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.
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)!
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the garlic and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the soaked and drained beans, crumbled bacon, 4 cups of water, and the bay leaves to the pot and bring to a boil.
- Turn the bean mixture down to simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour.
- 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.
- 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.