New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

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New Orleans is known for a lot of things.  Music, culture, jazz, architecture, folklore, Mardi Gra…but guess what we love most about this treasured city: The food!

And here is one of the most comforting, satisfying dishes in the world.  Deep in flavor with a little heat…oh boy, do they get it right down in the Big Easy.  We show you the tips and tricks to make this dish authentic and through-the-roof delicious.  And it’s easy as can be!

Red Beans and Rice Recipe

This Red Beans and Rice Recipe is Easy to Prepare

We love making red beans and rice. It is always something we look forward to and make it as often as we can.

Watch us show you how easy it is to prepare!

The ingredients in this masterpiece of Cajun cuisine work together beautifully.

From the andouille sausage to the smoked ham, to all the amazing spices and aromatics. NOLA perfection.

New Orleans Red Beans and Rice recipe

Be sure to soak your dried red kidney beans overnight.

This is the best way to start this dish off.

No arguments, please.

New Orleans Red Beans and Rice recipe

Red Beans and Rice is Classic NOLA Cuisine

Oh, how we love this New Orleans recipe.

We love the Big Easy so much, and when we’re really missing all that jazz, we make up a batch of New Orleans Red Beans and Rice.

Perfectly steamed rice is a must for this iconic dish.

New Orleans Red Beans and Rice recipe
Next time you bake a ham or make Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder, be sure to save the bones to simmer in this incredible dish.  

Or, you can use smoked ham hocks, just ask your butcher at your supermarket.  If they don’t have any available, they can get some for you no problem!

This is an authentic recipe, but it really an easy red beans and rice recipe!

red beans and rice recipe

You won’t believe how your house will smell when you make this iconic N’awlins dish!

Be sure to have your favorite hot sauce handy…and as is often the case, this is even better the next day!

This recipe is just so comforting, and literally keeps you and your loved ones coming back for more and more and more!!


Ready to make the best New Orleans Red Beans and Rice recipe this side of The Crescent City?  Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it and post it on Instagram and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

A green bowl holding red beans and rice with white rice in the center.

New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

This recipe for New Orleans Red Beans and Rice is one of our all-time favorite Cajun dishes. So deep in flavor and has just enough kick to make your eyes light up and your tummy say "Howdy!" 100% Loon Approved!
4.84 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Cajun
Keyword: how to make red beans and rice, New Orleans cuisine
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 378kcal


  • Large Dutch oven, or large sturdy pot


  • 1 lb dried red beans
  • 1 large meaty ham bone (or use a bone from a cooked pork butt roast)
  • 6 bay leaves
  • ½ lb andouille sausage smoked, chopped into 1/2-inch dice (a generous cup)
  • ½ lb ham smoked, chopped into 1/2-inc dice (a generous cup)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 2 jalapenos stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp thyme seeds dried
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Steamed white rice for serving
  • Scallions thinly slice, for garnish
  • Hot sauce


  • Put the dried beans in a large pot of water (the beans should be covered by at least 2 inches of water).
  • Soak the beans overnight and then drain.
  • Combine the beans, 1 gallon plus 2 cups water, the ham bone, and bay leaves in a large stock pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage and ham over medium-high heat until crispy and brown, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the onion and cook until softened, 5 minutes more.
  • Add the tomato, jalapenos, garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt, thyme, black pepper, and cayenne and continue to cook until the mixture is hot and the ingredients have softened, an additional 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Scrape the sausage mixture into the pot of beans.
  • Simmer slowly, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until creamy and tender, about 3 hours.
  • Approximately 10 minutes before the beans are done, use a wooden spoon to smash some of the beans against the inside of the pot.
  • Remove the bones and bay leaves.
  • Serve over hot steamed white rice with sliced scallions and hot sauce.



Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 1514mg | Potassium: 1019mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 271IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!



  • This recipe was a work of art. I thought it would be a disaster when I tasted the onion and garlic mixture, it was so hot and spicy. After stirring it altogether, it melded into the most delicious entree. I had 2# of red beans so I doubled the recipe, lol. Had enough to give to friends and neighbors.
    Thank you, this was a home run.

    • Hi Elaine!!! Yay!!!! We are so so happy you stayed with the red beans and rice and ended up loving it! It’s one of our all-time favs and we are so so thrilled you loved it, too! Thank you so much for sharing! We really appreciate that very much. Stay in touch! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    BEST Red Beans and Rice I’ve ever made!! I live an hour from NOLA and this recipe tasted just as delicious as the ones in the Quarter!!!

    • Woo hoo!! Gretchen! You just made our day and got us craving these red beans and rice! Thank you so much for sharing and for the GREAT review! That means the world to us! Please stay in touch! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • This sounds weird but where do I get cubed smoked ham? All my smoked ham comes in slices lol! I usually use shanks for my ham and bean soup but you use both and so I want to also but not sure how to do that step without buying a whole ham. Sorry if I sound stupid!! Any insight is appreciated!!

    • Hi Lindsey! Not stupid or weird at all!! You can usually find a small smoked ham (boneless) in the lunchmeat/bacon/ham section of your supermarket. I pick one up and then cube it myself. Usually have more than I need for the red beans and rice, but, it’s so yummy, it always gets eaten up. Boars Head has a nice smoked ham that is reasonably priced. Hope this helps! Let us know if you make the red beans and rice and how it turns out. We love them so much!!!

      • I went to get my shank and wouldn’t you know right next to it was a boneless smoke ham steak!! Bam. I can easily cube that myself. Soaked my beans last night so everything is ready to go for a great meal!

  • 5 stars
    I gave your RED BEANS AND RICE a 5* rating, with only 1 change…The ham hock didn’t give enough flavor, I’d stick with using bacon (about 3 slices in 1/2 pieces) in place of. But the vinegar, mustard added such a complex flavor…that this is my go to recipe for this dish….I probably make this once a moth during winter.
    Had it for our annual Super Bowl party….another guest made the King cake, I got the baby…!

    • Hi Barbara…yes, the nutrition stats include one serving of the rice. Let us know if you make the dish and what you think. It’s one of our all-time favorites! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    I came across your site while looking for a good quiche recipe at 2:00am. (I love that it’s so meaty!!) Now it’s almost 4:30am and my phone is about to die, haha. Just can’t stop reading your amazing recipes, watching your videos, and looking at all of the gorgeous food photos!
    Your recipies are incredible, you two handsome men are incredible, and thank you so much for what you do. I now know I’ll never have to struggle to figure out what to cook. I can just “visit” you!!!

  • My husband cannot stand thyme! What would y’all use for a substitute. I have just discovered y’all on YouTube and your recipes look amazing! I love to cook from scratch and can’t wait to get started. By the way I also love your website.

    • HI Melody!! Thank you so much!!! So glad you found us and we found you!! You could substitute oregano for the thyme, and still get excellent flavor. Or, you could just omit it completely. It definitely adds a depth of taste, but the dish will still be yummy without it. Let us know if you make it and what you and your hubby think!! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • Hello! This is my all-time favorite red beans and rice recipe. Sooo good! But I’m having an issue finding dried red beans because of this darn coronavirus. Can I use canned red beans instead? Would it change the cook time? Thank you.

    • Hi Erica! So sorry for the delayed response! You can absolutely use canned red beans. You can reduce the cooking time in half, but it won’t hurt anything to cook them as long as you want. The extended cook time helps to deepen the flavor, but they’ll still be delicious in the shorter amount of time. Let us know how it turns out or if you have any other questions!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • This is incredibly tasty. I hope you don’t mind, but I added celery and bell pepper to the recipe. Can’t wait to try some of the other recipes.

    • Hi Kelsea! We’ve never done this in the slow cooker, although I have done a variation in our Instant Pot, and it turned out just fine. I would recommend cooking on Low for 8 hours, and add the shrimp to the mix just during the last 45 minutes of cooking. Let us know how it turns out!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

      • Hi Steven, where did you see/hear something about shrimp for this recipe? There’s definitely no shrimp in this red beans and rice recipe. Sorry for any confusion!!

      • To wit:
        “Hi Kelsea! We’ve never done this in the slow cooker, although I have done a variation in our Instant Pot, and it turned out just fine. I would recommend cooking on Low for 8 hours, and add the shrimp to the mix just during the last 45 minutes of cooking. Let us know how it turns out!! All the best, Kris & Wesley”

      • Ha!! Well, I must have had jambayala on my mind! Just disregard the “shrimp” part of that comment! We respond to a lot of a comments, so I must have gotten mixed up!!

    • Hi Elsie! We’re certain you could make this in your Instant Pot…but we need to look into timing on that. Each recipe is a little different when you make it in the IP. We’ll need to get back to you. Thanks so much!! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    New Orleans Red Beans and Rice is a New Orleans dish, not a Cajun dish. It’s traditionally served on Mondays. I know this seems minor but not to New Orleanians that have to combat that, ‘no, we are not Cajun, we are New Orleans.’ However, you have an excellent recipe says this New Orleans Yat!

  • this looks amazing, I am wondering how smoked pig neck would taste in this recipe?
    otherwise guess i could get the smoked shanks.


  • 4 stars
    Can I substitute the andouille sausage for smoked sausage? I love spicy cajun food but my husband has stomach ulcers and can’t eat spicy foods..

    • Hi Vicki! Sure, you can substitute any kind of sausage you like. It’s still going to have the wonderful Cajun flavor. Let us know how it turns out. This is one of our favorites!

    • Hi Lucy,

      Sure, go with dried ground thyme (same measurement of 2 teaspoons), or 3 teaspoons of chopped fresh thyme. You may just see ‘dried thyme’ in you spices section of the store, that would work perfectly. Let us know now it turns out! This is one of our favorite dishes!! Thanks!! Kris & Wesley

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