With deep, Lowcountry roots, this Gullah Red Rice is a one-pot rice dish with so much richness and soul. Also known as Charleston red rice, this side dish gets its bright red hue from tomato-forward ingredients. Tons of sautéed aromatics, bacon, and smoked sausage make this a rice dish that does not play around…so good!
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 large bell pepper (any color), chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 6 ounces andouille sausage, chopped into pieces
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon packed light or dark brown sugar
- 2–3 teaspoons cajun seasoning, plus more to taste
- 2 cups uncooked long grain rice, rinsed until the water runs clear!
- 2 cups chicken broth
- freshly chopped parsley or scallions, for garnish- optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Prep the rice: Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. I like to place the rice into a large bowl, fill with cool water, and then gently swish the rice around. Careful not to aggressively handle the rice to not break the rice grains. Drain the water and repeat this process about 6 times to remove as much surface starch as possible. Then drain all water and set the rinsed rice aside until called for in the recipe, below.
- Add the chopped bacon into a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon, stirring often, until crisp. Then use a slotted utensil to remove the bacon and set aside. There should be plenty of rendered bacon drippings left in the skillet.
- Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper into the same skillet. Sauté the trinity mixture, stirring every so often until tender and golden, about 4-5 minutes. Then add in the garlic and continue cooking until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the sausage into the pan and cook with the aromatics until the sausage is golden brown, stirring often, about 2-3 minutes. Then add the tomato paste and stir into the sausage/veggie mixture to coat. Continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes to meld.
- Pour in the tomato sauce and season the mixture with the brown sugar and cajun seasoning, stirring to combine. Add the reserved bacon back into the pan along with the rinsed rice directly into the same skillet, stirring to coat with the tomato mixture.
- Let the rice toast up in the tomato mixture for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Then pour in the broth and stir everything to combine.
- Remove the skillet from heat and tent the skillet with foil. Place the skillet onto a large baking sheet and then transfer the entire skillet into the oven. *If your skillet is not oven-safe, simply empty the rice contents into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish and tent with foil.
- Bake the dish for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and continue baking for another 15 minutes until the rice is tender.
- Remove the rice dish from the oven and let the rice sit, undisturbed, for at least 10 minutes. Afterwards, use a fork to fluff the rice. Taste the rice and season with more cajun seasoning to preference, if needed. Serve Gullah red rice immediately with a garnish of chopped parsley/scallions, if desired, as-is or alongside your favorite main entree. Enjoy!
- Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.
Keywords: Gullah Geechee, Gullah red rice, low country, Gullah food, southern rice, southern food, Charleston red rice, red rice