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Red Beans and Rice Cajun Style

Red Beans and Rice is comfort food to those in the know. I like my red beans Cajun style, which means spicy nice! Served over rice and accompanied with Andouille sausage this meal is a healthy family favorite!
Red Beans, Rice, Cornbread

The first time I ate red beans and rice was while visiting my in laws. I don’t think they were my in laws yet and little did they know they’d soon be welcoming a nice Jewish girl into the fold. Now my MIL grew up outside of N’Awlins in Gulfport, Mississippi and she cooked Southern style. Being the sweet girl that I am, I tried not to look to appalled at the heap of beans and rice upon my plate. This is a food blog, don’t you know, and let’s just say that heap didn’t look too appetizing…to say the least. I hesitate to describe in graphic terms what it reminded me of…but being the sweet girl that I was…and still am…I took a bite of cornbread and then a bite of beans and discovered that despite what they looked like… red beans are very, very good.

red beans, rice, cornbread

Well as they say first comes love and then comes marriage, and then I had to try my hand at my MIL’s red bean recipe. It is a soothing recipe made with Eckrich smoked sausage and that sausage was specified. And if I could find it in my extraordinary filing system on the 3×5 index card that it is written on I would copy it here now. But I spent 10 minutes looking for that perfectly hand written card and I can see it with my own eyes but of course, I can’t find it!

It so happens after a few years of this recipe well, Cajun, became a thing. Paul Prudhomme became a thing and so did New Orleans…but when wasn’t it? I quickly latched on to Paul and his recipes, and Manservant and I discovered that we preferred his spicy, but still comforting version. With Mardi Gras around the corner I figured I’d give this to you…with love…because that’s how my MIL always served it. Well. With that and a big hunk of cornbread!

And for the record, for some odd reason I remember when we last ate this at my MIL’s house. It was January 16, 2016 as we passed through Houston on our way coming home from Costa Rica.  Red beans and rice is great for a crowd and my MIL, who is now in the throes of Alzheimer’s, made it for the family that stopped in to wish us a quick hello. Good memories. Good beans and rice!

red beans, rice, cornbread

A few more from some great food bloggers:
Cajun 10 Bean and Ham Soup from The View from Great Island
Homemade Dirty Rice from Southern Plate
Cajun BBQ Shrimp from This is How I Cook

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Red Beans and Rice is comfort food to those in the know. I like my red beans Cajun style, which means spicy nice! Served over rice and accompanied with Andouille sausage this meal is a healthy family favorite! #cajunfood #beans #mardigrasrecipes

And One More:

Great recipes for Mardi Gras!

Yield: 6 – 8 ServingsAuthor: Abbe OdenwalderPrint Recipe

Red Beans and Rice (Cajun Style)

prep time: 45 MINScook time: 2 hourtotal time: 2 hours and 45 mins
Red Beans and Rice is comfort food to those in the know. I like my red beans Cajun style, which means spicy nice! Served over rice and accompanied with Andouille sausage this meal is a healthy family favorite!


  • 1 lb dry red beans with water to cover the beans
  • 3 lbs ham hocks (optional)
  • 16 c  water or chicken stock in all (You may not use all of this)
  • 2 1/2 c finely chopped celery
  • 2 c  finely chopped onions
  • 2 c  finely chopped green peppers
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 t white pepper
  • 2 t dried thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t  fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 T Tabasco
  • 1 t red pepper, preferably cayenne
  • 1 -2 lbs smoked sausage such as kielbasa or Andouille (I buy Saags chicken Andouille) cut into large chunks (Depends on if you are using ham hocks)
  • 4 1/2 c rice


  1. Cover beans with water 2 inches above the beans. Let stand overnight. Drain before using or See Notes Below!
  2. Place ham hocks, (if using), 10 cups of water or stock, celery, onions, green peppers, bay leaves and seasonings in a 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer until meat is fork tender, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. (If not using ham hocks, add the drained beans here.)
  3. After 1 hour remove ham hocks and set aside. If just using beans , bring them to a boil  with seasonings from above, reduce heat and simmer for 60 minutes stirring occasionally, uncovered. If more water or stock is needed feel free to add. Stir in the sausage and continue simmering until the beans start to break up, about 35 minutes. Scrape bottom of pot fairly often. If the beans start to scorch, do not scrape up the bottom. Just transfer mixture to another pot. If beans are almost done,  add back ham hocks and cook and stir 10 minutes more.
  4. Serve over fresh cooked rice with a bit of sausage or ham hock and about 1 cup of red beans.


This is a perfect recipe for your slow cooker or your instant pot. I have neither so I do it the old fashioned way. I soak my beans overnight or combine them with enough water to cover the beams. Bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour, then proceed with recipe. Sometimes you do need to cook these longer and add more liquid, especially if you love at high altitude.

This can also be made with canned beans. Four 15oz cans is the approximate equivalent to 1 lb of dried beans.

I have used ham hocks though I didn't with this recipe. They give great flavor. After removing the thick skin from the ham hock, I shredded the meat and added it back towards the end of the cooking time. 

Traditionally red beans and rice is served on Mondays for lunch in New Orleans.

I like to top my red beans and rice with a little more finely chopped onion and serve it with cornbread. And Tabasco on the side.
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  • Reply
    Holly @
    February 10, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Isn't it neat how food connects us to family memories? Thanks for sharing your recipe and family story.

  • Reply
    Liz Berg
    February 10, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    I felt the same way when I looked at my MIL's salmon loaf. But I loved it! Sounds like a wonderful Mardi Gras recipe–I'll take mine with cornbread, too!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    February 10, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    LOVE red beans and rice. Such a great dish — tons of flavor. Spicy nice indeed! Good stuff — thanks so much.

  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    February 11, 2018 at 6:02 am

    Ain't freshly cooked beans amazing? This looks satisfying and very tasty, Abbe.

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    February 11, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Beans are hard to present in a pretty way – but you did it! This is a gorgeous bowl of comfort food. How nice your MIL introduced it to you. I love food memories and red beans and rice – with extra spice please!

  • Reply
    Corrie Duffy
    February 11, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    I have always had red beans and rice in the traditional Indian way but this seems to be a good variation. Adding sausage to such a great dish is simply brilliant. Thanks for the recipe Abbe! I am definitely gonna give it a try.

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    February 12, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    Good memories, indeed, Abbe! I've never had red beans and rice as we have no southern influences in our family but I'd certainly love to try them. Your heap of beans and rice looks very appetizing 🙂

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      February 17, 2018 at 4:33 am

      They grow on you Susan. And then about this time of year next year I want them!

  • Reply
    Healthy World Cuisine
    February 13, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Hearty, filling and perfect for this time of the year with Mardi Gras and this cooler weather. Loving those spices!

  • Reply
    February 14, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    Having grown up in Louisiana I can honestly say that southerners don't know the meaning of a small servings. 🙂 What a good looking bowl of red beans and rice! Now you have me craving it. Bobby usually makes it at least once during the winter so I'm sending this to him as a hint. 🙂

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      February 17, 2018 at 4:35 am

      So right about small servings! Put Bobby to work!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2018 at 3:07 am

    Yummm…. I love rice and beans. I usually add coconut milk in along with stock but then I guess it becomes more caribean than cajun right?

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      February 17, 2018 at 4:34 am

      Nothing wrong with that combo. I love Carribean!

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