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Red Beans and Coconut Rice

If you’re bored with plain white rice, you absolutely have to try this red beans and coconut rice! This Jamaican inspired dish is an excellent side that can be served with a variety of main courses.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Caribbean, Jamaican
Keyword: coconut milk, coconut rice, gluten free, kidney beans, rice, vegan
Servings: 6
Calories: 181kcal
Author: Tonje
Cost: Cheap


  • 1 14 ounce can kidney beans (400 g)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ½ cup basmati rice
  • 1 14 ounce can coconut milk (400 ml)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ onion
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil


  • Start by preparing the ingredients. Finely dice the onion, and grate the garlic. Drain the canned kidney beans, and rinse them thoroughly.
  • Heat up the oil in a pot. Add the diced onion and sauté for a few minutes, or until the onion is translucent and soft. Then, add the grated garlic and a whole scotch bonnet pepper and sauté for another minute.
  • Add the bay leaf, thyme and rice, and cook while stirring for a couple of minutes. This will slightly roast the rice grains. Add the coconut milk, water and rinsed kidney beans to the rice.
  • Cover the pot with a lid, and bring it to a boil on medium to high heat. Reduce it to low heat, and leave the rice to simmer gently for 15-20 minutes (check the packaging of the rice you use), or until all the water has absorbed. Remove it from the heat and let it sit, still covered with a lid, for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and stir through the rice. The rice should now be perfectly cooked and have a fluffy texture. Do a taste test – if the grains are still a bit hard, you can add more water and let it cook for a little longer.


Top tips

Here are my top tips to achieve the best results:
  • Avoid cooking the rice at a higher heat in an attempt to reduce the cooking time. This will only make more water evaporate, and the rice will not cook through completely, or dry out.
  • Don’t leave the rice for too long, or it can burn. If possible, use a non stick pot.
  • Remove the scotch bonnet pepper and bay leaves before serving. These are only added to provide flavor, and should not be consumed.
  • Cover the rice with a lid through the entire cooking process. This will keep the steam inside the pot, and give the rice a perfect fluffy texture. If you don’t have a lid available, you will likely have to add more water for the rice to cook through completely.


Leftover red beans and coconut rice can be stored in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can serve the leftovers cold, or reheat them in a microwave and serve the rice warm with your favorite main dish.
Any leftovers can also be repurposed and used in other dishes such as burritos, wraps, casseroles and more.


Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 16IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg