You can’t really think of Belizean food without mentioning Belizean red beans and rice, which might qualify as the national dish, along with stew chicken. Most Belizeans eat red beans and rice more than once a week, but definitely on Sunday.
This home-style dish is a tradition for the “after church” family meal, and is accompanied by other family favorites. The main dish could be stew chicken or beef with gravy, along with potato salad and fried plantains.
Wherever you go in Belize, restaurants that serve up local fare will certainly include their personal version of red beans and rice (which might have been handed down in the family from someone’s granny or aunty).
It’s fun to try the variations, but the constants of this simple yet delicious dish are: red beans (kidney beans), white rice, and coconut milk. It’s the coconut milk, along with a few spices, that gives Belizean red beans and rice its distinctive flavour.
If you’re partial to rice dishes or you’re looking for something with a Caribbean-Belizean flavour, the subtle coconut-y taste of red beans and rice makes it a great vegetarian addition to your menu!
*If you have access to dried coconuts and can make your own, that’s great! If not, canned coconut milk is perfect.
Note: I use a pressure cooker for the beans and the bottom of the cooker to finish the recipe. I just cover the pot with a plate and let the beans/rice simmer until the rice is done.