Louisiana Red Beans and Rice is thick, creamy, and delicious. This family recipe will have everyone clearing their plates.
This red beans and rice recipe is another recipe that I inherited from my mother in law that I tweaked a little bit. Red beans and rice is a labor of love, but it is the very definition of comfort food. It has the stamp of approval from my Cajun husband and his brother!
🥘 Ingredient Notes
• red beans: I like to use Camellia Red Beans
• seasoning ham
• chicken broth
• bay leaves
• kosher salt
• Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
• dried parsley
• ground black pepper
• rice for serving
• pepperoncini peppers and vinegar for serving
🥣 How to Make It
Red beans and rice is a labor of love - it takes time, but you will get a few delicious meals out of it. Here is a REALLY in-depth guide that will help you make red beans that are so good, people will think you have been cooking them your whole life.
STEP 1: Soak your beans for two hours.
Add your red beans to a large bowl with 4 cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of water. (Pictures 1 - 2) I usually soak them until most of the liquid is absorbed, which takes about two hours. (You can also soak them overnight to start cooking your red beans in the morning.) When the beans have absorbed most of the liquid, drain them and rinse them off. (Picture 3)
STEP 2: Dice up your bacon and seasoning ham.
Dice your bacon and ham into bite-size pieces - about ½ an inch. (Picture 5)
STEP 3: Heat a large pot over medium heat and melt your butter.
Heat a large pot over medium heat (Picture 6) and add a tablespoon of butter. (Picture 7) Once the butter is melted (Picture 8), add your bacon. (Picture 9) Cook until a little crispy. (Pictures 10 - 12)
STEP 4: Add your seasoning ham.
Add your seasoning ham. (Picture 13) Cook the bacon and ham until the ham is lightly seared and the bacon is crispy on the edges. (Pictures 14 - 16) While the ham and bacon are cooking, dice your onion, garlic, and celery. (Pictures 18 - 20) Remove the ham and bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon and leave the bacon grease and butter behind. (Pictures 17 & 21)
STEP 5: Saute your vegetables.
Add your onions, celery, and then garlic and saute until onions are translucent. (Pictures 22 - 26)
STEP 6: Add your meat and spices.
When the onions are translucent, add your ham and bacon back to the pot and mix well. (Pictures 27 - 29) Once combined, add your bay leaves, salt, pepper, parsley, and Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. (Pictures 30 - 31) Mix well. (Picture 32) (If you do not have access to Tony's Seasoning, you can use my Bayou Blast Seasoning instead.)
STEP 7: Add your water and broth.
Next, add your water (Pictures 33 - 34) then add your chicken broth. (Picture 35) Stir well, then bring to a boil. (Pictures 36 - 38)
STEP 8: Add your beans.
Add your soaked beans to the boiling stock and water. (Pictures 39 - 41) Bring everything to a boil (Pictures 42 - 43) then reduce to a simmer (2 - 3 out of 8 on the stove). (Picture 44)
STEP 9: Let your red beans cook.
Simmer your red beans on low heat for about 1 ½ - 2 hours. Check on the beans and give them a stir every 30 minutes, making sure to stir all the way down to the bottom of the pot, checking to make sure that the bottom is not burning. (Pictures 45 - 48)
The beans will be pretty thick after two hours, but once they are taken off the heat, they will continue to thicken up.
STEP 10: Cook your sausage.
Toward the end of the cooking time, dice up your andouille or smoked sausage and cook it in a frying pan. (Pictures 49 -51) Get a nice sear on all of the pieces and add them to your red beans when serving. (You can add the sausage directly to the pot of red beans, but I prefer to add it when serving so that the sausage stays crispy.)
🍳 Serving Suggestions & Uses
STEP 11: Serve your red beans.
Serve your red beans over cooked white rice and top with diced pepperoncini peppers.
✏️ Helpful Tips
• The longer your beans cook or the longer they sit, the thicker your beans will get. They are amazing leftover the day after you cook them.
• Add your sausage to your beans when serving them, that way everyone can get the amount that they want and it keeps the sausage from getting soggy.
• Do NOT try to cook your beans faster by increasing the heat. Beans are really easy to burn.
• When reheating beans, heat them over very low heat so that they don't burn.
🌶️ Other Great Cajun & Creole Recipes
Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
- a large stock pot
Soaking Red Beans
- 4 cups Camellia Red Kidney Beans
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 strips bacon, diced
- 1 lb seasoning ham
- 2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 whole medium sized onion, diced
- 3 - 4 whole stalks of celery, diced
- 2 -3 dried bay leaves
- 2 tbsp dried parsley
- 2 - 3 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
- 6 cups water
- 4 cups chicken broth
Serving and Garnish
- pepperoncini peppers, diced
- 2 cups white or long grain rice use around ½ cup per serving
- 1 package of andoiulle sausage
Soaking Your Beans
- Before you begin cooking, soak your red beans in a mix of water and chicken broth.
- While the beans are soaking, dice up your celery, onion, garlic, bacon, and ham into bite-size pieces.
- After two hours, rinse and strain your beans. (You can also soak them overnight to start cooking your red beans in the morning.)
Cooking Red Beans
- After the beans are rinsed, heat a stock pot over medium/low heat and melt a tablespoon of butter.
- When your butter is melted, add your bacon and cook it until it is a little crispy.
- Add your diced ham and cook it to get a sear on it. When the bacon is crispy and the ham is seared, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pot, leaving the bacon grease and butter behind.
- Next, add your celery, onion, and garlic in the bacon grease until the onions are translucent.
- Add your bacon and ham back to the pot and then add your bay leaves, parsley, salt, pepper, and Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. (If you do not have Tony's, you can use my Bayou Blast recipe.)
- Then add your chicken broth, then water, and bring it all to a boil.
- When the water is boiling, add your drained red beans and return to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer over low/medium heat (2 - 3 out of 8 on the stove) for 1 ½ to 2 hours, checking on the beans and giving them a stir every 30 minutes. Make sure to stir all the way down to the bottom of the pot, checking to make sure that the bottom is not burning.
- When you have about 20 - 30 minutes left of cooking time, dice up your smoked sausage and saute it in a frying pan.
- After 1 ½ to 2 hours, remove your beans from the heat and serve over white rice. Garnish with diced pepperoncini peppers, your cooked sausage, and a splash of the pepper vinegar.
- The longer your beans cook or the longer they sit, the thicker your beans will get. They are amazing leftover the day after you cook them.
- Add your sausage to your beans when serving them, that way everyone can get the amount that they want and it keeps the sausage from getting soggy.
- Do NOT try to cook your beans faster by increasing the heat. Beans are really easy to burn.
- When reheating beans, heat them over very low heat with a lid on so that they don't burn
- Refrigerate leftovers for up to a week or freeze leftovers for up to 6 months.
Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.