Recipe: Red Beans and (Brown) Rice

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 14 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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  • Comments

    1. shannon |

      Just a heads up as I was looking at the red beans and rice recipe I noticed on the last page of comments a comment that says adult movie download. I did not click on it but wanted to let you know as you have either been spammed or it was posted in error. It just doesn’t sound like it belongs on your site. Again, just FYI. Have a good day.

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Thank you, Shannon. Sometimes some weird stuff gets passed the filters. :) I’ll look for it.

    2. Kimberly Y. |

      Made this last night. So amazingly flavorful! It was delicious! I made a double batch and followed others’ recommendations to use only 6 cups of liquid. Consistency was perfect.

    3. Kelly |

      Any recommendations for the time when using canned beans?

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi Kelly. I’ve used canned beans that I felt were done in about half the cooking time. Just give them taste to be sure the flavor has developed enough to your liking.:)

    4. Kerry |

      This was my first time making red beans and rice. Delish! Meat and potatoes hubby was only partially convinced. I made a double batch using 6 cups of water and used my immersion blender to mix it up. Threw a little cheese on top and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt…and plenty to freeze for future meals. 😊

      • Phil |

        You don’t need to messy-up a blender to get it pasty – just cook it longer on lower heat until the beans naturally lose form and there’s even no need to mash them.

        This recipe is nearly identical to my own, though I use some ingredient additions and technique variation: much more veggie-seasoning (over double for this recipe in onion, celery, YRG peppers, parsley), and a bay leaf per cup of beans. I’ll sear/saute’ half of the veggies and let the rest cook in the pot. I additionally combine 2 tsp ‘powdered’ thyme with the dry-seasoning prior to soak – which helps convey dat New Orleans cajun flavor.

        Depending on my pot, I’ll either have soaked the dry beans overnight or I’d simmer-soak them with dry seasoning until the beans start to split. Then I combine the veggie-seasoning blend and meat. I may also add chicken or beef stock for the beans to soak up. To that end, I always rinse/wash the beans prior to any soak so I can eliminate throwing out liquids/flavour.
        (If using a deep pot, then I simmer-soak; if a shallower pan, then unheated overnight soaking works better for me. )

        I also use hickory-smoked cajun sausage AND cajun andouille sausage to add flavor variety by first slicing to inch or more thick and then searing their exposed sides all in the pot.. I also use half a package of hickory-smoked bacon and let it dissolve during the cook. I nearly always sear with olive oil and garlic, though real butter is a good substitute for the oil.

        Don’t be too afraid of using more water as needed, as you can always ‘cook it down’ to remove excess. The batch should be thick, but relatively easy to stir. It shouldn’t be an actual paste, nor a sauce, but somewhere in between. Always, constantly stir so nothing starts to clump up on the bottom of the pot, adding water as needed. I set a timer for 15 – 20 minutes between stirs for 4 – 6 hours on an electric stove burner that’s throttled just at or below 1. I always bring the temperature up to a boil for the very first 7-10 mins upon adding to the split beans (kills germs), and then set to simmer and let it cook (with stirring!).

        It’s really difficult to ‘overcook’ red beans, though it can easily be scorched on higher temps (this really does little to the flavor unless the scorched stuff is mixed into the rest of the batch, but it makes cleaning a real pain). Red beans are also easily reconstituted with water as they are easily dehydrated when ignored on the stove; so even if a batch dries out, water will bring it back to life.

        The seasonings mentioned above (and the searing of meat) are fair staples applied to all of my cajun recipes. For jambalaya its nearly the same, just no beans and no bacon, and there’s a lot more thyme added. The meat side sees jumbo shrimp (cooks really fast!), and chicken added, where the meat is first cooked, and removed until the main part with the rice is nearly cooked-down.

        Whatever the case, one just has to remember the most important ingredient/technique – heart.

        – just my two scents (the scents of ‘flavor’ and ‘anticipation’) on my technique, from NOLA.

    5. Kelly |

      What about using the slow cooker?? How long do you think ? Because I’d love to make it today, Since I didn’t soak the beans :)

    6. Erin |

      Yum! This was so good! I did not make enough! I will admit to adding sausage to it, as my 3 carnivore little dudes are not huge on beans, but the flavor was excellent! Great!

    7. Mariah |

      I doubled the recipe to have some to freeze, but it’s way too watery. More like bean soup, even after mashing. I’m boiling off the water now to salvage it, but if doubling, I recommend cutting the water back quite a bit. It may be because I soaked the beans too long, however (overnight and all day).

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