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!

Homemade red beans with sausage in a cast iron skillet with a bowl of white rice, pepperoncini peppers, and a New Orleans dish towel.

🥘 Ingredient Notes

• red beans: I like to use Camellia Red Beans
• butter
• bacon
• seasoning ham
• water
• chicken broth
• onion
• garlic
• celery
• 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)

A process collage of images for making red beans, steps 1 - 3. Soaking red beans.

STEP 2: Dice up your bacon and seasoning ham.

Dice your bacon and ham into bite-size pieces – about 1/2 an inch. (Picture 5)

A process collage of images for making red beans, steps 4 - 5. Sliced bacon and diced seasoning ham.

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)

A process collage of images for making red beans, steps 6 - 11. Cooking the bacon.

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)

A process collage of images for making red beans, steps 12 - 17. Cooking the seasoning ham.
A process collage of images for making red beans, steps 18 - 20. Diced celery, onions, and garlic.

STEP 5: Saute your vegetables.

Add your onions, celery, and then garlic and saute until onions are translucent. (Pictures 22 – 26)

A process collage of images for making red beans, steps 21 - 22. Sautéing the vegetables.

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.)

A process collage of images for making red beans, steps 27 - 32.

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)

A process collage of images for making red beans, steps 33 - 38. Adding the liquid to the pot.

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)

A process collage of images for making red beans, steps 39 - 44. Adding the red beans.

STEP 9: Let your red beans cook.

Simmer your red beans on low heat for about 1 1/2 – 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.

A process collage of images for making red beans, steps 45 - 48. Time lapse of the liquid cooking down.

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.)

A process collage of images for making red beans, steps 49 - 51. Diced smoked sausage.

🍳 Serving Suggestions & Uses

STEP 11: Serve your red beans.

Serve your red beans over cooked white rice and top with diced pepperoncini peppers.

A bowl of red beans, rice, and sausage with pepperoncini peppers and a New Orleans dish towel.
Button linking to the Pinterest page for Southern Bytes.

✏️ 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

Copycat Raising Cane’s Sauce
Paleo Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Cajun Bayou Blast Seasoning
Southern Collard Greens

Homemade red beans with sausage in a cast iron skillet with a New Orleans dish towel

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

4.92 from 12 votes
Louisiana Red Beans and Rice are thick, creamy, and delicious. This family recipe will have everyone clearing their plates.
Author: Kari
Servings: 8 1 cup servings
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 15 mins
Soaking Time: 2 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 30 mins

Ingredients  

Soaking Red Beans

Everything Else

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 strips bacon diced
  • 1 pound seasoning ham cubed
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 – 4 stalks celery diced
  • 2 -3 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 – 3 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon 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 andouille or hot smoked sausage sliced and cooked

Instructions 

Soaking Your Beans

  • Before you begin cooking, soak your red beans in a mix of water and chicken broth.
    4 cups Camellia Red Kidney Beans, 4 cups water, 4 cups 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.
    1 tablespoon butter
  • When your butter is melted, add your bacon and cook it until it is a little crispy.
    4 strips bacon
  • 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.
    1 pound seasoning ham
  • Next, add your celery, onion, and garlic in the bacon grease until the onions are translucent.
    1 medium onion, 3 – 4 stalks celery, 2 – 3 cloves garlic
  • 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.)
    2 -3 dried bay leaves, 2 tablespoon dried parsley, 2 – 3 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • Then add your chicken broth, then water, and bring it all to a boil.
    6 cups water, 4 cups chicken broth
  • When the water is boiling, add the soaked and drained red beans and return to a boil.
    4 cups Camellia Red Kidney Beans
  • 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.
    1 andouille or hot smoked sausage
  • 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 vinegar from the jar of peppers.
    2 cups white or long grain rice, pepperoncini peppers

Notes

Let’s talk sausage: we like to use smoked sausage or andouille – try both and figure out what you like best!
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 with a lid on so that they don’t burn
Storage
  • Refrigerate leftovers for up to a week or freeze leftovers for up to 6 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 692kcalCarbohydrates: 96gProtein: 39gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 3104mgPotassium: 1696mgFiber: 15gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 105IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 126mgIron: 8mg

Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cajun, Southern
Keyword: louisiana red beans and rice, red beans and rice, red beans and rice recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @southernbytes or tag #southernbytes!

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Hi, I’m Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

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Comments

  1. I have a question, the recipe says it calls for 4 cups of broth but it says to use broth for soaking and for boiling. Is it a total of 8 cups or broth and water? 4 for soaking and 4 for boiling?

    1. I use 4 cups of broth + 4 cups of water for soaking, then 4 cups + 6 cups of water for cooking. You can also just use all water – that’s how my in-laws make it, but I like the extra flavor from the broth.

  2. 5 stars
    We’re well stocked on beans so this recipe is perfect! Takes me back to our New Orleans trip from last year!