Jamaican Red Beans and Rice

Coconut milk, thyme, scallions and scotch bonnet peppers give this rice dish an island flair! The perfect side dish to Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken, or enjoy this as a meatless main dish with a simple avocado and tomato salad on the side. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free!

Rice and beans are a staple in most Latin and Caribbean countries because they are  inexpensive and nutritious. Beans are an excellent source of fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates.

The rice is not spicy since the pepper is cooked whole for added flavor and is discarded before it’s finished. Of course, if you want a spicy rice dish, you could chop the scotch bonnet and add it to the rice, but be warned, it will be hot!

You can easily make half the recipe for less servings, but sometimes using a half a can of coconut milk could be such a waste, so I find it easier to make more and save the rest for leftovers.

Jamaican Red Beans and Rice
Servings: 10 • Serving Size: 3/4 cup • Points +: 5 pts • Smart Points: 6
Calories: 192.4 • Fat: 3 g • Protein: 4.9 g • Carb: 35.4 g • Fiber: 2.6 g • Sugar: 0.7 g
Sodium: 133.4 mg (without salt)


  • 1 tsp coconut oil (or canola)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 15.5 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups uncooked long grain rice
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 13.5 oz can (1 3/4 cups) light coconut milk
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet hot pepper (not chopped)


In a medium heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; add garlic, scallion, onion and thyme. Sauté a few minutes, then add rice, beans and stir.

Add the coconut milk, water, salt and fresh pepper and place the whole scotch bonnet pepper in the pot, stir to combine and bring to a boil.

Remove and discard the hot pepper and continue to cook the rice until almost all the liquid is absorbed and just skims the top.

Cover; reduce heat to low; simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered for 10 additional minutes to allow the steam to finish cooking the rice (do not be tempted to lift the lid before that). Serve hot.

Makes 7 1/2 cups.