Red Beans and (Brown) Rice

15 Reviews / 4.7 Average
Red Beans and Rice is a classic recipe that's both hearty and freezer-friendly. Add a little cajun seasoning and top it with some hot sauce for a truly New Orleans-inspired dish.
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Red beans and rice recipe from 100 Days of #RealFood

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. :)

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95 thoughts on “Red Beans and (Brown) Rice”

  1. I wish I had read the recipe more carefully. The cook time is listed as 37 minutes. If you’re simmering beans for an hour and 20 minutes to an hour and a half, that’s….. not right.

    1. Hi Kathi, thank you for pointing this out. We have gone ahead and updated the recipe. – Nicole

  2. 4 stars
    I made this and it was very good. We had some kielbasa with it. I knew my husband would be happier with some meat added with the dish. I thought it was very flavorful even without the sausage. I will make this again! Thank you.

  3. I’ve noticed that looots of the recipes on this site call for cayenne pepper. I don’t have that, but I have chili powder. Can they be used interchangeably?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Cayenne is about 8x stronger (hotter) than chilli powder so keep that in mind if subbing.

  4. Re: question about how to cook brown rice. I struggled with the same issues of either too soupy, or dry and not quite done. This technique has never failed me. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add rice and cook, uncovered for 30 min, stirring occasionally. Then pour contents of pot into strainer, wait a few seconds and immediately pour back into pan. There will be some liquids in the rice, which you need to complete cooking. Cover pot and cook on low heat for 15 more minutes. Remove lid and fluff with fork. Perfectly cooked brown rice!

  5. I would love advice on brown rice! I want to start using it more instead of white rice, but it seems to either end up dry/crunchy or soupy.

    I’ve had brown rice prepared by others and love it, so I know it doesn’t have to be this way!

    What varieties do you really like? What ratio do you use in rice cooker? (Or do you have another favorite cooking method?)

  6. 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).

  7. 5 stars
    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!

  8. 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 :)

    1. You totally don’t need to soak beans to cook them in a slow cooker!! It’s a game-changer, for sure. Navy beans take about 8 hours on low (I wouldn’t try it on high without soaking)….kidney are slightly larger, maybe 9?

  9. Yummy!
    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.

    1. 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.
      ~phil

    1. 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.:)

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

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

  12. 4 stars
    Love this recipe! I used Jacob’s Cattle beans (because that’s what I had) and instead of soaking them I boiled them for about 45 minutes (until they started to soften) before starting this recipe, then used the broth as part of the water. I doubled the recipe but only used six cups of broth/water (and four oz. of bacon, because that’s what I had)… It was still a bit soupy so next time I’ll go with four cups. Thickened up nicely after it sat for a while though!

  13. hmmm thinking about doing this with black beans, or pinto beans because that’s what I bought at our last trip to the store. Sounds yummy!! Thanks for the great idea :)

  14. One suggestion – DOUBLE this :) It’s amazing and you will want leftovers. Aaannnnddd you won’t need to waste any veggies or beans.

  15. My sister-in-law shared her recipe for Red Beans and Rice (she’s from Louisiana too, Brandi G) when we first visited her a few years ago. I have modified it a bit, to use a pork sholder bone and pork scraps after cooking it in a crock pot. Soaking the beans in this pork stock gives them such a great flavor!! A go-too recipe in our house now!!

  16. I’m new to your recipes and blog and have been working on cutting out processed foods. Your recipes are wonderful. I just wanted to say that I’m from south Louisiana and red beans and rice are a staple here. I always cook my beans in a slow cooker. As long as they soak the night before, they can then be rinsed and cooked in slow cooker while I’m at work.

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  18. 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!

  19. 5 stars
    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!

  20. 5 stars
    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.

  21. 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!

  22. 5 stars
    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!

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

  24. 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!

  25. 5 stars
    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!!

  26. 4 stars
    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!

  27. 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.

    1. 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

  28. 5 stars
    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.

  29. 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!

  30. 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.

  31. 5 stars
    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…..

  32. 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!!!

  33. This sounds great. We have slowed our rice intake since the discovery of arsenic in high amounts. Does Lundberg have any comments about testing for arsenic in their product? I have bought it before and enjoyed the flavor but worry with three small children.

  34. I just made this recipe and doubled it. It still looks like soup on the stove! Should I have doubled the cooking time as well? Other than that I can’t think of what I did wrong.

    1. I doubled it too but I only used 6 cups of liquid not 8. It had just the right amount if “broth” to soak into the beans…yum! If yours is too soupy use a slotted spoon to scoop it out of the pot then just add as much broth as you want to your rice and beans.

  35. This is a great recipe for our weekly goal at healthierbytheweek. We are trying to eat the daily recommended amount of fiber for a week, and brown rice and beans gives great protein and fiber! I will definitely be trying this week to help achieve my goal!

  36. This is one of my daughter’s very favorite meals. She would eat it daily, if we had it that often. :) Inexpensive, and filling. She loves it with salad. And we put some tomato paste, onions, garlic, and a bit of hot pepper without the seeds/ribs in the rice, too. :)

  37. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing the recipe. Being an Indian I think I will add a dollop of home-made butter and call it “Rajma Chawal” ;-)

  38. I’m going to try this recipe this evening. Quick question on leaving bacon grease in the pot…does it include all the oil as well?

    Thanks!

    1. Does bacon not count as meat anymore? Sounds like you didn’t make (or even read) the recipe before reviewing it.

  39. Is there any way of finding out if my brown rice is the regular or quick cooking variety. I bought it from a bulk bin awhile ago, couldn’t get it to cook well (it was always underdone, or burnt), so I gave up on it for awhile. Now I have absolutely no idea how to tell what I should be doing with it. Help!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Erin. The texture and weight is different in quick rice. It is lighter and not as smooth because it has been cooked and then dehydrated. ~Amy

  40. Thanks for the recipe! I can’t eat bell peppers, so I was wondering whether I should increase the onion amt to a full onion, or just leave out the peppers w/o compensating?

    1. Are you talking about dry beans? If so, be sure to soak them for at least 8 hours and throw out the soaking water. This helps release some of the chemicals that cause gas.

    2. Try soaking the beans for at least 7hrs with a splash of apple cider vinegar (the good stuff!). We soak a lot of our grains/beans etc this way. WE have found it does wonders with the gas! We started soaking to neutralize phytic acid and were happily surprised by the lack of gas!

    3. Always rinse your beans very well. This goes for canned as well as dried (after soaking dried beans 8 hours rinse them well). This drastically reduces any gas after eating them.

  41. We love red beans and rice! A frugal but very satisfying, filling and delicious meal!nif we need to be frugal, we make it vegetarian. When we don’t have to be frugal we throw in organic andouille. Love this website and every recipe we’ve made!

  42. We raise our own red beans and I freeze them and use them until the next season. The key is freezing several bags which means lots of shelling.

  43. Lisa,
    I look forward to trying this recipe. I use your re-fried slow cooker bean recipe very often! I love them. I also recommend your website, often on my blog.
    Thanks for all your great tips and recipes!
    Jewel

  44. Could you do this with organic canned kidney beans? I was already planning on making black beans and rice but this so delicious, I want to make this instead.

    1. So, I made this with the canned beans, turned out delish! Only simmered it for about 1/2 hour. My kiddos devoured it.

      1. Jill,
        I used two cans, and I eyeballed the water. I added just enough to get the consistency I was looking for. I rinsed and drained a can and 1/2 of the beans, and then I mashed the other half can in the can with a fork and added that, Let it simmer until you like the way it looks. Sorry I was not more precise, I never measure things.

    1. This is good advice, but “Red/ kidney beans straight to the crock = death” sounds a bit extreme. From your link:

      “Some persons have been hospitalized, but recovery is usually rapid (3 – 4 h after onset of symptoms) and spontaneous.”

  45. What brand of pork products do you buy? We are omnivores, but after recently reading some articles about the pork industry, we have removed this meat from our table. Our farmer’s market sells meat from their farm, bacon included, but it’s extremely expensive.

    1. Tracy,

      We buy our meat in bulk – as in a half a beef, half a hog, etc from local organic farmers. It saves a lot of money that way. You might check with some of the farmers at your market to see if they offer the same or even a bulk discount.

    2. We buy Applegate Organics bacon. Be careful, because there’s Applegate Naturals and Appelgate Organics. It’s kinda pricey (~$7 for 8oz), but it’s one of those treat items, so I don’t mind spending on it once in a while.

    1. I’m going to make these without the bacon – I usually used smoked paprika to help add some depth and may add a few other spices to this dish (chili powder + oregano). I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  46. This sounds very similar to how I make my red beans, but I also add some chili powder as well as finely dicing some carrots to add to the veggies! I also don’t mash them up at the end, but that’s just because I prefer the whole bean texture.

    1. Be sure you boil the soaked red beans for at least 10 minutes before putting them in the crock pot. They have a natural toxin in them that may not be destroyed if your crock pot doesn’t get to a high enough temp.

  47. 4 stars
    I love red kidney beans. I see a lot of recipes for black beans and rice, which are all really good. But every time I see them, I long for red beans. And your recipe makes a red-bean sauce too. Awesome! Going to try this really soon. Thanks.

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