This rice and beans recipe, inspired by Caribbean flavours is a great way to use up left-over rice. It is very easy and quick prepare with canned beans. The use of allspice which is a key flavour of the Caribbean, combined with fragrant thyme and garlic lifts it up from being a way to use up left overs to an amazing tasting dish.
Rice and beans is a much-loved food combination all over the world. We call it “iresi ati ewa” in my language (Yoruba), arroz con frijoles in Spanish, there’s waakye in Ghana, rice and peas in Jamaica etc. I’m going to call my recipe, Caribbean inspired rice and kidney beans.
In my household, there’s always left-over rice because of how much my husband loves rice. The addition of kidney beans to our left-over rice is for two reasons; to bulk up the rice into a main meal, and to make a more nutritious meal. These are also the two main historical reasons for combining the rice and beans.
In the past, rice used to be more expensive than beans; so, the beans was used to bulk up the rice to make it more filling, but inexpensive. This however is not the case anymore, as rice is now typically cheaper than beans, but the combination is still a favourite.
The other reason for combining beans with rice is nutritional. Both beans and rice are incomplete sources of amino acids; and eating the two complement each other to make a more nutritious meal.
This kidney beans and rice recipe is so easy to throw together and is suitable for vegetarian and vegans. Githeri is another recipe where a grain is combined with beans for an easy, tasty and nutritious meal.
Caribbean Rice and Beans Recipe
I used canned kidney beans for this recipe, but you can use other types of beans. You can also cook your beans from the scratch or use left over beans if you have any. You can also substitute the white rice with brown rice if you prefer.
Caribbean Rice and Beans
- 2 Tablespoons Oil
- 1 Onion chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon Allspice
- 1 Chopped pepper sliced
- 1 can Kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 can Chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Thyme chopped
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups Cooked rice
- 2 Spring onions
- Heat the oil in a pan under medium heat.
- Cook the onions in the oil until translucent.
- Add the garlic and stir continuously for 30 secs.
- Pour in the allspice and stir for another 30 secs.
- Add the beans and chopped tomatoes and thyme into the pot.
- Allow to cook for around 15 mins or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Pour in the rice and spring onions and stir properly
- Allow the rice to heat through and serve.
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By Spring onions do you mean green onions and may I sub 1 teaspoon of dried thyme for the fresh? Sounds Good. I like to try new dishes and need a dish for leftover rice. I'm happy to have found your blog. Mary
Hi Mary. Thanks for stopping by.
Yes, I meant green onions. You are right, you can sub 1 teaspoon of dried thyme for 1 tablespoon fresh.
I hope this helps.
Just another home cook
My go-to leftover rice recipes have always been rice pudding or Asian style fried rice, so this was a delightful change of pace! It's going to sound a little silly, but I've always felt like Caribbean food is 'fancy': Most of my experience with it is either from high-end restaurants, or going on holiday. When I took a bite of this, my first reaction was to pull out a glass of wine!
I made 1/2 portion because I wanted to use up the 1 cup of rice sitting in the fridge. This recipe seems quite flexible to suit whatever taste, so a little extra of this or that won't hurt, right? The video was also helpful to determine how dry to cook the mix. I look forward to 'sampling' your next recipe, Ms. Abi!!!
Thank you. I'm glad you you like the recipe and found the video helpful.