Louisiana Beans and Rice

Red Beans
Red Beans. Photo: Diana Rattray
  • 2 hrs 45 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 Servings
Ratings

This Louisiana style red beans and rice dish is made with  ham hocks or a ham bone for flavor and optional smoked sausage. I like a spicy andouille sausage in these beans, but kielbasa or another type of smoked sausage would be good as well.

Red beans and rice is a classic Louisiana dish, and you'll find similar recipes in many regions of the South. Hoppin' John, made with black-eyed peas, is another famous Southern beans and rice recipe. Black beans with rice, or "Moors and Christians," is a traditional Cuban version of beans and rice.

See the reader comments for some helpful preparation, cooking, and serving suggestions.

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups dry red beans
  • 1/2 to 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons of seasoned salt
  • Dash cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 meaty ham bone or ham hock
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice
  • Kosher salt (as needed)
  • Optional: smoked sausage

How to Make It

  1. Wash the beans and soak them overnight. Drain well.
  2. In a large kettle, combine the soaked beans with onion, garlic, bay leaf, seasoned salt, pepper, and ham hocks; cover with cold water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, for about 2 to 3 hours, or until done.
  3. About 30 minutes before the dish is done, add sliced smoked sausage, if using. Continue cooking for about 30 minutes longer.
  4. Serve the beans with hot cooked rice.

    Expert Tips

    • Keep the beans over the lowest heat at a gentle simmer to prevent the skins from breaking. 

    Reader Comments

    "I made this recipe less than a week after we returned from New Orleans. My daughter said the aroma of the beans cooking reminded her of being in New Orleans. I changed only one thing: instead of using seasoned salt I used Creole seasoning. I'm making the beans tomorrow night for my eldest daughter and her husband, but I'm doubling the recipe — there were no leftovers last time! I served the beans with Louisiana Hot Sausages and corn bread. It's a winner!" — Jacquelyn

    "OK, my husband loves this recipe and his family, including his mom, are from New Orleans, so it must be good! He requests this dish and then cheers the day before (while the beans are soaking) and while they're cooking "Red Beans!Read Beans!"  I cook almost every day, and this is by far his favorite dish and the only one he cheers for. I use this recipe because it's simple. Beware: Know your stove. I cooked these beans on my mom's stove and her fire was very different than mine — I burned the bottom. Also, I don't like crock pot beans. Cook 'em slow on the stove. I like my beans thick so I cook them a little longer, and I mash up 1/2 cup or so when they're done and add them back in. If you want your beans whole, don't stir a lot. Enjoy!" — Myra

    "First time I made red beans and rice and served it at a church function. It was very good. One hint, I cooled the red beans and rice overnight and reheated and got a very creamy texture.

    My husband asked me to make them again... " — D.H.

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