Home Recipes Red Beans and Rice (Louisiana-Style Recipe)

Red Beans and Rice (Louisiana-Style Recipe)

Red beans and rice is Louisiana cooking at its finest!

With spicy Andouille sausage, red beans, and fresh veggies in a hearty tomato base, it’s addictive. And let’s not forget the Cajun seasoning!

A delicious plate of red beans and rice with sausage, a flavorful and hearty dish
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You can use white rice or brown rice. Either way, it’ll soak up all those delicious juices for an incredibly filling meal.

Seriously, just one bowl of red beans and rice means no one goes to bed hungry. Plus, the batch is big enough to provide tomorrow’s lunch.

Red Beans and Rice 

So, what about red beans and rice earned it its spot in the Southern comfort food hall of fame? Let’s see.

It’s an incredibly indulgent dish but without all the deep-frying, grease, and cheese that Southern-style recipes are known for.

It’s spicy, savory, and unbelievably flavorful. Like any classic Creole dish, it doesn’t shy away from spices! It’s also stick-to-your-ribs hearty.

It’s one you won’t want to turn down!

Red Beans and Rice Ingredients - Red Kidney Beans, Olive Oil, Onions, Celery, Garlic, Parsley, Thyme and Sausage

Ingredients

When you first look at the ingredient list for red beans and rice, it can seem intimidating. But most of that list contains spices and seasonings. 

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Red beans. Red beans aren’t the same as kidney beans, though both work in this recipe. Still, be cognizant of which you’re using. Kidney beans will need to soak longer than smaller red beans. 
  • Olive oil. For sautéing the vegetables. 
  • Onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic. These extra veggies give the dish flavor. I prefer red onions, though any variety will work. I also use different colored bell peppers for the color contrast. 
  • Water. You’ll need 6 cups to cook the beans and another 4 cups for the rice. 
  • Seasonings. Here’s where all those ingredients come in. You’ll add two bay leaves and a mix of herbs, including parsley, thyme, cayenne, sage, and Cajun seasoning. That’s where all the Creole flavor comes from. 
  • Andouille sausage. There are a variety of brands and flavors of Andouille sausage. I use chicken for the lower fat content. 
  • Rice. This recipe calls for long-grain white rice. You can vary that to suit your preferences. 

How to Make Red Beans and Rice

Follow these steps to make this iconic Creole dish: 

1. Soak the beans. Two inches of water should be enough to cover the beans. Soak them for a minimum of 8 hours.

Kidney beans may need to soak longer than red beans. 

2. Sauté the veggies. Add olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion, bell peppers, celery, and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes. 

3. Rinse and cook the beans. Use a large pot with 6 cups of water. You’ll also add in the veggies and all the seasonings. 

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Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the beans, veggies, and seasonings for 2 1/2 hours. 

4. Add the sausage. Then, cook for another 30 minutes at the same heat setting. 

5. Make the rice. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, prepare the rice. Add 4 cups of water to a pan and bring it to a rolling boil. 

Then, add the rice. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook for 20 minutes. 

6. Serve. Transfer the rice to individual serving plates. Top with the red bean mixture, and enjoy! 

How to Soak Red Beans 

If you use canned red beans, the Cajun police might come to arrest you.

Authentic red beans and rice always uses dry beans. They require more prep time than canned beans, but the results are worth it.

They have more flavor, soak up the juices in your sauce, are lower in sodium, and taste better. 

But they DO require soaking. Otherwise, they take forever to cook. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place the beans in a bowl.
  2. Cover them with 2 inches of water.
  3. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap.
  4. Set the bowl somewhere out of the way.
  5. Let the beans soak for at least 8 hours.
A bowl of red beans and rice with andouille sausage on a white marble table

Tips for the Best Red Beans and Rice

While this Southern comfort recipe tastes amazing, there are some tips and tricks to make it even better.

  • Baby your beans. Dried beans sometimes have little pebbles and dirt. So, thoroughly inspect them before tossing them into your pot. After they soak, rinse them in water before using them.
  • Add acidity. A touch of acidity goes a long way with all those savory spices and salty flavors. If you feel the dish needs a punch of something extra, add a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of vinegar. 
  • Leave out the sausage. I love Andouille sausage in classic red beans and rice, but it’s not for everyone. If you want to change the flavor profile, use anything from ham hocks and chorizo to pork sausage or turkey!
  • Leave out the meat entirely. Instead of swapping the meat, leave it out! This dish tastes just as good when it’s vegetarian friendly.
  • Cook the beans and veggies in chicken stock. It gives the dish a richer, more savory flavor.
Hearty Red Beans and Rice with Andouille Sausage

How to Store Red Beans and Rice 

As I mentioned, red beans and rice only improve with time. This recipe is great for dinner and even better for lunch the following day!

Simply store the rice and beans in separate airtight containers in the fridge. They should last for up to 4 days.

Here are some tips to ensure that your leftovers taste great. 

  • Always store rice separately. The sauce for this recipe is soupy. If you keep the sauce and the rice together, the rice absorbs all that excellent broth and becomes mushy. Plus, it makes it nearly impossible to reheat!
  • Tips for reheating on the stovetop. The sauce will thicken in the refrigerator, so place a few drops of water in your saucepan before turning on the heat. Reheat it slowly, stirring as you go. 
  • Tips for reheating in the microwave. Place your red beans in rice in a microwave-safe dish. Add a few drops of water and cover it with a paper towel. Cook it in 30-second increments, stir, and continue until warm. 

How to Freeze Red Beans and Rice

Yes, you can freeze leftover red beans and rice! Although it’s tasty, a pot may not last long enough to see the freezer.

If you want to make a batch to store in the freezer, it freezes incredibly well, rice and all!

To freeze, place pre-portioned rice and beans into freezer bags, and squeeze out the excess air.

Each portion lasts up to 3 months in the freezer. 

When it’s time to reheat, don’t let your portions thaw first. Simply place the frozen portion on the stove or microwave and reheat.

Thawing before reheating will make the rice very mushy. 

Red Beans and Rice (Louisiana-Style Recipe)

Servings

8

servings
Prep time

25

minutes
Cooking time

3

hours 

5

minutes
Calories

630

kcal

Get a taste of Louisiana with this red beans and rice recipe! Learn how to make it, plus, get tips for leveling up the dish and storing your leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry red beans or kidney beans

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 2 celery stalks, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 10 cups water, divided

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage

  • 1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice

Instructions

  • Soak 1 pound of rinsed beans in two inches of water for 8 hours or overnight.
  • In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil on the stove over medium heat. Cook the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  • Rinse the beans again. Then, place them in a large pot with 6 cups of water. Add the cooked veggies to the beans and season with bay leaves, parsley, thyme, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, and sage.
  • Bring your large pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
  • Add the sausage to the bean stock, and cook it for an additional 30 minutes at a medium-low heat.
  • While the sausage cooks, prepare the rice. Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil in a small saucepan on high heat. Add the rice and reduce the heat to low. Cover it and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Pour the red beans over the rice and enjoy!

Notes

  • If you have leftovers, store the red beans and rice separately.
Red Beans and Rice

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “Red Beans and Rice (Louisiana-Style Recipe)”

  1. Kim, I made this just as listed except I did not have Cajun seasoning so I used Creole seasoning which is very similar. It was so good that the next morning, I got up and ate a bowl of it for breakfast! 🙂 I will make the again!!

    Reply
    • Hi Deana! So glad you enjoyed the red beans and rice.
      They’ve been a favorite of mine since a trip to New Orleans (a long time ago!). I’ll definitely try them with Creole seasoning the next time I make them!
      And I also enjoy the leftovers for breakfast! Add a crispy fried egg on top and I’m in heaven 🙂

      Reply

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