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Chef John's Red Beans and Rice

Rated as 4.87 out of 5 Stars

"Any time someone asks the question, 'What exactly is soul food?' the answer should always be 'a comforting bowl of red beans and rice.' Just sit them down, give them a spoon, and when they finish, ask them if they understand. They will."
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3 h 45 m servings 542
Original recipe yields 8 servings


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  1. Place beans in a large container and cover with several inches of cool water; let stand 8 hours to overnight. Drain and rinse.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir sausage in hot oil until oils slightly release from sausage and edges brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir onion, celery, and poblano pepper into sausage; cook and stir until vegetables soften and start to turn translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir garlic into sausage mixture; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir red beans, chicken broth, ham hock, bay leaves, black pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper, and hot sauce into the sausage mixture; bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours. Add salt and continue simmering until beans are soft, meat is tender, and desired consistency is reached, 1 1/2 to 2 hours more. Season with salt.
  4. Spoon rice into bowls, ladle red beans mixture over rice, and top with green onion.


  • Cook's Note:
  • You can substitute green bell peppers for the poblano pepper, if desired. You can use water in place of chicken broth, if desired.
  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 542 calories; 20.5 62.9 25.9 46 1384 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 85
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Like Chef John, I substitute chicken broth for some of the water to give the dish a better flavor. This is what made me want to try his recipe over others. I also like that in his recipe, he d...

My first time EVER making red beans and rice, and this was the recipe I chose. I served it with homemade corn bread (also in AR - search for Grandma's Cornbread) How mine differed: 1. Used a h...

I just made this recipe, and it was delicious!! All of the ingredients came together nicely. At first, I thought I had too much liquid, but I let it cook down a bit without the lid. I put the ...

Delicious. Made this as written when hubby was out of town. The (grown) kids and I loved it. Made it again when hubby was back, but since he doesn't eat pork I substituted chicken andouille saus...

Amazing. Comfort soul food at its finest. I’ve made this several times and it always turns out fantastic! After sautéing the sausage and veggies, I dump the whole thing in my crockpot, cook on l...

I'm from New Orleans and really don't use a recipe when I make red beans. But since I love Chef John, I wanted to try his way. Outstandingly delicious!

Excellent! I used a pound of chorizo sausage, soaked some dried kidney beans, left out the poblano pepper, salt & hot sauce, used chicken broth in place of water and didn't have a ham hock. Sm...

YUM!!! Out of necessity, made it in crock pot, subbed chunk of ham for hocks as store that carries Andouille does not carry hocks, subbed Fresno chilies from salsa garden to use them up, other...

Absolutely DELICIOUS! Flavorful and makes you keep going back for more! Loved this recipe. Thanks Chef John, you never disappoint!