With just a little bit of prep work and some simple ingredients, you can create a savory and satisfying recipe for Crock Pot Red Beans and Rice! Smoky andouille sausage, tender red beans, and a blend of spices come together in a rich and savory creole-style broth that's perfect for feeding a crowd or for meal prep throughout the week!
Get ready to spice up your kitchen with this delicious crock pot red beans and rice recipe! A staple of Creole cooking, this classic dish is beloved for its rich flavor, hearty texture, and easy preparation.
Creole cuisine is a blend of French, Spanish, and African influences and is famous for its bold use of herbs and spices. Red beans and rice is a particularly popular dish in Creole culture, with its roots tracing back to the use of leftover ingredients to create a flavorful and filling meal.
The combination of dried red beans and smoked or andouille sausage creates a savory and satisfying base for the dish, while the chicken broth and a blend of herbs and spices infuse it with rich and bold flavors. Yellow onion, green bell pepper, and garlic add depth and complexity to the dish, while tomato paste adds a touch of sweetness and acidity.
This dish is served over fluffy rice, creating a hearty and filling meal that's perfect for any occasion and can easily be made in your slow cooker!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- The combination of smoked or andouille sausage, chicken broth, and a blend of spices creates a depth of flavor that makes it tasty and satisfying.
- Perfect for busy weeknights or lazy Sundays. Easily assemble and let the slow cooker do all the work!
- An easy way to explore the rich and diverse world of Creole cuisine in a simple and easy way.
- The ingredients are simple, budget-friendly, and easy to find in any grocery store.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Dried Red Beans - Known as kidney beans, these make up the bulk of the dish providing nutrients, fiber, and a hearty texture.
- Andouille Sausage - This flavorful sausage provides a smoky and savory taste to the dish that complements the softness of the beans. It also adds protein and fat to make the dish more filling.
- Chicken Broth - The broth serves as the main liquid for cooking the beans and provides a savory base for the dish. It also adds extra flavor and richness, and the moisture helps the beans cook properly.
- Vegetables - A mix of onion, garlic, and pepper help give aromatic vegetable flavor to the dish along with texture and complexity.
- Tomato Paste - This ingredient adds a subtle sweetness and acidity to the dish. It also helps thicken the sauce and deepen the color of the beans.
- Spices - A mix of chili powder, salt, black pepper, paprika, Italian seasoning, and cayenne pepper enhances the overall flavor of the dish.
- Cooked Rice - The rice provides a soft and fluffy texture that complements the beans and sausage.
How To Make Red Beans and Rice In The Crock Pot
Prepare the beans: Remove the red beans from the package and pick out any debris or discolored beans. Place the beans in a large bowl, cover them with cold water, and soak them for at least one hour or overnight. Drain the beans and rinse them with fresh water before adding them to the slow cooker.
Assemble the ingredients: In your slow cooker, add sausage, chicken broth, onion, green pepper, garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir until well combined.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top and cook on HIGH for 6-8 hours or until the beans are fork-tender.
Serve and enjoy: Ladle the bean mixture on top of the cooked rice while hot. Enjoy!
- Soak the dried beans for at least an hour in clean water before cooking to ensure even cooking and a softer texture.
- Use a high-quality sausage for the best flavor. Andouille sausage is traditional, but you can also use smoked sausage or another spicy sausage of your choice.
- For a thicker consistency, mash some of the cooked beans against the side of the slow cooker with a fork or potato masher before serving.
- Adjust the spice level to your preference by adding more or less chili powder, cayenne pepper, or black pepper.
- If you're short on time, you can use canned red beans instead of dried, but be aware that the texture and flavor may be slightly different and will need to be cooked for less time.
- Make it vegetarian by omitting the sausage and using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Add extra vegetables, such as diced carrots or celery, to make up for the missing meat.
- For a smokier flavor, add a few slices of bacon to the slow cooker along with the sausage.
- Add extra vegetables, such as okra or corn, to the slow cooker for a more colorful and nutritious dish.
- Serve the red beans and rice over a bed of lettuce or mixed greens to make a filling and flavorful salad. Top with diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream for added texture and flavor.
Storing and Freezing
Storing: Leftover red beans and rice can be stored in an airtight container. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. To prevent the rice from drying out, store it separately from the beans and combine them when ready to reheat. When reheating, add a splash of chicken broth or water to help rehydrate the dish.
Freezing: Red beans and rice can also be frozen for later use. Let the dish cool completely and transfer it to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the dish in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in a saucepan and heat over medium heat.
Yes, you can cook dried beans in a slow cooker. Slow cookers are a great tool for cooking dried beans. They can simmer the beans for a long time without the need for constant attention. Just make sure they are soaked for at least one hour beforehand.
The creole cooking style typically uses a mix of spices, including chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, thyme, and cayenne pepper. You can adjust the level of spiciness to your preference by adding more or less of each spice.
For this recipe, it's best if the rice is cooked separately as it takes less time than the beans and can get too mushy.
More Easy Crock Pot Dinner Recipes
- Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Crock Pot French Dip Recipe
- Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pulled Pork
- Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings
- Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits
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Crock Pot Red Beans and Rice
- 1 lb dried red beans
- 1 (14 oz) smoked or andouille sausage (sliced ¼ thick)
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
- 1 medium green bell pepper (cored and diced)
- 3 tsp garlic (minced)
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1½ tsp Italian seasoning
- 3 cups cooked rice
- Soak beans for a minimum of 1 hour. Then, rinse the beans thoroughly and add to a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Add sausage, chicken broth, onion, green pepper, garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir until well combined.
- Cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours.
- Serve over rice, and enjoy!
- It is crucial to ensure that your kidney beans are thoroughly cooked. Red kidney bean poisoning is a real phenomenon that can occur due to the consumption of undercooked beans. I highly recommend using the specified cooking times and Do Not Cook On Low.
- To achieve a thicker sauce, you can make a slurry by whisking 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water. Slowly add the slurry to the cooking red beans and rice, stirring continuously until you reach the desired thickness.
- For those who don't prefer spicy food, my suggestion is to opt for smoked sausage instead of andouille sausage.
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.