New Orleans Red Beans And Rice Recipe

Nothing says comfort food quite like serving up a warm bowl of homemade New Orleans red beans and rice. Recipe developer and registered dietitian nutritionist, Kristen Carli, MS RD, says that this recipe is "packed with plant-based protein, fiber, and hearty flavor". Yum! We can't wait to dive in!

New Orleans red beans and rice is a dish that originated back in the 1930s in New Orleans, Louisiana, according to Camellia Brand. Did you know that this dish was traditionally served on Mondays? The reason being that Mondays were typically jam-packed with household chores and laundry. The women of the household would set a pot of red beans and rice on the stovetop in the morning, run around completing their housework and by the time they were done, dinner would be ready. We love a good "set it and forget it" recipe. But there is no need to reserve this recipe for only Mondays — it's wonderful any day of the week, and we think you're going to love it too.

Gather your ingredients to make New Orleans red beans and rice

To make this New Orleans red beans and rice dish, start by gathering your ingredients. You will need water, a yellow onion, a green bell pepper, dried red beans, smoked sausage, Creole seasoning, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and cooked rice. Traditional New Orleans red beans and rice will either use a kielbasa sausage, like Carli used here, or an andouille sausage. Carli also notes that "while some recipes call for a ham hock, [she] prefer[s] to omit it as the flavor is plenty rich from the sausage". Add it if you want to, or you can skip it!

sauté onion and pepper in water

First things first, sauté your diced onion and diced pepper in a large stock pot with water. While it's pretty typical to sauté in a source of fat like extra virgin olive oil or butter, we asked Carli why she recommends sautéing in water for this recipe. "Because this recipe has a high fat content from the sausage, I recommend sauteing in water to avoid the unnecessary heaviness," she explains. Interestingly, using a tablespoon of water works quite well as a substitute. Allow your onion and pepper to cook until the onion is translucent, which should take about eight minutes.

Add in the sausage

Next up, add the sliced sausage coins to the stock pot along with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning. Carli uses Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning here, but you can easily use whatever brand you have on hand, or whichever one is your favorite. Be sure to sauté the sausage for about five minutes over medium heat. Carli advises that this step is crucial "to get a char on the sausage, which acts like a sear". Because this recipe simmers so long after this step, we see her point.

Add the remaining ingredients and simmer

Once you see a little char on your sausage, add the remaining ingredients. In the pot, add dried beans, remaining water and bay leaves. Bring this mixture to a boil. Then lower to a simmer and cover. This mixture will continue to simmer for five hours, until the dried beans get plump and tender. The beans will absorb the liquid and all the juicy flavor from the seasoning and sausage. We promise this dish will be worth the wait!

You could opt for the Instant Pot, too

If you can't wait, you can also make this recipe in the Instant Pot. Carli recommends using the sauté setting on the Instant Pot to sauté the onion and pepper in water. Then continue to sauté the sausage and spices. Once you see the char on the sausage, add in the remaining ingredients, cover with the lid and set the valve to sealing. Pressure cook on high for 30 minutes and then allow to naturally release. You will have the same recipe but in much less time.

Serve over white rice

Once the beans are tender, go fishing for those bay leaves and remove them. You can discard them now. No big deal if you leave them in, but be sure to eat around them. Then you can serve the red bean mixture over a scoop of cooked white rice. Carli also alternatively recommends "serving over baked russet potatoes or brown rice if you want a substitute for white rice". We adore pretty much any starchy carb, so all of these options sound great!

New Orleans Red Beans And Rice Recipe
5 from 55 ratings
Nothing says comfort food quite like serving up a warm bowl of homemade New Orleans red beans and rice.
Prep Time
Cook Time
red beans and rice serving
Total time: 5 hours, 24 minutes
  • 8 cups + 1 tablespoon water, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 pound dried red beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  1. In a large stock pot, over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of water. Add in the onion and green bell pepper. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the smoked sausage, salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning. Continue to sauté until the sausage has some char on it, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining water, dried beans, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, cover, and continue to simmer for 5 hours, until the beans are tender.
  4. Serve the red bean and sausage mixture over cooked white rice.
Calories per Serving 484
Total Fat 14.8 g
Saturated Fat 4.5 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 39.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 63.9 g
Dietary Fiber 15.1 g
Total Sugars 2.8 g
Sodium 734.7 mg
Protein 24.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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