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Red Beans and Rice (+Video)

Red Beans and Rice is a simple recipe that combines tender red beans, the perfect blend of seasonings, and hearty rice to create a truly comforting and flavorful southern meal.

A CLASSIC, COMFORTING AFFORDABLE MEAL

Red Beans and Rice has been around for ages and for good reason! It’s one of my all time favorite comfort meals. It’s so good, filling, and super affordable. It can be a side dish, but it really is a whole meal on its own for lunch or dinner. We generally serve with some cornbread or cornbread muffins, and of course, sweet tea! I love the simplicity of the dish and I also love how easy it is to make!

A large serving bowl of Red Beans and Rice.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’S): 

Can I use dried red beans instead of canned?

Yes, if you would like to use dried beans you can. However, you will need to soak them overnight before using them in this recipe. Over the years I have found that I actually prefer to make this with canned beans. They are the perfect texture and it cooks up quick. However, dried beans can be a cheaper option for sure. Most other recipes I’ve seen suggest using a pound of dried beans. Keep in mind, you may have to add a bit more liquid to this since you won’t have the additional liquid from the canned beans.

Can I add meat?

Certainly. You can add some andouille, chorizo, other smoked sausage like kielbasa, crumbled bacon, or diced ham.

Is Red Beans and Rice spicy?

This version is not spicy. You can adjust the heat or spice level of this dish by adjusting the spices you use. Add some cayenne pepper, chipotle powder, or your favorite hot sauce to kick them up.

Can I make this in the Slow Cooker?

This is one of the few times I will say no. No slow cooker is needed simply because the simmer time is only 15-20 minutes and it’s just not enough to warrant a slow cooker. Also, the beans may not thicken up as well in a slow cooker as they do on the stovetop.
Now, after you make them and you want to keep them warm for serving, you could put them into a slow cooker on the keep warm setting. But I think preparing them in the slow cooker is just doing much more work than necessary when it’s easily and quickly done on the stovetop. 

How to store and reheat leftover beans and rice?

Once the beans have cooled, they can be transferred to a container and kept in the fridge for up to 5 days. Keep them longer by freezing for up to 3 months.
Reheat in a saucepan with a splash of water or stock, the longer they sit the thicker they will become. Make sure to watch them and stir a lot so they don’t burn while reheating. I always cook up rice fresh to serve with the beans.

A spoon in a bowl full of Red Beans and Rice.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • bacon grease– while this brings a ton of flavor, you can swap it out for all butter if needed (but really go for the bacon grease if you can.)
  • salted butter – use real butter, not margarine. You could technically use margarine but you really would just be adding flavored oil and butter is always better.
  • garlic powder, onion powder, creole seasoning, salt and pepper – normally I just season to taste which is what I encourage everyone to do. However, when posting recipes, you have to be able to give people amounts so I did my best to measure how much I usually use. It is always important though to taste and make it to your liking.
  • canned red beans– make sure not to drain and rinse the beans, you need that liquid in the cans to help them thicken up properly. See my FAQ’s above about using dried beans.
  • water – for an even bigger pop of flavor, try using vegetable or chicken broth instead of water.
  • cooked long grain white rice – for me, it has to be white rice but please use what you prefer eating whether that be brown rice or cauliflower rice.
Bacon grease, cans of red beans, creole seasoning, cooked rice, butter, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and water.

HOW TO MAKE RED BEANS AND RICE

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the bacon grease and butter. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, creole seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook for about a minute.

collage of two photos: butter and bacon grease in a cast iron skillet; seasonings added to cast iron skillet.

Add the beans and water to the pan, stir to combine. Take a potato masher and mash the beans to break them up, make sure there are some larger and smaller chunks of beans.

Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally while scraping the bottom of the pan, so nothing burns, until thickened and reduced slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

collage of three photos: red beans and water added to cast iron skillet; a potato masher shown mashing some of the beans; a large spoon holding up some of the cooked beans.

Serve immediately with the cooked rice.

A spoon holding a bite of Red Beans and Rice in a white serving bowl.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES? 

Close up looking at a bowl of Red Beans and Rice.

Red Beans and Rice (+Video)

Red Beans and Rice is a simple recipe that combines tender red beans, the perfect blend of seasonings, and hearty rice to create a truly comforting and flavorful southern meal.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons bacon grease (butter can be used)
  • 1 Tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 (15.5 ounce) cans red beans undrained
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 cups cooked long grain white rice, to serve

Instructions

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 Tablespoons bacon grease and 1 Tablespoon salted butter.
    butter and bacon grease in a cast iron skillet.
  • Add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon creole seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to pan. Stir and cook for about a minute.
    seasonings added to melted butter and bacon grease in a cast iron skillet.
  • Add 3 (15.5 ounce) cans red beans and 1/4 cup water to the pan, stir to combine.
    Red beans, water, garlic powder, onion powder, creole seasoning, salt, pepper, and butter in a skillet.
  • Take a potato masher and mash the beans to break them up, make sure there are some larger and smaller chunks of beans.
    A potato masher mashing red beans and seasonings with water in a skillet.
  • Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally while scraping the bottom of the pan, so nothing burns, until thickened and reduced slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
    A spoon holding a scoop of Red Beans.
  • Serve up immediately with the 4 cups cooked long grain white rice,.
    A large serving bowl of Red Beans and Rice.

Video

Notes

  • Please refer to my FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 599mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Don’t tell my Mee Maw but this was some of the best red beans I have ever had. I am making it again today because it was eaten up so fast LOL

  2. 5 stars
    My husband and I moved from Michigan to South Carolina two years ago. Our daughter in law was born and raised in South Carolina. I decided to make red beans and rice for dinner a couple of nights ago to surprise her. Oh my goodness! While they were cooking, the house smelled amazing! Never having red beans and rice, I wasn’t sure what they were supposed to taste like. Let me put it this way, my daughter in law declared that I make an “awesome Southern momma”. What a great compliment!