Bahamian Peas and Rice

Peas and Rice is arguably the main dietary staple of Bahamians. Here in the Bahamas, we consume it on a daily basis; mainly at lunch and dinner times. Visit any down-home, or formal restaurant here in the Bahamas, and you’re sure to find peas and rice on the menu (on any given day).


  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small sweet pepper
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Sprig or two of fresh thyme
  • Salt  & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp browning sauce (optional)
  • 1 large can of regular pigeon peas or pigeon peas in coconut milk
  • 2 cups long grain white rice (uncooked)
  • 3 cups water
  1. Dice onion and sweet pepper
  2. In a hard-bottom pot heat up oil and fry onion and sweet pepper along with the thyme.
  3. Stir in tomato paste, add salt and pepper to taste (and the browning sauce if using).
  4. Add the pigeon peas and stir well, add water and bring to a boil. Season to taste.
  5. Add the rice until it is about an inch and a half below the water line.
  6. Stir well, lower the stove to medium with pot uncovered.
  7. While the pot is simmering, stir at regular intervals.
  8. When the rice has absorbed most of the water, turn the stove to low heat and cover the pot.
  9. Leave to steam until fully cooked.
  10. Enjoy with meat or fish...if you wish.


  1. I'm going to make this recipe this week. I don't eat meat on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I found you on the Blog Hop.

  2. I will try to make this tonight. We just got back from the Bahamas and our tour guide took us to a place that had local shops and this lady was there and had peas and rice and baked chicken. It was the best food I've ever had.. My kids loved it and they are picky eaters. Thanks for the recipe. :)

    1. That's just awesome, Bobbie Jo!! Thanks for sharing, glad you and the kids enjoyed the peas and rice. I know they will enjoy yours as well. Keep me posted ♥

  3. Hi Sugar, just want to thank you for posting this. My husband recently returned from Nassau after 6 years of living there. And how he is missing so many of the new foods he came to know and love while there. Your blog has so many of them i plan to try them all. But i wanted to ask about sweet potato bread with all its wonderful spices. Might you have a recipe for it.. i look forward to returning to your blog often. Thanks again, Sharon

    1. Hi Sharon, I am so delighted that you dropped by, thank you so much. Here is a recipe for sweet potato bread, I haven't tested it as yet, so please let me know how it turns out. If you need any other Bahamian recipes that are not on my blog, feel free to ask. I have a few friends who are great cooks and they would be glad to help. Have a great evening.

      Bahamian Potato Bread

      4½ cups raw grated white sweet potato (peeled)
      ½ lb shortening
      1½ cup flour
      ½ cup sugar
      ½ teaspoon baking powder
      ½ cup finely grated coconut
      ½ teaspoon salt
      ½ cup water
      ¼ teaspoon black pepper (optional)

      1. Rub shortening and flour together until grainy. Add all other ingredient excluding water.
      2. Using fingers mix ingredients slowly adding water to moisten mixture. Pour into a well-greased loaf pan, packing in securely.
      3. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until it starts to brown.
      4. Reduce heat to 250 degrees and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and all to cool.

  4. Hello Sugar.. I made the peas and rice and we loved it. I think I over cooked the rice.. But it was still yummy. Lol.., one question how do I make it have more of a coconut flavor? Not sure how to do it . I did use 2 cans of coconut milk. I love your recipes and will try every single one :) Thanks

    1. Thank you so much Bobbie Jo ♥♥♥ To get real coconut flavor, we use freshly grated coconut. Use half of the coconut if you're doing a small pot. Hope this helps, please let me know how it turned out :)

  5. This recipe for peas and rice is the real "truth". I used bacon grease instead of cooking oil. The results were phenomenal. Perfect! Thank you!

    1. Thank you Gloria, glad to be of service :) Many of us use bacon in our peas and rice, some also use chicken fat for extra flavor.

  6. Welcome to Yum Goggle! We would like to follow you on social media but cannot find any to follow - if you have any, please follow us and we'll follow back and then we can tag you as we promote your posts!