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 bean, and fresh veggies in a hearty tomato base, it’s pretty addicting. 

Serving it over a scoop of steaming hot white rice makes this dish even better.

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Homemade Red Beans and Rice with Andouille Sausage and Herbs

The rice soaks up all those delicious juices for an incredibly filling meal.

Seriously, after just one bowl and no one goes to bed hungry. 

This recipe for red beans and rice makes a big batch, so there will be plenty of leftovers for a lunch you can look forward to. 

Red Beans and Rice 

So, what about red beans and rice earned it a coveted spot in the Southern comfort food hall of fame?

It’s an incredibly indulgent dish, but nothing is deep-fried, and it doesn’t pile on the cheese.

It’s spicy, savory, and oh-so-filling. Like any classic Creole dish, it doesn’t shy away from spices!

Using Andouille sausage takes this dish over the top.

It’s drier than your average sausage and has a consistency similar to salami.

While bright and spicy, it also has a distinctive smoky flavor that makes red beans and rice delicious. 

In addition to smoky sausage, red beans and rice demand perfectly-soaked red beans.

Don’t get red beans confused with kidney beans!

They’re similar in color, but red beans a smaller and have tender skin that isn’t as tough as kidney beans. 

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This dish simmers on the stove all day to develop those rich and mouth-watering flavors.

It’s good right out of the pan, but it only improves with time. 

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

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. Dried beans take more prep time than canned, 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 to ensure that your beans cook a little faster (and digest easier), you must soak them.

Unsoaked beans won’t alter the finished product, but they take longer to cook.

To soak your beans, place them in a bowl and cover them with about two inches of water.

Soaking takes time and patience, so I recommend starting the soaking process the night before. 

Throw your beans in water, cover them with plastic wrap, and let them soak overnight. 

Top View of a Bowl of Red Beans and Rice with Sausage, Garnished With Chopped Parsley

Tips for the Best Red Beans and Rice

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

These simple recipe hacks go a long way, from swapping your meat to adding acidic ingredients to boost flavor.

Check out some tips to make your classic Southern comfort food even better!

  • Baby your beans. It’s super important that you thoroughly inspect your dried beans before tossing them into your pot. Raw beans sometimes have little pebbles and dirt, so give them a good inspection before using. 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 that your red beans and rice sauce needs a punch of something extra, add a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of vinegar. 
  • You don’t have to use Andouille sausage. I love Andouille sausage in classic red beans and rice, but it’s not for everyone. Plus, not all supermarkets carry this specialty sausage. 

If you want to change the flavor profile, traditional red beans and rice often use any leftover meats that you have on hand.

Anything works, from ham hocks, chorizo, pork sausage, and even turkey! 

If you want to keep it vegetarian, you can also omit the meat entirely. 

Bowl of Homemade Red Beans and Rice with Sausage and Copped Fresh Parsley

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!

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 near impossible to reheat!
  • Cook this 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, being sure to stir as you go. 
  • Reheat it in the microwave. Place your red beans in rice in a microwave-safe dish, add a few drops of water, and cover with a paper towel. Cook it in 30-second increments, stir, and continue this process 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.

Place the frozen portion on the stove or microwave, and reheat.

Thawing frozen red beans and rice will make the rice very mushy. 

Red Beans and Rice (Louisiana-Style Recipe)



Prep time


Cooking time







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.


  • 1 pound 1 dry red beans or kidney beans

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 olive oil

  • 1 large 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 1 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 2 2 stalks celery, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons 2 minced garlic

  • 6 cups 6 water

  • 2 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon 1 dried parsley

  • 1 teaspoon 1 dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Cajun seasoning

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 dried sage

  • 1 pound 1 andouille sausage, sliced

  • 4 cups 4 water

  • 2 cups 2 long-grain white rice


  • 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 in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  • Rinse the beans again, and place them in a large pot with 6 cups water. Add the cooked vegetables to the beans and season with bay leaves, parsley, thyme, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, and sage.
  • Bring your large pot to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and 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 setting.
  • While the sausage cooks, prepare the rice. Bring the water to a rolling boil in a small saucepan on high heat, and add the rice. Reduce the heat to low, cover it, and cook it for 20 minutes.
  • Pour the red beans over the rice and enjoy!
Red Beans and Rice

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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 :)

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