My husband’s family is from New Orleans, so learning to cook cajun food was a milestone in our relationship. One of his favorite cajun meals is Red Beans & Rice. It’s easy to make, freezes well, and is the ultimate spicy comfort dish!
This is how I make my red beans. It has a controversial ingredient in it: ketchup. One side of his family adds ketchup as a topping (like hot sauce) and his other side of the family, doesn’t add it at all. I think adding ketchup while the beans are cooking tastes the best. In my opinion, ketchup adds a nice balance of acid & sugar that regular red beans are missing. Adding ketchup to the pot allows the ketchup mix with the beans & veggies which masks the artificial flavor of the ketchup.
Note on the beans: I use canned red beans, because it’s easier, but you could also start with dry if you’re more of a purist.
- Prep Time30 min
- Cook Time4 hr
- Total Time4 hr 30 min
- Serving Size1 cup
For the red beans
- 4 cans of kidney beans (I usually use dark- drained but not rinsed)
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 white onion
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1.5 bulbs (about 10 cloves) of garlic
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp of Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning
- 1 dry bay leaf
- Ham hock or ham pieces for seasonings (can buy at store)
- 1 package of Cajun sausage
- Secret ingredient: 1/4 cup of ketchup
- White Rice
- Louisiana Hot Sauce or Crystal’s Hot Sauce
Chop vegetables into small pieces
Combine all ingredients except sausage into the crock pot & cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. (You may have to add more liquid while cooking depending on the consistency that you want- water or stock both work fine.)
Cut sausage into bite sized pieces & sauté so it’s browned on each side. Add sausage to crock pot about an hour before serving.
Serve with hot sauce & white rice.
Optional: Top with green onions or parsley for color. You may have to add more liquid while cooking, water or stock both work fine.
- Serving Size1 cup
- Amount per serving
- % Daily Value*