Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice is an everyday cajun food, and is popular in many areas as a main course.  However, I grew up on red beans as a side dish with smothered meat with rice and gravy.  I guess the "poor folks" (or those that did not hunt much or were not very good at it, neither being a problem in my family) ate just red beans and rice.  For a little history on red beans and rice go to

Late last century, I headed up a Gumbo Cook Fundraiser for St.Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, in College Station, TX.  Well, some of those Texans did not take to the gumbo too well, so we decided we needed a second main dish for the non-gumbo eaters.  We settled on red beans and rice to keep with the cajun theme of the meal.  The following is a modification of the recipeI  used for the red beans and rice. The basic recipe is for a family-sized serving , and the 40 to 60 quart pot recipe is for feeding a whole bunch of people. 
dry red or kidney beans
smoked sausage or andouille sausage
tasso or ham hock
onion, medium
bell pepper
green onion tops
bay leaf
Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco hot sauce
boullon, chicken
Cajun seasoning mix 
Basic Recipe
1 lb
1 lb
0.5 lb
1 count,  chopped
1 count, chopped
1-2 stalks, chopped
3-5 cloves, chopped
1/2 cup, chopped
1/2 cup, chopped
1 leaf
1 tbs
1 tsp
1 cube
1 tsp
Approx. 6
40-60 Qt Pot Recipe
16 lb
16 lb
8 lb
1 gal, chopped
1 gal, chopped
2 quart, chopped
2 cups, minced
2 quart, chopped
2 quart, chopped
16 leaves
8 oz
4 oz
16 cubes
8 tbs
Approx. 100

Soak and Simmer Beans 

  • Red beans or kidney beans are the traditional bean used. 
  • Wash the beans and remove any "non-bean stuff".
  • Soak beans overnight covered in water.
Cook Beans:
  • Drain beans and add fresh water.
  • Add cajun seasoning mix (homemade, Chachere's or Zatarain's) and boullon.
  • Heat to a light boil and cook beans for about an hour.  Keep the beans covered with water.
  • Allow another hour cooking time for the 40-60 quart pot recipe, because it takes longer to heat up.
Add Vegetables and Seasonings: 
  • Add sausage, tasso or ham hock, onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, bay leaf, Worcestershire and Tabasco.
  • If you like, you can brown the sliced sausage and tasso in a little oil before adding to the beans.  If you decide to brown the sausage, then go ahead and sauté the vegetables in the sausage grease before adding to the beans. 
  • Simmer 2-3 hours or until the beans are tender.
  • Allow another hour cooking time for the 40-60 quart pot recipe, because it takes longer to heat up.
  • Add water to keep the beans covered with water.
Add the garnish: 
  • When almost done, add the chopped green onion tops and parsley.
  • Serve over cooked white rice.  Don't eat those bay leaves! 
Spice to Your Taste: 
  • Add more Tabasco sauce or cajun seasoning mix to taste at the table.
Link back to Recipe Home Page ©David Wm. Reed