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Red Beans and Rice Cajun Style

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  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 45 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2.5 hours
  • Yield: 6-8 Servings 1x
  • Category: Mains/Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Cajun


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!


Units Scale
  • 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
  • 12 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 cooked white 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 beans.
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 live at high altitude.

This can also be made with canned beans. 
Four 15 oz 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 shred the meat and added it back
towards the end of the cooking time, with or without extra sausage.
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 minced onion 
and Tabasco and cornbread on the side.

From Paul Prudhommes' Louisiana Kitchen.