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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. I love a good side dish for cajun food! This sounds like it has a ton of flavor!

  2. We love red beans and rice here but I’m thinking that I need to follow your recipe to make sure I am doing it right! 🙂

  3. My husband was born in NOLA and we have traveled there twice. My favorite thing to eat there is red beans and rice. Something about the spices that make it. No matter how hard I try, I can’t mimic it. Can’t wait to try this one!

  4. 5 stars
    Such a delicious recipe Joanie, we’ll definitely have to try this authentic recipe! I’ve never been to New Orleans. Yet. But it’s near the top of my bucket list. My husband Jon’s been there on a few rebuilding trips after Katrina. He loved the food!

  5. This looks absolutely delicious, I love red beans and rice! The ultimate comfort food.

  6. What a great traditional dish! I’ll bet it brings up so many memories every time you make it!

    1. It sure does, Tonia. Especially if I’ve got my Harry Connick Jr. CD playing in the background and I’m sipping on an Abita beer.

  7. Now that is an authentic New Orleans recipe. What a fun city with wonderful and delicious food. Your recipe looks fantastic

  8. I can see why your family loves this dish Joanie! It is full of flavor! I can’t wait to serve my family this authentic New Orleans meal.