Recipe: Red Beans and (Brown) Rice

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If you’re in the mood for some inexpensive, hearty comfort food this winter, then here is your answer! This red beans and rice recipe takes a little time to simmer on the stove, but it’s so worth it in the end. Just a few dollars worth of dried beans and brown rice can go a long way, and while you are taking the time to cook a batch, why not double the recipe and freeze the leftovers for a rainy day? You’ll thank yourself later. :)

Red beans and rice recipe from 100 Days of #RealFood

Sponsor Shoutout: Lundberg

I am excited to introduce our newest sponsor, Lundberg! It was kind of funny, after we first connected with Lundberg I went and looked in my pantry and, sure enough, their organic brown rice was already the brand I was buying. There’s nothing better than having a company we already love support the work we are doing here.

Some new things I’ve learned about Lundberg are that they are a third generation family owned and operated company, their speciality is brown rice, they are committed to farming in a way that leaves the land better than they found it (love this), they proudly use non-GMO ingredients, and they offer a wide selection of gluten-free options for those who are sensitive or allergic. So definitely look for them the next time you go to the grocery store, and if you can’t find their products just put in a request at the customer service desk (this is a great practice for any products you wish your store would carry)!

4.8 from 12 reviews

Red Beans and Rice
Serves: 4
  • ½ pound red kidney beans (covered with 2 inches of water and soaked 8 hours to overnight)
  • 4 ounces bacon (1/2 of an 8 ounce pack)
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ½ bell pepper, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (change this to ⅛ teaspoon if you aren’t a pepper fan)
  • ⅛ teaspoon red cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 servings brown rice, cooked according to package directions
  • Optional garnish: diced green onions
  1. Ensure the dried beans have been soaked in water for a minimum of 8 hours before starting this recipe. Be sure to drain them before using.
  2. Cook bacon over medium heat in a large pot. When both sides are done, take out the bacon, crumble, and set aside, leaving the bacon grease in the pot.
  3. Add the onion, pepper, celery, salt, pepper, and red pepper to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the vegetables have softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the soaked and drained beans, crumbled bacon, 4 cups of water, and the bay leaves to the pot and bring to a boil.
  6. Turn the bean mixture down to simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour.
  7. After the beans have softened, use a broad spoon to mash about ½ of the red beans into the side of the pot to thicken the mixture. Put the lid back on and simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes.
  8. Ladle into bowls over brown rice and top with diced green onions if desired (remove the two bay leaves before serving). The leftover red beans can be frozen.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.


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67 comments to Recipe: Red Beans and (Brown) Rice

  • Julia

    Best meal ever!!! It got massive thumbs up at our house and we will be adding it to our list of repeat meals. I did use some chicken broth (half broth half water) instead of all water. I served it with a spoonful of sour cream and some cilantro. It was so yummy I can’t wait to have it for lunch today!!!

  • This recipe is so good. I used one can of kidney beans, forgot to buy the hard ones. it was wonderful. i used your recipe as a guide. Wished i would had doubled it, it is so good. will make it again and again…..

  • Kat

    Hi Lisa,
    I love your all your posts! I was wondering if you had any ideas for kids who are picky eaters? I love making your recipes but always afraid at least one of kids will complain.

  • Alison

    Love Lundberg rice. At first, I had to get over the fact that it was not super-quick, like the old white basmati I was used to using. Then I got hooked, so easy to pre-cook several cups, no rinsing required, so healthy. Now I regularly leave cooked-rice ready to eat in the fridge, and have started making fried-rice recipes. Also love the slo-cook refried beans recipe on your site; I make a *huge* batch and it is my go-to quick meal — rice from the fridge, and refried from the freezer, just add salsa. Kids and all love it. Thanks for your inspiration!

  • Laura

    So so good!! It took a significant amount of time to cook, but it was well worth it. Hubby loved it and so did the kiddos. Will definitely be making this again.

  • Alicia

    I was so excited to make/eat this tonight. But it turned out terrible:( I’m not sure what I did wrong? It was more like soup and I actually halfed the water because 4 cups seemed excessive to me. Any advice? Thanks so much.

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Alicia. Did you mash 1/2 of the beans to thicken up the soup? That is critical to get the correct consistency. I make a very similar recipe with black beans and if I don’t mash the beans, I have a too thin soup. ~Amy

  • I made this as written, except for the last 30 minutes of simmer time I removed the lid and increased the heat to medium-low. That helped the extra moisture evaporate out, and the end result was great. Although I do think some Louisiana-style hot sauce is a must with this!

  • We tried this one out tonight, our second recipe from the blog. It was fantastic. To fit our timetable toady, we went with canned beans and lowered the cooking time a bit and it still turned out very tasty. It was quite the hit.

    We share our trials online again:

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Heather

    This was a huge hit with my kids. They started eating it before I could get it on the table! Every reciepe I’ve tried on your sight has been the same. :) Thank you!!

  • Nicole Tarver

    I made that and it tastes great!!! But mine did not look like the picture. :(

  • Courtney

    This was AMAZING! I doubled it and only used 6 cups of water. I also cut back a little on the pepper and cayenne only because my excruciatingly picky 4 year old was eating it. I will most definitely make this all the time!

  • Chloe

    Has anyone tried a vegetarian version of this? Rather than just leaving out the bacon, did you add anything for additional seasoning?

  • Leslie

    I LOVE YOUR RECIPES, and this delicious red beans and brown rice does not disappoint! I’ve been slowly creating a cookbook for my kitchen with many of your recipes as well as other real food recipes I’ve been finding on various websites. Thank you for making your recipes so nice and easy to read with the simple “print” option. One request I have for you (because I’m such a visual person), can you please include your picture as part of your recipe to be printed? Being able to see a picture of the food on the recipe in my cookbook definitely makes it stand out to me as I’m deciding what to prepare. Many other websites do this, and I love having that available. Thanks for considering this!

  • Katie

    I was super excited to make this! I even made a double batch based on the reviews. Unfortunately my beans turned out soupy and very bland! I cut back the water when I doubled it, I mashed half the beans, and cooked it without the lid for an extra 30 minutes. I’d love to try again, but would need some pointers that work!

  • Kelly

    This was SO good! I’ve come to expect that, since just about every recipe I’ve followed from this site has been delicious. I serve this when my brother come over to visit our family. He wasn’t much interested, until he could smell it cooking. Thank goodness I doubled the recipe, because we ended up sending some home with him.

  • BetsyD

    Unbelievably delish. My four boys + husband absolutely loved it and were disappointed that there were no leftovers! :) I did substitute canned black beans (due to time restraints) and did not add as much water. I cut the bacon down too (due to budget constraints) and it was fine. This will be a “go-to” recipe for us. Thanks, Lisa!

  • Rena

    I made these last night. I mashed half the beans and left the lid off the last 20 minutes and it was still soupy. The flavor was great though! Thank you!

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