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Bring a little New Orleans flavor into your kitchen with this red beans and rice recipe. While it takes a little planning ahead, it’s so simple to make and creates a phenomenal main dish or even a side to serve at your next gathering. Everyone always loves it and asks for the recipe!

Best Red Beans and Rice Recipe

Sure, you could drive through Popeye’s and get your New Orleans fix to go but what’s really in that? Here’s the best red beans and rice recipe rich with flavors all from wholesome ingredients you can feel good about serving to all the people you love.

Red Beans and Rice Ingredients

  • New Orleans Camelia dried red beans – The basis of our red beans and rice.
  • Andouille sausage – Slice it in ½-inch pieces.
  • Aromatics – You’ll need minced garlic, yellow onions, green bell pepper, and celery to infuse this with flavor.
  • Tomato paste – For the saucy base.
  • Seasonings – You’ll need salt, black pepper, cayenne, dried basil, rubbed sage, and bay leaves.
  • Fresh herbs – You’ll also need chopped scallions and parsley to make the ultimate red beans and rice.

Easy Red Beans and Rice Recipe

Red beans and rice is so easy to make yourself. To properly prepare your red beans recipe, you’ll need to allow time to soak your dry beans overnight and then you can let this delightful dish simmer up to perfection on your stove top.

We go together like rice and beans!

How do you Make Red Beans and Rice from Scratch

When making this rice and beans recipe you start by soaking the beans overnight in an inch of water. The next day, you start the recipe by browning the sausage in a little olive oil. Once it’s a little crispy, add your onions and sauté over medium. Then add the celery and bell pepper. In a large soup pot, put the beans and the water you soaked them in over medium high heat and simmer. Then add the spices and herbs except for the parsley and scallions. Cook for 2 hours or until softened. You can also mash some of the beans for a creamier texture or simply add the fresh herbs while removing the bay leaves, then serve hot on top of white rice.

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Red Beans and Rice Every Time

  • Don’t throw out the bean water. You’ll be using the water you soaked the beans in to pour into your soup pot.
  • Sauté your aromatics first. This softens them up and releases their flavors into everything.
  • Yes, you can omit the sausage. If you want to keep this meatless, simply leave the sausage out.
  • Make sure you remove the bay leaves. Bay leaves add such wonderful flavor but they’re not meant to eat since they’re so rough. No one wants a mouthful of that when trying to eat these delicious beans!

Are red beans and kidney beans the same thing?

No, these are two different kinds of beans. Red beans are smaller in size and have a rounder shape. They’re very similar though and you can usually substitute one for the other if need be.

How to Cook Red Beans and Rice?

Red beans and rice cook with ease on your stovetop. You’ll need a skillet for the sausage and aromatics plus a large soup pot.

How do I make red beans and rice thicker?

You can cook it a little longer to reduce the liquid. You can also remove some of the beans, mash them up, and add them back in to create a thicker and creamier texture.

What meat goes well with red beans and rice?

Red beans and rice is a match for pork or chicken dishes. While it does have andouille sausage in it, you may want to serve it as a side dish along with other southern-style sides to round out a meal for a larger gathering.

What goes good with Red Beans and Rice?

Fried chicken, ribs, or pork chops is a nice choice if you want red beans and rice to be a side dish. Also, corn on the cob, cornbread, collard greens, steamed veggies, fried green tomatoes, and coleslaw go great with this New Orleans classic.

How to Store Red Beans and Rice?

You must let it cool first, then you should keep your red beans and rice in the fridge.

How Long Does Red Beans and Rice Last?

You should use up your red beans and rice within 3 to 5 days. If you can’t finish it all, freeze it.

Can You Freeze Red Beans and Rice?

Red beans and rice is a great dish to freeze. I recommend freezing the beans separate from the rice. You can put them in airtight containers and freeze for 2 to 3 months.

How to Reheat Red Beans and Rice?

Simply warm your red beans atop the stove. You’ll want to make a new portion of steamed white rice to go with it.

Watch How To Make Red Beans and Rice (Video)

Classic Red Beans and Rice Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 14 hours
Servings 8 servings
Calories 569
I love Louisiana and this classic Red Beans and Rice recipe is absolutely packed with flavor! The beans come out tender and the smokey flavor or andouille sausage and perfect blend of spices are delicious.


  • 1 1/2 lbs New Orleans Camelia dried red beans (dried)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1 lb Andouille sausage (1/2 inch thick slices)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 medium yellow onions (finely diced)
  • 2 celery ribs (diced)
  • 1 large green bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp rubbed sage
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4-6 fresh scallions (chopped)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley (chopped)


  • In a large mixing bowl, cover the beans in over an inch of water and soak overnight.
  • The next day, brown the Andoullie sausage in a large nonstick skillet in about half of the oil. Once the sausage is slightly crispy, add in the onions and saute over medium heat. Once the onions have softened, add the celery and bell pepper and saute for 5-7 minutes.
  • In a large soup pot, pour the pre-soaked beans with their water on medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Add in the spices and herbs except for the parsley and scallions. Cook the beans for about 2 hours or until softened. If you want a creamier texture, remove about 1 ½ cups of the beans before serving and mash with a fork. Otherwise, add in the parsley and scallions. Adjust the seasoning and consistent with water. Discard the bay leaves. Serve hot over white rice.
Calories: 569kcal
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American


Calories: 569kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 1212mg | Potassium: 1518mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 896IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 8mg

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Author Megan Miller

I’m a mom of two, food and wine lover, and recipe creation enthusiast. Good food brings families together. Which is why I’m devoted to sharing my best recipes that are simple enough for even the beginner cook that your family will love!

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