Need a go-to recipe for red beans and rice that never fails? Look no further. Being that I grew up near New Orleans, I love a good bowl of red beans and rice! In this article, we present the ultimate recipe that is not only quick and easy to make, but also bursting with flavor. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cook, this recipe will become your new favorite go-to dish.It is a fall staple at my house. This easy red beans and rice recipe is quick to prepare because I use canned beans. While it may not be as thick and creamy as a traditional red beans and rice, it is still bursting with flavor and it can be made easily on week days.
Easy Red Beans And Rice
Ok, so what makes this red beans and rice easy is the fact that I used canned beans. Will it turn out just like an authentic red beans and rice that you might get in Southern Louisiana? Well, no. Not exactly the same, but it will still be bursting with flavor and you can serve it up in 30 minutes. You can’t beat that on busy weeknight.
The basis of much Cajun and Creole cuisine is a version of mirepoix that uses bell peppers instead of carrots. This is due to the deep roots of French influence on the area. In fact, this trio of vegetables cooked low and slow (bell pepper, onions, and celery) is often jokingly referred to as the “holy trinity” since it is at the core of most of their popular dishes including jambalaya and gumbo. I go heavy on the holy trinity in my easy red beans and rice both because they are healthy and because they really pack the flavor helping bring this quick dish together.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Red Beans And Rice Ingredients
- 1 cup of long grain white rice
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 4 celery stalks, sliced thin
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Cajun seasoning (If you can’t find creole seasoning at your grocery store, try this homemade cajun seasoning)
- 2 bay leaves (2 small bay leaves or 1 large bay leaf)
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp orgegano
- 1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne pepper, depending on your affinity for spicy (or a fresh jalapeño seeded and minced)
- 1 can of red kidney beans
- 1/4 cup of chicken broth
- 1 lb andouille sausage, sliced
- chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
If you can’t get spicy andouille sausage at your grocery store, you can substitute another pork smoked sausage such as kielbasa and just add more cayenne pepper. I don’t use the full pound of andouille sausage because my daughter and I don’t tend to like a lot of meat but I know most people do so adjust according to your taste.
How To Make Red Beans And Rice
First, get your rice started. Follow the instructions on the rice package but if you don’t have any, here is how I do it. Boil the salted water, then stir in the butter and rice. Once it returns to a boil, stir again and then lower heat to gently simmer and cover. Cook about 20 minutes until done. Leave covered and set aside when done.
In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the oil and butter and once the butter melts you can add the onions, green pepper, and celery. Stir the vegetables every few minutes and cook for about 8 minutes until they soften. Then add in the garlic, seasoning, and herbs to finish off your aromatic base and cook for another 2 minute so they can release their flavors.
While the veggies are cooking, in a separate pan over medium high heat, you can brown up your sliced andouille just a bit to give it a great flavor. It is already precooked but browning the meat helps heighten the flavors.
Finally, stir the kidney beans, broth, and sausage into the large skillet with the veggies. I like my red beans and rice pretty thick but if you like them saucier you can double the broth. Mush up some of the beans with your spoon to thicken the sauce up a bit and cook for about 15 minutes over low heat. Taste and then add salt and black pepper to taste.
Serve in a bowl with a scoop of rice on top. I put my rice into a ramekin and flattened it out with a spoon to give it a pretty shape but an ice cream scoop works well too for this purpose.
Adding a sprinkle of fresh herbs on top of your red beans and rice not only adds a pop of color but also enhances the overall flavor. Consider using chopped parsley or green onions for a vibrant and aromatic touch. Then, top with a touch of hot sauce. In New Orleans, they would give you a nice fresh piece of French bread to go with your red beans and rice.
5 Cooking Tips for Perfecting Red Beans And Rice
Try these expert tips that are guaranteed to take your culinary skills to new heights and ensure a perfect outcome every single time you cook this iconic dish.
Don’t underestimate the proper preparation of the “holy trinity” veggies. This is an important cooking technique to enhance the flavor of your red beans and rice. Take your time with this step and allow the onions, celery, and bell peppers to slowly soften and release their natural sweetness. The low and slow heat will coax out their flavors, adding depth and complexity to your dish. The sauté of your aromatics should not be rushed or you will achieve less flavorful results.
Incorporating a slow-cooking method can also work wonders for flavor development. Simmering your red beans and rice over low heat allows the flavors to meld together over time. This slow and gentle cooking process allows the beans to break down and release their starches, resulting in a creamy and rich texture. Patience is key here, as the longer you cook, the more flavorful your red beans and rice will become.
If you have homemade bone broth on hand, use it. Homemade chicken stock adds a depth of flavor and richness that store-bought options simply can’t match.
Seasoning is a personal preference, so adjust to your own taste buds. I always add hot sauce to my finished dish. I use either Tabasco or Louisiana hot sauce. Both are made with cayenne peppers and vinegar. That spicy vinegar is the perfect acid for this rich dish of beans and sausage.
To achieve the perfect rice consistency use the correct the rice-to-water ratio and rinse your long-grain rice before you cook it. Rinsing helps remove any excess starch that can make the rice sticky or clumpy. Simply place your rice in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear. This step is crucial in ensuring fluffy and separate grains of rice. Once the cooking time is up, remove the pot from the heat and let the rice sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. This resting period allows the residual steam to finish cooking the rice evenly and loosens any grains that may have stuck together.
Printable Red Beans And Recipe Card
Red beans and rice with canned beans is so quick and easy. The best part of this recipe is serving up a complete balanced meal in one bowl that tastes as good as it looks. This easy recipe and these cooking techniques are the secret ingredients to achieving a red beans and rice masterpiece every single time. You are going to wow your loved ones with each flavorful bite of smoky andouille sausage, red beans, and rice. Bon appétit! Don’t you just love Cajun cooking? You will now!