Shanice’s Vegan Jamaican Rice & Peas | Creamy + Cozy

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This Jamaican Rice & Peas is creamy, cozy, and bursting with flavor! A perfect budget-friendly staple that can be served as a side dish or main course.

Fluffy coconut-infused rice, creamy beans, and warming spices…what’s not to love? This Vegan Jamaican Rice & Peas is the ideal comfort food recipe that’s easy, satisfying, and budget-friendly.

bowl of jamaican rice and peas with fork and topped with green onions

This recipe is part of the #FromYourBowl series on the blog – see here for more information.

Today we’re joined by Shanice, who runs the food blog The Carbetarian! Shanice is a 26-year-old Mathematician &  Structural Engineer who creates delicious vegan recipes in her downtime. I love Shanice’s recipes because they’re simple, easy, and still delicious – which fits in perfectly with the philosophy of From My Bowl.

photo of shanice next to photo of rice and peas on marble background

Shanice chose to share her Jamaican Rice & Peas with us, and boy are they delicious. Her dad grew up in Jamaica and her Mom grew up in Monsterrat (an island in the Caribbean), so Caribbean food has been a big part of her life! Stay tuned for a bonus Q&A with Shanice at the end of this post 🙂

INGREDIENTS FOR JAMAICAN RICE & PEAS

ingredients for rice and peas in small white bowls on light background

Rice & Peas is a staple side dish in many parts of the Caribbean and is made of a base of fluffy rice, beans, coconut, and tons of yummy spices. Some ingredients will vary by household, and here’s how Shanice makes hers:

  • Brown Rice: adds heartiness and a subtle nutty texture…plus some extra fiber!
  • Pinto Beans: ….yep, there actually are no peas in this dish! Pinto Beans give this dish a creamy texture, plus a boost of plant-based protein. It’s also common to use Red Kidney Beans in this recipe as well.
  • Coconut Milk: adds creaminess and classic Coconut Flavor
  • Aromatics: Garlic, Onion, Green Onion, and Bell Peppers all pack a punch here! Sautéing these veggies in oil before adding the other ingredients creates a tasty base flavor that coats every grain of rice.
  • Spices: Shanice uses Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Thyme, and Adobo seasoning for some dang good flavor. Brown Sugar also helps to round out the dish!

HOW TO MAKE JAMAICAN RICE & PEAS

cooked rice in peas in large pot with wood spoon scooping a serving out of it

This recipe is made entirely in one pot! Stirring the rice takes a little bit of hands-on time, but is so worth it. FYI: your kitchen is going to smell amazing while you make this.

  1. Sauté the aromatics in oil until tender, then add in the beans and spices and cook some more.
  2. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for a few minutes, to infuse it with flavor.
  3. Add in some boiling water and the uncooked rice. Simmer, covered, but remove the lid of the pot every so often to give things a good stir.
  4. Cover the pot with foil and the lid to get an extra tight seal, then let the rice steam for a final few minutes to absorb all of the well-seasoned broth.
  5. Fluff with a fork, then serve warm!

two bowls of rice and peas topped with green onions with white linen on the side

This Jamaican Rice & Peas is creamy, cozy, and nutritionally balanced — aka it tastes good, it’s good for you, and it will keep you full for hours! Shanice likes to enjoy this dish as a main course, but also recommends serving it with some jerk tofu or jackfruit for some extra oomph.

bowl of jamaican rice and peas topped with green onions on marble background

If you’re looking for more cozy and budget-friendly recipes, you’ll also love this Sweet Potato Rosemary Dump & Bake Casserole, this Easy Vegan Chili, and these Sweet & Smoky White Beans!

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl and Shanice @TheCarbetarian + #FromYourBowl! We’d love to see your delicious recreations 🙂 You can also keep up with Shanice via her blog, Instagram, and Youtube. Don’t forget to check out her free recipe ebook as well! 

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Shanice’s Vegan Jamaican Rice & Peas

This Jamaican Rice & Peas is creamy, cozy, and bursting with flavor! A perfect budget-friendly staple that can be served as a side dish or main course.

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes - 1 Hour
  • Total Time: 55 minute
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Jamaican
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/4 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 23 cloves garlic, minced (around 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 15.5-ounce (440 g) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½2 teaspoons adobo seasoning*
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 can coconut milk (14 ounces)
  • 1 thick green onion, stalk only
  • 3 cups (710 ml) boiling water
  • 2 cups (380 g) long grain brown rice, rinsed and drained

Instructions

  1. Aromatics: Heat a large pot over medium heat and add in the oil.  When the oil is warm, add in the onion, bell peppers, and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, until the peppers start to soften and the onion becomes translucent. 
  2. Beans & Seasonings: add the beans to the pot and stir well to combine. Then, add in the adobo seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, thyme, and brown sugar. Stir well to make sure everything is evenly incorporated, then let the mixture cook down for 3 minutes. Let the bean and veggie mixture cook down for 3 minutes.
  3. Make it Creamy: Add the coconut milk to the pot and stir well. Raise the heat to medium-high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Split the stalk of green onion lengthwise and crush it with your hands to release some of the juices and oils, then drop it in the pot. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes, to infuse the coconut milk with spices. 
  4. Cook the Rice: Add the boiling water to the pot and mix well; taste the broth and add any additional seasonings to taste. Bring the broth to a brisk boil, then add in the rinsed rice. Stir to evenly combine, then cover the pot with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the mixture to simmer. Uncover the pot and stir the mixture every 5 minutes, to prevent anything from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Continue boiling until almost all of the liquid is absorbed into the rice; the cook time will vary based on the pot, but this should take anywhere from 20-30 minutes.
  5. The Final Steam: Once there is very little liquid left, taste the rice to make sure it is al dente in texture. Completely cover the pot with a piece of foil, then place the lid on top – this forms a tight seal. Turn the burner all the way down to low and cook for an additional 15 minutes, to fully steam the rice. 
  6. Serve: Turn off the burner and let this stand for 5 minutes before uncovering and serving. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • Adobo Seasoning: there are a few different varieties of “adobo” seasoning, but Shanice uses Goya’s Adobo seasoning salt! Try to find a blend without chili powder or paprika, as that’s a little different. If your seasoning blend does not have salt, use only 1 1/2 tsp of the blend add add 1/2 – 1 tsp of salt, to taste.

Keywords: vegan rice and peas,Jamaican rice and peas, Caribbean rice and peas, Jamaican rice and beans

Did you make this recipe?

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BONUS Q&A WITH SHANICE:

When you’re not in the kitchen, what do you like to do?
Workout, watch scary movies, and eat allll the carbs!

Are there any foods that you cannot stand?
OLIVES and pickles. 

What does diversity in food media mean to you?
It means showcasing foods from other regions of the world/ cultures while also educating us on the origins of the meal and what it signifies. I think it’s so easy for people to label foods as ‘diverse’ when creating recipes without taking the time to build a background knowledge about the dish. Showing that diversity in how we consume our food is so important and amazing!

How does your background/culture/upbringing influence your food choices and how you cook today?
My upbringing has ensured that my food is always well seasoned! And it has helped me to get creative in the kitchen and recreate some of my favorite childhood foods that weren’t vegan. Because of my Caribbean background, i love curries, specific seasonings, and trying new methods to cook my everyday foods.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I want to encourage others to learn more about their food and have more fun in the kitchen! Sometimes we get so wrapped up in only following laid out recipes that we forget to get creative and try new things on our own. Have more fun in the kitchen and your food will get more exciting!

*As per the mission of #FromYourBowl, a donation was made to the National Society of Black Engineers in Shanice’s name. 

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

  1. Absolutely delicious! I have made this several times using cauliflower rice instead of brown rice & it turns out phenomenal every time. Thank you for sharing Shanice’s fabulous recipe!

  2. Love this recipe, it’s so delicious every time I make it. Any chance you could do an instant pot version of this recipe?

  3. Have made this 5 or 6 times in the last few months, with jerk tofu and garlic/olive oil broccoli, and it’s unbelievably tasty! I throw in a whole onion and whole red pepper (just for the sake of not having leftover veggies in fridge), but otherwise follow this to the letter and it’s just perfect.

  4. I made this recipe today and it was really delicious! It was for my husband who likes things a bit spicier so I added in 1.5 chopped green chilis along with the onion, pepper, and garlic and then a few whole, dried red chilies into the water when I cooked the rice. I’m also curious, why is it called rice and peas when there aren’t any peas in it? Is peas another word for the pinto beans? Like pigeon peas? I only added one can of beans and did add in some frozen peas at the end mixed into the hot rice mix and they thawed and were a delicious addition. I topped it with scallions, tomato, cilantro, and avocado. I also found an Adobo Seasoning in the bulk spice section of my local store so I’m not sure that it’s identical to Shanice’s but it was really flavorful and I added a lot in, along with slightly less black pepper because our pepper is really spicy! My husband and I both really liked it and it had a nice kick from the added chilies. I cooked it in my Instant Pot and it turned out great with just sauteeing the veggies in a little water instead of oil for a completely oil-free dish. Win-win! 🙂

  5. This recipe is excellent and perfect for meal prep!! I really appreciate your dedication to inclusion in food blogging and the vegan community. I made this recipe in an Instant Pot (using the Sautee feature) as I am a college student with few supplies, but even without a few spices I am so excited to eat this for the rest of the week!

  6. Wow this was AMAZING!!!!! Such unique flavors !!!! Took me quite a bit longer to get the rice cooked but it was well worth it !!!! Definitely making this again soon ! Thank you !!! Perfect for meal prep too :)))

  7. My boyfriend was being a little pessimistic about this recipe, but I proved him wrong! It is so flavorful and yummy to eat!! And totally made us full!!

    A great thing to eat in a cold Midwestern night!

  8. second time making this fabulous dish! If you follow the directions you will be so happy with the results. The leftovers freeze really well too!

  9. I just made this tonight for my non-vegan housemates and it blew their minds. It’s the perfect dish for the fall! What I’d warn people is that said 4-6 servings are probably bigger than you expect. It’s super filling, in the best way possible. Thanks to Shanice as well for sharing!

  10. Completely agree with the comment above! This was so yummy and a perfect way to heat up a cold house. Can’t wait to make it again

    1. Have made this 5 or 6 times in the last few months, with jerk tofu and garlic/olive oil broccoli, and it’s unbelievably tasty! I throw in a whole onion and whole red pepper (just for the sake of not having leftover veggies in fridge), but otherwise follow this to the letter and it’s just perfect.

  11. Shanice and Caitlin- I loved this recipe!!! It hit the spot on a fall afternoon. I was craving jambalaya and this exceeded my expectations. It is sweet and savory but not too salty.
    Also, Caitlin thank you so much for doing your part and helping to diversify the vegan food world. You are awesome and we need more of it!!