New Orleans Style Red Beans & Rice

"Over the years, (I would like to think that) I have mastered this New Orleans Favorite. After watching my mom cook red beans & rice for many years, I now cook them for my husband, his family, my co-workers, and friends. I apologize, up front, for the absence of certain measurements, but as you know, when cooking, sometimes we just eyeball it and then perform a taste test later. NOTE: I cook white beans the same way."
photo by A Good Thing photo by A Good Thing
photo by A Good Thing
photo by PaulaG photo by PaulaG
Ready In:
3hrs 30mins




  • Rinse beans (optional: soak overnight or for several hours prior to cooking, in order to avoid possible gas effects that sometimes result when eating beans).
  • After rinsing, place the beans in the stock pot and fill 3/4 full of water. (The water will reduce as the beans cook). Bring to a boil.
  • After the water comes to a boil, saute chopped onions and garlic in approximately 2 tablespoon of margarine, then add it to the beans. Lower heat to med-high and cook for approximately one hour.
  • Add remaining seasoning, including seasoning salt, (optional) salt, pepper, parsley flakes, and bay leaves. Cook for another hour on med-high. Throughout cooking, add boiling water (and additional seasoning) to the pot, if the liquid reduces too much. Stir occasionally.
  • Next -- this is the "magical step" -- add 1 stick of butter and cook for another hour on med-high, stirring occasionally. Watch the heat and adjust accordingly to avoid scorching your beans.
  • Heat the ham and smoke sausage pieces in the microwave and add to the pot of beans. I like to heat the meat, so that my beans will continue cooking at its current temperature.
  • Continue to cook on medium to medium-low, as the beans thicken. Stir occasionally. NOTE: I stay pretty close to my pot when cooking beans, so I can make sure they don't begin to stick.
  • Serve over rice -- perhaps, add a piece of cornbread and ENJOY!

Questions & Replies

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  1. sweetgirlkcr
    I had never cooked red beans before and used this recipe for my guide. My husband LOVED them and said may be the best he has ever had! I used ham pieces and one small piece of sausage along with a few bacon crumbles and a really small amount of bacon grease (1 tablespoon or less) and reduced the bay leaves to 3. I used real butter. I think I will be cooking the beans in the future. Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration.
  2. eaglemom_2_12887095
    Made this for tonight's dinner and we loved it! I used red beans because I don't like kidney beans, and cooked most of the day in the crockpot. Yum!
  3. A Good Thing
    We really enjoyed these red beans. I cooked mine in the Crockpot after soaking them overnight. I cooked them 2 hours on high before adding the onion and and garlic. Then cooked them a further few hours. Once they were mostly done, I added the meat, bay leaves, seasoning, and butter. Boy, the butter added a wonderful flavor! I cooked them a final few hours on low and they were YUMMY! Made for Spring 2009 PAC. (-: Thanks for posting!
  4. PaulaG
    Red beans and rice is pure comfort food. The seasoning salt became Cajun seasoning and the sausage was andouille which was sauteed in a skillet along with the ham and then added to the beans. Cornbread is a must with red beans and rice. I did add a touch of butter but probably not as much as indicated in the recipe. Made for *PAC 2009*



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