Red Beans and Rice

October 7, 2019

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.

Homemade Red Beans and Rice – perfectly hearty Louisiana style comfort food at it’s best! Red beans and smoked sausage are cooked low and slow with flavorful cajun spices, then served with fresh cooked rice to create a homestyle dinner recipe you’ll crave again and again!

Red beans and rice in a large single serve bowl.

Red Beans and Rice Recipe

Before even tasting this can’t you just tell from the delicious blend of ingredients that it’s got to be good?

Creamy red beans, spicy, smoky andouille sausage, flavorful aromatics and a generous dose of spices and herbs. Talk about flavor!

The prep is easy, the hardest part is just waiting while it simmers allowing time for the beans to soften and all those rich and well seasoned flavors to marry together.

It’s just one of those recipes that you want to cozy up to in your warmest sweater on a cold autumn day. Good for the soul southern comfort food!

Pot full of red beans and sausage.

Red Beans and Rice Ingredients:

  • Dried red kidney beans – pick over them first before soaking. Once in a while you’ll find clumps of dirt or small pebbles that you wouldn’t want to someone to bite into.
  • Andouille sausage – if you don’t want spicy red beans and rice then use a mild smoked sausage, not Cajun.
  • Olive oil – vegetable oil can be substituted.
  • Red bell pepper, celery, yellow onion and garlic – these aromatics build up the first layer of flavor, the dish would be really bland without them. And really any color of bell pepper will work fine. Red just seams the sweetest to me and ends with a nice color after cooking.
  • Chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, oregano and thyme – these spices and herbs build that traditional cajun style flavor in this dish (sorry I forgot to include paprika in the ingredients photo, it would still be good without it though).
  • Low sodium chicken broth – need to cut the sodium down in the recipe? Use unsalted chicken broth.
  • Fresh parsley and green onions – these finish the dish with a final layer of bright fresh flavor. If you don’t want to buy both you can use one or the other.
  • Cooked white rice – standard long grain white rice is my go to option here but you can use another type like jasmine, calrose, basmati or even brown rice.

Ingredients to make red beans and rice

How to Make Red Beans and Rice:

  • Soak beans overnight: Add beans to a large bowl, pour in enough water to cover beans by 2-inches. Let soak at least 8 hours or overnight, then drain.

Red beans soaking in a glass bowl with water.

  • Brown sausage, set aside: Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, tossing occasionally, until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels, leave rendered fat in pan (there should be about 2 Tbsp).

Browning smoked sausage in a pot.

  • Saute veggies: Add onion, celery and bell pepper, saute 3 minutes.

Sautéing bell pepper, celery, onion and garlic in a pot.

  • Add seasonings and continue to saute: Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and paprika, saute 1 minute longer.

Adding spices to bell pepper mixture.

  • Add liquid, dried herbs, beans and return sausage: Pour in chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups water, drained beans, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper and return sausage to pot. Season with salt to taste.
  • Simmer mixture: Bring mixture to a light boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until beans are tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
  • Add greens, serve with rice: Stir in parsley and green onions. Serve mixture warm with prepared rice.

Adding soaked beans, sausage and water to pot of sauteed vegetables.

Can I Cook it in a Crockpot?

Yes, this can also be made in the crockpot. To do so cook all ingredients (except green onions and parsley), + 2 cups water, in a slow cooker on high heat 6 – 8 hours. If time allows brown the sausage first for best flavor and for this method you don’t even need to soak the beans first.

Can I Freeze It?

Yes. Freeze red bean mixture and rice separately up to 3 months. Thaw overnight (or even 2 days for a full batch) in the refrigerator.

Overhead image of pot full of red beans and sausage with a side of rice on the side.

Tips for the Best Red Beans and Rice:

  • Don’t try to use canned red beans. That’s not authentic red beans and rice. They’d end up way overcooked with this method anyway.
  • Adjust spice level to taste. Like I mentioned before the Cajun sausage is spicy replace with another mild sausage if preferred and omit cayenne (if you like it really spicy add more cayenne pepper to your hearts content), you don’t want to make a dinner you or someone you’re serving to can’t tolerate. You can always make the full recipe mild then add cayenne to single servings of those that like heat.
  • Allow time to simmer. Beans won’t be cooked through if you don’t allow enough time for simmering and liquid won’t reduce down.
  • Let sausage brown. With just about any dish browning the meat really adds so much flavor. Don’t toss the sausage constantly, let it rest a bit between tossing so it can brown. For maximum browning you can even brown in two batches.

Close up image of red beans and rice.two servings of red beans and rice in bowls

What to Serve with Red Beans and Rice?

Red beans and rice
5 from 4 votes

Red Beans and Rice

Perfectly hearty Louisiana style comfort food at it's best! Red beans and smoked sausage are cooked low and slow with flavorful cajun spices, then served with fresh cooked rice to create a homestyle dinner recipe you'll crave again and again!
Makes about 8 cups bean mixture.
Servings: 8
Prep20 minutes
Cook2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dried red kidney beans, picked over
  • 1 1/2 cups water, plus more for soaking beans
  • 13 oz. Andouille sausage, sliced about 1/3-inch thick*
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced (2 cups)
  • 2 large celery ribs, sliced (1 cup)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (1 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
  • 1 (32 oz) carton low-sodium chicken broth (4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup each chopped fresh parsley and green onions
  • 2 cups white rice, cooked according to package directions
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Add beans to a large bowl, pour in enough water to cover beans by 2-inches. Let soak at least 8 hours or overnight, then drain.
  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, tossing occasionally, until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels, leave rendered fat in pan (there should be about 2 Tbsp).
  • Add onion, celery and bell pepper, saute 3 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and paprika, saute 1 minute longer.
  • Pour in chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups water, drained beans, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper and return sausage to pot. Season with salt to taste (you should only need about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp).
  • Bring mixture to a light boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until beans are tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
  • Stir in parsley and green onions. Serve mixture warm with prepared rice.

Notes

*This is spicy sausage, if you don't want a spicy dish then use another smoked sausage. Also omit the cayenne pepper.
Nutrition Facts
Red Beans and Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 582 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 39mg13%
Sodium 482mg21%
Potassium 1241mg35%
Carbohydrates 80g27%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 1403IU28%
Vitamin C 41mg50%
Calcium 101mg10%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

Categorized:

Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

33 Comments

  • Janet Blackmon

    Best recipe for RB&R I have found! I followed the directions completely! The men folks here loved them! This will be added to my recipe file!

  • Sheila Duncan

    Sorting the beans is so important that I think you should include it in step 1 – you can crack a tooth on a tiny stone. Have found stones many times in the dry beans. Mama also taught me to rinse them before soaking. I can now find Camellia Red Beans at WalMart (course, I am in the south). Keep looking; the company is expanding. Sam’s Choice Andouille is amazingly good.

    This is a fairly authentic recipe; even the addition of cumin and chili powder, which are included in Paul Prudhomme’s Cajun spice mix. No need to add any kind of mixed spice if you use this recipe. I would omit the thyme and add the bay leaf (remove it before serving). I think people confuse bay leaf and thyme in flavor profiles. Cajuns use bay leaf. I like red bells, too, but I use half green bell pepper for depth of flavor.

    Often the beans cream themselves by the end of cooking if you use real deal red beans (but it’s fine to use other kidney beans). Note that Camellia calls them “Red Kidney Beans”. Very common to pass the Tabasco (also a Louisiana product) if there are small kids in the house. Even Louisianans don’t give toddler’s hot stuff too soon.

    Jaclyn, sorry to go on and on. If you’ve read this far, contact me and I’ll mail you some beans!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      It’s listed as “sorted over” next to the beans because I do agree, a stone could be dangerous. Thanks for your tips and input! And thank you for the offer on the beans, I think I’ll order some online to make it again soon :)!

  • Cbaby

    And, yes, Cajun home cooking all about using what is on hand. So, rock on with whatever bean you have and like!

  • Cbaby

    Don’t know about others, but I am frankly tired of eating my own cooking! Making this in crockpot now for “pandemic” relief. Used a chicken andouille sausage, spicy, that I get at Costco. Added a bay leaf, just because. And I used small kidney beans, expect it to be wonderful!

  • jennifer moosa

    I’m making this recipe today! I grew up in New Orleans, and my mom made it most Mondays, a tradition in New Orleans called Monday Wash Day meal. In the old days, women would put on a pot of red beans to simmer for hours and then work on their laundry!!! I like your addition of cumin and chili powder! I’m excited to make it ! Something we do right before it’s done, is take about a cup out of the pot and mash it up, and add it back to the pot and mix. This adds a creamier consistency. Also, we add a dollop of sour cream after we’ve served the plates. My brother uses Tabasco Chipotle sauce to his red beans after it’s plated. And instead of using Andouille , you can also substitute ham, pickled pork, or tasso, which is a spicey rubbed smoked ham.

  • Betty Fletcher

    This recipe can also be made in a pressure cooker. Hold fried sausage from bean mixture until done and reduce amount of water. It’s wonderful in 30 mins!

  • Elizabeth Holder

    So excited to try this. It’s cooking in the crock pot now. Question… do the nutrition facts include the rice or does it add extra extra calories with rice?

  • Russell B Slusher

    Red beans and rice uses red beans, not kidney beans. they are different beans. that’s why one star.
    If you are going to make this meal, then at last use the proper ingredients.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Red beans are hard to come by, probably unless you live in the South. I checked three stores and couldn’t find them, plus I try to make my recipes with ingredients that are more accessible to all. Kidney beans and red beans can be used interchangeably.

    • Spence

      Whoa, pump your brakes there, armchair quarterback. Cajun and Creole cuisine uses a variety of beans in these types of dishes – red, kidney, black, white, etc., etc. “Red Beans and Rice” is simply a ubiquitous name for this dish. The head chef at an extremely popular Cajun restaurant in Vegas prefers to use red beans, as they are creamier in texture – but guess what it’s called on their menu? This is a VERY solid RB&R recipe with excellent depth of flavor. If I were to offer a critique it would be to add a few bay leaves and use green bell pepper (part of the cajun holy trinity of celery, green bell pepper and onion) instead of red. But then again, this is an interesting twist – and that’s what cooking is all about – creativity!

      • Spence

        Sorry, I meant to say the head chef at the Vegas restaurant prefers to use Kidney Beans.

        • Kevin Toups

          If you plan to “cream” about 1/2 a cup of red beans, then yes, it is creamier. Simply reserve about 1/2 cup red beans, press to the side with spoon until creamy and add back. Or you can do it in the pot if you know how to estimate.

          You’re right though. Growing up in LA, this is usually made with Camilla’s Red Beans. Others are good to use, Camilla’s is just superior.

          • Jaclyn

            Jaclyn Bell

            Aren’t Camellia’s just red kidney beans? I tried to find them because I’ve heard they’re the best but too hard to track down unless you want to pay the high online price.