Rice and peas is a staple of Jamaican cooking and loved by everyone. It's warm and comforting but also really healthy and happens to be vegan by nature rather than adaptation.
The peas in this dish are actually red kidney beans. Many traditional recipes use dried kidney beans and homemade coconut milk. But we're about speedy and convenient recipes. And, as always, I never claim that any of these recipes are authentic. We're using only ingredients from Aldi and so need to adapt accordingly. But one thing that hasn't changed is the use of the classic trinity of green onion, garlic and thyme.
Allspice is also a traditional seasoning, but Aldi doesn't sell that, so true to form, we've adapted!
One-Pot Rice & Peas
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Ingredients for peas and rice
*Note on ingredients- all these recipe lists assume you have vegetable or olive oil and salt and pepper, so they are not listed here but are included in the recipe card at the bottom.
- basmati rice
- tinned red kidney beans
- reduced-fat coconut milk (full fat works too, but will make the rice a little more oily)
- chicken seasoning
- Cajun spice
- vegetable stock
- mixed chillies
Step by step one-pot rice and peas
- Step 1 & 2- Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast-iron skillet, or a frying pan. Once the oil is hot, add the finely chopped onion, garlic, ginger and thyme and saute until soft and fragrant.
- Add in the Cajun spice and the chicken seasoning and stir to coat the onions and garlic.
Step 3 & 4- Dissolve the vegetable stock cube in 100ml of boiling water. Pour the coconut milk and vegetable stock in the pot and bring to a simmer. Rinse the rice in cold water a couple of times, until the water runs clear. Stir in the rinsed rice and bring up to a boil.
Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook while covered for about 20 minutes. Stir and check the rice. If it's cooked and all the liquid is absorbed leave to stand for about 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
What to serve with Jamaican rice
Although this dish can stand alone, it is so often served with roast or Jerk chicken. One of my favourite things to do with this rice dish is to stir through leftover rotisserie chicken. Not entirely a traditional way to serve it, but certainly the perfect comfort dinner.
Storing rice and peas
This rice dish does keep but only for a few days really. You can store this rice in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To reheat it, a minute or two in the microwave will heat this rice perfectly. Just be sure to stir the rice every 30 seconds.
More one-pot rice recipes
Tools used to make this rice and peas
Easy One Pot Rice & Peas Recipe
- 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) olive oil
- 1 (1) onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves (2 cloves) garlic, minced
- ½ - 1 (½ - 1) red chilli, sliced (adjust according to spice tolerance)
- ½ teaspoon (½ teaspoon) Cajun spice
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) chicken seasoning
- 1- inch (1- inch) piece ginger, grated
- 4 (4) sprigs thyme, leaves picked
- 400 g (2 ⅐ cups) tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (1) vegetable stock cube dissolved in 100ml boiling water
- 400 ml (1 ⅗ cups) tin light coconut milk
- 200 g (1 cups) basmati rice, rinsed until the water runs clear
- 3 (3) green onions, sliced
- Heat the olive oil in a cast-iron casserole pan (or regular saucepan) over medium heat. Once the olive oil is hot (it will shimmer) add in the onion, garlic, and ginger. Saute until softened and fragrant. Stir in the red chili.
- Add in the thyme leaves, Cajun spice and chicken seasoning. Stir well to coat the onions in the spices. Pour in the coconut milk and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and stir in the rinsed rice and rinsed kidney beans.
- Return to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and continue to cook covered for about 20 minutes, until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
- Leave to stand for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Scatter with the sliced green onions and serve.
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