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Southern Style Red Beans and Rice is a New Orleans classic recipe loaded with sausage and cajun flavor. This is a family favorite dinner you don’t want to miss!

Overhead view of red beans and rice.

Beans and rice is a dish found throughout many cultures. Both of these crops have been an important diet staple around the world for centuries. Growing up, we heard many stories from adults in our lives about living off of beans and rice during hard times. It was a cheap way to feed a family a filling and nutritious meal, and still is today! While you may not be instantly salivating at the thought of beans and rice for dinner, that is certainly because you haven’t tried this Southern style red beans and rice. Get ready for the surprise of your lifetime, because this dish is exploding with flavor. Do yourselves a favor and give this one a try. We know you won’t be disappointed. 

Can I use canned beans in Southern Style Red Beans and Rice?

In a pinch, you can use three 15 ounce cans of beans that are drained and rinsed. Reduce the chicken broth to 5 cups. Reduce the cook time in half, and add the sausage in when you add the beans. 

Bean Options: 

This classic dish uses red kidney beans, but you really could use almost any style of beans. If you’re up for an adventure, give cannellini beans a try!

Spice Level:

You get to determine the spice level of this dish by using more or less of the cajun seasoning. If you are looking for an extra spicy kick, you could even add cayenne, red pepper flakes, or your favorite hot sauce!

Instant Pot Instructions: 

Sauté the first ingredients, add in the dry, rinsed beans, sausage, herbs and 4 cups of chicken broth. Seal the pressure cooker and set to high for 60 minutes. Let it naturally release pressure for 15 minutes.

Dry Beans Prep:

Dry beans need to be rinsed and soaked in cold water for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight. Make sure to account for this prep time when meal planning.

Southern style red beans and rice in a bowl.

Storage and Reheating Instructions: 

Red beans and rice is best eaten fresh. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in a large skillet or small saucepan over medium-low heat until warmed through. Be sure to keep the heat low enough so you don’t burn the beans.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious bean based recipes:

Watch the video below where Caytlin will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Southern Style Red Beans and Rice

6 people

Overhead view of red beans and rice.
Southern Style Red Beans and Rice is a New Orleans classic recipe. Loaded with sausage and cajun flavor, this is a family favorite dinner you don’t want to miss!
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4 ribs celery chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 8 cups chicken broth add in more if needed
  • 16 ounces red kidney beans dry, rinsed and soaked
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1-2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
  • 16 ounces andouille sausage sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups long grain rice cooked
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat and add in the onion, celery and bell pepper. Sauté until veggies soften and brown a bit, about 7-9 minutes.
  • Add in garlic and sauté alongside the other vegetables for 2 minutes.
  • Pour in 8 cups of chicken broth and add in drained kidney beans.
  • Add in bay leaves, thyme, sage, oregano, and cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. stirring occasionally.
  • Cook rice according to package instructions
  • Add in sliced sausage and and continue to simmer for another 30-45 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, gently mash some of the beans in the pot to help bring a smooth texture to it. The beans need to be tender and the mixture needs to be thickened and soupy, not watery. Salt and pepper to taste
  • Remove bay leaves. Ladle the red beans over the cooked rice and enjoy!


Calories: 728kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 1853mg | Potassium: 1042mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 968IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: cajun
Keyword: Red Beans and Rice
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