Coconut Milk Rice with Red Beans from Belize is a great way to change up your rice and beans recipe! The rice is cooked with coconut milk to give the dish a rich, coconutty flavor.
It’s no secret that rice and beans are a staple in MANY diets across the world. Rice is universal, and I’ve already released a few rice and beans recipes on the blog to date.
It’s true that rice and beans never get old, but still, it’s necessary to keep things interesting. That’s why I was excited for this Coconut Milk Rice with Red Beans from Belize. This recipe is perfect because it’s cooked with one of my very favorite ingredients… coconut milk!
The coconut milk gives the rice and beans a very unique taste…. They have a slight hint of coconutty flavor, which is what makes them so interesting.
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The Beans in Your Red Beans and Coconut Milk Rice
The rice in this dish is delicious because it’s cooked with the coconut milk, but it’s made even more tasty by the addition of Red Beans! The red beans add some protein and fiber to the dish, making it more filling and healthy to eat.
This recipe calls for dried red beans, and the instructions walk you through the steps of softening up the beans to add into the rice dish.
If you want to use canned beans, you can definitely do so! Simply skip the soaking/boiling steps and add the canned red beans into the water about 10 minutes before the rice is done.
This will boil them enough to give them some flavor but not so much that they become too tender and fall apart.
Can You Substitute Coconut Milk for Water in Rice?
Yes, 100%! In fact, that’s what we do in this recipe. The water to rice ratio is normally 1:2. 1 cup rice to 2 cups of liquid.
Instead of substituting all 2 cups of water with coconut milk, I did a half and half split. This thins out the coconut milk to boil the rice in, but still gives a nice hint of coconut flavor!
I have also seen recipes that boil the rice as normal (with water) and then add the coconut milk in at the end. You can do this if you’d like, but it tends to make the rice a bit wetter. Instead, I like to add the coconut milk right into the cooking process.
What Ingredients are In This Dish?
Dry kidney beans
Red bell pepper
How to Make Coconut Milk Rice with Red Beans
Place kidney beans in container and cover with water. Let sit for 8 hours overnight to soften.
Drain the beans. Put beans in a pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Add garlic.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour until beans are tender.
Remove from heat. Mix onion, red bell pepper, vegetable oil, salt and black pepper into the beans.
In a separate pot, melt the better. Toast the rice in the butter for about 3 minutes.
Add the water and the coconut milk into the rice, and also dump in the kidney bean mixture.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until rice is tender, about 25-30 minutes.
Tips for Boiling Your Beans
The first time that I tried making this recipe, I boiled my beans until they were perfectly tender and ready to eat. I failed to realize that I still needed to cook them for a half an hour longer with the rice.
By the time I finished the last step of the recipe, I realized I had overcooked the beans so badly that they had become dry and crumbly.
I recommend that you cook the beans until they’re almost ready, but not quite. You want to be able to bite through them easily, but you don’t want them completely soft on this first step.
What Goes Best with Coconut Rice?
This dish has enough protein in it that it can act entirely as a main course if you need it to. This would be a great way to get a healthy and cheap meal to last you a really long time.
If you want to add some protein with your Coconut Milk Rice and Red Beans, I have a few ideas for you:
What To Do with Leftover Coconut Milk Rice
This dish was DELICIOUS and became my packed lunch for work for 2 whole weeks (yes, I cooked this recipe two weekends in a row). Towards the end of the rice and beans’ life, I really wanted to switch up the flavor a little bit, so I turned my Coconut Milk Rice and Red Beans into FRIED Coconut Milk Rice and Red Beans.
Put a tablespoon of sesame oil in a pan. Once it heats up, add about one serving of your Coconut Milk Rice and Red Beans. Then, scramble an egg in a separate bowl and add it to the pan to cook with the rice.
When the rice warms up and the egg is almost cooked through, add about a tablespoon of coconut aminos or soy sauce to the pan. This adjustment to the rice and beans makes them taste like an entirely different, but still incredibly delicious, meal. I would highly recommend!
If you try making this Coconut Milk Rice and Red Beans from Belize, make sure to take a photo and post it on facebook or instagram with the hashtag #TheForeignFork and tag @TheForeignFork. Leave a comment on this post and let me know what you think!
If you liked this recipe, make sure to also check out these recipes that I chose just for you!:
- Pigeon Peas and Rice from the Bahamas
- Muhammar Rice recipe from Bahrain
- Rice with Vermicelli recipe from Armenia
- Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice
- How to Cook Long Grain White Rice in the Instant Pot
Coconut Milk Rice and Red Beans
- 1 lb dry kidney beans
- ½ tbsp chopped garlic
- ½ onion, chopped
- ½ red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- Place kidney beans in container and cover with water. Let sit for 8 hours overnight to soften.
- Drain the beans. Put beans in a pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Add garlic.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour until beans are tender.
- Remove from heat. Mix onion, red bell pepper, vegetable oil, salt and black pepper into the beans.
- In a separate pot, melt the better. Toast the rice in the butter for about 3 minutes.
- Add the water and the coconut milk into the rice, and also dump in the kidney bean mixture.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until rice is tender, about 25-30 minutes.