Red Beans & Rice is a classic Southern comfort dish, beloved for its heartiness and flavor. This recipe takes the traditional homemade preparation and simplifies it by using canned beans, drastically reducing the cooking time without sacrificing the bold flavors. Whether you’re new to Southern cuisine or a longtime fan, this quick and flavorful Red Beans & Rice dish is guaranteed to impress.
For this Red Beans & Rice with Canned Beans recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 2 cups of cooked white rice
- 1 can (15 oz) of red beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup of vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
- 1/2 pound of Andouille sausage, sliced (optional)
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Follow these simple steps to make your flavorful Red Beans & Rice with Canned Beans:
- In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and cook for about 5-7 minutes until softened.
- Add the Andouille sausage (if using) and cook for another 3-4 minutes until browned. Stir in the Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, dried thyme, and the bay leaf, ensuring that the vegetables and sausage are coated in the spices.
- Pour in the drained red beans, diced tomatoes, and vegetable broth into the skillet, and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken.
- While the beans are simmering, prepare your rice according to package instructions. Once the beans have finished cooking, remove the bay leaf and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- To serve, spoon a generous portion of the red bean mixture over a bed of cooked white rice. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!
History and Curiosities
Red Beans & Rice has its roots in the Louisiana Creole cuisine and is strongly associated with the city of New Orleans. It became popular in the early 20th century as a filling, inexpensive meal that could be prepared with readily available ingredients. Traditionally, the dish was served on Mondays, as it could easily make use of leftover meats from Sunday night suppers, and the beans could be left to simmer while completing the laundry.
The dish typically includes sausage or ham hock, but it can be adjusted to accommodate various diets, such as leaving out the meat for a vegetarian version. Over time, Red Beans & Rice spread throughout the Southern United States and beyond, becoming an iconic and beloved dish for many.
The secret to the incredible flavors of Red Beans & Rice lies in the Creole and Cajun seasonings, as well as slow-cooking the beans to achieve a rich, smoky taste. This recipe’s use of canned beans allows for a faster meal without sacrificing too much of that classic flavor, keeping the cooking process simple and accessible for busy households and novice cooks alike.
In Louisiana culture, Red Beans & Rice is more than just a meal; it represents a sense of community, history, and the comforting warmth of Southern cuisine. As you enjoy your delicious, quick, and flavorful Red Beans & Rice with Canned Beans, remember the legacy it carries and the generations of families who have gathered around their tables to share this cherished dish.