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Serving of NOLA Red Beans and Rice in a blue bowl next to Louisiana hot sauce.


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 18 reviews

  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Total Time: 3 Hours 15 Minutes
  • Yield: 5 Servings 1x


This is an authentic recipe for New Orleans red beans and rice. Serve this NOLA favorite with corn bread. Enjoy it on Monday after the laundry is done, or any day of the week!


Units Scale

Ingredients for Red Beans

  • 1 pound Camellia brand dry red kidney beans, sorted over and rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (or bacon grease)
  • 3/4 cup chopped ham (or Louisiana tasso or 5 slices thick-cut bacon with rendered fat)
  • 1 medium onion (yellow or white), finely diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 large celery rib, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly-ground
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (omit if using Louisiana tasso)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves (no stems)
  • 12 oz Andouille sausage – fully cooked not raw, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds (or pickled pork shoulder)
  • 1 smoked ham hock (about 1 pound)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar, divided
  • Tabasco Sauce or Louisiana Crystal Hot Sauce, for serving

Ingredients for Rice

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice (or Jasmine rice), for serving
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/22 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions, for garnishing



  1. Add 4 quarts water plus 3 tablespoons salt to a large pot. Whisk to combine. Add rinsed, sorted beans to the pot. Let beans brine overnight, or 8 to 24 hours.
  2. Drain and rinse beans in a colander. Return beans to the pot. Pour chicken broth and water over the beans. Bring to a simmer.

Make the Beans

  1. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add chopped ham. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add onions to the skillet. Sauté until onions become tender and transparent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add bell peppers and celery. Season with salt and black pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add smoked paprika, cayenne, thyme, sage, basil, oregano and bay leaves. Stir them in. Transfer sautéed veggies to the pot of beans.
  3. Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Sauté sausage and ham hock until brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer meat and their juices to the pot. Stir in 1 teaspoon of vinegar.
  4. Simmer beans uncovered for 2 1/2 hours or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove ham hock and bay leaves. With a large spoon, mash 1/4 of the beans against the side of the pot. Add parsley. Simmer 15 minutes longer until creamy. Add 1 teaspoon vinegar to brighten the flavor. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If beans are too thick and dry, stir in water 1/4 cup at a time.

Make the Rice

  1. About 35 minutes before serving, prepare the rice. Place rice in a strainer and rinse until the water runs clear. To produce fluffy white rice we need to rinse off the starch.
  2. In a small pot, melt the butter.
  3. Add rice to the pot. Sauté until rice becomes fragrant and translucent. Add water and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Reduce the heat to low. Cover pot with a lid. Allow rice to simmer for 20 minutes until water is absorbed. Remove pot from heat. Wrap the lid of the pot in a kitchen towel. Place the towel-wrapped lid back on the pot. Let the rice sit undisturbed for 10-15 minutes to steam. Fluff with a fork.

How to Serve Red Beans and Rice

Add a serving of white rice to a bowl (or wide-rimmed pasta bowl). Ladle the beans over the rice. Garnish with sliced green onions and a bit more minced parsley. Enjoy this Monday tradition while your clothes are drying on the line! Serve with Tabasco Sauce or Louisiana Crystal Hot Sauce. Enjoy with a side of corn bread. 


  • What pot for this recipe? A 7-quart Dutch oven.
  • Best red beans to use: For authentic red beans and rice, use Camellia brand dry red kidneys from New Orleans. It’s a NOLA tradition! These red beans were first sold in the famous French Quarter Market.
  • How to sort beans: Transfer beans to a clean kitchen towel. Sort through them looking for beans that are broken or shriveled, tiny rocks and debris. Discard rejects. Rinse sorted beans under running water.
  • Why brine the beans? Brining softens the skins of the beans so as the they cook they don’t crack open. It also seasons the beans all the way through.
  • Quick brine method for beans: In a time crunch, add beans to heavily-salted water. Bring the pot of beans to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour.
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 Hours 45 Minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Louisiana, Cajun