Red beans and rice

Red beans and rice

Classic Cajun dish, served over hot rice


  • 1 pound dried red kidney beans
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2-3 stalks of celery with leaves, chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic, about 5 cloves or so
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 0.25 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjusting spicy to taste)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 0.5 to 1 lb of smoked sausage (andouille), cut into half-inch slices
  • A little dark roux, to thicken as needed
  • Baking soda to soak beans, optional
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Soak beans overnight with a pinch or two of baking soda. Drain and rinse the beans.
  2. Combine onion, celery, bell pepper, seasonings, and beans in a large dutch oven. Bring to a boil with plenty of water.
  3. Simmer until beans are nearly tender, perhaps 2 hours.
  4. Add sausage and a spoon or two of roux, simmer another 30 minutes or so. Start to make rice.
  5. Salt to taste and serve.


  • Baking soda to soak the beans helps them cook evenly at high altitude.
  • Serve over hot rice.
  • Optional toppings include chopped green onions, grated cheddar, and hot sauce.
  • If you don’t have roux (or don’t like the flavor), you can remove about half a cup of beans at the end, mash them thoroughly, then stir them back into the pot to thicken.
  • Chop the veggies as big or small as you’d like - I tend to finely dice them to let them melt into the sauce. Bigger pieces are delicious too.