RECIPE: Louisiana Style Red Beans and Rice

I used to love Popeye's Red Beans and dirty rice, but the pork factor and rapidly declining quality of the chain in New England forced me to get my fix elsewhere. From bumping through a few on-line recipes, combined with my own plucks and tweaks, I came up with a version that gives me my fix.

Traditional Cajun Red Beans used andouille sausage, a German originated sausage with a very smokey flavor. There is a chicken version, which can be hard to find in some places, so I recommend using  Hardwood Smoked Turkey Kielbasa or Hot Turkey Italian Sausage.


1 pound dry kidney beans1/4 cup olive oil or coconut oil1 large onion, chopped1 green bell pepper, chopped4 tablespoons minced garlic2 stalks celery, chopped6 cups water2 bay leaves1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper2 teaspoons dried thyme1/2 teaspoon dried sage1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning1 pound chicken andouille sausage*, diced or minced4 cups water2 cups long grain white rice

  • Rinse and soak beans by your preferred method.
  • Chop onions, celery, garlic, pepper, and cilantro
  • Dice or mince sausage
  • In a large pot, add and heat oil. Add onions, garlic, green pepper and half of the cilantro, and about a handful of minced sausage to the oil and sauté.
  • Add beans and seasonings and mix well. Add 4-5 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and allow to simmer for approx 3 hours.
  • Add sausage and allow to simmer for an additional 30 minutes
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve over your favorite rice.
NOTE If using Italian Sausage or Kielbasa,  you'll want to sear it in a frying pan prior to dicing or mincing and adding to the beans.