Recipes » Main Dish Recipes » Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice

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Traditional New Orleans recipe for Red Beans and Rice made quicker cooking with canned beans.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Red Beans and Rice, an old southern recipe originally from New Orleans. htps:/www.lanascooking.com/red-beans-and-rice/

Part of the foundation of New Orleans’ culinary style, this recipe for Red Beans and Rice uses canned beans to shorten the cooking time.

Every year after the holiday season is over, I always find myself craving simple food. After all those weeks of indulging in cookies, cakes, and desserts of every kind along with luscious, rich appetizers and huge dinners, I just want something easy. And good. And simple. Simple like New Orleans Red Beans and Rice.

Red Beans and Rice, an old southern recipe originally from New Orleans. htps:/www.lanascooking.com/red-beans-and-rice/

Red Beans and Rice Tradition

Red beans and rice originated in Louisiana and was traditionally made on Mondays with beans, vegetables, and the leftover ham bone from Sunday dinner. Everything was cooked together slowly in a pot and then served over rice. Since Monday was customarily wash day, the pot of beans could simmer on the stove while the clothes were being scrubbed. 

Although Monday washdays are largely a thing of the past, this recipe is very much a part of the culinary identity of New Orleans and many neighborhood restaurants continue to offer it as a Monday special. Louis Armstrong, whose favorite food was red beans and rice, would sign his letters “Red Beans and Ricely Yours, Louis Armstrong”.

My Version of Red Beans and Rice

Now, my recipe may not be exactly, precisely authentic. If you’re from New Orleans and have been making red beans and rice your whole life, then you’ll probably find a few surprises in my recipe. Like the tomatoes. The traditional recipes don’t call for tomatoes, but that’s the way I like it, so there you go.

Plus, this is a quick method that uses canned beans instead of dried. Obviously, if you prefer dried beans, go ahead and use them. You’ll just have to plan a day ahead so you can soak the beans and have them ready. By using canned beans, I can make this for dinner in just a few minutes. I rarely plan far enough ahead to do the dried variety.

Also, whenever you find a New Orleans recipe for red beans and rice with sausage, you’ll likely find it calling for andouille. I can’t get andouille where I live, so I use a turkey polska kielbasa in my recipe. Tastes great!

How to Make Red Beans and Rice:

I use a large, deep skillet with a cover (like a chicken fryer) for this recipe. Start by chopping the onion, bell pepper and celery and mince the garlic.

Vegetables cooking in a skillet.

Heat the olive oil, add the chopped vegetables and saute until soft, about 5-7 minutes.

Tomatoes and seasonings added to skillet.

Add the tomatoes, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

Beans and sausage added to skillet.

Stir in the beans and kielbasa along with one bay leaf.

Reduce the heat to low, cover and let it simmer while you prepare the rice.

Bring the water to a boil, add salt (about 1/2 tsp) and rice. Stir well. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook approximately 20-22 minutes until all water is absorbed. Remove the pan from heat and fluff the rice with a fork.

To serve, spoon 1/2 to 1 cup rice into each individual bowl. Spoon the red bean mixture over the rice. I add 4 or 5 splashes of Tabasco to mine. But then I like spicy food. BeeBop, not so much.

Serve some crusty garlic bread on the side.

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Red Beans and Rice, an old southern recipe originally from New Orleans. htps:/www.lanascooking.com/red-beans-and-rice/

Red Beans and Rice

Traditional New Orleans recipe for Red Beans and Rice made quicker cooking with canned beans.
5 from 2 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Southern, Vintage
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 602kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon tblsp olive oil
  • 1 onion (1 medium or 1/2 a large)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 green bell pepper (1 medium or 1/2 a large)
  • 3 ribs celery
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 3/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 32 ounces canned light red kidney beans drained (2 cans)
  • 29 ounces canned diced tomatoes in juice (2 cans)
  • 14 ounces turkey kielbasa sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup rice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Tabasco optional, to finish

Instructions

  • In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
  • Add the chopped veggies and saute until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the thyme, parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the beans, tomatoes with their juice, kielbasa, and bay leaf.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover and let it simmer while you prepare the rice.

For the rice:

  • Bring the water to a boil, add salt (about 1/2 tsp) and rice.
  • Stir well, reduce heat to low and cover.
  • Cook approximately 20-22 minutes until all water is absorbed.
  • Remove the pan from heat and fluff the rice with a fork.

To serve:

  • Spoon 1/2 to 1 cup rice into each individual bowl.
  • Spoon the red bean mixture over the rice.
  • Add a few splashes of Tabasco if desired.

Notes

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 602kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 2097mg | Potassium: 1420mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 835IU | Vitamin C: 83mg | Calcium: 198mg | Iron: 15mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the feedback about the photos. I wasn’t sure whether it was worth the effort. Plus, my camera is getting funky with all the flour and butter shmeared everywhere.

  2. Looks good. I agree, I like the photos. But, I also understand about the “working for a living” aspect of time management.

    Why were we not born rich instead of so good looking?

    Miss P

  3. how many servings does that make?

    I do like extra pictures especially when you are showing how it should look before the next step. For instance, the butter and cream bubbling shot.

    Those kinds of shots are worth the trouble.

    Funny thing is, other than Turkey Sausage, I could make this from the pantry! Ha ha!