A pot of this Louisiana-style Red Beans and Rice is the epitome of comfort. Tender beans, tons of aromatics, and hearty smoked meat with andouille sausage simmers away in a rich and flavorful stew. It’s so delicious and served with long-grain rice for a complete, filling meal! This soulful goodness comes together so easily, y’all!

red beans and rice in black bowl with cornbread

Whew. On today’s episode of pure, soul-hitting deliciousness…Red Beans and Rice, Louisiana-style. I am a sucker for this signature dish, y’all. It’s one of those dishes that, to me, hits so nice. If you’ve never made homemade red beans and rice, I hope you dive into this beauty real soon. You might be familiar with the Popeyes restaurant version, but this one is wayyy better and you’ll love it!

More Southern delights: cabbage and sausage, sweet pecan praline sticky buns, my cajun shrimp with gouda grits, these creamy black eyed peas; or maybe a po’ boy, some delicious gumbo, or a sweet potato pie, yasss!

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice 🙌🏾

Have you ever had it before? This Louisiana staple is a Monday night, New Orleans tradition. It’s a noted tale that Monday nights served as “wash day” which meant…laundry. Those who were obligated to tend to the laundry were also the ones who were to fix supper that day. With both cleaning and cooking on the menu, a pot of red beans long simmered on the stove was the move.

Furthermore, another theory is that red beans were eaten on Mondays with the hambone reserved from Sunday dinner. This served to reuse/upcycle any leftover hambone or ham hock pieces. Tender red beans simmered long and slow in a rich, ultra-hearty, and flavorful pot. A dish for any day of the week!

silver ladle with broth-filled red beans being held over pot

Ingredients Needed For Red Beans and Rice

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Red beans: Duh. This recipe calls for *dried* red beans, like small red beans or kidney beans. Fully recommend using New Orleans Camellia brand beans for authenticity but use whatever is accessible to ya. I like to sort through them beforehand to get rid of any scraggly odds + ends found in the bag of beans. No need to rinse the beans as we’ll be soaking them prior to using.
  • Butter & olive oil: I often use these two for sautéing the aromatics. However, sometimes I use rendered bacon fat or duck fat, too. Those will add even more flavor and depth to your pot of red beans!
  • Andouille sausage: This is pre-cooked sausage that I usually get to make my red beans and rice (it’s smoked, nicely seasoned, and a staple among cajun/creole cuisine) but you can also use any other smoked sausage that you favor. Kielbasa or beef sausage make great substitutes for andouille sausage.
  • Veggies: You’ll need an onion, bell pepper, and celery– aka the Cajun/Creole holy trinity! Classic stew ingredients that give these beans extra oomph.
  • Garlic: No explanation needed…garlic is #bae, garlic is life!
  • Smoked meat: This is what makes these red beans southern in nature. The addition of smoked meat provides a heartiness and extra-filling richness. I use smoked turkey wings for my beans, but you can also use smoked ham hock, salt pork, cooked bacon pieces, or any other smoked turkey (neck/legs).
  • Chicken stock/broth: Flavor on flavor! This is one of the elements that makes this recipe so delicious, they’re not cooked in water. I like to use low sodium because the cajun seasoning will give us plenty of salty vibes already.
  • Worcestershire: This condiment adds big flavor for soups/stew-like recipes.
  • Tomato sauce: While not pictured in the image below, this adds some rich, tomato-based flavoring to the pot. Kicks up the umami flavors, too.
  • Seasonings: You’ll need bay leaves and cajun seasoning. This type of seasoning is a blend that contains salt, red pepper, black pepper, garlic, and more. Brands such as, Slap Ya Mama or Tony Chachere’s, stay in my kitchen pantry.
  • For serving: long-grain rice, hot sauce, and freshly chopped herbs– optional.
ingredients for red beans and rice laid out on grey surface

Soaking Beans 101: What Gives?

Ahhh to soak or not to soak, that is the question. Some people swear by soaking their beans before cooking and others say nah. ⇢ Why soak beans? Okay so boom, soaking beans prior to cooking them allows for the beans to cook evenly and faster. In addition to that, soaked beans are also easier to digest. You see, soaking them allows for the complex sugars within the beans to break down, therefore reducing indigestion (and gas). An extra step but oh so worth it!

How To Soak Beans: Two Ways

⇢ There are ✌🏾 methods to get those beans nice and right for red beans and rice!

  • Cold soak (overnight): In a large bowl, cover the beans with cold water and let them soak overnight on the counter. That’s it, after soaking, simply drain them and set aside until called for in the recipe card, below.
  • Fast soak (hot method): Bring about 6-7 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Then add in the beans and remove the pot from heat. Let the beans soak in the hot water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Afterwards, simply drain the beans and set aside until called for in the recipe card, below.

*I almost always soak my red beans overnight that way they’re ready to go on the next day when I plan to make my red beans and rice. However, the fast soak is a last-minute effort for the ones that forgot to long-soak their beans, ha!

How To Make Red Beans and Rice

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

Making homemade red beans and rice is so rewarding and easy, peeps!…let’s go:

  1. Sort & Soak. Give your dried beans a good once over and remove any debris/gnarly lookin’ bits. Cover in cool water and (ideally) soak overnight. Then drain the beans and set aside until ready to use in the recipe.
  2. Sauté the sausage. Heat the oil/butter, then sauté the sausage rounds until all rounds are nicely browned. Then set them aside, don’t shut off the heat.
  3. Sauté the veggies. Toss in the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Give this mixture a good sauté until tender and translucent. Love the smell after this!
  4. Build the flavor agents. Add in the garlic and continue cooking. Then add in the beans, smoked meat, sautéed sausage rounds, bay leaves, stock/broth, and worcestershire. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Let it simmer. Afterwards, reduce the heat to low and let the pot simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours long. Go back to the pot every so often to stir and check on the beans, adding more liquid, only if needed.
  6. Tear the meat. Remove the smoked meat from the pot and tear the meat into pieces, discarding the skin/bones. At this point, remove the bay leaves and then add the smoked meat pieces into the pot, stirring well.
  7. Final flavor build/simmer. Stir in the tomato sauce, cajun seasoning, and black pepper. Allow the pot to simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes.
  8. Serve. Ladle the red beans into bowls, top with long-grain rice. Hit it with a few dashes of hot sauce and some freshly chopped herbs, if desired. Enjoy!
red beans and rice in black bowls with cornbread and hot sauce on the side

Why You’ll Love This Recipe ♡

  • ONE-POT BEAUTY. I love myself a one-pot, one-pan recipe so very much. This entire red beans and rice extravaganza comes together in one vessel. Well, that is if you’re not counting the pot, you’ll use to cook your rice, ha! Seriously speaking, the red beans pot is the heart of this recipe and everything whips up in it. I use a classic dutch oven for my red beans, always.
  • SO EASY TO MAKE. As I mentioned earlier, red beans and rice is a dish that requires minimal work. From start to finish, it’s straightforward without any headaches. Once everything is prepped, it’s easy + breezy, baby!
  • FLAVOR ON FLAVOR. My favorite thing about this recipe. Listen, this red beans and rice recipe is a low-effort/high-reward stunner. The flavors meld so well after simmering. Classic stew ingredients, hearty smoked meat, buttery + tender beans, all swimming in a rich, soup-like stew, gahhh. (😛)
  • PERFECT FOR A CROWD. House full of your people or maybe wanna feed a crowd? This recipe checks that box. A pot of this red beans and rice will feed plenty! If not feeding many, it’s also great as leftovers (they get even better!).

Tips + Tricks, FAQs, & More For The Best Red Beans and Rice You Will Ever Have

As with many recipes, you may have additional questions regarding things to do (or change) for this red beans and rice dish. Like other BBR recipes, I always recommend sticking to the recipe as it is written in the recipe card, below. However, here’s some extra tidbits in case you need ’em:

  • Can I use canned red beans? Technically yes, but here’s the thing: canned beans are already cooked and using them in this recipe will result in super mushy beans. As such, I’d hate this for you, I fully recommend using dried red beans here. You want the cooking of the beans to be controlled.
  • How long to soak beans overnight? No more than 8-10 hours.
  • Do I have to use smoked meat as well? Many red beans and rice recipes include smoked meat for the addition of flavor and heartiness. It creates such a depth of flavor and more bite. If you feel like the andouille sausage is enough for you, cool beans. Simply omit and carry on with the recipe.
  • Keep an eye on the beans. In step #4 in the recipe card below, you’ll see a note to check on the beans every so often while simmering. This ensures that the beans don’t scorch the bottom of the pot and to check on the cooking process. At this stage, add more liquid, only if you see that it’s needed.
  • Red beans texture. It’s important to note that the finished texture of your red beans should be soup-like and not watery. Just like it is shown in the images, your final dish should have a creamy texture that coats the back of a spoon. That is how you’ll know it’s perfect and not all runny and sad, ew.
  • What kind of rice for red beans? Long-grain white rice is commonly used for red beans. I use it exclusively whenever I make it, and it gets sopped up with the red beans beautifully. However, please feel free to use any kind of rice that you prefer here. Basmati, brown, and jasmine rice are great as well.
  • How much rice for serving? I don’t include a measurement for rice because it’s all rooted in personal preference. Some like a hefty portion to pair alongside their red beans and others like just a touch. Use as much or as little as you + yours would like. In addition, you can make fresh steamed rice or buy the microwaveable pre-cooked packages of rice for convenience.
  • Vegan red beans and rice. Wanna make this a vegan situation? Omit the smoked meat, and use vegan butter, vegan sausage, and vegetable stock/broth. Boom. We love a little versatile switcharoo!
  • What to serve with red beans and rice? This recipe is damn perfect as is, but you can surely add some cornbread to the party and have even more fun. Holla at my buttermilk cornbread or this sweet potato cornbread, yum.
black hand holding the side of black bowl filled with red beans and rice

Add this Louisiana Red Beans and Rice recipe to your must-make list! There’s nothing like a pot of this goodness. Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

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red beans and rice in black bowl with cornbread

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 30m
  • Cook Time: 1hr 30m
  • Total Time: 2hrs
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Southern

Description

A pot of this Louisiana-style Red Beans and Rice is the epitome of comfort. Tender beans, tons of aromatics, and hearty smoked meat with andouille sausage simmers away in a rich and flavorful stew. It’s so delicious and served with long-grain rice for a complete, filling meal! This soulful goodness comes together so easily, y’all!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb dried red beans (preferably New Orleans Camellia brand)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or duck fat/bacon grease)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into rounds
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 celery hearts, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste or 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 lb smoked turkey wings or ham hocks
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken stock/broth, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire
  • 8 ounces canned tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning, plus more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • steamed long-grain white rice, for serving
  • hot sauce & freshly chopped chives or parsley, for garnish- optional

Instructions

  1. Sort through the red beans and remove any scraggly bits. Then place the beans into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Allow the beans to soak on the counter overnight. Before starting the recipe, drain the beans into a colander and set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the butter and olive oil. Once hot, add in the sausage rounds and cook until evenly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Then use a slotted utensil to transfer the sautéed sausage to a clean bowl and set aside.
  3. Toss in the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Sauté the mixture, until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Then stir in the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the pre-soaked beans into the pot, followed by the smoked meat, sautéed sausage rounds, bay leaves, stock, and worcestershire. Make sure everything is submerged under the liquid. Gently stir to combine, then increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a rolling boil for 5 minutes.
  4. After boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, going back to the pot every so often to stir and check on the beans. If the mixture looks dry at any point, add more stock/broth/water to loosen, 1 cup at a time as needed. 
  5. Once the beans are tender, remove the smoked meat from the pot, and set aside to cool down for a few minutes before handling. Use two forks or your hands (fitted with disposable gloves, if desired) to tear the meat off the bones into bite-sized pieces. Discard the skin, bones, and any extra fatty pieces on the smoked meat. Take the bay leaves out and then add the pieces of smoked meat back into the pot.
  6. Use a potato masher to mash up some of the beans, not too much, just a few strokes. This will help thicken the mixture a little and contribute to a creamy texture. Then add the tomato sauce, cajun seasoning-to taste, and black pepper. Stir well to bring everything together and let simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes more.
  7. Remove the pot from the heat and ladle the red beans into bowls. Top beans with rice and serve immediately with a few dashes of hot sauce and freshly chopped chives/parsley, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.

Keywords: red beans and rice, Louisiana food, cajun food, broth beans, beans recipe, creole food, New Orleans food