This Lousiana style red beans and rice with sausage recipe takes no shortcuts in order to ensure each creamy bite is packed with the bold flavors of New Orleans. One bite and this inexpensive meal will soon be a family favorite. Give it a try and find out why many commenters have called it the best red beans and rice recipe ever!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Bacon grease - Bacon grease adds an additional layer of smoky flavor, however, if you do not have any on hand you can certainly substitute butter or vegetable oil instead.
- Yellow onion - A sweet onion is great as well.
- Green bell pepper
- Celery ribs
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Garlic cloves
- Bay leaf
- Fresh thyme
- Lousiana-style hot sauce - You want a thin vinegar-based cayenne pepper sauce.
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Dried oregano - Fresh oregano can also be used.
- Smoked paprika - Regular or sweet paprika can be substituted.
- Chicken stock - Chicken broth is a good substitute.
- Cayenne - Leave this out if you want the dish to be milder, or substitute crushed red pepper flakes.
- Dry small red beans - Using dry beans are more authentic than canned beans and give the dish a much better texture. Red kidney beans or pinto beans can be substituted.
- Andouille sausage - You can substitute smoked sausage or a ham hock (a ham bone adds good flavor) if you want less heat than using a spicy andouille sausage.
- Long-grain white rice - You can substitute brown rice if desired.
How to Make Red Beans and Rice
This red beans and rice recipe is prepared by building layers of flavor. First, we saute the holy trinity (onions, green pepper, and celery) in a large pot or Dutch oven with the bacon grease until the vegetables are tender. Then add the minced garlic and cook an additional two minutes on the stove top.
The chicken stock, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, herbs, and seasonings are then added along with the dry beans, which are simmered for 2 ½ hours to mingle the flavors and soften the beans.
Using a separate frying pan, sear the sausage while the red beans simmer in the pot. Once the sausage is well browned, deglaze the skillet and add the sausage and deglazing liquid to the pot.
Simmer the red beans and sausage for an additional 30 minutes, or until the beans are tender. If the sauce is not thickened to your liking you can mash some of the beans to thicken it further. Stir in one tablespoon of butter prior to serving.
Prepare the rice when the beans are within thirty minutes from finishing by first rinsing the rice in cold water. Then saute the rice in a saucepan with butter set over medium heat. Cook for three minutes, then add water and bring rice to a boil. Stir with a wooden spoon to ensure the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan then cover the saucepan with a lid.
Reduce the stovetop to low heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Then serve a mound of rice in a bowl topped with the red beans and sausage mixture.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
This red beans and rice recipe with sausage is fantastic to make in advance because the flavor is even better the next day and it reheats very well. Store the rice and beans separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. The leftovers can be reheated in the microwave until warmed through.
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The Best Red Beans and Rice with Sausage
- Large skillet
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease (or cooking oil)
- 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
- 3 ribs celery (chopped)
- kosher salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 5 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon Lousiana-style hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 quarts chicken stock (8 cups)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- 1 pound dry red beans (rinsed and picked of debris)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 14 ounces Andouille sausage (Chopped into beans sized chunks)
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups long-grain white rice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter
- Sautee onion, bell pepper, celery, salt and black pepper in the pot with oil (or bacon grease). Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions and celery are semi-translucent and the peppers are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add bay leaves, thyme, hot sauce, stock, Worcestershire Sauce, oregano, paprika, and beans to the pot and increase the heat to high. Cook, stirring frequently until the mixture comes to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 2 ½ hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
- In a separate skillet brown sausage while the beans are cooking, deglaze the pan with liquid from the bean pot (or ¼ cup water, then add deglazing liquid back to the pot along with sausage and cayenne pepper.
- Increase the heat slightly to maintain a steady simmer and continue to cook for another 30 to 40 minutes or until the beans are tender and the sauce is thickened to your liking. If you prefer an even creamier texture, mash some of the beans with a potato masher at this time.
- Add butter prior to serving.
- Prepare rice during the last 30 minutes of cooking the beans.
- Rinse rice by placing in a bowl and filling up, and promptly draining, three baths of cold water to remove excess starch which will prevent rice from sticking and becoming mushy. Water should run clear.
- Sauté rice in 1 ½ tablespoons of butter on medium heat for three minutes prior to boiling.
- Add water and bring rice to a boil and briefly stir to ensure rice is not sticking to bottom. Reduce heat to low and simmer until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender, about 15-30 minutes for white rice.
- Keep lid on as much as possible and refrain from stirring. Stirring releases starches which will cause the rice to become mushy.
- To test doneness, squeeze rice between thumb and index finger. Rice should be soft all of the way through.
- Serve red beans on a plate on top of a mound of rice.
This recipe was originally published on FoxValleyFoodie.com on January 21, 2017.