White bowl of creamy and spicy red beans and rice served with a side of grilled Andouille sausage and French bread, garnished with sliced scallions

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What’s better than a meaty, spicy, creamy bowl of red beans and rice on a winter’s evening?  It is the ultimate comfort food!



1 pound dried small red beans (soaked in water 4 hours or overnight, Camellia brand preferred)

1 pound andouille sausage, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4 inch slices

2 medium onions, cut into fine dice

1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped

2 ribs celery, diced fine

1 medium hambone

6 cloves garlic, finely minced

6 cups low sodium chicken stock

3 bay leaves

½ pound ham cubes

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons cajun seasoning, if possible, get the low sodium type

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

2 teaspoon dried basil

3/4 teaspoon rubbed sage

4 tablespoon dried parsley

Sliced fresh scallions, for garnish


Place the dried red beans in a colander.  Rinse and pick through to remove any tiny pebbles or broken beans.  Cover with water and soak 4 hours or overnight. Set aside.

In a large stockpot over medium heat, brown the Andouille sausage until it releases it’s fat and begins to brown on the edges.  Add the onions, celery, and red pepper. Stir to coat all with the sausage fat. Saute, stirring often, until the onions become translucent – about 8 minutes.

Add the garlic and saute for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain the soaked beans and place the beans in the stockpot with the vegetables.

Nestle the ham bone and bay leaves into the beans.

Pour the chicken stock over the beans.

Simmer the beans over medium-low heat until the beans soften (about 2 – 2 ½ hours).

Remove the bay leaves.

Test the beans for tenderness.  Once they are al dente, remove about half of the beans to a large bowl.  Use a potato masher or the back of your spoon to mash the beans. Stir the mashed beans back into the pot.  The mixture should be thick like a stew, not soupy.

Remove the ham bone and discard.  If there is meat on the bone, remove and dice.  Add any meat back to the pot.

Stir in the diced ham, Worcestershire sauce, Cajun seasoning, black pepper, cayenne, basil, sage, and parsley.  

Continue to simmer the mixture, stirring very often to prevent sticking, for another hour.  If the beans need more moisture, add a bit of water or chicken stock.

Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Serve hot with steamed rice and hot sauce on the side.

Keywords: ultimate comfort food, Cajun recipes, Red beans and rice, ham recipes