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A classic New Orleans recipe for Red Beans and Rice made with red beans, spicy sausage, onions, garlic and green bell peppers. One of my family’s favorite meals! 

A bowl of Red Beans and Rice next to a bottle of hot sauce and a plate of beer bread

To me, a good bowl of Red Beans and Rice is perfect any day of the week.  It’s a great one-pot meal that’s easy to make and full of flavor.  I season my beans with chopped celery, onions, garlic, bell peppers and chunks of spicy sausage.  It simmers on the stove for a few hours filling your home with the most incredible aroma.

Serve your red beans up with a loaf of beer bread on the side.  If you make it with a dark amber beer, that’s a real plus!  If you make it with Abita Amber (made in Louisiana) huge bonus points for you.

A loaf of beer bread cut into a few slices

There are two schools of thought when it comes to soaking or not soaking the beans.  I soak them.  It’s just what I was raised to do.  You don’t have to soak your beans overnight, you can use the quick soak method instead or you can forego soaking completely and just cook the beans until they’re tender.


New Orleans Style Red Beans and Rice

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
A classic New Orleans recipe for Red Beans and Rice made with red beans, spicy sausage, onions, garlic and green bell peppers. One of my family’s favorite meals!


  • 1 pound red beans, rinsed and sorted
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound pork sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 leaves bay
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 tablespoons butter


  • Either soak the beans overnight in a pot of water or quick soak the beans by placing them in a large pot and cover the beans with water by 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the stove and place a lid on the pot. Let beans sit for 1 hour.
  • Rinse and drain the beans and set aside.
  • In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium high heat. Add the onions, celery and bell pepper to the pot and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes more.
  • Add the chopped sausage to the pot and cook along with the vegetables for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the beans and 8 cups of water to the pot. Add in the bay leaves, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and thyme. Stir well.
  • Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • After the 2 hours and when the beans are tender, stir in the butter and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • If the beans become too thick and dry, add a little water.
  • Using the back of a heavy spoon, mash a few of the beans against the side of the pot. Remove from heat, take out the bay leaves and serve over rice.
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Hi, I’m Joanie and welcome to ZagLeft where we share favorite recipes as well as exciting travel experiences that we’ve enjoyed while always trying to take the road less traveled.

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  1. Oh yum, this looks so good! I love beans and rice! Thank you for sharing this great recipe, I can’t wait to try it!

  2. What a fun history of New Orleans! I have never been there and only heard the crazy ‘adult’ bead throwing. I used to drink the Abita Raspberry Beer too! Rice and beans would be great any day!

  3. I have never visited New Orleans before but it is one of those places I would like to go. These rice and beans would not last long in my house!