I must be missing Louisiana lately, because I keep making my favorite traditional dishes. Yesterday I made a homemade king cake because I have been craving one for weeks now and today I woke up dreaming about red beans and rice for dinner. We have lived in Texas for almost four years now, but every year around this time I start to miss Louisiana and all of the food and celebrations that happen from Mardi Gras on. The classic dishes that are known in Cajun and Creole cultures are some of my favorite recipes I’ve ever had and truly what made me fall in love with Louisiana when I moved there. My easy red beans and rice is just that kind of recipe and makes for the perfect cozy weeknight meal that the whole family will love!
I love meals that are made with mostly pantry ingredients and that can be eaten all week long! Did you know that red beans and rice was traditionally made on Mondays and that’s because people used to use leftover pork bones from Sunday dinner? Genius idea for using up those flavorful bones! I love learning little facts about how traditional meals got started and I love how years and years later, those traditions stay alive through the food that we cook!
My first cookbook, The Unexpected Cajun Kitchen was a cookbook I wrote out of the love I have for my husband’s heritage and home state. I had no idea that I would end up considering Louisiana home as a girl who grew up in Tennessee, but that’s what Louisiana does to you. It truly pulls you in and envelopes you in it’s delicious culture and vibrant people!
Every time I am missing Louisiana just a little bit, it’s nice to know that I can whip up my favorite recipes and suddenly be transported to a favorite memory in one of my favorite places.
My easy red beans and rice recipe is going to quickly become one of your favorite weekly meals because it’s full of flavor and comfort. I can’t wait for you to try it out in your own kitchen and maybe start a new tradition with your own family!
1 Lb. Dried Red Beans (soaked overnight)
1 Ham Hock
1 Lb. Andouille Sausage, sliced into bite size pieces
1 Tbsp. Avocado Oil
1 Diced Onion
1 Diced Bell Pepper
3 Minced Garlic Cloves
1 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Cajun Seasoning
1/2 Tsp. Cayenne
1 Dried Bay Leaf
1 Tsp. Fresh Thyme
6-8 Cups of Chicken Stock
Sliced Green Onions for Garnish
Rinse soaked beans.
In a large pot, brown sausage and then remove from the pot.
Add oil, onions, bell pepper and garlic and season with salt, pepper, cajun seasoning, and cayenne. Add in bay leaf, and thyme to the mixture and sauté for 3-5 minutes until veggies start to become tender.
Add the sausage back in along with the ham hock and add beans at this time.
Cover with chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook for 3-4 hours until beans are tender.
Add more stock if needed to keep beans submerged the entire cook time.
With a wooden spoon smash some of the beans to thicken the stock and then taste for seasoning.
Add more salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning at this time if needed.
Serve over rice and sprinkle with green onions.
Note: Once sausage has been browned and veggies have been sautéed you can also transfer to a slow cooker and finish cook time in the slow cooker.
Isn’t it just the coziest? I hope you will give this one a try the next time you want to be transported to Louisiana, give my easy red beans and rice a try!