Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice were introduced to me by a close friend who used to live in New Orleans some years ago. She served this dish to us a number of years back but I still get a craving for it now and then. I like any dish that goes over rice, but this one is really special and unique.

Red beans and sausage are traditionally made with “small red beans” but you can use kidney beans if you don’t have red beans. Red beans and kidney beans are both red but kidney beans have a darker, more crimson shade while red beans are a much brighter, almost pinkish, shade of red and have a “beanier” taste.  Red beans are also a bit smaller than kidney beans, which is part of the reason I prefer them.

This recipe tastes best with fresh herbs, but if you don’t have them then dried herbs will do. The beans and sausage are cooked low and slow in flavorful broth. They are then served over cooked rice to make a wonderful dinner which you can enjoy with your loved ones.

You can make this gluten friendly by using the andouille and kielbasa sausage, which are gluten free. I like to make a big batch of this dish since I am doing all the work — it’s a great dish to save for those days when you don’t feel like cooking. I divide the big batch into small batches and cool them overnight in the refrigerator. Next day I transfer some of the red beans and sausage into a small freezer container and freeze it to enjoy when I get the craving.

An added bonus to making this dish: the house smells really good for the 2-3 hours that the red beans and sausage cook. Your family members will keep asking “when will it be ready?”.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 lbs. Andouille sausage, 1/4 inch cut rounds
  • 7 (oz.) kielbasa sausage, 1/4 inch cut rounds
  • 1 lbs. dried red beans, picked, soaked overnight, washed and drained well
  • 1 cup each yellow onion, celery, mixed bell peppers/seeded, medium diced
  • 1 tbsp. chopped jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 7 (3-inch) long stem fresh oregano, or 1 tbsp. chopped or 1 tsp. dried
  • 7 (3-inch) long stem fresh thyme, or 1 tbsp. chopped or 1 tsp. dried
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. chicken seasoning
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/3 cup Italian parsley, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup green onion, thinly sliced
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Instructions

To begin, heat oil in large, heavy-bottom saucepan or stock pot over medium-high heat. Brown both sausages and transfer them to a bowl with a slotted spoon, making sure to leave the fat in the pot.

Add onion, peppers, jalapeno, celery, and if using fresh herbs (oregano/thyme) to the pot with the sausage fat. Sauté until the onions are translucent.

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Add garlic, cook for another minute, and turn down the heat to medium once you see the vegetables start to turn brown.

Add in bay leaves, paprika, chicken base, 1/2 tsp. salt and black ground pepper to the pot and cook for 30 seconds.

Add drained beans to the pot and stir well. Cook for a minute, then add the water and stir.

Add in the browned sausages you made earlier to the pot. You can leave a 1/4 cup for garnish if you like. If you do, keep the 1/4 cup sausage in the refrigerator in the meantime until needed.

Bring the bean mixture to a boil. Cover, then simmer the bean on low heat for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring in between few times.

Once the beans are cooked to your liking, you can mash some of the beans to thicken the stew. Stir in 1/2 of the parsley and green onion into the beans and stir. Taste the red beans and add salt if needed.

Transfer the beans to a serving bowl and top the beans with your reserved sausages, parsley, and onions if you kept them. Make sure to heat up the sausages in the microwave or in a small pan. Serve over cooked rice and enjoy!

Serves 6-8

Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram

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