minutes.
  6. Final Touch: Once cooked, remove the saucepan from heat and let it steam for an additional 10 minutes. Afterward, carefully discard the thyme stems, allspice berries, and Scotch bonnet pepper. Using a fork, fluff the rice and beans, and season with salt to taste.
  7. Serve Hot: Jamaican Rice and Peas are traditionally served hot and are the perfect accompaniment to a wide range of Jamaican dishes.

This authentic Jamaican Rice and Peas recipe captures the essence of Jamaican cuisine. The combination of thyme, scallion, garlic, allspice berries, and the unique heat of Scotch bonnet pepper creates a flavorful symphony that dances on your taste buds. The use of coconut milk infuses the rice with a subtle sweetness and a distinctive red hue, making it a visually appealing addition to your table.

So, the next time you’re looking to savor the flavors of Jamaica, try this recipe for Jamaican Rice and Peas. It’s a dish that embodies the warmth, culture, and deliciousness of the island. Enjoy the rich culinary heritage of Jamaica with every mouthful!

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