Red Beans and Rice with Sausage — Louisiana-style red beans and rice is a Southern comfort food classic that’s EASY to make! Complete with Andouille sausage, ham, Creole seasoning, tender red beans, and plenty of fluffy rice, this dish packs some spiciness but it’ll leave you coming back for more!
Easy Red Beans and Rice Recipe
Nothing says comfort food like a big bowl of Louisiana style red beans and rice complete with smoked Andouille sausage, ham, Creole seasoning, tender red beans in a rich and savory broth.
Served alongside or on top of plenty of fluffy white rice is the way to go.
Because of the Creole seasoning, the natural kick that Andouille sausage has, and the extra bit of hot sauce I like to use as a garnish for my red beans and rice, this Southern classic recipe is perfectly spicy. Not too spicy, but it’s not boring either!
If you have leftover holiday ham, this easy red beans and rice recipe will take a pound of it off your hands! But if you don’t, that’s fine too because you can use deli ham or your favorite ham to bring some of this New Orleans favorite into your own home. Hello, Mardi Gras party-at-home!
I use made my red beans with rice with canned beans, but feel free to make your own beans. More on that below.
I’ve also included slow cooker directions to make sure that all the bases are covered if you want to make red beans and rice in a Crockpot.
Ingredients in Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
For this easy red beans and rice recipe with sausage, you’ll need the following common and easy-to-find ingredients including the following:
- Olive oil
- Green bell pepper
- Sweet Vidalia onion
- Celery ribs
- Garlic cloves
- Creole Seasoning
- Dried thyme
- Smoked ham
- Ham hock
- Smoked Andouille sausage
- Canned red beans (or dry red beans)
- Reduced sodium chicken broth
- Worcestershire sauce
- Bay leaves
- Flat-leaf parsley
- Cooked white rice
- Pickled okra, optional for serving
- Crystal Louisiana Hot Sauce, optional for serving
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Red Beans and Rice with Sausage
To make this protein-packed dish red beans and rice dish with lots of sausage and ham, follow these basic and straightforward steps:
Step 1: To a large skillet or stockpot, add the olive oil, bell pepper, onion, celery, and saute over medium high heat for 5 minutes before adding the garlic and sauteeing for another minutes.
Step 2: Add the seasonings, salt, pepper, and saute for 1 minute.
Step 3: Add the smoked ham, ham hock, sausage, red beans, Worcestershire, bay leaf, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
As the mixture simmers, the level of broth reduces and thickens. If you want it soupier and brothier, either add additional chicken broth or water, as desired.
You can increase the cook time for up to 1 hour total if you want less broth. Remember this is a simmer and not an all out fast boil.
Step 4: Remove the bay leaf, add the parsley, taste for salt and seasoning balance, and add another teaspoon of salt or whatever you think it needs.
Step 5: Garnish with optional okra and hot sauce, and serve over white rice. Alternatively, you can stir a bit of rice into the red bean mixture.
What Are the Best Beans for Red Beans and Rice?
The beans are a crucial ingredient in this red beans and rice recipe! You’ve got a couple options:
- Use canned red beans. You’ll need 3 cans, which are usually about 15 to 16 ounces each. Drain and rinse them. This is the easier and quicker method and what I do because I don’t need to plan ahead.
- Alternatively, you can use uncooked dry red beans that you soak and cook yourself separately. You need about 1/2 cup dried beans for every 1 pound (16 ounces) cooked beans. So in this case, I recommend starting with and cooking 1 1/2 cups dried beans. If you’re going to cook your own beans rather than used canned beans, to save time, I suggest using my Instant Pot Beans method and recipe.
You may be wondering if kidney beans and red beans are the same? No, they’re not.
Regular red kidney beans and dark red kidney beans are larger, darker, and readily absorb other flavors making them great in chilis.
Red beans, conversely, are smaller, much more vibrant red, and have a noticeable bean-forward flavor and aren’t just there to take on other flavors – they help create the flavor of the dish.
What Type of Ham Should I Use?
In order to make sure that this easy red beans and rice recipe is full of rich flavor and will satisfy your hunger for hours, I use two types of ham:
- One pound of cooked, thick-cut, smoked ham. You can get it from the deli counter or use pre-packed where you would buy sandwich meat. Leftover holiday ham is also a great option here.
- One ham hock. This is different from a ham bone although it’ll work if that’s what you have. Ham hocks impart a smokey flavor, almost bacon-ey, so don’t omit it.
What to Serve with Red Beans and Rice
When you’re ready to serve the red beans with ham and sausage, you’ll need to decide if you want to stir rice into the red bean mixture.
Or serve the red beans with ham and sausage over a bed of long-grain rice or have the two nestled side by side in a shallow bowl. This is how I normally serve and enjoy this comfort food recipe. But it’s up to you.
Unsure what goes with red beans and rice? I recommend serving this dish with one of the following:
Don’t forget the hot sauce and pickled okra, too! They’re optional but really give great authenticity to the recipe.
I know you won’t have a problem with leftovers lingering because this recipe for red beans and rice is a family-approved dish!
However, if you do have leftovers, extra will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
It’s the type of dish that actually gets better in time as the flavors marry and meld together as it sits.
As I mentioned, kidney beans and red beans are not the same bean, each with their own texture and flavor profile.
However, If you need to use kidney beans in place of red beans, you can. The dish will take on a slightly different flavor, but you don’t have to make any changes.
No, they are not and vary a bit in what spices they each contain – although there is overlap.
For example, Creole seasoning is a bit more herbal and contains dried oregano, rosemary, thyme, and paprika.
However, if you don’t have Creole seasoning but have Cajun seasoning, you can use it in this recipe.
It’s really up to you what kind of rice to use, but most commonly long-grain white rice is the chosen rice for this dish. However, brown rice or another favorite rice of yours is fine.
Yes this dish is pleasantly spicy from the Creole seasoning, the Andouille sausage, and of course any hot sauce you finish the dish with. However, use less Creole seasoning and omit the hot sauce if you want the red beans and rice recipe to read less spicy overall.
It’s tempting to want to have this comfort food classic recipe simmering away for hours in your house and just breathing in all those wonderful aromas – and you can certainly do it via a Crockpot.
I recommend following the recipe through step 3 where you’ve sauteed the vegetables, garlic, added the salt, pepper, and spices. At that point, transfer everything into a large slow cooker, add everything else except the garnishes, cover, and slow cook on low for about 4 to 5 hours, or on high for about 2 /12 to 3 hours. As it simmers, watch the liquid level and add additional chicken broth or water, if desired.
Tips for the Best Red Beans and Rice
Louisiana red beans and rice is such a comforting recipe that really is a cinch to prepare. Although here are a few of my tips and tricks to ensure it becomes a family favorite recipe.
Sausage – I use Johnsonville brand Smoked Andouille Sausage links that are fully cooked.
If you can’t find this particular exact flavor of sausage, another type of cooked pork sausage is my recommendation like a Polish kielbasa or another favorite sausage that’s generally sold in a U-shaped ring.
Rice – If you know you’re going to have planned leftovers, I suggest not stirring the rice into the dish and to instead keep the red beans and rice stored separately in the fridge. I prefer the texture of everything when they’re not stored together, but it’s personal preference.
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Red Beans and Rice
Louisiana style red beans and rice is a Southern comfort food classic that's EASY to make! Complete with Andouille sausage, ham, Creole seasoning, tender red beans, and plenty of fluffy rice, this dish packs some spiciness but it'll leave you coming back for more!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced small
- 1 medium sweet Vidalia onion, diced small (yellow onion may be substituted)
- 2 ribs celery, diced small
- 3 to 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 pound smoked ham, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 ham hock
- 14 ounces smoked Andouille sausage, sliced into thin bite-sized pieces**
- three 15-ounce cans red beans, drained and rinsed***
- 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth, plus more if desired
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 or 2 bay leaves
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely minced; for garnishing
- 3 cups cooked white rice, or as desired
- Pickled okra, optional for serving
- Crystal Louisiana Hot Sauce, optional for serving
- To a large skillet or stock pot, add the olive oil, green pepper, onion, celery, and saute over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes; stir frequently.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute; stir continuously.
- Add the Creole seasoning, salt, pepper, thyme, and cook for 1 minute; stir continuously. Tip - If you want to make this in a slow cooker, stop here, transfer the mixture to a large slow cooker, add everything else except the garnishes, cover, and slow cook on low for about 4 to 5 hours, or on high for about 2 /12 to 3 hours. As it simmers, watch the liquid level and add additional chicken broth or water, if desired. Garnish as desired and serve. If making this on the stove, simply continue onto step 4.
- Add the smoked ham, ham hock, Andouille sausage, red beans, chicken broth, Worcestershire, bay leaves, stir to combine, reduced the heat to medium, and allow the mixture to simmer uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Stir a couple times while it simmers. Tips - The amount of broth will reduce and evaporate as the mixture simmers. Add additional chicken broth or water, as desired, for consistency according to your preference. If you want a soupier consistency, you'll likely need to add more liquid. Simmering for at least 30 minutes is my recommendation, although it can go longer, about 1 hour, if desired if you like a thicker consistency and want the flavors to marry more.
- Taste the mixture and if desired, make any necessary seasoning adjustments such as additional salt, pepper, or Creole seasoning.
- Remove the bay leaves, and stir in the parsley, or garnish each indivual portion with parsley if you prefer to add it that way.
- Serve alongside or on top of cooked long grain white rice. Tip - I prefer this method than stirring the rice into the pot of red beans.
- Optionally garnish with pickled okra, Crystal Louisiana Hot Sauce or a similar hot sauce, or garnish as desired before enjoying. Leftover red beans and rice will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Tip - I recommend storing the red beans and rice separately for best taste and texture of the leftovers.
*Ham - You can use smoked ham from the deli counter, pre-packaged in packets where sandwich meat is sold, or if you have leftover ham, this is a great recipe to use it. I like to slice the ham in fairly thick bite-sized pieces.
**Andouille Sausage - I recommend using precooked sausage that's sold in a U-shaped ring. I like this Johnsonville Andouille Sausage. However, another favorite sausage such as a Polish Kielbasa or similar precooked pork sausage will work fine.
***Red Beans - I suggest using 3 cans of red beans. However, you can also use dried uncooked red beans. You'll need about 1 1/2 cups dried beans for the equivalent of 3 cans of beans. To save time, I suggest using my Instant Pot Beans method and recipe with the red beans.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 753Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 2256mgCarbohydrates: 85gFiber: 15gSugar: 6gProtein: 47g
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