Authentic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

Authentic Cajun flavor! I grew up in Louisiana and love red beans and rice; these are just like I remember. Serve with hot sauce for a little kick. My family loved to splash a little cider vinegar in each bowl.

Looking for a hearty rice dish with a kick? This authentic Louisiana red beans and rice is a budget-friendly recipe with incredible Cajun flavor. Andouille sausage joins garden-fresh vegetables, zesty spices, and long grain rice in this deliciously down-home recipe. Learn all about this boldly savory dish, including tips on choosing the best beans and what to serve alongside it.

How to Make Red Beans and Rice

This multifaceted Louisiana-style red beans and rice recipe is made easier by breaking down the prep into small steps. You’ll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here’s a brief overview of what you can expect:

Start by soaking your beans overnight, and dicing any vegetables beforehand.

When you’re ready to begin, transfer the soaked beans to a large pot with water. Then, saute onions, bell peppers, garlic, and celery in an oiled skillet until a bit of color appears. Add the cooked vegetables, bay leaves, Cajun seasoning, and other spices to the beans.

Bring the bean mixture to a boil before reducing the heat and allowing the ingredients to simmer for two to two and a half hours. Steam the rice during this time and set it aside. Add Andouille sausage to the beans and cook for an additional half-hour. After cooking, pour the spicy sausage and beans over rice, and enjoy a piping hot bowl of tender, meaty, and flavorful perfection.

Red Beans vs. Kidney Beans

Red beans and kidney beans share a similar color, but they’re actually two different types of legumes. Red beans are small, rounded, and have a faintly nutty taste. Red kidney beans are larger in size, with thicker skin and a slightly richer hue.

Both can be used to make an appetizing red beans and rice dish, but dried kidney beans may have to soak longer before cooking. Using dry beans in this recipe ensures that they retain their shape during cooking.

How to Soak Beans

Dried beans should be soaked prior to cooking for easier digestion and faster cook time. There are two commonly used ways to soak beans: overnight or quick soak. The overnight method is incredibly simple — add beans to a large stockpot and cover them with twice their volume in water. Cover and let sit overnight.

Quick soaking consists of bringing dried beans and water to a boil before removing them from heat and allowing the beans to sit for one to four hours (or until they’re easily squeezed).

What to Serve With Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice is a versatile recipe that can act as a main or side dish. The big, hearty flavors pair well with foods like cornbread, collard greens, barbecued meats, and fried chicken.

How to Store Leftover Red Beans and Rice

Leftover red beans should be stored separately from rice to discourage mushiness. Place both components in their own sealed container and refrigerate for up to a week.

To freeze your leftovers, place cooled, single servings of rice into freezer bags and top with a commensurate portion of beans. Tightly seal the bags, and freeze for up to three months.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

“I’m a Louisiana boy who grew up eating red beans and rice, shares reviewer jChase. “This recipe is the real deal. It’s become a staple in my home and I serve it up twice a month.”

“I made substitutions because I did not want to venture out to the market for ingredients I did not have,” says home cook Rea. “This time, I used chorizo sausage, celery powder, and green pepper from my garden. I recommend it as-is, or with personal adjustments!”

“All I can say is wow!” raves Lesley. “I served half that night for dinner (over white jasmine rice) and the rest I froze in individual servings for a later date. A 5-star recipe for sure!”


  • 1 pound dry kidney beans
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups long grain white rice


  1. Gather all ingredients.

  2. Rinse beans, and then soak in a large pot of water overnight.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Rinse beans, and transfer to a large pot with 6 cups water. Stir cooked vegetables into beans. Season with bay leaves, parsley, thyme, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, and sage. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
  5. Stir sausage into beans, and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the rice. Bring water and rice to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve beans over steamed white rice.

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