Coconut Rice and Beans is an easy, Caribbean-inspired side dish that's packed with protein and flavor! #easy #caribbean #jamaican #recipe #rice #beans #coconut #side |

Coconut Rice and Beans

  • Author: Nicole Gaffney (
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: side
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Jamaican
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Coconut Rice and Beans is a Caribbean-inspired, easy-to-make side dish that’s packed with protein and flavor! Tender black beans and perfectly cooked rice, cooked in nutty coconut milk and seasoned with lots of tropical spices. It’s great served with grilled meats and seafood, tacos, or eaten as a meal on its own. It’s vegan, gluten free, made from mostly pantry ingredients and one of my favorite sides of all time.



  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 scotch bonnet or habanero chili, pierced with a knife *See note
  • 1 cup jasmine rice or long grain rice
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk, shaken or stirred well (full fat is best but low-fat also works)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. Heat oil in a small-medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the allspice, thyme and bay leaf, then stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute.  
  3. Add the Scotch Bonnet pepper and rice, then stir until every grain of rice is coated in the oil and seasonings.
  4. Add the black beans, coconut milk and water, then season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Bring the mixture up to a boil, then cover and turn the heat all the way down to low. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
  6. After 10 minutes, turn off the heat and let the pot sit, undisturbed, for another 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid, then fish out the bay leaf, thyme sprig and Scotch Bonnet (leave in for more heat) and discard. Fluff the rice and beans with a fork, then sprinkle with scallions. Serve immediately.


*For less heat, don’t pierce the chili. For more heat, slice it in half. For even more heat, dice the chili and saute with the onion. 

Keywords: rice and peas, jamaican, caribbean