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A black bowl filled with red beans and rice sprinkled with chopped scallions, 5 forks in corner pointing towards the bowl

Red Beans and Rice New Orleans Style

  • Author: Lisa
  • Total Time: 2 hours 55 mins
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


Red Beans and Rice is an easy, comforting, family friendly recipe that's great for feeding a crowd.


  • 1 pound of red kidney beans, rinsed, picked over, and soaked for at least 8 hours or overnight. (To soak, put beans in a large bowl and add water until it's 2 inches above the beans. Or use the quick soaking method).
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil such as canola or light olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped yellow or red onion (2 medium onions)
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery (2-3 stalks)
  • 1 cup finely chopped green pepper (1 medium pepper)
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound, packaged boneless ham steak, diced into 1/2-inch cubes (see notes)
  • 12-16 ounces smoked Andouille sausage, thinly sliced (see notes for subsitutions)
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced or squeezed through a garlic press
  • 9-10 cups low salt chicken broth or water (I recommend Swanson's)
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 cups cooked white rice (from 3 cups raw rice)
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced, to sprinkle on top


  1. Drain beans and set them aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large cooking heavy cooking pot or Dutch oven. Sauté onion, celery and green pepper and sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, until starting to soften. Add bay leaves, salt, pepper, thyme and cayenne and stir through. Add ham and sausages and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the drained beans and 9 cups of the broth and turn the heat up high. As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 2 hours, adding additional broth or water (1/4 cup at a time) if the beans start to look dry.
  3. Remove pot from heat. Using a fork or the back of a wooden spoon, mash about a third of the beans against the side of the pot. Or you can use a potato masher to mash the beans against the bottom of the pot. Return the pot to a low simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes more, until the beans are tender and creamy, adding extra broth or water to thin, if needed.
  4. Serve the beans with rice and garnish with chopped scallions.


What kind of red kidney beans? When you're shopping for dried red kidney beans, you might come across two different types. One is light pink, the other dark red. Either works well in this recipe, though I have a slight preference for the dark ones because it results in a richer deeper color in the final dish, which I like.

What is ham steak? Ham steak is a thick slice from a smoked ham. Look for boneless ham steak in the smoked meat or bacon section of the grocery store. They come smoked, with or without a bone, and usually weigh a pound. If you can't find boneless ham steak, look for one with a very small bone and close to a pound of meat.

Sausage Substitutions: If you can't find andouille sausage, use another spicy smoked sausage such as Chorizo or Kielbasa.

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • plus soaking time for the beans: 8 hours or overnight
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 mins
  • Category: Main course
  • Method: simmer
  • Cuisine: Creole

Keywords: Red beans and rice