Photo of Rice & peas by WW

Rice & peas

SmartPoints® value per serving
Total Time
8 hr 5 min
20 min
1 hr 45 min
Pigeon peas are actually beans, and are widely eaten throughout the Caribbean. They are vibrant green when fresh, and turn beige when dried. In Barbados they were fed to the pigeons, and the name pigeon peas stuck. They are the classic legume to use in this dish, but you can also use red kidney beans to add a beautiful, rich pink color to the dish. We lighten up the dish by replacing some of the rice with shredded cauliflower (aka cauliflower rice). Serve with a curry or braised cabbage and plantains.


Cooked pigeon peas

1 cup(s), or kidney beans

Scotch bonnet

1 pepper(s), or habanero chile

Whole allspice

10 item(s), berries

Cinnamon stick(s)

1 item(s)

Whole cloves

6 item(s)

Bay leaf

1 leaf/leaves

Reduced fat coconut milk

15 fl oz

Uncooked onion(s)

1 large, chopped

Garlic clove

4 clove(s), finely chopped

Minced ginger

2 slice(s), 1 inch, two 1-inch slices, peeled and grated

Kosher salt

1½ tsp

Black pepper

½ tsp, coarsely ground

Dried thyme

½ tsp, crushed

Uncooked cauliflower rice

4 cup(s), ( from 1 small head), squeezed of excess liquid

Long grain cooked brown rice

1 cup(s), parboiled


  1. Add peas to large pot and cover with 3 inches of cold water. Let soak for at least 6 hours or overnight. Drain peas and return to pot.
  2. Prick chile all over with sharp knife and add to pot. Place allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaf in spice bag and add to peas. (Or place spices and bay leaf on top of 6-inch-square double layer of cheesecloth, tie with kitchen twine, and add to peas.) Add coconut milk, onion, garlic, ginger, salt, black pepper, and thyme. Add 4 cups water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until peas are very tender, about 1 hour. Discard spice bag and chile.
  3. About 20 minutes before peas are tender, preheat oven to 350°F. When peas are very tender, stir cauliflower and rice into pot. Cover and bake until rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed, 35 to 40 minutes. Fluff rice with fork.
  4. Serving size: 1⁄2 cup