Red Beans and rice is a true southern classic, coming straight from Louisiana! This dish is big on flavor, but easy on your time. Made with red beans, andouille sausage and a variety of veggies. Add some white rice, sprinkle with some fresh parsley, and enjoy this comforting meal!

Bowl of red beans and rice served with fresh parsley and a spoon.

All about this Red Beans and Rice…

  • What it is: Red Beans and Rice is a traditional Louisiana dish. Historically made on Monday’s when there was leftover pork bones from Sunday. That’s why some recipes are referred to as Monday Red Beans and rice. The combination of meat and beans are cooked together in a flavorful, spiced broth and served over white rice.
  • Quick and easy: using sausage and canned beans helps this dish come together quick and easy, making it a great weeknight family dinner option.
  • Fiber & Protein: this homemade recipe is loaded up with vegetables, fiber and protein, making it a healthier option for your family. Grab a whole grain rice to complete it!

Ingredients Needed:

Ingredients needed to make Red beans and rice laid on the counter.

Notes on some ingredients:

  • Sausage: this recipe calls for andouille sausage, depending on the brand you are purchasing, these can be spicy. If making this dish for children or those who are unable to eat spicy food, I would recommend using simply a smoked sausage.
  • Red Beans: save time by using canned beans, you can also presoak dried beans overnight, just be aware that cooking time will increase to cook the beans until fully softened.
  • Cajun seasoning: again, this will increase the spice in this dish, if making for children or those unable to eat spicy food, reduce the amount of this seasoning. Start with a small amount and add to taste.

How to make (step-by-step):

How to make red beans and rice, showing cooking sausage in a skillet, then vegetables added to the skillet with seared sausage.
  • Step 1: Heat oil in a large dutch oven or stockpot. Add in the sliced sausage and let it cook just to bring some color to it.
  • Step 2: Stir in the fresh veggies (bell pepper, onion, and celery). Let this continue to cook until the veggies are soft and tender.
  • Step 3: Add in the garlic and cajun seasoning. Let this cook for just an additional minute until fragrant.
How to make red beans and rice showing cooked sausage and veggies with seasonings added.
  • Step 4: Pour in the chicken broth (you can absolutely sub for another type of broth if you prefer) and beans. Add in the spices: cayenne, ground sage, and bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste Bring this to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Let cook for 15 minutes.
  • Serve over white rice and garnish with parsley!
Cooked red beans and rice close up shot showing a thick spicy broth with seared sausage and veggies.

Expert Tips:

  • Vegetarian option: easily make this a meat free meal by removing the sausage, and switching out the chicken broth for a vegetable broth.
  • Storage & Freezing: this is a great freezer friendly meal. Let the red beans cool then move into a freezer safe container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, remove to the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop until warmed through. Prepare the rice fresh when serving.
  • Spice: Red beans and rice can be a spicy meal. If you are preparing this dish for children, or people who are unable to eat spicy foods a couple swaps can make a big difference. Swap the andouille sausage for a regular smoked sausage without the spice. Remove the cayenne pepper. And start with a lower amount of cajun seasoning and add according to taste.
  • To thicken: the broth is made thicker by mashing some of the beans, simply mash with a spoon against the side of the pot, or remove some of the beans to a food processor and blend with some broth until smooth and creamy.
Up close view of red beans and sausage served with white rice and fresh parsley.

FAQ’s:

Are red beans the same as kidney beans?

No. These are two different types of beans. Red beans are smaller and rounder, shaped more like a pinto bean. Both beans have a distinct red coloring.

Can I substitute kidney beans in this recipe?

The main difference being that red beans will be a nice creamy consistency when mashed, and the kidney beans won’t have that same creaminess. But it depends on what texture you prefer. Either will be flavorful and they are very similar in all other ways. 

What should I serve on the side?

Classic options would include this Easy Buttermilk Cornbread recipe. Or if you want to spice it up a little more these Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Muffins are a fun choice. If you need simple, these Buttermilk Drop Biscuits are quick and easy.

More recipes to enjoy:

If you tried this recipe please leave a comment and a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below! Thank you so much!

overhead view of a bowl of red beans and rice served with fresh parsley.

Red Beans and Rice

This classic Red Beans and Rice recipe is bold and flavorful. Packed with tender beans and spicy sausage, this comforting meal is sure to fill you up!
5 from 10 votes

Ingredients

  • cup  long grain white rice/or basmati rice
  • Tbsp  extra virgin olive oil
  • 12  ounces  smoked andouille sausage, sliced
  • small onion , diced
  • green bell pepper , diced
  • celery stalks , diced
  • cloves garlic , minced
  • tsp  cajun seasoning
  • cups  chicken broth, unsalted
  • 2 (16 ounce cans) red beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ tsp  Cayenne
  • tsp  ground sage
  • tsp  salt, more to taste
  • ¼ tsp  ground black pepper, more to taste
  • bay leaf
  • tbsp  fresh parsley, diced

Equipment

Instructions

  • Prepare the rice by combining the rice with 2 cups of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and let cook for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, keeping rice covered and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. 
  • Add in the sliced sausage and cook until the sausage starts to get some color. 
  • Add the onion, green bell pepper, and celery. Allow this to cook for about 5-6 minutes, until the veggies are just starting to get tender. 
  • Add in the garlic and cajun seasoning. Stir to combine. Allow this to cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Pour in the chicken broth, stir in the red beans. Add in the cayenne, ground sage, and bay leaf. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook covered for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook, stirring occasionally.
  • Using a wooden spoon, gently mash the beans to help thicken.
  • Serve over rice and garnish with fresh parsley. 

Video

Notes

  • Vegetarian option: easily make this a meat free meal by removing the sausage, and switching out the chicken broth for a vegetable broth.
  • Storage & Freezing: Let the red beans cool then move into a freezer safe container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, remove to the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop until warmed through. Prepare the rice fresh when serving.
  • Spice: If preparing this dish for children, or people who are unable to eat spicy foods a couple swaps can make a big difference. Swap the andouille sausage for a regular smoked sausage without the spice. Remove the cayenne pepper. And start with a lower amount of cajun seasoning and add according to taste.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 481kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 1268mg, Potassium: 988mg, Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 683IU, Vitamin C: 35mg, Calcium: 78mg, Iron: 6mg
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Recipe first published August 13, 2019. Updated October 22, 2021 with new images and video. Recipe remains unchanged.

Photography done by the talented @KJandCompany.co