Slow Cooker Rice and Peas
Melanie Ng

Slow Cooker Rice and Peas

This recipe builds on our Slow Cooker Stew Peas by adding heart healthy brown rice. The rice absorbs the flavors of the delicious red peas (kidney beans) to create a fiber-rich meal! 


Serves 4 

  • 1 cup dried red peas (kidney beans) 
  • 4 cups water, divided 
  • 1 cup lite coconut milk 
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (substitute with 1 teaspoon dried thyme) 
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 cups brown rice 


  1. The night before starting your Slow Cooker Rice and Peas, wash and rinse beans thoroughly under running water to remove any residue or hard particles like rocks. 
  2. Place dried beans in bowl and cover with just enough water to cover the beans. Cover and set aside to soak for at least 5 hours or overnight for quicker and even cooking time. 
  3. Before cooking, drain and rinse beans again. Add beans and 2 1/4 cups of water to a medium pot on the stove and bring to boil. Lower to simmer and cook for at least 30 minutes. See the Notes section of the Slow Cooker Stew Peas for the importance of pre-boiling kidney beans! Drain and rinse beans. Add beans to slow cooker. 
  4. Wipe can of coconut milk with a damp cloth. Open can of coconut milk and add 1 cup of coconut milk to the beans. 
  5. Wash fresh thyme thoroughly under running water, gently rubbing leaves. Chop fresh thyme and add to beans. 
  6. Add onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt to beans. 
  7. Add 1 ¾ cups of water to the beans (can store remaining coconut milk in a sealed container and use the coconut milk can—one 13.66-ounce can is approximately 1 ¾ cups). 
  8. Cook on low heat for 4 hours or until beans can be easily pierced with a fork.  
  9. Add rice to tender cooked beans.  
  10. Continue to cook on low, stirring often until rice is tender and liquid is gone. Serve warm and enjoy! 


  • Kidney beans need a special kind of preparation for food safety. For safety tips and suggestions on the Slow Cooker Stew Peas base, check out the recipe here! 
  • Brown rice contains all the parts of the rice grain, which means it has more vitamins, minerals, and fiber compared to white rice. [1] 

Black and white nutrition facts label for slow cooker rice and peas recipe

 [1] Iowa State University Extension – Brown Rice