Belizean Rice and Beans

I got the following message today in response to my failed attempt at cooking Belizean rice and beans. I thought I’d share it with all of you who want to know how to do it right. Thanks Dorla!

I saw your recipe for the above dish from Belize. I wanted to share my
mother’s recipe with you, and see if you like this one better. The idea is
to make the rice somewhat fluffy, but not sticky, so after you add the rice
to the beans, as shown in step 5, stir (only once), after 30 mins the rice
will need to fluffed with a fork, and at that time, you will know the
consistency, and if a little water is needed, you sprinkle a little around
the edge of the pot and in the center, but I have made this recipe a
thousand times, and did not need any water. I also use long grain rice, and
it comes out perfect every time.


  • 1 lb. Red Kidney Beans 2 plugs Garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tsp. Salt 1 cup coconut Milk (either squeezed from grated coconut or bought prepared, canned, or made from powered variety)
  • ½ tsp. Black pepper
  • ½ tsp. Thyme 2 lbs. cleaned Rice
  • 1 medium Onion (sliced) 6-8 cups of water
  • (optional) 1 small pigtail or salt beef or pieces of bacon


1. Wash the beans, then soak beans for 4 hours, using the 6-8 cups of water.
If you are using distilled water, then soaked beans only needs 2 hours to

2. Boil beans until tender, with the garlic, onion and pig’s tail/or salted
beef or bacon pieces. Note: pre-wash the pigtail or salt beef and cut off
excess fat. You can use a pressure cooker to cut down on the time.

3. Season beans with black pepper, thyme and salt. Note: You may opt not to
add the salt if you used salt beef or pigtail above.

4. Add coconut milk. Stir and then let boil.

5. Add rice to seasoned beans. Stir, then cover. Cook on low heat until the
water is absorbed and rice is tender. If necessary, add more water gradually
until rice is tender. Note: Usually, one cup of rice absorbs two cups of
water, although rice grains can vary in the amount of water they absorb. To
warm up leftover rice-and-beans, you can sprinkle with water to re-moisten.

Belizean Recipes


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6 Responses to Belizean Rice and Beans

  1. ooh, have you made the recipe? It sounds delicious!

  2. Gilbert

    Yeah, am about to try the recipe, made a lil changes, but my mom makes it al the time so am gonna try to nail it.

  3. amanda

    when I was in belize I had the option of coconut red beans and rice where it was mixed and the seemingly same dish but not mixed and across the board when the beans and rice were made separately both with coconut milk then served together on a plate it was even more incredible. Do you have that recipe dorla? A belizian friend gave it to me and Ive since lost it!

  4. Betsy

    Re. Amanda’s question – beans & rice is a completely different dish than rice & beans in Belize. We lived there for 6 winters and became very fond of both of these dishes, served with stew chicken, another national dish. You can probably get the beans & rice recipe by putting “Belizean recipes” in your favorite search engine.

  5. alison

    could anyone give an estimate of how long the beans should boil to become tender before adding the rice? I want to be able to plan accordingly and have absolutely no frame of reference. Thanks

  6. Martin Yedinak

    When I lived in Belize in the late 60’s, the other secret used by the cooks I knew was the coconut milk. It was the real milk, not the ‘water’ from the core of the nut, which is primarily what we buy canned. This milk is obtained by grating the meat of the coconut and squeezing it into a bowl. This adds a superb flavor to the rice.

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