The best homemade New Orleans Red Beans and Rice recipe 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 easy and 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 Sunday’s dinner were commonly used as the meat in the process of preparation along with Cajun seasoning, spices and veggies. Today, you’ll find andouille sausage, ham, and sometimes shrimp used in traditional red beans and rice recipe.
You may have tried the recipe while visiting the city or had it at Popeye’s as a side dish, but once you make it at home from scratch, you’ll never look for another recipe again. That’s because this is truly an authentic method of cooking this plate.
RED BEANS AND RICE INGREDIENTS AND SPICES
■ VEGETABLES: Veggies like celery, green bell pepper, and onion are essentials to making this New Orleans staple in addition to garlic. I like to garnish the dish with green onions, too.
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.
■ RED BEANS: The beans should soak in plenty of liquid water until they are plump. To do this, fill a large bowl with water, add the beans, and let them sit over night until they triple in size.
■ SEASONING: A classic creole seasoning that uses salt, pepper, dried garlic, red pepper, and chili gives this main dish a kick. I ALWAYS use Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning. It has spices like chili powder, garlic powder, ground red pepper, ground black pepper, and salt.
■ HAM: Adding ham is a key ingredient in this recipe. Without it, you’ll miss the pork flavor. Cube ham from a ham steak or use a ham hock.
■ ANDIOULLE SAUSAGE: Sausage adds a deep flavor to an otherwise bland dish. Pick a variety with exceptional flavor and brown it in a pan with butter until golden brown to bring even more flavors forward.
■ RICE: Use quality rice that you like. I use Zatarain’s. Serve it alongside the prepared beans with a few dashes of hot sauce on top. Then stir it all together.
■ HOT SAUCE: Crystal hot sauce is my go to for this dish.
HOW TO MAKE RED BEANS AND RICE FROM SCRATCH
- Soak beans in water for 12-14 hours.
- Boil beans in large stock pot with bay leaves for 30 minutes.
- Brown sausage.
- Sauté celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic and add to pot with the ham.
- Simmer low and slow for 2 hours.
- Stir in seasoning and cook until mixture has reduced greatly; about 30 minutes.
- Serve with steamed rice, hot sauce, and green onions.
HOW THE LOCALS EAT
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 in this dish and I know you’ll appreciate it served this way as it is delightfully full of complex flavors. In addition, be sure to serve it with long grain rice.
If you’ve ever visited New Orleans, then you know that classic dishes like Gumbo, Jambalaya, Cornbread, classic Dirty Rice, 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.
CLASSIC FRENCH QUARTER RECIPES
For a taste of New Orleans, try my traditional Red Beans and Rice. Featuring both Cajun and Creole cooking, this dish is the holy trinity of the south. Skip the boxed brands of red and rice mixes as well as the canned varieties and eat like a local New Orleanian native.
- Creole Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
- Cajun Dirty Rice
- New Orleans Creole Butter Smoked Sausage Kolaches
- Cream Cheese King Cake recipe
- Easy Chicken Gumbo
- Southern Cornbread Dressing
- Buttermilk Cornbread
- King Cake Cookies
RED BEANS AND RICE TIPS & QUESTIONS
Can I make this in the crock pot? Yes. This recipe can easily be adapted to make in the slow cooker. Be sure to boil the beans for 10 minutes before adding to the crockpot and reduce the amount of water to 6-7 cups, too.
Freezing red beans and rice: Store semi cooled in a zip lock bag or storage container. Store the grains separately in a freezer safe bag or airtight container.
Be sure to watch my 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.
Want to up the flavor even more? Replace the 8-10 cups of water with chicken stock or chicken broth and add a few dashes of paprika to the top before serving along with a little fresh parsley.
For more heat, simply stir in hot sauce. Typically, Crystal Hot Sauce is commonly served with it but any should do. In addition, a teaspoon or two of cayenne pepper will really add some kick.
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 (chopped)
- 1 green been pepper (chopped)
- 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, green pepper, 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.