Make ahead: Classic Creole Red Beans & Rice Cooked in Beer

This is the perfect “what to feed a crowd” recipe that you can make ahead because it only gets better the next day. Red beans, spicy sausage and loads of peppers, pour on the Tabasco and call it “done”!

A bowlful of white rice, beans served with a side of corn bread and a cold beer- sheer southern perfection

I adore beans and cook with lentils, white beans, lima beans, cannellini beans and red beans often. Beans are packed with protein, fiber and tons of vitamins. Pound for pound you can’t do much better than using beans- espeically if you are trying to eat a more plant based diet.

Last year, I watched Grammy and Golden Globe winner, Jon Batiste, of Late Night with Stephen Colbert fame, make his Red Beans & Rice on Instagram. The recipe looked so wonderful, I knew I wanted to give it a try. See Jon make his beans here. Just to listening to his Louisiana accent is enough to inspire you to cook today.

My recipe uses canned beans, but beware. When buying beans- check the label to see how much sodium is in the beans. You can see my photos of several national brands of beans. Two “reduced sodium ” cans had MORE salt than organic beans.

Check your labels!

Read you labels- the amount of sodium from brand to brand is very different

Too much salt is NOT ideal for this dish- the sausage has SO much salt in it, so really pay attention to the labels and rinse the beans well.

This entire dish can be whipped up in about an hour, but it is even better the next day. Perfect for the weekend.


Bushes & Goya “reduced sodium” beans had MORE sodium than Whole Food organic beans

Red Beans and Rice- serves 6

  • 3 cans organic dark red beans, rinsed well

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • 1 cup white onion , chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, chopped fine

  • 12 oz. Smoked andouille sausage, cut into 1/2″ circles

  • 1 TBSP olive oil

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1 tsp Old Bay Seasonings

  • 1/2 tsp cajun seasonings

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 3 cups chicken broth

  • 1 can cold beer

  • 3-4 cups hot cooked white rice

A powerful spice profile makes all the difference
I brown my sausage to flavor the pot

Method- Total Time- 1 hour

  • In a large pot in 1 TBSP of oil, brown the sausage until the edges are crispy. Remove sausage from the pot and set aside.
  • In the fat from the sausage, sweat the vegetables- onion, peppers and celery on medium high heat until just softened- about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic. Cook for one minute. Add in the spices- onion powder, garlic powder, cajun spice, Old Bay and Cayenne Peper- Cook until fragrant. Deglaze the pan wih the can of beer.
    Add the andouille sausage back into the pot. Add in the Bay leaf.
  • Pour in the chicken stock and let come to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Let the vegetables cook with the stock for 10 minutes. Add in the drained beans.
    Let simmer for 20 minutes. With the back of a wooden spoon, smash some of the beans against the pot to thicken the mixture.
    Cook on low heat , uncovered for 30 minutes more until well thickened, stirring often to keep the bottom of the pot from sticking.
  • Serve over hot white rice with Tabasco on the side. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
Let the trinity of Cajun cooking sweat in the fat from the sausage.
A comforting pot of beans.
Cooking the rice in chicekn stock will add even more flavor.

See my recipe for the perfect rice HERE.

Other rice dishes you might like to try:

Pass the Tabasco.

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  1. I was born and raised in New Orleans. This is not classic red beans and rice. I have seen different variations through the years, but classic red beans are made with Red beans such as Camelia brand which come from a bag or Blue Runner canned, New Orleans red beans.. The ones you use are for chili and soups because they hold their shape and don’t provide the creaminess of the dish. I have never seen anyone add bell pepper or onion, probably because it can cause gastro upset like beans and that would be double trouble. I have not heard of anyone adding beer either. Sounds like a tasty soup even if it is explosive.

    1. Meggen Wilson says:

      Hi Teri Thank you for your comments. I almost always use the trinity of Creole cooking- celery, bell pepper and onion is every dish I make. This recipe is based off the one made by Jon Baptise, born in Metairie LA. We both like to “smash” a few of the beans against the side of the pot to add to the creaminess. Blue runner canned beans are not readily available except in the Deep South. I try to make this recipe more accessible to folks who love this cuisine but do not have access to a grocer in Louisiana or Mississippi. The beer adds an incredible richness and body to the dish. Try it next time and let me know what you think. The best part of cooking is the ability to adapt recipes to what you prefer or have on hand. Cheers! Meggen