Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun


Red Beans and Rice…Very Nice!

July 9th, 2008 · 11 Comments

This is one of the most traditional staples served in southeast Louisiana and it is a regular, often required and expected dish on Mondays in many New Orleans eateries. The ole story goes that on Mondays most folks did their laundry, and back in the day laundry was an all day affair with manual washing and rinsing and then hanging the clothes on the line. So before doing the laundry folks would put on a large pot of red beans because they would take hours to make and you could leave them there on the stove without having to watch them or stir it often.


School cafeterias throughout the region serve the typical Red Beans and Rice lunch every Monday, and the popular dish includes a helping of collards, a large square of cornbread, and a large link of smoked sausage too! I grew up on this stuff for 12 years while attending the New Orleans Public School System from elementary school, junior high and through high school. Most lunch spots around town still serve them on Mondays in and around New Orleans.


But why wait until Monday to eat them; you can have red beans on any day of the week, so here is my recipe for a nice pot of red beans. This recipe is easily doubled and like most one pot meals it tastes better the next day, and the next…and it freezes very well too for large batch cooking. We like to take the leftovers and freeze individual lunch sized portions for bringing to work, saves on lunch money too!


Red Beans


Yield: 8 servings




1          lb.        Red Kidney Beans, dry

1          lb.        Smoked Sausage, ¼” slices

2          cups     Onions, chopped

2          cups     Bell pepper chopped

2          cups     Celery, chopped

¼         cup       Garlic, minced

1          Tbsp    Basil

1          Tbsp    Italian Seasoning

1          Tbsp    Oregano

1          Tsp      Thyme

2          each     Bay Leaves

6          cups     Stock, chicken or beef

1          Tbsp    Worcestershire sauce

½         Tbsp    Hot sauce

To taste          Salt and White Pepper



Rinse and sort the beans to remove any small debris or rocks then soak them in warm water overnight or for up to 2 hours.
In a large stock pot add the smoked sausage slices and brown them over a medium high heat, stirring often to brown evenly.
Add the onions, bell pepper and celery (Trinity) and stir well to sweat down.
Then add the garlic and all the herbs and bay leaves, stir well and continue to sauté.
Drain the water from the red beans and add them to the stock pot with the Trinity and then gently pour the stock to about an inch above all the ingredients.
Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer.
Add the Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce and continue to simmer for up to 2 hours. Check the beans about every 30 to 45 minutes and stir well each time. Up to 2 more cups of stock may need to be added as the beans absorb the stock.Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve over fresh cooked rice. Also good with this dish is some fresh chopped onions on top with some fresh drizzled hot sauce. Don’t forget the cornbread too.

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Tags: Cajun · Creole · Entrees · Recipes

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 pegasuslegend // Jul 29, 2010 at 7:47 am

    no doubt this is a fabulous classic and where else better to go than this site what a great recipe!

  • 2 Lauren Zabaneh // Jul 29, 2010 at 10:00 am

    I’ve always wanted the real red beans and rice recipe! thank you for sharing. sounds so good.

  • 3 Kate // Jul 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Thank you! I’ve been hungry for this for a couple of months and haven’t gotten around to pulling out cookbooks and researching. Now, I know how to make the REAL deal 🙂 We do the same with leftovers. I’ve got a freezer-full here in the office – soups, casseroles, grilled kielbasa for sandwiches… So much less expensive and we control what goes into it…

  • 4 norah // Jul 29, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    i just lurves me some red beans & rice!! your recipe looks fantabulous!! (i like to make up words…) 🙂
    Have a great day!!

  • 5 Torviewtoronto // Jul 29, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Looks healthy

  • 6 Drick // Jul 29, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    oh yeah, the classic – tell me your thinking on the pickled pork addition, I would like to know your opinion on it when cooking the beans as it what I think of when making this dish….I serve the sausage on the side, of course, everyone has their own way but you being a chef and from New Orleans, I would like to know more from you….

  • 7 Drick // Jul 29, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    oh, you can email me if you want, it’s really for a cookbook in the works…

  • 8 penny aka jeroxie // Jul 30, 2010 at 9:19 am

    The rich soup looks so good! I just wish I could have more beans in my diet

  • 9 Cindy Waffles // Aug 2, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Thanks for sharing. Love the pics. Looks very delicious. Can’t wait to give this a try.

  • 10 Sherry // Aug 4, 2010 at 2:53 pm


  • 11 Stefanie // Sep 14, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Mmmm, I’ve been looking for a good sounding red beans and rice recipe so I can stop buying Zatarans! I’ll have to give this a try once it gets cooler out here!