New Orleans-style red beans and rice has all of the flavors you expect in Cajun food, plus bacon! Really, you can add just about anything you want with bacon and it will be awesome.

New Orleans style red beans and rice has all of the flavors you expect in Cajun food, plus bacon! Really, you can add just about anything you want with bacon and it will be awesome. | Recipe from

Looking for the best red beans and rice recipe?

Making red beans and rice at home is totally worth it. Its savory, smoky flavors mingle with tender beans and fluffy white rice, all in one hearty dish. It’s like bringing a slice of Southern Louisiana straight to your kitchen! Plus, cooking it yourself lets you customize the spice level, choose your favorite sausage, and control the ingredients. 

No need to wait for Mardi Gras or search high and low for authentic red beans and rice—just whip up a batch at home and enjoy the deliciousness any day of the week. It’s easy, comforting, and perfect for feeding a hungry crowd or just cozying up with a bowl on a chilly night, just like crockpot chili or broccoli cheddar soup

What Are Red Beans and Rice?

Red beans and rice hold a special place in the heart of New Orleans, and their history is as rich and flavorful as the dish itself. Dating back to the city’s early days, red beans and rice were a staple among the working-class families of the area. Traditionally served on Mondays—known as “wash day”—this hearty meal was an economical and convenient choice, allowing cooks to simmer a pot of beans while tackling their laundry chores. As the dish gained popularity, it became ingrained in the cultural fabric of New Orleans, evolving into a beloved comfort food enjoyed by people of all backgrounds. Today, red beans and rice remain a symbol of Southern hospitality and culinary tradition, continuing to delight locals and visitors alike with their soul-warming goodness.

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • COMFORTING – Red beans and rice has a rich, savory flavor that warms you up from the inside out, making it the perfect dish for cozy nights or chilly days
  • FLAVORFUL – The spicy andouille sausage paired with the creamy red beans and warm seasonings creates a well-rounded, flavorful dish. 

What You Need to Make Red Beans and Rice

  • Dry Red Kidney Beans – These are our main protein source, perfect for soaking up all the delicious flavors as they cook.
  • Smoked Bacon – You gotta have that smoky flavor, and bacon brings it along with some rich fat for extra goodness.
  • Ham – It adds to the meatiness and brings in a deeper flavor. If you don’t have ham, you can use a ham hock instead. 
  • Yellow Onion –Adds a bit of sweetness and depth and goes perfectly with the savory stuff.
  • Garlic Powder – A sprinkle of this evenly spreads that savory garlic taste.
  • Onion Powder – Boosts up the onion flavor and adds even more depth.
  • Cumin – Brings in those warm, earthy notes that we all love.
  • Cayenne Pepper – Adds just the right amount of heat to keep things interesting.
  • Chicken Broth – This is what infuses our beans with all that savory goodness and keeps everything nice and moist.
  • Andouille Sausage – Spicy, smoky, and just what we need to jazz up our dish.
  • Cooked Rice – Soaks up all that amazing sauce and gives us something to sink our teeth into. Use white rice for this recipe. 
  • Green Onions – Sprinkle these on top for a fresh, mildly oniony kick.

How to Make Red Beans and Rice

  • Cover and Soak the Beans: Begin by covering the dry beans with about 2 inches of water in a large pot or bowl. Place the pot or bowl in the refrigerator and let the beans soak overnight.
  • Prepare the Flavor Base: In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Then, add the diced ham and cook until it’s nicely browned, which should take about 4 minutes. Now, stir in the finely chopped onion and bell peppers, and cook until they’re soft, around 5 minutes. Once they’re soft, add the bay leaves, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Cook for an additional 3 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Cook the Beans: Drain the soaked beans and add them to the pot with the flavor base. Pour in the chicken broth and bring everything to a rolling boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer gently for about 2 hours, or until the beans are very tender. Once tender, use a spoon to mash some of the beans against the side of the pot about 10 times. This helps thicken the mixture. Let it simmer for an additional 20 minutes to allow the flavors to deepen. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sear the Sausage: While the beans are simmering, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Sear the smoky andouille sausage links until they’re golden brown on both sides, which should take about 7 to 10 minutes per side.
  • Serve: To serve, scoop some cooked rice into the center of a serving bowl. Ladle the red bean mixture around the rice. Finally, place a seared sausage link on top of the beans and garnish with sliced green onions. Enjoy your delicious homemade red beans and rice!

Expert Recipe Tips

  • Swap the cumin and cayenne pepper for cajun seasoning for a down-home bayou feel.
  • Want more heartiness? Swap the white rice for brown rice. 
  • Not a fan of spicy? Swap the spicy sausage for mild sausage or any other type of sausage you like. 
  • Want more spice? Add a dash of hot sauce on top or increase the amount of cayenne pepper.

How to Store Leftovers & Reheat

To store leftover red beans and rice, let them cool down first. Then, transfer them into an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. They can last for up to 3 to 4 days if stored properly. Freeze leftover red beans and rice for up to 3 months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

When you’re ready to enjoy them again, you have a few options for reheating. You can simply microwave them in a microwave-safe dish, stirring occasionally until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat them on the stovetop over medium-low heat, adding a splash of water or broth to prevent them from drying out. Just remember to stir frequently to ensure even heating. 

What to Serve With Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice are delicious on their own but can be served with various sides, such as double cheddar biscuits or a baguette, collard greens, or a simple green salad. It’s also great if you want a themed dinner, paired with Chicken Jambalaya or blackened chicken.

Now you’re ready to enjoy this classic comfort food—grab a bowl, dig in, and savor the flavors of New Orleans right in your own kitchen! If you try this recipe, please rate the recipe card and leave a comment down below to help out the next reader! 

Red Beans and Rice with “New Orleans Style” Sausage


  • 8 ounces dry red kidney beans
  • 8 ounces smoked bacon, roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces ham, diced
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package the best/closest you can get to andouille sausage at your local market
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 3 green onions, sliced


Cover the beans with 2-inches of water and refrigerate overnight.

Cook the bacon over medium heat in a large pot until crispy. Add the ham and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the onion and bell peppers and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and cayenne pepper. Continue to cook for 3 minutes. Drain the beans and add to the pot. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the beans are very tender. Once the beans are tender, mash them against the side of the pot. Repeat approximately 10 times. Stir to distribute the mashed beans. Simmer about 20 more minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

In a medium skillet, sear the sausage until golden brown, about 7 to 10 minutes per side.

To serve the red beans and rice, scoop cooked rice into the middle of a serving bowl. Ladle the red beans around the rice. Place a sausage link on top. Garnish with green onions.

Recipe FAQs

Yes, you can use canned beans if you’re short on time. Just be sure to drain and rinse them before adding them to the recipe. Keep in mind that using dry beans allows for better flavor absorption and texture in the final dish.

Absolutely! Simply omit the bacon and ham and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. You can also add extra vegetables like mushrooms or carrots for added flavor and texture.

The spiciness can be adjusted to your preference by increasing or decreasing the amount of cayenne pepper. If you prefer a milder flavor, you can omit the cayenne pepper altogether and use a mild sausage. 

Absolutely! Red beans and rice actually taste better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld together. Simply store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat when ready to enjoy.

Making red beans and rice in a crock pot is super easy. First, you’ll want to soak your dry beans overnight to help them cook evenly. In the morning, drain and rinse the beans before adding them to the crock pot. Then, add the rest of the ingredients to the drained beans. Cook on LOW for 8 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, stir in some cooked rice and let it heat through.


  1. This looks totally delicious! So much so that I want some right NOW!

    I see that you’re going to Philly Bootcamp – me too! I’m glad that there’s a few familiar bloggers attending!

    Oh, and I am totally with you on the girly-girl vs. sleep thing – sleep wins pretty much every time. Even if I’m not sleeping, I’d rather be in bed!

  2. Katie@SassySillySpunkyMomma says:

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I LOVE your blog design. I can’t wait to explore your blog more!

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