Red Beans & Rice Recipe

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
  • Yield6
  • Serving Size1 cup
  • Cuisine
    • American
    • Cajun
  • Course
    • Main Course
    • Supper
    • Dinner
    • Lunch

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

Serve with

  • White Rice
  • Louisiana Hot Sauce or Crystal’s Hot Sauce

Crock Pot


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
  • Calories0
  • % Daily Value*

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