This classic dish has been a staple for generations, filling hungry bellies on a budget. It is full of rich, flavorful, nutritious, freezer-friendly leftovers, and basically has been a favorite of budget cooks for years.

The classic louisiana red beans & rice is a little time-consuming to prepare, so I recommend you make it on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon when you have the time to relax at home and you’ll have enough to eat for the week ahead.

Your home will smell amazing, and you’ll have plenty of food to eat for the week.

Are you ready for this new recipe, discover it with Apronese now.
A serving of red beans and rice next to the pot full of red beans with an onion and garlic on the side.

Are Red Beans and Kidney Beans the Same Thing?

You can use either red beans or kidney beans to make this recipe, just remember that they’re both red beans, but they’re different beans, which can be used in any recipe.

Scroll down to the step by step photos after the recipe to see a picture of red beans and kidney beans side by side.

Is It Necessary to Soak the Red Beans Overnight?

No, there are also other ways to soak your beans quickly. There are two different methods of quick soaking your beans, but unfortunately both of them still take at least an hour to soak your beans.

To learn more about other methods of soaking your beans, please read how to soak your beans from camellia beans.

My “Quickie” Red Beans and Rice recipe is one of the best when it comes to using canned beans as the main ingredient, if you are looking for a recipe for red beans and rice.

What Kind of Sausage Should I Use?

There is one main ingredient in red beans and rice that is traditionally used in this dish; the sausage is known as Andouille, which is a smoked pork sausage originating from France, but very popular in Louisiana.

If you cannot find Andouille sausage, you can use any other type of smoked pork or beef sausage that is available to you.

Is Red Beans and Rice Spicy?

Depending on what type of sausage you use and how much cayenne pepper you add, this recipe can be quite spicy.

The spice level of the Andouille sausage and how much cayenne pepper you add will determine how hot your red beans will be.

Since I used a medium spice level Andouille sausage, along with 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, my red beans had a moderate level of spice.

The red beans should be mildly spiced if you use a mild sausage and don’t add cayenne pepper.
Close up of a spoon scooping some red beans and andouille sausage out of the pot

Red Beans and Rice: Are They Healthy?

Considering that the term “healthy” is very subjective, I will say that I think this classic dish is loaded with fiber, protein, and vegetables, which are all components of a healthy meal for me.

While it is very high in sodium, the amount of salt that you add to the pot at the end of the recipe is totally up to you.

The fat from the andouille sausage can be drained before you add the vegetables to the pot, if you wish to reduce the saturated fat.

For even more fiber and nutrients, you can always switch out the white rice for brown rice, which has even more nutrients and fiber than white rice.

Can I Make it Vegetarian?

In my quest to discover how to make this recipe, I have been able to successfully make a very delicious pot of red beans and rice without the smoked sausage, and this recipe has been featured on my Vegan Red Beans and Rice recipe. (It’s vegan automatically since the sausage is the only animal product in the recipe.)

How to Freeze Red Beans and Rice

I recommend dividing the red beans and rice into single portions and refrigerating them immediately after cooking to prevent food safety issues.

The red beans and rice should be chilled as soon as possible after cooking to prevent food safety issues. As a result, the water will be cooled down faster, and you will have individual portions that can be reheated from the freezer or refrigerator as soon as possible.

After you have completely chilled the red beans and rice, you can transfer them directly to the freezer so that they can be stored for a long period of time (about 3 months).
Overhead view of a pot full of Louisiana Red Beans

Louisiana Style Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

There is nothing better than a classic Louisiana style red bean and rice meal that can be enjoyed for days. Both the beans and rice are freezer friendly, and you can use them for days to come.

Prep Time: 15 mins/ Cook Time: 2 hrs/ Soaking time: 8 hrs/ Total Time: 10 hrs 15 mins

Servings: 6 (1.5 cups red beans each)


  • 1 lb. dry red beans ($1.49)
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 14 oz. Andouille sausage ($3.79)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 1 green bell pepper ($0.69)
  • 3 ribs celery ($0.46)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.20)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.10)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
  • 2 bay leaves ($0.60)
  • 6 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley ($0.20)
  • 1 Tbsp salt, or to taste ($0.10)
  • 1.5 cups long grain white rice (uncooked) ($0.93)
  • 3 green onions ($0.22)


  • Put the beans in a large bowl with double their volume of water the night before, and allow to soak overnight in the refrigerator.
  • If you are ready to start the cooking process, slice the sausage into rounds. Place the sausage pieces in a large pot along with the cooking oil and cook until they are browned. Take the sausage pieces out of the pan with a slotted spoon and place them in a clean bowl while you prepare the remainder of the meal. Place the cooked sausage in the refrigerator while preparing the remaining ingredients.
  • Prepare the onions, bell peppers, and celery while the sausage is cooking. Mince the garlic while the sausage is cooking.
  • As you stir over medium heat, add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic to the pot after removing the cooked sausage. Sauté the vegetables over medium heat, letting the moisture from the vegetables help dissolve any browned bits off the bottom.
  • Adding smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves to the pot and stirring for one minute more will ensure the flavor remains strong.
  • The soaked beans should be thoroughly rinsed and drained before they are added to the pot along with 6 cups of water. Stir the pot briefly to ensure that the ingredients are completely combined.
  • The pot should be covered with a lid, the heat should be on medium-high, and the pot should come to a boil. Once the pot has boiled, turn it down to medium-low, and let it simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally while it boils. Change the lid after every stirring.
  • For a thicker soup, remove the lid of the pot and let the beans cook without a lid for 30 minutes. After one hour of boiling, the beans should be tender. Smash the beans with the back of a spoon and continue to let boiling without a lid for 30 minutes.
  • During the final 30 minutes of simmering the beans, you can cook the rice as well. Add 3 cups of water, rice, and a lid to a sauce pot. Once a boiling point is reached, put the lid on the pot, and bring the water to a boil. When the rice boils, turn down the heat to low and cook it for 15 minutes. Afterwards, you should remove the lid of the rice and let it sit for 5 minutes without disturbing it. When ready to serve, fluff the rice with a fork.
  • During the last minute or so, stir in 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley along with the cooked sausage and thickened red bean mixture. Taste the beans and add salt as needed. I used 1 Tbsp total (3 Tbsp).
  • The red beans should be served in a bowl with rice and sliced green onions on top.


Serving: 1.5 cups ・ Calories: 715 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 89 g ・ Protein: 34 g ・ Fat: 25 g ・ Sodium: 1799 mg ・ Fiber: 14 g
The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer.


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Close up overhead view of a bowl full of red beans topped with a scoop of rice, parsley, and green onion.

Red Beans and Rice: How to Make Them – Step By Step Photos

Red beans and kidney beans side by side in bags
You can use small red beans or kidney beans (dark or light) for this recipe.

You’ll need one pound of dry beans for this recipe, which is determined by the type of red beans you can find where you live. You can use small red beans or kidney beans (dark or light).
Soaked Beans in a bowl with water
As an alternative method if you forgot to soak the beans, you can use one of the other methods described in this article . (this photo shows the beans after they have been soaking overnight for you to see that they have been soaked with twice the amount of water) In case of forgetfulness the beans can be soaked in water overnight.
Package of andouille sausage
If you cannot find Andouille sausage, you can use any other smoked pork or beef sausage that you can find.

If you are unable to obtain Andouille sausage, you can use any other smoked pork or beef sausage that you like. I used this 14-ounce package, but you can use any size between 12 and 16 ounces.
Browned sausage in pot
If you want to reduce the amount of fat in your red beans, you can drain off most of the fat left behind by the sausage.

To do this, place the sausage in a large pot with 2 teaspoons of cooking oil and heat the sausage on medium heat until it is well brown.

When you are ready to make the rest of the recipe, remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and place it in the refrigerator.

You can take off most of the fat that is left behind by the sausage if you want, but I left it in because it is extremely flavorful.
Chopped trinity and garlic
Quite often, it will include onions, bell peppers, and about 3 ribs of celery that are sliced up and ready to add to the sausage while it is cooking.

This trio of flavors (onion, bell pepper, celery) is referred to as the “holy trinity.” I also like to add four cloves of garlic, so I mince those as well.
Onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic in the pot
The onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic should be added to the pot after the sausage is removed. Using the moisture in the pot, sauté the vegetables until the onions are soft.

As you stir the pot, use the moisture to dissolve any bits of browned meat that have gathered on the bottom.
Cajun seasoning added to pot
In the end, once the vegetables have softened, add the Cajun seasoning (two teaspoons of smoked paprika, one teaspoon of dried oregano, one teaspoon of dried thyme, half a teaspoon of garlic powder, half a teaspoon of onion powder, half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and about a quarter of a teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper) and the bay leaves.

Stir and continue to cook for about one minute longer.
Drained red beans and water added to the pot
The soaked red beans should be drained and rinsed before being added to a pot of fresh water.
Stir red beans and spices before boiling
In the beginning, stir the pot just to distribute the spices and other flavors in the pot. Put a lid over the pot, bring it up to a full boil over medium-high heat.

Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the beans simmer for one hour. Stir it once or twice during this time.
Boiled red beans in the pot
The spices and other flavors should be evenly distributed in the pot in the beginning, so stir it gently to make sure everything gets evenly distributed.

When you have reached a boil, cover the pot, and let it simmer for a minimum of an hour, stirring once or twice during this period.

Once the beans are done simmering for one hour, turn the heat down to medium-low and let them simmer for one hour.
Cooked rice in sauce pot
Cook your rice at the same time as the red beans simmer for 30 minutes. Add 1.5 cup long grain white rice to a saucepot, add 3 cups water, and place a lid on top of the pot. Turn it up to a boil, and place the lid on top.

As soon as the rice has boiled, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Let it sit for a further 5 minutes without removing the lid after the 15 minutes have passed.

When you are ready to serve the rice, fluff the rice with a fork and a fork.
Thickened pot of red beans
Having mashed and simmered the red beans for a bit longer, the red beans should have thickened quite a bit. You will be able to see more thickening as the red beans cool.
Andouille and parsley added to red beans
Then, add a little bit of chopped fresh parsley along with the cooked Andouille sausage and stir to combine.

Taste the red beans and adjust the salt according to your preferences. This dish needs at least some salt to bring out its flavor.

I would recommend starting with one tbsp and adding more to your liking as you go along. I used one Tbsp for the entire pot, but I would recommend you begin with one tbsp and add more to your liking based on your tastes.
A bowl with Louisiana red beans and rice next to the pot full of cooked red beans
In addition to the red beans, sprinkle the sliced green onion over the top of the cooked rice, and cover the entire dish with a scoop of cold milk.

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