Creole Red Beans & Rice

These Creole Red Beans & Rice are easy and delicious…and one heck of a cure for the Monday blues!

Creole Red Beans & Rice | Spicedblog.com“Laissez les bons temps rouler!”  For all you non-Cajun French speakers out there, that means “Let the good times roll!”  It’s also the unofficial motto of the state of Louisiana…and rightfully so.  If anyone knows how to party, it’s those crazy Cajuns living in south Louisiana.  Oh, and they know how to eat pretty darn well, too.  These Creole Red Beans & Rice are classic Louisiana fare.  When I lived in south Louisiana, red beans and rice was one of my favorite meals to order when I went out for lunch or dinner.  (If you’re ever passing through Baton Rouge, then promise me that you’ll make a stop at The Chimes restaurant.)  Now that I live in upstate New York, good Cajun food is kinda hard to find (imagine that!).  So I’ve resorted to making my own, and red beans make a frequent appearance in my kitchen.  With Fat Tuesday just one day away now, these Creole Red Beans & Rice are a great way to celebrate Mardi Gras and bring the flavor of New Orleans into your kitchen!

Creole Red Beans & Rice | Spicedblog.comRed beans and rice is traditionally served on Mondays in New Orleans.  This custom is so entrenched that you’ll often hear folks say they want red beans just because it’s Monday.  The tradition came about because Monday was “wash day” in the deep South, and women would do the laundry while the red beans cooked on the stove.  Aside from a little bit of prep work, red beans and rice is a fairly hands-off meal.  It just cooks in a large stock pot over medium-low heat for several hours…which makes it a great meal to prepare when you’ve got other household chores to do.

Creole Red Beans & Rice | Spicedblog.comAnother reason why red beans are a good Monday meal is because the leftover ham bone from Sunday’s dinner was thrown into the pot for added flavor.  (The use of the ham bone is another reason why red beans and rice is a Monday tradition in New Orleans.)  I don’t often have leftover ham bones around, so I add in a bunch of andouille-style sausage instead.  Although times have changed and Monday is no longer “wash day”…the red beans and rice tradition has stuck around.  And I’m glad it did because these Creole Red Beans & Rice are one heck of a cure for the Monday blues!

Creole Red Beans & Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried red beans
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 ounces tasso, chopped (optional, see note)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 pound andouille sausage (or smoked sausage), sliced and quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water (can also use 1/2 broth and 1/2 water)
  • 4 cups white rice, cooked
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • hot sauce (optional)

Instructions

  1. Rinse beans under cold water and then soak in a bowl of water overnight. (Make sure beans are covered by at least several inches of water.)
  2. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, add the olive oil and tasso. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Add the diced onions, celery, and bell pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes over medium heat or until onions begin to turn slightly translucent.
  3. Add the Cajun seasoning, parsley and sausage; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 more minutes. Finally, add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the drained beans and stock/water; bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Once it begins to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender (~3 hours) and only a small amount of liquid is left in the bottom of the pot. (Note: If the mixture becomes too thick, add a little bit of warm water to thin it back out.)
  5. Serve over cooked white rice; garnish with sliced green onions and hot sauce (optional).

Notes

Tasso, a staple in south Louisiana cooking, is a form of peppery, smoked ham. If you don't have access to tasso, you can substitute in additional andouille-style or smoked sausage.

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Comments

  1. Happy Fat Tuesday! These beans and rice look delicious. I think I see the hubby drooling and he isn’t even here : ) Thanks for explaining tasso, I was a little confused.

    • Happy Mardi Gras right back at ya, Laura! Yup, tasso is crazy delicious…but it’s a little hard to find outside of Louisiana unless you order it online. With or without the tasso, this is one of my favorite Cajun comfort food meals ever! :-)

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