New Orleans Red Beans & Rice

On Mondays in New Orleans and its surroundings, red beans and rice is found on nearly every restaurant menu, as well as in nearly every school cafeteria, and on the dinner table in most homes.  Years ago, Mondays were traditionally wash day, so busy homemakers were able to not only do laundry but also have a delicious meal simmering away on the stove, as red beans require little attention after everything is the pot.  While washing and cleaning is no longer relegated to one day, the tradition of red beans and rice continues.  And, just like every other Louisiana recipe, there is no set recipe for red beans and rice.  My mom has always cooked the sausage along with the beans.  I prefer to cook my beans with tasso, while cooking the sausage separately.  Some people use salt pork, some people use smoked turkey legs, others use ham bones.  Additionally, while sausage may be common, fried chicken or fried pork chops are absolutely delicious alongside a plate of red beans and rice.  The brand of dried beans that I prefer and what I grew up eating is Camellia, they are the quintessential New Orleans red bean. 

Red Beans and Rice Printable recipe
1 lb dried red kidney beans
2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced celery
1 bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 serrano pepper, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon dried summer savory
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1-2 teaspoons Creole or Cajun seasoning
1 bay leaf
1/2 lb tasso or ham steak, 2″ dice
1 lb hot smoked sausage or andouille
8 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup sliced green onions
Hot cooked rice

The night before you plan to cook the beans, empty the package into a large bowl and cover with tap water so that beans are totally submerged.  Refrigerate overnight; drain before using, being sure to discard the water.
When ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon of both the oil and butter in a large shallow skillet. 
Add tasso or ham, cooking for 8-10 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring often.
Remove meat from skillet, and set aside.
Pour in remaining oil and butter, heating until butter melts.
Add onions, celery, peppers, and garlic, cook over medium heat until vegetables are wilted and golden.
Remove vegetables to a large Dutch oven; place skillet aside, but do not wash.
To the vegetables, stir in the drained beans, bay leaf, summer savory, thyme, reserved meat, and Creole/Cajun seasoning.
Add the water and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
For creamy beans, after beans have been cooking for about an hour, remove one cup of beans, and mash with a fork, return to the pot and continue to cook for another hour or until beans are tender and creamy.
While beans are simmering, cook sausage by placing sausage in the large skillet used to cook the vegetables.  Add enough 1 cup of water to sausage, bring water to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook sausage for 20-25 minutes.  Remove cover and continue to cook over medium high heat, turning sausage over as it browns.
Serve sausage alongside beans and rice, and sprinkle with parsley and green onions, as well as hot sauce as desired.

 Linked to Hearth and Soul, Tuesday Night Supper Club, Tuesdays at the Table, Dr. Laura’s Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays, Mouthwatering Mondays, Tailgating Time, Whatcha Makin’ Wednesdays, What’s Cooking Wednesdays, Full-Plate Thursdays, Fat Camp Friday, Cooking Thursday, GCC Recipe Swap, Family Friendly Fridays, Tuesday Tag, You’re It!

22 thoughts on “New Orleans Red Beans & Rice

  1. I make pinto beans and ham all the time, so I can't wait to try your recipe for red beans and rice. I love beans, and the more flavor and heat, the better!

  2. Hi Louanne,
    I am so excited that you brought your Cajun Red Beans and Rice to Full Plate Thursday.It looks delicious and I can't wait to try a bowl. Thank you for coming today and please come back!

  3. While I'm no fan of the idea of doing all of my laundry and cleaning on one day, I could certainly go for a weekly tradition of yummy comforting beans. I just love any food tradition, and the stories behind them. Thanks for sharing with the Hearth and Soul hop.

  4. if I didn't feel super bloated right now, I'd totally consider making red beans for dinner tonight.

    although, I always cheat with blue runners. 😉 LOL

  5. We love Red Beans and Rice, it is one of our most favorite Cajun dishes. Your recipe looks very good.Thank you for sharing and you have a great day!

  6. What a great tradition! This is an absolutely delicious and hearty meal especially for this time of year. It's a stick to your ribs kind of dish – it would be a big hit in my house!

  7. This reminds me of being in Brazil where rice and beans were the main staple every day for lunch. Enjoyed reading your post and learning more about the southern version of this dish. I never knew all that about red beans and rice before.

  8. I LOVE red beans and rice, but have never tried to make them at home from scratch — just Zatarains. These would be great to make on a lazy weekend afternoon — when I normally do laundry, actually!

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