If you’re looking for a delicious vegan Caribbean side dish that will wow, this authentic vegan Jamaican rice and peas recipe is perfect!
Vegan Jamaican rice and peas is bursting with flavorful. If you have never had this dish, then you are in for one of the most delicious side dishes that you’ve ever had.
While traditionally, this is a side dish served along things like jerk chicken, as a vegan, this could be a great start to a main dish, served alongside some extra vegetables or maybe even tofu.
This vegan rice dish is bursting with flavor and get nice and fluffy thanks to the coconut milk that is used to insert a ton of flavor into the dish.
Never miss another recipe! Get our recipes straight to your inbox when you sign up for our weekly newsletter today! Our Top 15 posts automatically sent to you! Plus, enjoy behind the scenes, giveaways, and other exclusive content!
Sign up for our newsletter HERE!!
What ingredients do you need for vegan Jamaican rice and peas?
This dish uses a ton of flavor to really pack a burst of goodness into your mouth. The ingredients you need are (scroll to bottom for printable recipe card with amounts):
- white onion
- scallion (green onions)
- fresh thyme
- scotch bonnet pepper (can sub habanero if you can’t find)
- vegan cane sugar
- fresh cracked black pepper
- Whole Allspice Berries (pimento berries)
- kidney beans (1 can or 3/4 cup dry)
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- white rice
Why is it called Jamaican rice and peas if there’s no peas in the ingredients?
This may confuse some people that aren’t familiar, but Jamaican rice and peas, is similar to rice and beans. In Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands, beans are referred to as peas.
So no, there’s no peas in the green sense, but instead red beans for this recipe.
Tips for how to make vegan Jamaican rice and peas
*Scotch bonnet peppers are small, spicy peppers widely found in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. However, in most of the US they are hard to find unless you have a close local Caribbean market or community. Instead, you can use more widely available habanero peppers that are about the same spice level, but don’t have a sweet hint to them like scotch bonnet.
*If you want some of the pepper flavor without making it too spicy, don’t cut the pepper at all just place in whole.
*Use can substitute 1/2 tsp ground allspice for the allspice berries but note that this isn’t the preferred method. Ground allspice isn’t as pungent as the ground variety, so you will loose some of the flavor
*You should absolutely rinse the rice well. Doing this helps to remove any dirt or debris, but more importantly it removes some of the starch that makes the rice clump together. We just rinse until the water runs clear.
Is vegan Jamaican rice and peas Top 8 Allergen Friendly?
The only ingredients in this dish that is considered an allergen is coconut milk.
In most of the world, this dish would be Top 8 Allergen free because coconut milk is only listed as a tree nut in the United States.
If coconut is an allergen for you, then you could still make this recipe with a thicker dairy free milk like oat milk.
Note that coconut milk is a huge flavor component of this dish and by subbing it out you will loose that flavor, but still have a delicious rice.
Can I prep vegan Jamaican rice and peas ahead of time?
Yes. Once prepared, let cool and store in an air-tight container. It will last in the fridge, properly store, for up to 5-7 days.
What are other vegan side dishes I should try?
There are endless possibilities, but here are some of our favorite vegan side dishes that we think everyone will like:
- The BEST Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Vegan Cornbread
- Easy Vegan Mashed Potatoes (4 Ways)
- Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- Italian Vegan Pasta Salad
- Vegan Potato Salad
- Vegan Green Bean Salad
- The Best Vegan Baked Beans
- Vegan Glazed Carrots
- Vegan Scalloped Potatoes
Vegan Jamaican rice and peas
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 4-5 sprigs thyme, stems included
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper sliced, (do not dice) *see notes
- 1/8 tsp vegan cane sugar
- 1/8 tsp fresh black pepper
- 4-5 allspice berries (pimento berries)
- 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or 3/4 cup dry, soaked overnight)
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice, rinsed well
- 1 1/4 cup water (can sub with low-sodium vegetable stock)
- Add oil to a pot over low heat.
- Once heated, add the onions, garlic, scallions, thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, sugar, black pepper, and allspice berries.
- Once onions are soft (about 2-3 minutes) turn heat up to medium.
- Add in the kidney beans and coconut milk.
- Stir together.
- Once mixture starts to boil, add the salt, stir, and reduce to low.
- Cover the pot and cook until beans are tender, about an hour, stirring occasionally.
- After beans are tender, add in the rice and water (or stock) and stir well.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover.
- Let cook until rice is fluffy and liquid is removed (about 25-30 minutes).
- Remove from heat.
- Carefully discard the thyme stems and allspice berries. If using a whole pepper, remove that as well.