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Jamaican rice and peas recipe

Jamaican Rice and peas is Jamaica’s most popular side dish and I am so excited to share this recipe with you. Rice, red peas, fresh coconut milk, and various Jamaican. Sunday dinner is ready!

jamaican rice and peas recipe

The Heart Of Jamaican Sunday Dinners

On Sundays, there is a 99.99% chance that most Jamaicans are making rice and pea for dinner. I don’t know how it came about, but rice and peas for Sunday is just the thing.

But it is not exactly a tradition. I assume is came about because we have more time to cook on Sundays and we use the time to make our best and favourite meals.

rice and peas

Peas Or Beans

It can be confusing to none Jamaicans to learn that Jamaican rice and peas is actually made with red kidney beans and not peas. For some reason, Jamaicans call kidney beans peas even though other beans such as butter bean are called bean.

This is why the dish is called rice and peas – and not rice and beans!

Now that all the confusion is out of the way, let us cook this amazing rice dish.

What You Need

Ahh, you’ve always wondered, haven’t you? Here’s what you need. Let me break this down one by one.

  • Red kidney beans (peas): I use dry peas for this recipe. The dry peas takes more time to cook so canned peas may be easier if time is of the essence.
  • Fresh coconut milk: Coconut milk is key to this dish so it is best to use fresh coconut milk. However, this dish will turn out great if you use canned coconut milk
  • Rice: I use easy cook long grain rice. This rice absorb liquid very differently than basmati rice so if you are using basmati rice you will have to adjust the amount of water or coconut milk that you are using.
  • Chilli pepper: Use a whole scotch bonnet pepper and add it to the pot with chopping or bursting it. I ran out of scotch bonnet pepper so I used the chilli pepper I had.
  • Scallion, pimento (allspice), garlic, gingerthyme, salt: essential flavour base!

Using canned peas and canned coconut milk reduced the cooking time even more. I have also include directions in the recipe for using canned as well.

How to Cook Jamaican Rice And Peas

And the best part – how to make it! In just a few simple steps you will have you rice and peas ready.

how to cook Jamaican rice and peas

Wash and pressure cook the peas for twenty to thirty minutes. If you soak the peas over night you can reduce the pressure cooking time to fifteen to twenty minutes.

Add the ginger and the pimento berries to the pressure cooker to help to soften the peas and add flavour.

Once the peas are soft, add the rest of the ingredients and leave to cook. It is that simpleI

How To Serve Rice And Peas

The most common main dish that rice and peas is served with is fried chicken. Not my favourite main to have with rice and peas, I grew up on fish and it is my favourite.

The best fish dish to have with this rice dish is brown stew fish. But if you like chicken brown stew chicken is just as good.

But rice and peas doesn’t go well with fish or chicken, it taste just as good with curry goat, pepper steak or oxtail.

Rice Recipes:

Kidney Peas Recipes:

More Recipes Using Coconut Milk

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jamaican rice and peas recipe

Jamaican rice and peas recipe

Make your next Sunday dinner a treat with this Jamaican rice and peas recipe.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 201 kcal


  • 1 Cup Dry red kidney beans (peas)
  • 1 ½ Cups Fresh coconut milk
  • 1 ½ Cup Rice Washed and drained
  • 1 Small red onion Chopped
  • 2 Clove garlic Crushed
  • 1 Stak of scallions Chopped
  • 2 Sprig of thyme
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper Don't cut or burst
  • ½ inch Small piece ginger Gratered
  • 5 Pimento barries (allspice)
  • 2 tsp Salt or to your taste
  • Water


  • Wash wash peas and put it in a pressure cooker with 3 cups of water, pimento berries and ginger, half the salt and pressure for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Make sure the pressure cooker is cool before you open it.
  • Season the pot with the thyme, scallion, onion, garlic.
  • Add the rice and coconut milk. The liquid should be about a inch above the rice, if not add more water, stir well.
  • Add the scotch bonnet pepper, cover and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and let the pot steamed until rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove from the heat, remove the thyme stems and Scotch bonnet. Serve!


  • If you soak the peas over night, pressure for 15 to 20 minutes.


Calories: 201kcal
Keyword Jamaican rice and peas, Rice dish
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. Who is that girl

    5 stars
    I am cooking this for dinner today 😋😋. Can’t wait to try it.

  2. 5 stars
    Love it, cooked it yesterday for dinner and had it will salmon steak. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! Mines came out perfect! My family loved it! Thank you for sharing Lesa!! I have tried a few of your recipes! Trying the curry chicken tonight!

  4. Hi Lesa, if by chance you get this mesg today, I need to know can I cook your rice and peas recipe in a pot as my pressure cooker is broken..

    • Hello Lilly, you can, the pressure cooker helps to cook the peas (beans) faster. I would suggest using tin peas (beans) if you don’t have a pressure cooker because it will take more time and water to cook it with a pressure cooker.

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Lesa
    Thank you so much for this lovely rice and peas recipe. It’s so awesome!

  6. Hey Lesa,
    I was just reading the way you cook the peas without a pressure cooker. So you said buy a can of peas instead and if so how long do you cook them so that they aren’t too soft and mush up

  7. Hello,one question after the beans are done in the pressure cooker..should i continue to cook in the pressure cook or place everything in a pot and cook on top of stove?


    Hi, I’m making this tonight along with the curry chicken! Can’t wait for dinner!

  9. Hi, thank you for the recipe.
    How should I cook the rice with a can of red kidney beans and a regular pot, I don’t have a pressure cooker?
    Also, do you use Uncle Ben’s Rice?
    Thank you

  10. Elly Lishman

    Hi, what can I use as a substitute for pimento(whole allspice)? I can’t get hold of it where I live.

  11. Do you drain the peas after pressure cooking them? My pressure cooker does not loose much liquid so I have more than enough liquid left after cooking the peas to cook the rice.

  12. Hey Lesa
    Loved your recipe for the rice and peas I think the kicker was the ginger. Thanks joan

  13. MixedBeanSacha

    5 stars
    I’d love to try to make this but I don’t have a pressure cooker, how would I cook the kidney beans otherwise?

  14. 5 stars
    My Mom, may she rest in pace….use to cook this meal all the time and for the first time i’m doing the rice and peas with bag beans instead of canned. curry chicken has always been my fav. So thanks for your recipes…reminds me of my mom.

  15. Stephen Hodges

    Haven’t finished, but looking good, my only suggestion is that you put in that you check the peas are cooked, mine I did for 30 minutes and they are very crunchy still

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