The Best Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

Loaded with flavor and protein, this recipe for Red Beans and Rice with Sausage is a hefty Cajun-inspired meal you’ll eat by the bowlful.

The Best Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

I love making Louisiana dishes. Creole or Cajun, spicy or mild, seafood or no… it doesn’t matter. I’m all over it. Ever since I visited New Orleans and sampled as many dishes as possible, I have tried to incorporate all of them in my regular rotation of recipes.

My love extends beyond gumbo and jambalaya, too. I have just as much love for this recipe for Red Beans and Rice with Sausage. Just set a bowl down in front of me and you’ll see how much I love it when I practically inhale it. That’s because it has such a heavenly mix of ingredients: andouille sausage (which features regularly in my New Orleans-inspired dishes), rice, beans, celery, bell peppers. We then complement those ingredients with a wealth of flavor in Cajun seasoning, parsley, hot sauce, black pepper, bay leaf, and garlic. Though there’s a long list of ingredients, it’s a one-pot meal, which makes convenience perhaps the most important ingredient of all. The result is a dish that is so good on chilly days, you almost want the temperature to drop to amp up the coziness.

How is this different from gumbo?

Gumbo and this recipe for beans and rice with sausage do have a lot of similarities. They both feature a lot of the same ingredients, like andouille sausage and the “holy trinity” of Cajun cooking: celery, bell peppers, and onion. This recipe even uses Cajun seasoning, so they will both taste alike. But there are a few differences. First, the gumbo is more of a stew. Despite how hearty it is, you would eat it with a spoon and slurp up that broth. Also, integral to a good and proper gumbo is the roux—the slowly simmered mix of fat and flour that is at the heart of any good Cajun dish. This recipe includes rice as an ingredient, whereas gumbo, though it can be served over top a bed of rice, doesn’t demand its involvement. Last, if you made a gumbo, you would probably include seafood (e.g., shrimp) and perhaps chicken; this recipe only relies on sausage as its meat.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 12 oz. smoked andouille sausage, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt-free Cajun seasoning
  • 3 (15 oz.) cans red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
The Best Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

How to Make The Best Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

Step 1: Cook the rice in a large saucepan with 2 cups of water as per the package instructions; set aside when done.

Step 2: In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the sliced sausage and cook until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes; remove sausage and set aside.

The Best Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

Step 3: To the same pot, add the diced onion, bell pepper, and celery, cooking until softened, about 3-4 minutes.

The Best Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

Step 4: Mix in the tomato paste, minced garlic, and Cajun seasoning, stirring until fragrant, roughly 1 minute.

The Best Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

Step 5: Add the red beans, chicken broth, hot sauce, bay leaf, and the browned sausage back into the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Step 6: Uncover the pot and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes to reduce the liquid and intensify the flavors. Season to taste.

Step 7: Serve the red beans hot over the cooked rice and sprinkle with fresh parsley for garnish.

FAQs & Tips

How do I store this Red Beans and Rice with Sausage?

Let the dish cool completely then store it in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge. Alternatively, you can freeze it for up to three months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight then warm it back up on the stove. It’s up to you whether you mix the rice with the rest of the ingredients or keep them separate. Keeping them separate does allow you to make fresh rice while you’re reheating the rest of the meal.

What if I want a thicker consistency? Or a thinner consistency?

Is your dish a little too thin for your liking? If a thicker consistency is desired, mash some of the beans with a wooden spoon as the dish simmers. Speaking of simmering, let it do so for longer so that the excess liquid evaporates. If you still think it needs something, you can make your own roux by mixing flour and butter in a separate pan. Stir it consistently over low heat until it turns a lovely caramel brown. Then add it to the pot with the other ingredients. If you have any leftover veggies, you can also puree them then add it. For a thinner meal, add more liquid. Water will work just fine if you don’t mind a reduction in flavor. Broth may be a better choice for this reason. Regardless of which you opt for, once you’ve got the consistency right, evaluate the spice situation, as you may find it needs reinforcements.

Can I make this in my slow cooker?

Yes, though you will want to first cook the sausage in a pan beforehand. This ensures the meat is safely prepared. It also lets you remove any excess fat while developing its flavor and texture. It’s the same story for the veggies. You’ll want to cook them first to attain the right texture and flavor, except, instead of removing the fat, as you did with the sausage, you’ll want to infuse the veggies with fat. Once you’ve taken care of these preliminaries, you can add everything to your slow cooker and do it on LOW for 6–8 hours, or HIGH for 3–4 hours.

The Best Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

Serving Suggestions

You don’t really need to supplement this dish with a bunch of side dishes. If you’ve seen the list of ingredients, you’ll be convinced it’s a meal unto itself. That said, a baguette would do nicely and keep the French theme going. It could soak up any broth lingering at the bottom of your bowl. If that bread doesn’t interest you, cornbread can be made with this recipe that comes from my friend Jenny! You can also up the greens quotient by adding a simple salad or something a bit more exotic in the form of Grilled Corn Salad with Fresh Herbs.

The Best Red Beans and Rice with Sausage
The Best Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 525 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 12 oz. smoked andouille sausage thinly sliced
  • 1 medium sweet onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt-free Cajun seasoning
  • 3 (15 oz.) cans red beans drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped

Instructions
 

  • Cook the rice in a large saucepan with 2 cups of water as per the package instructions; set aside when done.
  • In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the sliced sausage and cook until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes; remove sausage and set aside.
    The Best Red Beans and Rice with Sausage
  • To the same pot, add the diced onion, bell pepper, and celery, cooking until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
    The Best Red Beans and Rice with Sausage
  • Mix in the tomato paste, minced garlic, and Cajun seasoning, stirring until fragrant, roughly 1 minute.
    The Best Red Beans and Rice with Sausage
  • Add the red beans, chicken broth, hot sauce, bay leaf, and the browned sausage back into the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Uncover the pot and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes to reduce the liquid and intensify the flavors.
  • If a thicker consistency is desired, mash some of the beans with a wooden spoon. Season as needed.
  • Serve the red beans hot over the cooked rice and sprinkle with fresh parsley for garnish.

Nutrition

Calories: 525kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 27gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 568mgPotassium: 1018mgFiber: 11gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 545IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 75mgIron: 5mg
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