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

Red Beans and Rice from 100 Days of #RealFood

Red Beans and Rice

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.
4.7 from 15 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 37 mins
Soak beans: 8 hrs
Total Time: 47 mins
Print Recipe
Servings: 4 people


  • 1/2 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
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper change this to 1/8 teaspoon if you aren't a pepper fan
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 servings brown rice cooked according to package directions
  • green onions diced (optional garnish)


  • Ensure the dried red kidney 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, green bell pepper, celery, salt, black 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 1/2 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.


Tip: substituting water for chicken stock adds depth of flavor to the dish.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Red Beans and Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 377 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 19mg6%
Sodium 644mg28%
Potassium 510mg15%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 170IU3%
Vitamin C 14.8mg18%
Calcium 45mg5%
Iron 2.7mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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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.

  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?

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