For an embarrassingly long time I turned my nose up to red beans and rice. My Southern uncle raved about it, claiming it was one of his all time favorite meals, and I just didn't understand. I didn't really like kidney beans and rice wasn't really my thing, so why in the world would I like red beans and rice. And then one day I finally tried it. It's so good! Truly the rice and beans transform into something else that is warm, comforting, and delicious. It was love at first bite. The only problem? Traditional red beans and rice takes about 8-10 hours and most nights I just don't have time for that. So this version takes some shortcuts using canned kidney beans and simmering for only 20 minutes. It won't be quite as rich and deeply flavored as red beans and rice that simmered all day, but its still really good.
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Cajun Red Beans and Rice
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- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 U onion, diced
- 4 U stalks celery, diced
- 1/2 U green pepper, diced
- 4 U cloves garlic
- 2 cups canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes (with juice)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 U bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
Cook the rice according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan. Add the onion, celery, and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Add the beans, tomatoes with juices, vegetable broth, paprika, oregano, thyme, cumin, bay leaves, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer.
Simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce becomes thicker. Serve over beans with fresh parsley.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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