Cajun Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice is the official Monday dish in New Orleans, available on menus in restaurants all over town. Red beans and rice is typically served with smoked sausage, but the dish also stands on its own as a satisfying comfort food.    

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Ingredients

  • 2 lb. light red beans
  • 4 qt. cold water
  • 6 oz. bacon, small dice
  • 2 cups yellow onion, ½” dice
  • 2 cups green bell pepper, large, ½” dice
  • 1 cup celery, ½” dice
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 ham hock, smoked
  • 6 qt. chicken stock
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. thyme, dried
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste

Garnish

  • 1 cup scallions, cut ¼“
  • 3 oz. Andouille sausage, per person
  • 1/2 cup white rice, cooked, per person

Number of Servings : 24

Serving Size: 1 cup beans, 1/2 cup rice, 1 sausage link, 1 oz. shredded ham

Red beans and rice is the official Monday dish in New Orleans, available on menus in restaurants all over town. Red beans and rice is typically served with smoked sausage, but the dish also stands on its own as a satisfying comfort food.    

Directions

  1. Soak beans in cold water overnight. Drain the soaked beans in a colander, discarding the soaking water.
  2. In a suitable stock pot, render diced bacon until crisp. Remove until later in the recipe. Sweat vegetables in the rendered fat until tender but not browned. Add the drained beans, ham hock, chicken stock, bay and thyme, and bring to a gentle simmer.
  3. Stirring frequently, simmer gently for approximately 2 hours, or until the beans are falling apart and the liquid in the pot has begun to thicken. DO NOT mash the beans to achieve the proper texture. Add water and continue cooking if beans are still mealy.
  4. Season well with salt, fresh ground black pepper, and cayenne. The heat for both the black and red pepper should register as a tingle on the back of the tongue, rather than a burn in the front of the mouth.
  5. Remove the ham hock and pull the meat from the bone and discarding the skin. Shred the meat for garnish.
  6. Cut the green onion ¼ inch for garnish. Split the sausage lengthwise, and grill or sear on both sides.
  7. For each person, fill a large soup bowl halfway with the cooked beans. Top with a mound of rice. Garnish with two pieces of grilled sausage and shredded ham hock. Sprinkle with the cut scallions.

Note: Red beans and rice is the official Monday dish in New Orleans, available on menus in restaurants all over town. Red beans and rice is typically served with smoked sausage. Note that the nutrition information for this recipe includes the green onions, shredded ham, sausage, and rice.

Recipe developed by The Culinary Institute of America as an industry service to the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.