Homemade Red Beans and Rice are a perfectly hearty Louisiana style comfort food at its best! Red beans and rice are cooked low and slow with colourful Cajuns spices, the meal is usually served with fresh cooked rice to create a home style dinner recipe you’ll crave again and again
The preparations is easy, the hardest part is just waiting while it shimmers allowing time for the beans to soften and all those rich and well seasoned flavors to marry together. It’s just one of those comfort food recipes that you want to cosy up to.
EASY RED BEANS AND RICE RECIPE
Red beans and rice is one of the most favourite bean dishes. Some bean recipes trend more on the lighter side of the spectrum, but this dish tastes like an absolute indulgence. It’s full of deep, rich, spicy Creole flavor, and a classic version here is straightforward and just easy to make recipe.
To develop the flavors and complexity of this classic dish, you can add some colourful flavours such as medley of veggies, as well as herbs and spices.
- Red Beans: This crowd-pleasing red beans and rice recipe uses a pound of dried red beans, so you’ll need a large bowl for soaking and a large pot for cooking.
- Olive Oil & Butter: For sautéing. Vegetable oil can be a substitute
- Andouille Sausage: You’ll need 12 ounces of Andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices.
- Onion: I like to use a yellow onion, but a white or a Vidalia would be fine, as well.
- Celery: You’ll need 2 celery ribs, diced.
- Bell Pepper: You can generally dice up one small red bell pepper and one small green bell pepper; but go for the best and freshest ones, whether green, yellow, orange, or red.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic is best here, but if you need to, you can substitute about ? of a teaspoon of garlic powder for each clove.
- Salt & Pepper
- Oregano, Thyme, Paprika & Cayenne: If you want a milder dish, feel free to reduce the cayenne or omit it altogether. Add more cayenne if you like a spicy dish.
- Broth: You’ll need 6 to 8 cups of vegetable broth or chicken broth. I use low-sodium broths. Homemade is also great!
- Bay Leaves: Two whole bay leaves add fragrance and pungency to the dish.
- Green Onions: Chopped, plus more for garnish.
- Fresh parsley: Chopped parsley is the perfect garnish for red beans and rice., the parsley finishes the dish with a final layer of bright fresh flavour
- Rice: You’ll need your favorite cooked long grain rice for serving.
Are Red Beans and Kidney Beans the Same Thing?
- So what do we mean by “red beans?” Well, they aren’t quite the same as kidney beans. Red beans are smaller, and they have a reddish pink colour, while kidney beans are larger and more of a reddish brown. Both will work fine in this recipe, but kidney beans tend to have a thicker outer skin than red beans, so some cooks prefer not to use them.
What is Andouille Sausage?
- Andouille sausage in the U.S. (as opposed to France, where it originated) is a smoky, highly seasoned, flavourful sausage. Like hard salami and prosciutto, it’s somewhat dry. In Louisiana, it’s a very traditional and popular ingredient, used in all kind of ways. Like in this
If you don’t have Andouille, feel free to substitute chorizo, or even kielbasa.
HOW TO MAKE RED BEANS AND RICE
To make red beans and rice, you’ll need to start in the morning or even the night before, to soak the beans. From there, it’s a straightforward process of sautéing veggies and sausage, adding broth and beans, and simmering until done. You should also cook the rice separately, and according to the package directions.
Do I Have to Soak the Beans?
This is really up to you. There are two main reasons to soak beans: on one hand, it is supposed to shorten the cooking time by about ten minutes. Secondly, soaking the beans is supposed to make them easier to digest. So, if that’s important to you, go for it!
- Soak Beans: Put the dried red beans in a large soup pot or bowl and cover with two inches of water. Soak for eight hours, or overnight.
- Brown Sausage: Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large dutch oven or heavy pot set over medium heat. Add the sausage slices and cook until browned on both sides. Remove the sausage from the pot and set aside.
- Sauté Veggies: Melt the butter in the same pot, and then stir in the onions, cooking over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until soft. Add the celery and bell peppers; continue to cook for 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 20 seconds more.
- Add Seasonings & Broth: Season the vegetables with salt, oregano, thyme, paprika, cayenne and black pepper. Cook for 1 more minute, and then pour in the vegetable broth and stir, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add Beans, Sausage & Bay Leaves: Drain and rinse the soaked beans, and then add them to the pot, along with the andouille sausage and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low; cover and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until the beans are soft and tender.
- Continue Cooking: Discard the bay leaves. Transfer a cup of the beans to a bowl; using a fork, mash the beans well. Return them to the pot and stir to incorporate. If the dish is too thick, add up to one cup of water. Taste for seasonings, and adjust accordingly. Stir in the parsley and green onions, and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Enjoy! Serve your veggies, sausage and red beans over hot cooked rice.