Caribbean food uses such delicious seasonings that help even the most neutral-tasting foods like beans and rice explode with flavor.
The iconic Caribbean rice dish is rice and peas (or beans), but each recipe is slightly different, with tweaks and additions to give each one a unique twist.
1. Caribbean Rice and Beans by Immaculate Bites
The key to delicious Caribbean rice is cooking it in a spicy broth to absorb its flavor.
You can swap out the Creole seasoning for her homemade jerk seasoning to use what you have or try a different spice mix for some variety in the kitchen.
She also points out that you can make this dish vegan by switching out the chicken bouillon and broth for veggie broth and bouillon equivalents.
This recipe calls for fresh thyme for the best flavor, but it’s still delicious if dried thyme is all you have.
2. Jamaican Rice and Peas by Grandbaby Cakes
Jocelyn Adams of Grandbaby Cakes does more than create delicious cakes for her cookbook. She also makes delicious Caribbean main dishes like this Jamaican Rice and Peas recipe.
You can use pigeon peas and scotch bonnet peppers to make the dish as authentic as possible if you want.
The subbed kidney beans and habanero pepper make it a more accessible recipe for those who can’t find the rarer ingredients.
Creamed coconut instead of the standard coconut milk adds extra creaminess to this dish.
3. Caribbean Confetti Rice by A Spicy Perspective
Most easy Caribbean rice recipes consist of rice and beans with seasonings and liquids like coconut milk or broth.
Flavorful surprises like canned, chopped green chiles, jalapeños, and pineapple bring sweetness and heat to make this a unique take on a classic recipe.
The pineapple and peppers make it one of the prettiest versions of rice and beans you can make.
The combination of sweet pineapple, hot peppers, and creamy coconut milk ensures it will be a favorite meal.
4. Caribbean Rice and Black Beans by The Spruce Eats
This version of classic rice and beans uses pantry staples. The simple ingredients make it a convenient choice for a weeknight meal.
If you’ve got canned black beans or any beans you like in your pantry and some bell peppers to slice, you can whip this dish up in the time it takes to cook rice and saute the veggies.
Cooked rice leftover from another meal or a batch cooking session makes the dish even faster.
This recipe uses chicken broth instead of coconut milk to make a lighter meal with fewer calories and fat grams than one made with milk.
5. Delicious Jamaican Rice and Peas by Chef Lola’s Kitchen
This recipe calls for the classic scotch bonnet peppers often found in the Caribbean, specifically Jamaican, cooking.
Because the peppers are hard to find in most other parts of the world, you can substitute with peppers available in your area, like habaneros.
This dish uses classic ingredients like full-fat coconut milk and chicken stock to cook basmati rice for flavor and creaminess.
Water and chicken bouillon work in a pinch if you don’t have stock in your pantry.
6. Authentic Jamaican Rice and Peas by From the Comfort of My Bowl
You can make this dish on the stovetop or use the handy Instant Pot directions to slash the time to cook the dry beans.
Unlike many easy Caribbean rice recipes that use canned beans and chopped habaneros, this authentic dish uses dry beans and a scotch bonnet pepper.
You don’t chop or cut the pepper before adding it. Instead, you leave it whole to infuse the rice and beans with the pepper’s flavor, then throw it away after the dish is ready.
7. Jamaican Instant Pot Rice and Peas by My Forking Life
If you want the delicious taste of Jamaican rice and peas without the long cooking time of dried beans, you can substitute with canned beans for almost any recipe.
This basic rice and beans dish uses canned beans and the convenience of the Instant Pot to let you enjoy a meal even faster. Any electric pressure cooker works with Instant Pot recipes.
She includes the stovetop instructions for people who want to try this recipe but don’t have an electric pressure cooker.
8. Caribbean Curried Rice Pilaf With Citrus by Mission Food
Use any long-grain rice you like to make this curried rice pilaf recipe. Basmati is a classic choice, but you can use what you have.
This dish an easy Caribbean rice recipe that doesn’t contain beans and usually gets served as a side with a smoky, spicy main-course meat like Jerk chicken or smoked ribs.
You’ll either need enough oranges to freshly squeeze a cup of juice or some ready-to-drink orange juice in your fridge. Other than that, you only need a few staples like butter, onions, rice, broth, and some seasonings to make it.
A Caribbean or Jamaican curry powder adds more authentic flavor, but you can use any curry powder you have on hand.
9. Shanice’s Vegan Jamaican Rice and Peas by From My Bowl
Shanice from The Carbetarian doesn’t have this creamy Jamaican recipe on her blog, but she shared it with vegan YouTuber Caitlin Shoemaker.
Her parents come from the Caribbean, so she grew up eating this dish. Instead of white basmati rice, Shanice uses brown rice for nutrition and more flavor.
Pinto beans replace kidney and black beans from many other easy Caribbean rice recipes.
Bell peppers make the recipe easier for people who don’t have a variety of peppers at their grocery store.
Adobo seasonings instead of spicier Caribbean blends make this recipe great for people who don’t love the heat.
10. Jamaican Coconut Rice and Beans by Curious Cuisiniere
This recipe is an easy Caribbean rice recipe that you can whip together in minutes if you have rice, coconut milk, and canned red beans like kidney beans in your pantry.
The recipe is basic enough, without even chopped peppers, that you can serve it with any meal as a creamy rice side dish.
If you don’t like spicy food, try this recipe. The only heat comes from the black pepper.
If you want a more authentic level of heat, simmer a whole scotch bonnet pepper or a habanero with the ingredients and throw it away at the end.
11. Perfect Caribbean Rice and Beans by Caribbean Green Living
If you don’t like coconut milk or don’t have any on hand, you can still enjoy this easy Caribbean rice recipe that only uses water.
You can use broth, add bouillon for more flavor, or make the recipe without it and let the herbs and other flavors shine through.
Instead of a Caribbean seasoning blend, this recipe calls for several herbs and aromatics like garlic, parsley, thyme, whole cloves, and green onions.
You can use yellow rice for more flavor and add a habanero if you can’t find a scotch bonnet pepper to bring the heat.
12. Caribbean Rice and Peas (and a Feast) by Avant-Garde Vegan
Vegan YouTuber Gaz Oakley doesn’t stop at his plain rice and peas recipe but also offers several recipes to serve with it for a Caribbean feast.
If you’re looking for nothing but rice and beans simmered in creamy coconut milk, Oakley’s recipe is as simple as they come.
The way he makes it, this rice recipe provides a cooling, creamy side dish to contract with the other Caribbean recipes included in his feast, like spicy jerk-seasoned jackfruit.
You’ll only need canned kidney beans, coconut milk, rice, veggie stock or water, and seasonings like thyme, salt, and pepper to make his version.
13. Pineapple Fried Rice by That Nurse Can Cook
This pineapple fried rice recipe goes with jerk chicken or any spicy meat dish with Creole or jerk seasonings.
You’ll need ground seasonings like turmeric, ginger, and allspice for this easy Caribbean rice recipe that offers something other than rice and beans.
The recipe contains peas, but they’re green peas since it calls for frozen peas and carrots. Dried basil, minced garlic, and oyster or soy sauce add even more depth of flavor.
14. Jamaican Rice and Peas by Jamaican Foods and Recipes
Dried kidney beans are the foundation of this Jamaican rice and peas version.
She recommends pressure cooking the beans to save time since they only take 15 minutes to cook after an overnight soak.
Even with the pressure cooker, this recipe will still be more time-intensive because you need fresh coconut milk you create by blending coconut meat instead of using canned.
She suggests using canned coconut milk and canned beans if you must but warns that the true glory of the dish comes from using fresh ingredients and a scotch bonnet pepper instead of a substitute.
15. Jamaican Rice and Peas by Jamaican Recipe
Roxanne makes traditional Jamaican Sunday rice and beans from dried red beans she washes but doesn’t soak as most people do.
She cooks the beans on the stovetop with minced garlic and seasonings for about 20 minutes, then adds coconut milk and aromatics, including two scotch bonnet peppers for authenticity.
After about 30 minutes, she also adds some brown sugar before adding the rice to enhance the sweet creaminess of the coconut milk.
16. Caribbean Rice and Peas by Ev’s Eats
This dish is an easy Caribbean rice recipe that changes up the typical ingredients with some exciting changes.
Instead of white basmati rice, she uses more fragrant jasmine rice. And in place of canned coconut milk, coconut cream makes the dish slightly sweeter and even creamier than most.
This recipe calls for a habanero in place of the traditional scotch bonnet and half a diced jalapeno to bring it closer to an authentic heat level.
The only seasonings you need are salt, black and red pepper, garlic powder, and a bay leaf. Garlic and onion are the aromatics, so it’s a pantry-friendly recipe.
17. Caribbean Rice Recipe With Sofrito by Confessions of an Overworked Mom
Sofrito is traditionally a mix of garlic, herbs, peppers, onions, and tomatoes. This dish is one of the easy Caribbean rice recipes that contain sofrito or tomatoes.
You can use coconut milk or chicken broth. Opt for coconut milk if you want a more Caribbean flavor instead of one with a more Mexican-food vibe.
The chopped peppers, garlic, onion, tomatoes, and cilantro make the aromatic base for the rice. Only the thyme makes it different from a Mexican sofrito base.
Latin American food is part of Caribbean cooking, so the similarity is natural. By adding Creole seasoning to taste, you can bring in the flavors of other Caribbean countries.
18. Jamaican Rice and Peas by Butter Be Ready
This traditional Jamaican rice and peas recipe uses fresh thyme sprigs, dried kidney beans soaked overnight and cooked on the stovetop, and a whole scotch bonnet pepper.
Chicken stock and canned coconut milk ensure the long-grain rice is flavorful and creamy with a slight but authentic coconut flavor.
She warns against canned beans and their mushier texture. The recipe also calls for Jamaican allspice, which has higher oil content than other allspice blends.
McCormick sells Jamaican ground allspice if you want to ensure yours comes from Jamaica instead of other Caribbean countries or Mexico.
19. Pork Jerk Fried Rice by Waste-Free Cooking
Want something different than rice and peas? Try this pork fried rice made with Jamaican jerk seasoning.
This dish an easy Caribbean rice recipe that is perfect for using up leftovers. Make something new with the rice you’ve had in the fridge for a day or two and a pork chop or cutlet leftover from a pork dinner.
The ingredients are simple staples like carrots, red pepper, onion, and garlic. You can substitute a green, yellow, or orange bell pepper if that’s what you have on hand.
Four ounces of chopped pork and a tablespoon of lime juice make this rice dish a main course to remember.
Easy Caribbean Rice Recipes, Final Thoughts
Don’t miss out on a great recipe because you think it’ll be too hot. Many people think of Caribbean food as spicy, but you can adjust the heat of any dish to suit your tastes.
Jerk and Caribbean seasonings offer a classic flavor to every dish they’re in, including many of these easy Caribbean rice recipes.