The best New Orleans Red Beans and Rice made with andouille sausage, ham, red beans, rice, and a trinity of traditional vegetables such as celery, and onions. This classic New Orleans dish is seasoned with Creole seasoning and herbs that give it a classic taste you’ll only find in southern Louisiana. From a New Orleans local, you’ll fall in love with this simple Red Beans and Rice recipe.
Cajun Red Beans and Rice is a Louisiana staple. Did you know that this iconic beans and rice New Orleans dish is typically served on a Monday throughout the city? That’s because leftover ham and bones from Sundays dinner were commonly used as the meat in this dish. Today, you’ll find andouille sausage, ham, and sometimes shrimp used in traditional red beans and rice recipe.
NEW ORLEANS RED BEANS AND RICE
Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of Red Beans and Rice and I’ve had the opportunity to talk to native creole chefs in New Orleans about what truly makes this dish. In fact, authentic red beans rice is made with celery and onions. If you come across a recipe that doesn’t have these vegetables in the dish, it might not be authentic.
Louisiana’s bread and butter to any Cajun or Creole dish feature a trinity of vegetables. These vegetables include celery, onion, and green bell peppers. It’s referred to a trinity in Creole cooking and you’ll find it in many classic New Orleans dishes.
Cajun Andouille sausage is a smoked pork sausage that was brought to Louisiana from French immigrants. Today, it’s commonly used in Cajun cooking. The sausage is typically made with bell peppers and onions. As an added bonus, Red Beans and Rice are gluten-free. Just another reason to eat this southern recipe for dinner.
HOW THE LOCALS EAT RED BEANS AND RICE
Red Beans require some spicy heat. Not only is this dish seasoned with spicy Creole seasoning, but it’s topped off with a few dashes on hot sauce. This is how the locals eat authentic red beans and rice in Louisiana. I love to use Crystal Hot Sauce with Red Beans and I know you’ll appreciate that red beans and rice served this way is delightfully full of complex flavors.
If you’ve ever visited New Orleans, then you know that classic dishes like Gumbo, Jambalaya, Cornbread, and spicy seafood dishes give the south its charm. It’s classic southern dishes like this that give tourists the urge to come back and visit the city. Now, I’m sharing my recipe so you can feel like you’re eating in the French Quarter as a local.
HOW TO COOK RED BEANS AND RICE
I’ve made authentic Red Beans and Rice a variety of ways over the years, but I’ve always come back to make it on the stove top. One of the biggest questions I hear is “How do I prepare red beans and rice”? To get started, you’ll want to soak the beans overnight in a large stockpot. Presoaking the beans helps to cook them faster. Because beans are dry, they need to be rehydrated and that requires a lot of water. I soak the red beans by dumping them in the largest stock pot I have and then I fill the water to the top then cover with foil and leave it out overnight. By morning, you’ll see that the beans soak up the water. Next, you’ll drain the water and add water back to the stock pot and cover the beans while they cook on medium heat for a few hours.
Once the beans start to get soft, you’ll add in andouille sausage, ham, and a variety of spices, and vegetables. The beans naturally thicken to soup consistency while cooking and that’s why a roux is not needed for this recipe. Typically, red beans and rice is cooked to the consistency of refried beans. It should not be soupy so be sure to cook the beans down well. You can even mash the beans up, too. This step will infuse a lot of flavor into the dish. Just before serving, wash the rice then steam it. To the bowl, add a few scoops of red beans, rice, green onions, and a few dashes of hot sauce.
For a taste of New Orleans, try my authentic Red Beans and Rice. Featuring both Cajun and Creole cooking, this dish is the holy trinity of the south. If you love New Orleans recipes, you’ll want to try this easy to make homemade version that is the real deal. Skip the boxed red and rice mixes as well as the canned varieties and eat like a local New Orleanian native.
Be sure to watch my Red Beans and Rice recipe video above to help guide you through any cooking questions you may have. If you’d like to make your own ham for this recipe, use my Slow Cooker Ham recipe. If you like Creole Recipes, try this authentic Jambalaya recipe next.
Red Beans and Rice
- 1 pound dry Red kidney Beans
- 3 bay leaves
- 8-10 cups water
- 1 pound Andouille Sausage (or kielbasa sausage), sliced
- 3 cups cubed ham (from ham steak or simply add a ham hock into the pot)
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
- 2 teaspoons Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning, plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoon Tony Chachere BOLD Creole Seasoning, plus more to taste
- 1 bunch green onions, diced
- several dashes hot sauce, to each bowl
- 8 cups cooked rice, to serve
- In an extra-large stockpot, add red kidney beans. Fill water to top then cover with foil. Let beans soak at least 12 hours or more. I soak them overnight or about 14 hours.
- Drain water from beans. In a large stockpot, combine beans, bay leaves, and 8-10 cups water. Bring to boil; 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- In a separate saucepan, add diced andouille sausage, celery, and diced onions. Brown over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add in garlic and ham. Cook 2 minutes. Add mixture to red beans pot.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer ( I usually set the heat to level 3 or 4), uncovered, about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Beans should thicken in the pot.
- With 30 minutes remaining, add in Creole Seasonings and dried parsley. Add more or less, according to taste preference. Continue to cook until the beans are tender and creamy. TIP: The texture should not be soupy or watery. If it is, simply keep cooking until the mixture is very thick and almost paste-like.
- Remove from the heat. Remove bay leaves.
- Serve with cooked rice. Spoon beans into a dish. Add chopped green onions. Add several dashes of hot sauce. Serve with rice in the same bowl.