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
- 1/2 pound 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 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 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 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.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.