Red Beans & Rice Recipe

Red Beans & Rice is a classic and soul-satisfying dish rooted in the vibrant flavors of Cajun and Creole cuisine. This recipe combines tender red beans, savory andouille sausage, and a medley of aromatic vegetables, creating a hearty and delicious meal. The blend of Cajun and Old Bay seasonings, along with a touch of thyme and hot sauce, imparts a rich and spicy profile to the dish.

This culinary journey begins with the sautéing of a trio of vegetables – onions, bell peppers, and celery – creating a flavorful foundation for the dish. The addition of diced andouille sausage brings depth and smokiness, while minced garlic adds a fragrant note. The marriage of red beans, diced tomatoes, and robust chicken broth further enriches the pot, creating a luscious and well-balanced base.


  • 4 cans red beans, rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, can be rinsed for a clearer broth
  • 12 ounces andouille sausage or smoked sausage, diced
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 3-4 dashes hot sauce (e.g., Zatarans crab and shrimp boil oil)
  • Cooking oil for sautéing
  • Cooked rice for serving


  1. Prepare Ingredients:
    • Open the cans of red beans and diced tomatoes, rinse the red beans under cold water, and set aside.
    • Dice the onion, bell pepper, celery, and sausage.
    • Measure out the chicken broth, minced garlic, Cajun seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, thyme, salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
  2. Sauté Vegetables:
    • In a large pot, heat cooking oil over medium heat.
    • Add diced onion, bell pepper, and celery to the pot. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent.
  3. Brown Sausage:
    • Add the diced sausage to the pot with the sautéed vegetables.
    • Brown the sausage, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  4. Add Garlic:
    • Once the sausage is browned, add minced garlic to the pot. Stir until fragrant, taking care not to burn the garlic.
  5. Combine Ingredients:
    • Add the rinsed red beans, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, Cajun seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, bay leaves (if using), thyme, salt, pepper, and hot sauce to the pot.
    • Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  6. Simmer:
    • Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat.
    • Let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld. Stir occasionally.
  7. Adjust Consistency:
    • If the mixture becomes too thick, you can add water to achieve your desired consistency. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Remove Bay Leaves:
    • If bay leaves were added, remove them from the pot and discard.
  9. Cook Rice:
    • While the beans are simmering, cook rice according to package instructions.
  10. Serve:
    • Serve the red beans over the cooked rice.
    • Optionally, garnish with additional hot sauce or fresh herbs if desired.

Why You’ll Love It:

  1. Hearty and Satisfying: Red Beans & Rice is a hearty, soulful dish that fills you up and provides a satisfying and comforting dining experience. The combination of beans, sausage, and flavorful seasonings creates a robust and fulfilling meal.
  2. Flavorful Cajun Delight: The blend of Cajun seasoning, Old Bay, and other aromatic spices gives this dish an explosion of flavors. It’s a journey through the rich and diverse taste profile of Cajun and Creole cuisine, bringing a taste of the South to your table.
  3. Easy to Make: This recipe is straightforward and easy to follow, making it accessible for both novice and experienced cooks. The simple yet carefully chosen ingredients come together effortlessly to create a delicious and satisfying result.
  4. Versatile and Adaptable: Red Beans & Rice is a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit various tastes. Whether you prefer it spicier, milder, or with additional ingredients, you can easily customize this recipe to match your preferences.
  5. Perfect for Sharing: This dish is ideal for bringing people together. It’s a crowd-pleaser that can be shared at family gatherings, potlucks, or cozy dinners with friends. The large pot yields plenty, ensuring everyone gets a taste of this delightful Southern classic.
  6. Balanced and Nutritious: With a combination of protein from the sausage, fiber from the beans, and a variety of vegetables, Red Beans & Rice offers a well-balanced and nutritious meal. It’s a wholesome choice that not only satisfies your taste buds but also nourishes your body.
  7. Aromatic and Inviting: The cooking process fills your kitchen with a delightful aroma that sets the stage for a memorable dining experience. The enticing scents of spices, sausage, and vegetables create anticipation and excitement for the flavorful feast ahead.
  8. Comfort Food at Its Best: Red Beans & Rice embodies the essence of comfort food. It warms your soul, provides a sense of home, and invites you to slow down and savor each bite. It’s a dish that brings both comfort and joy to the table.

How to store it:

Storing Red Beans & Rice properly is crucial to maintain its flavor and quality. Here’s a guide on how to store it:

  1. Cool Down Quickly: Allow the Red Beans & Rice to cool down to room temperature before storing. Leaving it out for an extended period can lead to bacterial growth, so it’s essential to cool it down within two hours of cooking.
  2. Refrigeration:
    • Transfer the Red Beans & Rice to airtight containers or sealable plastic bags.
    • Place the containers in the refrigerator.
    • Consume refrigerated leftovers within 3-4 days.
  3. Freezing:
    • If you want to store Red Beans & Rice for a more extended period, consider freezing.
    • Portion the dish into meal-sized portions to make reheating easier.
    • Use freezer-safe, airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags to prevent freezer burn.
    • Label containers with the date for easy tracking.
    • Store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  4. Thawing:
    • When ready to enjoy frozen Red Beans & Rice, transfer it to the refrigerator the night before to thaw gradually.
    • For quicker thawing, you can use the defrost function on a microwave or place the frozen dish in a sealed plastic bag under cold running water.
  5. Reheating:
    • Reheat refrigerated or thawed Red Beans & Rice on the stovetop or in the microwave.
    • On the stovetop, warm it over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
    • In the microwave, use short intervals and stir in between to ensure even heating.
    • Ensure the internal temperature reaches a safe level, at least 165°F (74°C), to prevent foodborne illness.
  6. Note on Rice Storage:

    • If storing Red Beans & Rice with rice separately, consider storing rice in a separate container. Refrigerated rice can develop bacteria called Bacillus cereus, so it’s crucial to cool it down quickly and reheat thoroughly.

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