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Jamaican Rice and Peas

Jamaican rice and peas are a tasty dish that will instantly transport your taste buds to the Caribbean. We use the Instant Pot to take all the stress out of making this classic dish. In less than 30 minutes, you can enjoy a filling meal or have a bold, spicy and slightly sweet side dish to serve alongside your favorite entrees. Make this and treat your family to a mealtime vacation!

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jamaican rice and peas

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What is Jamaican Rice and Peas

Jamaican rice and peas are a traditional, somewhat spicy Jamaican dish. Though they are called “peas,” they actually use kidney or other beans, not green peas.

When you make this rice dish, you’ll love the hint of coconut flavor and spicy flavors. It is the perfect dish to serve even your toughest critics so that they eat plenty of fiber and protein.

Why we love this Jamaican Rice and Peas recipe

This Jamaican rice and peas recipe is super easy to make in the Instant Pot. We love our Instant Pot because it takes a lot of the stress out of making rice dishes. And you’ll have perfect rice almost every time.

This rice dish has amazing flavor. It is spicy without being overwhelming. And it has plenty of protein and fiber, so it is a healthy meal to serve your family.ingredients for rice and peas

Jamaican Rice and Peas Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make Jamaican peas and rice at home:

  • Oil - You can use olive oil, vegetable oil, or another light tasting oil.
  • Kidney beans - You can use either cooked or canned. You could also use green pigeon peas which are also known as gungo peas.
  • Brown rice - You can use other rice, but it can affect the cooking time.
  • Aromatics - You’ll need an onion, garlic cloves, green onions, ginger, and fresh time.
  • Scotch bonnet pepper or habanero pepper - If these are too hot for you, you can use less, use a jalapeno or less hot pepper instead, or omit altogether.
  • All spice
  • Salt - This is to taste.
  • Water 
  • Coconut milk 

How to make this Jamaican Rice and Peas recipe in Instant Pot

First, use the sauté function to heat the oil in the Instant Pot. Next, add the onion , green onions, garlic, ginger, and chilli and then give them a good stir. You should cook them until they become aromatic.

Next, add the brown rice and toast it for a few seconds.

instant pot rice and peas steps

Once they are toasted, add the water, coconut milk, all spice mix, and salt and then give it a stir.

Next add the kidney beans and stop stirring. Finally, drop in the thyme springs.

Once the thyme is added, close the lid, seal the vent, and then set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 18 minutes followed by a natural pressure release.

Carefully remove the lid to the Instant Pot and serve the rice and peas with a garnishment of green onions and thyme. Serve it warm in individual bowls or plates.

Which rice is the best for Jamaican Rice and peas 

We used brown rice for this recipe. The times for the recipe are based on using brown rice. Other rice cook times will change the total cook time. 

If you love rice, check out these other rice recipes:

cariabbean rice and peas recipe in instantp ot

Which beans are the best for Jamaican Rice and Peas

Most recipes, including ours, use kidney beans. Another popular option is to use green pigeon peas, which are also known gungo peas. Either one will work well in Jamaican rice and peas.

Tips to make the best Jamaican Rice and peas

Once you are ready to make this delicious rice dish, you should try these tips and tricks:

  • Don’t skip the coconut milk because it adds a mild, sweet flavor.
  • Keep the peppers whole to add an earthy flavor with less heat.
  • Remove the lid when the pin drops to prevent over-cooking the rice
  • Make sure to use cooked or canned beans since dried beans will not have enough time to cook in the pot.

instant pot jamaican rice and peas recipe

Is this vegan and gluten free?

This recipe is both vegan and gluten free with no need to modify the ingredients. The milk used is coconut milk, not cow’s milk. Rice and beans are also naturally gluten free as are the other ingredients.

Jamaican rice without coconut milk

Jamaican rice tastes best with a hint of coconut flavor from the coconut milk. If you do not want to add coconut milk, the dish loses some flavor and will generally taste hot and spicy. We strongly recommend using coconut milk for balance.

If you choose not to use it, you can, but the flavor will be altered.

rice and peas

What to serve with Jamaican rice and peas

This nutritious dish provides a large amount of protein and fiber. It is actually very filling and can be eaten on its own.

You can also serve it with your favorite barbeque meals. It’s a great compliment to grilled veggies.

You can also pair this with baked, sauteed, or air fryer veggies.

Storing suggestions

Like other rice dishes, you can store this in the fridge for a few days. The rice may dry out a bit, but it should mostly retain its flavor and texture.

To store, scoop the cool rice into an airtight container. Next, seal the lid and then place the container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat, you can microwave for 1 to 2 minutes in the container.

We do not recommend freezing the rice since it can lose its texture and get a bit mushy when reheated.

rice and peas recipe

Variations

You can make some slight variations to this rice dish without changing the flavor. Here are a few ways to modify:

  • Can’t find scotch peppers, use habanero peppers instead.
  • For a less spicy flavor, you can substitute a milder pepper, such as jalapenos instead of the super hot peppers.
  • Leave the scotch pepper whole, this will flavor the rice without the heat since the seeds and ribs are not exposed.
  • Try a different type of rice, but cooking times will change
  • Use green pigeon peas instead of kidney beans.

More recipes that you will like

Let us know what you think

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to let us know what you think! Be sure to take a pic and tag us on Instagram @dbellyrulesdmind or Facebook @thebellyrulesthemind!

Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe

jamaican rice and peas

Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Jamaican rice and peas are a tasty dish that will instantly transport your taste buds to the Caribbean. We use the Instant Pot to take all the stress out of making this classic dish. In less than 30 minutes, you can enjoy a filling meal or have a bold, spicy and slightly sweet side dish to serve alongside your favorite entrees. Make this and treat your family to a mealtime vacation!

Ingredients

  • • oil 1 tablespoon
  • • green onions 2 tablespoon
  • • kidney beans cooked or canned 2 cups
  • • brown rice 2 cups, washed
  • • medium onion, diced
  • • garlic cloves 5, minced
  • • ginger 1 inch, grated
  • • fresh thyme, 2 springs
  • • scotch bonnet pepper or habanero pepper 1 (diced)
  • • allspice mix ½ teaspoon
  • • salt to taste
  • • water 2 cups
  • • coconut milk 1 cup

For Garnish

  • • green onions, chopped 1 tablespoon
  • • thyme spring

Instructions

First, use the sauté function to heat the oil in the Instant Pot. Next, add the onion, green onions, garlic, ginger, and chilli and then give them a good stir. You should cook them until they become aromatic.

Next, add the brown rice and toast it for a few seconds.

Once they are toasted, add the water, coconut milk, all spice mix, and salt and then give it a stir.

Then add the cooked or canned kidney beans and stop stirring. Finally, drop in the thyme springs.

After the thyme is added, close the lid, seal the vent, and then set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 18 minutes followed by a natural pressure release.

Carefully remove the lid to the Instant Pot and serve the rice and peas with a garnishment of green onions and thyme. Serve it warm in individual bowls or plates.

Notes

  • Don’t skip the coconut milk because it adds a mild, sweet flavor.
  • Keep the peppers whole to add an earthy flavor with less heat.
  • Remove the lid when the pin drops to prevent over-cooking the rice
  • Make sure to use cooked or canned beans since dried beans will not have enough time to cook in the pot.

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