The ultimate comfort food is a pot of red beans and rice prepared in the Louisiana way. A rich and fragrant stew simmers with tender beans, an abundance of aromatics, and substantial smoked pork paired with andouille sausage. Serve it over long-grain rice for a satisfying and full supper; it’s really tasty! You guys make this soulful sweetness come together so effortlessly!
Oh my. On this episode of pure, soul-satisfying goodness from today…Louisiana-style red beans and rice. You guys, I adore this trademark meal. It’s one of those recipes that tastes really good in my opinion. I hope you try making homemade red beans and rice as soon as possible if you haven’t already. Although the Popeyes restaurant version may be known to you, this one is much superior and will definitely win your heart!
Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
Have you previously had it? This classic Louisiana dish is a Monday night ritual in New Orleans. There is a well-known legend that Monday nights were designated as “wash day,” meaning laundry. That day’s dinner preparation fell to those who had to take care of the washing. A pot of red beans simmering for a long time on the stove was the move, as cleaning and cooking were on the agenda.
There’s also the belief that Mondays were used to consume red beans and the hambone that was saved for Sunday supper. This functioned to recycle or repurpose any leftover ham hock or ham bone. Rich, extremely substantial, and fragrant pot with tender red beans that have been cooked for a long time. Something to eat on any day of the week!
Ingredients Needed For Red Beans and Rice
- Simple: red beans. Red beans, such as kidney or little red beans, must be dried for this recipe to work. For authenticity, I strongly suggest buying New Orleans Camellia brand beans, but feel free to use whatever is readily available. To get rid of any straggly bits that I find in the bean bag, I prefer to go through them beforehand. Since we’ll be soaking the beans before using them, there’s no need to rinse them.
- I frequently use butter and olive oil to sauté aromatics. But occasionally, I also use duck fat or rendered bacon fat. Those will give your pot of red beans even more taste and complexity!
- You may use any other smoked sausage that you choose, but andouille sausage is a pre-cooked, highly seasoned, smoked sausage that is a mainstay of cajun and creole cuisine. I normally use it to create my red beans and rice. Andouille sausage may be easily replaced with kielbasa or beef sausage.
- Vegetables: The Cajun/Creole holy trinity, onion, bell pepper, and celery, are required! Traditional stew components that add even more flavor to these beans.
- Garlic: Needs no introduction—it’s #bae and essential to life!
- The southern flavor of these red beans comes from the smoked pork. The smoked pork adds a hearty, extra-filling richness to the dish. For my beans, I use smoked turkey wings, but you may add any other smoked turkey (neck/legs), cooked bacon chunks, smoked ham hock, or salt pork.
- Chicken broth or stock: very flavorful! They aren’t cooked in water, which is one of the things that makes this dish so tasty. Since the cajun seasoning would already make us feel somewhat salty, I like to use low sodium.
- Worcestershire: This sauce gives soup and stew-like foods a lot of flavor.
- Tomato sauce: Although it’s not visible in the picture below, this gives the pot a rich, tomato-based taste. increases the umami tastes as well.
- Seasonings: Cajun seasoning and bay leaves are required. This kind of spice is a mixture that includes garlic, red pepper, black pepper, and salt, among other ingredients. My kitchen pantry is home to brands like Tony Chachere’s and Slap Ya Mama.
- Serve with long-grain rice, spicy sauce, and optionally fresh chopped herbs.
101 Soaking Beans: What’s Up?
Ahh, the big decision is whether or not to soak. While some insist on soaking their beans before cooking, others disagree. ⇚ For what reason do beans soak? Alright, so soaking the beans ahead of time helps them cook more quickly and evenly. Furthermore, soaked beans also digest more easily. You see, soaking them lessens indigestion (and gas) by allowing the complex sugars in the beans to dissolve. One more step, but well worth it!
How To Soak Beans: Two Ways
- Cold soak (overnight): Put the beans in a big dish, cover with cold water, and let them on the counter for about eight hours. That’s it; after soaking, just drain and lay them away until the recipe card below calls for them.
- Fast soak (hot method): In a big saucepan, bring around 6-7 cups of water to a boil. After that, add the beans and turn off the heat in the saucepan. Give the beans between thirty and sixty minutes to soak in the boiling water. Then just drain the beans and save until needed, as directed on the recipe card below.
In order to have my red beans ready for when I want to prepare red beans and rice the following day, I usually soak them overnight. Nevertheless, many who neglected to long-soak their beans are making a last-minute attempt with the quick soak, hehe!
How To Make Red Beans and Rice
- Divide and Soak. Give your dry beans a thorough cleaning to get rid of any trash or pieces that seem nasty. Soak (preferably) overnight in cold water after covering. After that, rinse the beans and save them until the recipe calls for them.
- Let the sausage brown. Once the oil or butter is heated, add the sausage rounds and sauté them until they are all beautifully browned. Don’t turn off the heat; instead, set them aside.
- Cook the vegetables. Add the celery, bell pepper, and onion. Sauté this mixture well until it becomes soft and transparent. After this, I adore the fragrance!
- Create the flavorings. Cook the garlic after adding it. Next, include the beans, sausage rounds that have been smoked, sautéed, bay leaves, stock or broth, and Worcestershire sauce. After mixing to incorporate, bring the mixture to a boil
- Give it a simmer. After that, lower the heat to a simmer and leave the pot covered for one and a half to two hours. Return to the saucepan from time to time to check on the beans and stir; add extra liquid only if necessary.
- Cut into the flesh. Take out the smoked meat from the saucepan, tearing it into pieces and throwing away the bones and skin. At this time, take out the bay leaves and mix thoroughly before adding the smoked pork chunks to the saucepan.
- The last flavor development/simmer. Add the black pepper, cajun spice, and tomato sauce and stir. Simmer the saucepan for a further 20 minutes with the lid off.
- Assist. Spoon the red beans into bowls and sprinkle the long-grain rice on top. If desired, add some freshly chopped herbs and a few dashes of spicy sauce. Have fun!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- A ONE-POT AWARD. One-pot, one-pan recipes are something I adore much. Everything for this enormous red bean and rice feast is combined into one pot. That is, of course, assuming you don’t count the pot you’ll be using to cook your rice! Really, everything in this meal comes together in the red beans and rice saucepan. Every time I make red beans, I use a traditional Dutch oven.
- SO SIMPLE TO MASK. Red beans and rice, as I just indicated, is a really low-effort recipe. It’s easy to do from beginning to end and causes no hassles. After everything is set up, it’s simple and effortless, my dear!
- Taste on Taste. My preferred aspect of this dish. You guys, this dish for red beans and rice is a low-effort/high-reward winner. After simmering, the flavors blend so harmoniously. Traditional stew components, robust smoked pork, creamy and soft beans, all submerged in a delicious, soup-like stew, oh my. (😛)
- IDEAL FOR A GROUP. Got a house full of people, or would you want to serve a large gathering? That is satisfied by this recipe. Plenty may be fed with a pot of these red beans and rice! It’s also delicious as leftovers, if you’re not feeding a large crowd (they get even better!).
Tips + Tricks, FAQs, & More For The Best Red Beans and Rice You Will Ever Have
Like with many recipes, you might have further inquiries about what to add to—or subtract from—this red beans and rice meal. I always advise following the recipe exactly as it is stated on the recipe card, which is below, just as with other BBR recipes. Nevertheless, in case you need them, here are a few more tidbits:
- Can I use red beans from a can? Yes, technically, but here’s the thing: using canned beans in this recipe will make the beans extremely mushy because they have already been cooked. Since I would hate to do this for you, I strongly advise using dried red beans in this recipe. You want to be in control of how long the beans cook.
- How long should beans soak in the dark? Eight or ten hours at most.
- Must I use meat that has been smoked as well? Smoked beef is used to many red beans and rice dishes to give them taste and heartiness. It adds so much more sharpness and taste depth. Cool beans if you decide that the andouille sausage is sufficient. Just leave out and continue making the recipe.
- Pay attention to the beans. You will see a notation in step #4 of the recipe card below to check on the beans periodically while they are boiling. This keeps an eye on the cooking process and guarantees that the beans don’t burn the pot’s bottom. Add extra liquid at this point, but only if you think it’s necessary.
- Texture of red beans. It’s crucial to remember that your red beans should have a soupy, not runny, consistency at the end. Your finished dish should be creamy enough to coat the back of a spoon, just like it does in the pictures. That’s how you’ll know it’s not all runny and depressing, ugh.
- Sort of rice to go with red beans? For red beans, long-grain white rice is typically utilized. Whenever I make it, I just use it, and it pairs wonderfully with the red beans. You are welcome to use any type of rice you choose in this recipe, though. Brown, jasmine, and basmati rice are also excellent.
- How much rice should be served? Rice is one ingredient that I don’t measure because everything is done according to taste preference. Some people prefer a substantial serving of salt to go with their red beans, while others prefer just a little. Use as little or as much as you and yours prefer. For convenience, you may also purchase pre-cooked rice packets that are microwaveable or prepare your own fresh steamed rice.
- Rice with vegan red beans. Shall we turn this into a vegan scenario? Use vegan butter, vegan sausage, and vegetable stock/broth in place of the smoked meat. Haha. Versatile switcharoos are our favorite!
- What dish should go with rice and red beans? much while this dish is excellent without cornbread, you could definitely add some to the celebration and enjoy yourself much more. I’m loving this sweet potato or buttermilk cornbread, it’s very delicious.
More Recipes You Might Like
Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
- 1 lb dried red kidney beans soaked (preferably New Orleans Camellia brand)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter or duck fat/bacon grease
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 ounces andouille sausage sliced into rounds
- 1 large white onion finely chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper finely chopped
- 2 celery hearts finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste or 6 cloves of garlic finely minced
- 1 lb smoked turkey wings or ham hocks
- 3 bay leaves
- 6 cups low sodium chicken stock/broth plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire
- 8 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning plus more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- steamed long-grain white rice for serving
- hot sauce & freshly chopped chives or parsley for garnish- optional
- After sorting the red beans, trim off any rough edges. After that, transfer the beans to a big dish and add cold water to cover. Soak the beans on the counter for the entire night. For a quick soak procedure, consider this blog article as an alternative. Set aside the beans to drain in a colander before beginning the dish.
- Put the butter and olive oil in a big saucepan and heat it to medium-high. When heated through, add the sausage rounds and cook for two to three minutes, or until browned all over. Next, move the sautéed sausage to a sanitized basin and put it aside using a slotted spoon.
- Add the celery, bell pepper, and onion. The mixture should be sautéed for 4–5 minutes, or until soft. After that, add the garlic and simmer for a further minute or so, or until fragrant. After the beans have been pre-soaked, add the stock, Worcestershire, sautéed sausage rounds, smoked pork, and bay leaves to the pot. Verify that everything is completely covered by the liquid. After giving everything a gentle toss to incorporate, turn up the heat to high and boil the mixture for five minutes.
- Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and place a lid on the pot. Simmer for one and a half to two hours, returning to the pot periodically to stir and monitor the beans’ progress. Add extra stock, broth, or water, one cup at a time, to loosen the mixture if it starts to appear dry.
- When the beans are cooked through, take the smoked meat from the pot and let it cool before handling. To separate the meat from the bones and chop it into bite-sized pieces, use two forks or your hands—fitted with disposable gloves if preferred. Throw away the skin, bones, and any additional fat from the smoked meat. Add the chunks of smoked meat back into the saucepan after removing the bay leaves.
- To achieve a creamy texture, mash a small portion of the beans with a potato masher (a few strokes will help thicken the mixture). Add the tomato sauce, black pepper, and cajun seasoning to taste. Stir well to combine the ingredients and simmer, covered, for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Take the pot off the stove and ladle the red beans into bowls. Garnish with rice and serve right away, garnished with parsley or chives, if desired. Enjoy!
- Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.