Seeing as tomorrow is Mardi Gras, I decided to make a slow cooker red beans and rice recipe to celebrate. As I started taking pictures of this recipe my kids were home from school with some friends. They were all hungry so I scooped them a bowl of beans and rice. They loved this recipe! “Can you give my mom that recipe? It’s so good!” I didn’t know if the kids would like it because it’s a bit spicy (not bad) but they did. Yay!
This recipe is really easy. I debated on whether to make dried red beans or just use canned beans. I decided to just use canned beans for the sake of time but if you’re interested I’ll come up with a dried bean recipe in the future. It would be super easy (but just take more time to cook).
This recipe uses easy to find ingredients. The only thing I had to search for was the Andouille sausage (a cajun-seasoned sausage). There was only one brand available at the grocery store that I went to, but I did find it.
I like to soften up my onions and bloom the spices at the same time using the microwave. Don’t laugh–I actually learned this method from America’s Test Kitchen. No need to dirty a pan, just use a medium microwave safe bowl.
You’ll pile the softened onions, the sausage, drained beans, diced green peppers and all the other ingredients into the slow cooker and turn it on for a few hours and walk away. I decided to cook the rice separately on the stove because I have gotten mixed results with rice in the slow cooker and I just didn’t want to take the chance that this wouldn’t work out. It was a good choice. I liked the dry rice paired with a wetter almost stew-like beans and sausage.
Get your Cajun on and make some red beans and rice!
Easy Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
Easy slow cooker recipe for Louisiana red beans and rice–not too spicy but plenty of flavor!
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cajun seasoning
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 rib of celery, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans of kidney beans, rinsed and drained (I used dark red but you can use light red beans too)
- 12-16 oz of Andouille sausage, sliced into half inch pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- Red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Blackened Seasoning (optional)
- Hot cooked rice
- Combine diced onion, minced garlic, oil, paprika, cajun seasoning and thyme in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stirring every 90 seconds. Add mixture to the slow cooker.
Add diced celery, diced green pepper, drained beans, sausage, bay leaf and chicken broth to the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours or on LOW for 4 hours. Remove the lid and stir. Add a splash of red wine and then salt and pepper and blackened seasoning to taste.
- Serve in a bowl with a scoop of rice.
Ideal slow cooker size: 4 quart (I used my 3 quart and it was filled to the brim)
Other fun food for Mardi Gras:
- Mardi Gras Meringues from Zag Left
- Mardi Gras King Cake from The Culinary Life
- Beignets from Our Best Bites
- Mardi Gras Cupcakes from Tidy Mom
Other slow cooker ideas for dinner:
- Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Lentils
- Slow Cooker Quinoa and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
- Slow Cooker Mexican Quinoa
Karen Redlin says
I always cook up a big batch of dry beans in my instapot. I then freeze them in 2 cup ziploc containers and label them. When a recipe calls for a can of beans, I use a container of my frozen ones. Works great. I grow all of my dried beans and I have found that freezing after cooking does not alter them and is really convenient.
Thanks for the tip!
Christine Canady says
Do you cook the sausage first? I used uncooked Conecuh.
The sausage I used was like smoked pre-cooked sausage. So I didn’t cook it first.
Lori Gerson says
Anytime you use dry beans you need to soak them for 8 hour# beforehand
Tried with dried beans and added time (cooked for 6 hours). Everything was dry and wilted. Beans still really hard. Don’t like to use anything canned. Just a note not to use dried beans with this recipe. ?
Thanks for letting us know! I’ll have to see if I can tweak this recipe to make it work with dried beans.
Loool why? There’s a whole process to preparing dried kidney beans. The recipe specifically called for canned. Don’t stray from a recipe then complain when it doesn’t go well.
I think it was meant more as a “heads up” than a complaint.
Lori Gerson says
Anytime you use dry beans you need to soak them for 8 hours. beforehand
I would actually do even an extra 30 minutes
New Orleans red beans & rice are creamy in texture. If you are not using the slow cooker, they should be cooked without the lid on them. In the slow cooker, mashing up some in the pot helps or using Blue Runner canned beans, which are already creamy. Don’t rinse them.
Great to know! Thanks for your expertise 🙂
Heather Kinnaird says
sounds like the perfect easy meal to celebrate Fat Tuesday
This was one of my favorite red beans and rice recipe I have tried. I used dried beans since that is what I had on hand. To compensate after I soaked the dried beans, I put in about 1/2 cup extra broth, I did not microwave the onion with seasonings first, I just threw them in the crockpot raw, and I left them on low all day, 7am till 5pm. The beans were perfect and mushy like I like them. I also added in a ham bone for some extra flavor since I had that just sitting in my freezer from Christmas. Definitely will be making this again, but probably add in even more broth, if I use dried beans again, since it was kind of dry for my liking.
I really like the idea of adding in the ham bone. I bet that gave it good flavor.