This was a staple growing up. Not only was it an inexpensive meal that fed a large crowd, but it was also a Cajun favorite my mom loved to cook. I also fell in love with this meal even if I don’t make it as often. It is perfect to make when you know you will be too busy to do a lot of cooking and can simply start it cooking and walk away to do other projects. You can always prep your sausage and rice the day before while prepping the beans, and then just quickly get it cooking and warm the rice right before serving. It is also an item that tastes just as good, if not better, the next day. In the recipe I gave a rough amount for the salt and pepper. I do this, because you don’t know how much salt will leach out of the sausage into the sauce. Be sure to taste before adding any salt to the cooked beans. I often find I don’t need to add much at all. I do like to sprinkle a tiny bit of my Cajun seasoning to my plate and garnish with a little parsley. But both of those items are optional. Your choice of sausage will likely dictate the amount of added seasoning. It really doesn’t matter which kind you use, as long as it is a link sausage that can be sliced into round chunks. I like a Kielbasa or Polish sausage, but you can always find a good Andouille or Cajun sausage as well.
Another important key to making this is the prepping and cooking of the beans. You can buy precooked beans in a can, but it’s just not the same. Get the cheap dried bag of beans. You want red beans, but Kidney will work just the same. In fact, most places that serve this dish use kidney beans. Trust me getting the dried beans is worth the effort! You don’t have to soak, but it helps in the cooking time if you are just going to slow cook. Plus soaking them over night will help leach out the sugars that are responsible for the production of gas in your gut. You’ll notice in the pictures how the kidney beans I used started with clear water and then the next day have a darker water, bubbles on top, and the beans have doubled in size. So, trust me and soak the beans, discard that water, put in fresh water, and Enjoy those beautiful beans.
Red Beans and Rice
- 1 1 pound bag dried red beans can use kidney
- 1-2 pound link sausage I use Kielbasa
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- to taste Cajun seasoning
- 1/4 tsp parsley for garnish
- 2 cups rice
- Place dried beans in a container and fully cover with water. Cover and soak overnight. The next day drain the water from the beans. (This step is optional but preferred) Place beans in a crock pot and cover fully with water. Cut sausage into chunks and add to the beans. Cook on low for several hours. When beans are soft and no longer have a crisp texture when bitten into it is done. If there is too much water switch from a slow cook to a boil to reduce the liquid. Taste then add salt and pepper as needed. I put a half teaspoon each, but you may want more or less. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with a little Cajun seasoning and a little dried or fresh parsley.