February 20, 2019 Updated March 4, 2022
Red Beans and Rice is a traditional Creole dish, featuring red beans cooked with the glorious trinity of onion, celery and green bell pepper. Add a generous amount of Creole seasonings and smoky andouille sausage and it's a one pot meal. Serve it with white rice and a sprinkling of green onions with a side of hot sauce and cornbread for supper any day of the week.
Easy Red Beans and Rice Recipe
I've heard it said that you're very likely to find a pot of red beans and rice cooking in someone's kitchen in New Orleans every Monday. It's for good reason, dry beans are a terrific resource when you're on a tight budget. They're inexpensive, and packed with nutrients, fiber and add bulk to a meal. You can feed a crowd at a low cost and fill them up to boot. That's a win in more ways than one, if you ask me.
How to Make the Best Red Beans and Rice Recipe
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Red Beans and Rice: One pound small dry red beans, celery, bell pepper, onion, bacon, chicken broth or stock, water, Creole or Cajun seasoning, andouille sausage or kielbasa, bay leaves, garlic, dried thyme, garlic salt.
- Kitchen tools you'll need: A large bowl, Dutch oven or large heavy bottomed pot, sharp knife and cutting board, measuring cups and spoons and large spoon for stirring.
- It's important to take the time to soak the beans overnight before cooking, they take on a much milder flavor and the end result is a creamy texture that makes it well worth the effort.
- New Orleans cooks consider the trinity of onion, celery and green bell pepper an absolute must when making authentic red beans and rice. I completely concur.
- When preparing the andouille sausage, you can cube it or cut it into rounds to add to the beans. There's no wrong way to do it.
- For added flavor, you can use a leftover ham bone cooked with the broth to make the flavor more robust and rich.
- At the end of cooking, thicken the broth to your liking by simply smashing some of the beans and mixing them back into the pot.
- You can mix the rice into the red beans or serve it on the side, it's your choice.
- We enjoy hot buttered cornbread and at times a side of coleslaw to round out the meal. However, red beans and rice are perfectly suited to be an all-in-one meal.
- Store cooked Red Beans and Rice chilled in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in single servings in the microwave on on the stovetop over medium heat.
More Easy Recipes Using Beans to Make
See also these dry bean dish recipes that are not only delicious but, will keep your budget on track:
- This recipe for the Best Pinto Beans is elevated with added seasonings and herbs.
- Homemade Baked Beans topped with strips of bacon just like my Mom used to make.
- Easy Refried Beans for Mexican night at home.
- Crockpot Barbecue Pork and Beans feature country style ribs that season the beans and added flavor.
- Homestyle Green Beans and Potatoes are a classic side dish in the South.
- Lima Beans with Bacon are a down home dish everyone loves.
- Instant Pot Black Beans from Well Plated
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Red Beans and Rice
- 1 lb dry small red beans
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper seeded and diced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb smoked andouille or kielbasa sliced
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups water
- 1 Tbps Creole seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- cooked rice and hot sauce for serving
- In a large bowl or pot cover beans with cold water allowing 4-inch headspace overnight. Just before cooking, drain well.
- To prepare: In a Dutch oven or large heavy bottomed pot, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, then crumble. Reserve drippings.
- Add the onion, green pepper and celery to the drippings. Cook over high heat for 2 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add sausage and garlic to the pot. Cook for 1 minute longer.
- Add beans, chicken stock, water, Creole seasoning, bay leaves and thyme. Mix well and bring to a rolling boil. Boil covered for 15 minutes then lower the heat to medium.
- Simmer covered for an additional 1 ½-2 hours or until beans are tender. Add garlic salt at the end of cooking adjusting to your taste. May add crumbled bacon back to the pot or serve on top.
- Serve over cooked rice topped with sliced green onion and hot sauce. on the side.