Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice is one of the most comforting, affordable and easy to make meals! Perfect for Mardi Gras or anytime you’re craving spicy, hearty Cajun food!
I thought I’d sneak in a quick and easy recipe for Mardi Gras. I haven’t done a Mardi Gras themed recipe in quite a while, but I had it on my brain last week and decided to make a version of what we used to have every year on Fat Tuesday growing up, Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice.
Fun fact; My mom actually lived in New Orleans for a short period of time. My grandpa worked for the health department and was working down there. I believe my mom was either in or just graduated from college and living with my grandparents and her brother.
Other than details about how good the food was the only other story that sticks out to me was the one regarding the size of the roaches down there. Obviously with the warm, humid climate and water surrounded environment in New Orleans it’s not surprising, but the quantity and size are enough to have me hesitating (and my husband flat out refusing) on making a visit. She even said when they moved back to Denver they found some in their moving boxes when they were unpacking.
Aside from that, I think there’s so much history, culture and food in the city that’s worth discovering. Topping my must eat foods would be jambalaya, gumbo, going to a crawfish boil, beignets, muffalettas, shrimp po boys and of course red beans and rice.
My mom’s recipe was made on the stovetop, but I kind of like the idea of making it in the slow cooker. You still have to soak the kidney beans overnight, but aside from remembering to actually do it, there’s no effort required on your part with that. Red beans and rice is truly a simple and affordable recipe to make. Beans and rice are some of the most cheapest ingredients you can buy and get the most bang for you buck.
Being a southwest girl through and through I swapped out the traditional bell pepper for roasted green chiles. Best decision ever! If you want to make this recipe vegetarian or vegan, skip adding in the sausage and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. This recipe is best if you make it a day or two before you plan to eat it. The flavors will develop more and the starch in the beans will thicken the sauce. Enjoy!
More Mardi Gras Recipes
- 1 pound dry kidney beans
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 cup diced green chiles
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 pound smoked turkey sausage, sliced about 1/2 inch in thickness
- Hot sauce, kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Sliced green onions and rice for serving
- Rinse the beans under cool, running water. Place them in a large bowl or pot and cover with several inches of water. Let sit overnight. Drain the beans and add them into the slow cooker.
- In a large skillet sauté the onions and celery for several minutes. Add in the garlic, smoked paprika, sage and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper and sauté another 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining ingredients minus the sausage to the slow cooker, stir everything together, cover with the lid and cook for 8-10 hours on low or until the beans are tender. Use a potato masher and mash some of the beans. This will help thicken the sauce for a creamier consistency.
- Stir in the slices of sausage and cook for another 15-30 minutes. At this point you can either serve it or cool and refrigerate it overnight. Serve over rice topped with sliced green onions.
- I prefer to make this a day or two before serving. Doing this enhances the flavors and also helps it thicken.
- Nutritional data doesn't include the rice.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 316Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 581mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 10gSugar: 5gProtein: 24g