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Overhead image of a green bowl of creole red beans and rice with a silver fork. Garnished with green onion. An unwrapped cornbread muffin with a bite removed on top right.
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Creole Red Beans and Rice

Use dried beans (begin the evening before) to create the most flavorful red beans and rice this side of New Orleans.
Canned Beans instructions can be found in the notes.
Course Entree
Cuisine Creole, North American
Keyword beans and legumes, rice
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
soaking time (or anywhere from 6-12 hours) 6 hours
Total Time 9 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 732kcal

Equipment

  • 4-quart dutch oven

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (454 grams) dark red kidney beans sorted and rinsed clean
  • 1/2 pound (170 grams) bacon diced
  • 12 ounces (340 grams) andouille sausage (or up to 1 pound), sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
  • 1 1/4 cups (65 grams) yellow onion diced
  • 1 cup (149 grams or 1 medium) green bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup (100 grams or 4 stalks) celery diced
  • 1/4 cup (8 cloves) garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup (1 medium) jalapeño pepper seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sofrito optional
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning (Tony Cachere's), plus more to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
  • 6 cups (1 1/2 litres) ham broth (or chicken broth)

To serve

Instructions

Soak the Red Beans (Begin at least 8 hours ahead)

  • Add the sorted and rinsed beans to a large bowl.
    Cover the beans in the bowl with at least 4-inches of cold water. Soak the dried beans at room temperature for no less than 6 hours but no longer than 12.
  • Once the soaking period is over, strain the water from the beans before giving them another rinse under cold, running water.
    Set aside while you begin the flavoring base.

Render the Fat and Sauté the Aromatics

  • Add the bacon to a 4-quart dutch oven.
    Heat the pot over medium-high heat to slowly render the fat from the bacon. After 2-3 minutes of cooking, there should be about a tablespoon of bacon grease in the bottom of your pot.
  • Add the andouille sausage to the pot. Stir the sausage and bacon together, then brown the sausage for 2-3 minutes, or until it takes on a little color.
  • Stir the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, jalapeño, and sofrito (if you're using it) into the pot with the sausage and bacon.
    Sauté the veggies for 3 minutes, or until they begin to look glossy.
  • Add the tomato paste, cajun seasoning, bay leaves, cumin, thyme leaves, pepper, and allspice to the pot and stir to incorporate everything.  

Add, then Simmer the Beans

  • Add the soaked, drained beans to the pot. Stir in the ham broth. 
    Bring the liquid in the pot up to a rolling boil. Boil the beans for a 10 full minutes, stirring them occasionally to keep beans from sticking to the bottom of the pot. 
  • After boiling the beans for 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to medium-low and allow the beans to simmer for 2 1/2 hours, or until just tender. The beans should offer a bit of resistance when bitten into, but shouldn't be crunchy.
    If they are still too hard, continue simmering for another 15-20 minutes, or until tender.

Serve and Garnish

  • Portion 1/2-3/4 cups of the prepared white rice into your serving bowls.
    Surround the rice with a generous serving of red beans. Garnish the assembled dish with thinly sliced jalapeños, green onions, or nothing at all. 
    Serve with a slice of cornbread or a cornbread muffin (or two).

Notes

An important note about red bean lectin:
  The soaking, and 10-minute boiling the beans later on in the recipe is not optional. The toxic lectin in the beans is removed during these steps. 
Pork Alternatives:
  • Turkey bacon (or oil) and chicken andouille or beef polish kielbasa (odesskie) can replace the bacon and the andouille sausage. 
  • Replace the ham broth with chicken broth.
To Use Canned Beans Instead of Dried:
  1. Drain and rinse 2 16-ounce cans of dark red kidney beans.
  2. Add the beans to the pot with 3 cups of ham broth instead of 6 cups. 
  3. Simmer the beans for only 45 minutes. 
Make-Ahead Instructions:
  1. Prepare the Creole red beans and rice as instructed.
  2. Transfer them to a food storage container.
  3. Freeze the beans for 2 months or refrigerate them for up to 3 days.
Storage Instructions:
  1. Transfer the cooled red beans and rice to separate storage containers. You can also combine the two into one large container. 
  2. Refrigerate the leftovers for up to 3 days.
  3. Sometimes, as the beans sit, the sauce thickens. If you find your sauce is more of a thick paste, thin it with a bit of ham or chicken broth or water as you reheat it.
  4. Remove the servings of beans you want to eat and reheat them in the microwave or on the stovetop until piping hot. 
  5. Spoon the beans over the warmed rice. 
Freezer Instructions:
  1. Transfer the cooled beans to a freezer storage bag. Freeze the bag lying flat, so it takes up less space when you stand it up after it freezes solid.
  2. Freeze the rice in a separate bag.
  3. Red beans and rice freeze exceptionally well for 2 months.
  4. Thaw the beans (and rice) under refrigeration.
  5. Reheat the beans thoroughly in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Nutrition

Calories: 732kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 1136mg | Potassium: 856mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 863IU | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 4mg