Growing up in the Caribbean has influenced my taste in food. Cayman is close to larger, and frankly more well known, islands and is influenced by their cuisine. In the Caribbean, there are two types of rice and beans. One, like my recipe (the better one), made with red kidney beans and the other, “Jamaican” style, made with pigeon peas.

As a side dish, rice and beans complements grilled or stewed meats and fish. A common pairing includes grilled jerk chicken or pork that you can pick up at multiple food stands, grocers or simply from home around the island. However, it can paired with any kind of meat or fish or vegetarian alternative if you simply want to up your white rice game.

As a child, and still to this day, this is one of my favourite parts of any Caribbean meal. The sweetness of the coconut milk and creaminess of the beans helps to balance the spicy meats and fish it is often paired with.

Though Tobasco will up the spice and authenticity, check foreign grocers or online for scotch bonnet peppers or scotch bonnet pepper sauce. Most large grocery stores have creole spice, however creating the spice mix from home takes two minutes if you have the spices on hand. Just be sure to half or quarter the recipe and store in an airtight container.

Rice N' Beans

  • Prep Time:10 minutes
  • Cook Time:50 minutes
  • Total Time:1 hour
  • Servings:4
  • Medium


  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cup basmati rice
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 1.5 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoon creole seasoning
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Photo by Jessica Barefoot
  • Step 1

    Chop two large garlic cloves and half an onion finely. Open the kidney beans and coconut milk. Rinse and drain the kidney beans and set aside along with the coconut milk. Place spice jars on side of pan.

    Photo by Jessica Barefoot
  • Step 2

    Heat the vegetable oil in a stock pot on medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion to vegetable oil,  frequently checking and stirring to avoid burns on the side of a pan. Add more water in small quantities if needed.

    Photo by Jessica Barefoot
  • Step 3

    Once yellowed, pour rice into the pan and mix well into onion mixture.

    #SpoonTip: Ensure rice gets coated in oil, it will help it absorb the flavor of the dish.

  • Step 4

    Mix kidney beans in rice and onion mixture.

    #SpoonTip: Roughly mix in kidney beans, a slight mash of the bean spreads the flavour.

  • Step 5

    Pour hot pepper sauce, thyme, creole spice and coconut milk into the pot. Mix well. Add in 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes

  • Step 6

    Serve and enjoy.

    Photo by Jessica Barefoot