Discover the essence of authentic Southern Creole cuisine with our Best Red Beans and Rice Recipe. This dish, a favorite among Cajun enthusiasts, brings together flavorful kidney beans, a hint of spice, and a meaty essence, all served over a bed of white rice. Forget the fast-food versions – this homemade recipe surpasses them all.
This Red Beans and Rice dish is a soulful experience. Picture kidney beans simmering in a pot of spices, gradually thickening and merging into a magical combination of flavors. The result? A hearty meal that’s well worth the wait.
After patiently allowing the ingredients to work their magic, the kidney beans are generously layered over rice, and that first bite is the ultimate reward.
An authentic staple of Creole cuisine, Red Beans and Rice traditionally graced tables on Mondays, coinciding with laundry days. The slow-cooking nature of this dish made it the perfect choice, requiring minimal attention as it stewed for hours. Today, you can savor the goodness of Southern Red Beans and Rice any day of the week. Slow-cooked to perfection, this beloved comfort food is ideal for a cozy day spent at home.
Why this Recipe works
Here’s Why This Recipe is a Winner:
Simple: No gourmet skills are needed here. This red beans and rice recipe is straightforward. Just give it some time and patience for the beans to soften and the flavors to come together.
Delicious: Despite its simplicity, this classic dish is a flavor bomb. Thanks to fresh vegetables, herbs, and a mix of seasonings, it’s the ultimate red beans and rice recipe.
Budget-Friendly: This hearty meal won’t break the bank. You likely have the ingredients already in your fridge and pantry. Bonus: You can freeze the leftovers for later in the week.
If you’re in the mood for exploring more culinary delights, consider venturing beyond Southern Creole cuisine. Indulge in the succulence of a Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb, savor the harmonious blend of flavors in Shrimp and Grits, or embark on a journey of spices with Tandoori Spiced Ribs accompanied by cooling Raita. These culinary adventures can transport you to diverse places and elevate your dining experience.
Overview: How to Make Red Beans And Rice Recipe?
I gathered the following ingredients for this straightforward and hearty red beans and rice recipe: 1 lb. dry red beans, 2 Tbsp cooking oil, 14 oz. Andouille sausage, 1 yellow onion, 1 green bell pepper, 3 ribs of celery, 4 cloves of garlic, and various spices and herbs. To kick off the preparation, I soaked the dry beans in a bowl of water in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, I started by slicing the Andouille sausage into rounds and browning them in a large pot with cooking oil over medium heat. Once the sausage was nicely browned, I set it aside in the refrigerator while I diced the onion, bell pepper, and celery, and minced the garlic. These vegetables went into the pot, sautéing until the onions were soft, releasing moisture to dissolve any browned bits at the bottom.
With the veggies ready, I added a mix of smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, black pepper, and bay leaves. After a brief stir, I incorporated the soaked beans and 6 cups of water. Bringing it to a boil, I then let it simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
Once the beans were tender, I mashed them against the pot’s side and continued simmering without a lid for 30 minutes to achieve a thicker consistency. Meanwhile, I cooked the rice separately. After 15 minutes of simmering and 5 minutes of resting, the rice was ready to be fluffed with a fork.
To complete the red beans and rice, I reintroduced the cooked sausage to the pot, added fresh parsley, and seasoned with salt to taste. The final step involved serving the red beans in a bowl, topped with a scoop of rice and a sprinkle of sliced green onions. This simple yet flavorful dish is a satisfying experience for the taste buds.
Best Red Beans and Rice Recipe
- Large Pot or Dutch Oven
- Cutting Board and Knife
- Stirring Spoon or Ladle
- Measuring Cup and Spoons
- Whisk or Spoon
- Cooking Utensils
- Cooking Surface
- Bowls or Plates
- 2 tbsp Cooking Oil
- 14 oz. Andouille sausage
- 1 lb. dry red beans
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 green bell pepper
- 3 Ribs Celery
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups Water
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp Salt or to taste
- 1.5 cups long grain white rice Uncooked
- 3 Green Onion
- Prepare Beans:The night before cooking, soak the dry beans in a large bowl with double their volume in water in the refrigerator.
- Cook Sausage:Slice the sausage into rounds. In a large pot, heat cooking oil and brown the sausage slices over medium heat.Once browned, remove the sausage and place it in the refrigerator.
- Prepare Vegetables:Dice the onion, bell pepper, and celery.Mince the garlic.
- Saute Vegetables:In the same pot, add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic.Saute until onions are soft, using the vegetable moisture to dissolve any browned bits.
- Add Seasonings:Stir in smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, black pepper, and bay leaves.Cook for one additional minute
- Combine Ingredients:Drain and rinse the soaked beans.Add beans to the pot with 6 cups of water.Stir and cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.
- Thicken Beans:After one hour, smash beans against the pot's side with a spoon.Simmer without a lid for an additional 30 minutes to thicken.
- Cook Rice:While beans simmer, cook rice in a separate pot with 3 cups of water.Boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Allow the rice to rest, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- Final Steps:Once beans are thickened, add back the cooked sausage and chopped parsley.Stir and taste, adding salt as needed.Serve the red beans over rice, topped with sliced green onions.
Nutrition Facts (Per Serving – 1.5 cups):
- Calories: 715 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 89g
- Protein: 34g
- Fat: 25g
- Sodium: 1799mg
- Fiber: 14g
Tips and Tricks for This Recipe:
- Soaking Boosts Speed: The good news is, soaking and pre-boiling the beans can speed up the recipe. Without soaking (and risking potential poisoning), it might take 10-12 hours for the beans to become tender. So, plan ahead for a quicker meal.
- Consider Canned Beans: To expedite the process further, consider using canned beans. Whether soaked or canned, the goal is to have soft, mashable beans, ensuring that delightful creamy texture in your crockpot red beans and rice.
- Mash for Creaminess: Once the beans reach the desired softness, grab your potato masher and go to work, mashing about half or more of the beans. Don’t worry if some sausages get mashed – it’s part of the charm.
- Additional Cooking Time: After the mashing session, let it cook for another hour or two. This extra time ensures you end up with a creamy and wonderful batch of red beans, ready to be generously ladled over your rice. Enjoy the authentic flavors of New Orleans Style Red Beans and Rice!
How to Store Leftover Red Beans and Rice?
Here’s how I store the leftover red beans and rice to keep them fresh:
Separate the red beans and rice into their own sealed containers before placing them in the refrigerator. This helps prevent the rice from becoming mushy. You can keep them in the fridge for up to a week, ensuring they stay tasty for future meals.
If you prefer freezing the leftovers for an even longer shelf life, follow this simple process. Take cooled, single servings of rice and put them into freezer bags. Then, add an equivalent portion of beans on top. Seal the bags tightly, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Your frozen red beans and rice will stay good for up to three months, ready to be enjoyed whenever you’re in the mood for a quick and convenient meal.
Storage Tips for Leftover Red Beans and Rice
- Separate Components: Keep the remaining bean mixture and cooked rice in separate storage containers. This helps maintain their individual freshness.
- Refrigeration Guidelines: Leftover red beans can stay fresh in the fridge for 3–4 days. Store them in an airtight container to preserve flavor and prevent odors.
- Rice Reminder: Consume leftover rice within 24 hours. If needed later, it’s best to cook fresh rice for future servings. Watch out for any signs of spoilage, like a rotten smell or the presence of white liquid around the beans.
- Individual Freezing: When freezing, ensure red beans are in a separate airtight container from the rice. This helps maintain the quality of each component.
- Freezing Duration: The sausage and red beans can be safely frozen for up to three months. Label the containers with the date for easy tracking. Enjoy a convenient, freezer-friendly option for future meals.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Complements Red Beans and Rice?
Simple Meal: Keep it easy by savoring red beans and rice as a complete meal. Pair it with a side of Cornbread with Honey Butter for a satisfying combination.
Southern Supper: If you prefer a more elaborate feast, consider fried pork chops or fried catfish as delectable companions to your red beans and rice. It’s a classic choice for a delightful southern supper.
Add a Kick: For a touch of heat, top your bowl with a few dashes of hot sauce. It elevates the flavors and adds that extra kick to your dish.
How to Thicken Red Beans and Rice?
Take 1¼ cups of cooked beans from the pot. Mash them with a fork and then reintroduce them to the pot. This straightforward method thickens the dish naturally, without the need for additional ingredients.
Red Beans vs. Kidney Beans: Are They the Same?
Despite their similar reddish hue, red beans and kidney beans are distinct legumes. Kidney beans are plumper with a thicker skin, while red beans are smaller and offer a nutty flavor. Both, however, pair seamlessly with rice, making either a great choice for your New Orleans red beans and rice recipe.
What Goes with Red Beans and Rice?
When I’m serving red beans and rice, some great side dishes to go with it are corn on the cob, pulled pork, brats, shrimp boil, green beans with bacon, London broil, country-style ribs, coleslaw, fried okra, cornbread, Cajun shrimp skewers, Creole deviled eggs, collard greens, biscuits, chicken wings, and Andouille sausage. These tasty options complement the flavors of the main dish and make for a delicious and satisfying meal.
How to Thicken Red Beans and Rice?
If my red beans and rice seems a bit thin, I can make it thicker by adding either a roux or a simple slurry. For the slurry, I just mix 1 part cornstarch with 2 parts water. Then, I add about a ¼ cup of the slurry and gently whisk it into the red beans. This helps give the dish a thicker consistency.
What Kind of Beans Are in Red Beans and Rice?
The type of beans typically used in red beans and rice is the kidney bean.