Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Rice and Peas

grilled sweet potatoes with rice and peas
Photo: Yuki Sugiura
Total Time:
45 mins
4 to 6 Serves

Fragrant with allspice, Scotch-bonnet peppers, and fresh ginger, these grilled sweet potatoes take their hot, smoky flavor cues from Jamaican jerk. But unlike chicken or pork, the spuds (sliced into half-inch planks) need just 10 minutes over heat to attain melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. Spoon on a bright mango salsa, and serve them with our take on Jamaican rice and peas, simmered in coconut milk and seasoned with the same fragrant spice blend as the potatoes. It's a meal full of good vibrations.


  • 2 bunches scallions, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)

  • 2 small Scotch-bonnet or habanero chiles, stemmed and seeded

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

  • 4 teaspoons ground allspice

  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped (3 tablespoons)

  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 ½ cups long-grain white rice

  • 1 can (15 ounces) dark kidney beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk

  • Vegetable oil, for grill

  • 4 unpeeled medium sweet potatoes (about 2 ½ pounds total), sliced lengthwise into ½-inch planks

  • Mango-Basil Salsa, for serving


  1. In a food processor, pulse scallions, chiles, allspice, ginger, thyme, soy sauce, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until finely chopped. With processor running, pour in 1/3 cup olive oil; blend until combined.

  2. In a small saucepan, stir together rice, beans, coconut milk, 1 tablespoon scallion mixture, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium-high; scrub grates, then lightly brush with vegetable oil. Brush sweet potatoes with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons of jerk paste. Grill, covered, flipping and basting with about 2 tablespoons more jerk paste every 2 1/2 minutes, until tender and nicely charred, about 10 minutes. Serve sweet potatoes with rice and salsa.

Cook's Notes

Use food-preparation gloves when handling the peppers—they can leave a long-lasting burn!

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