Red Beans and Rice. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t get excited when they know that Red Beans & Rice are on the menu! At its basic, this is a fabulously tasty supper dish. Amped up, it becomes something outrageously delicious! It is filled with protein, low in fat, and makes for a great store cupboard supper.
The recipe which I am sharing with you today may be a Vegetarian version of this popular recipe, but I can promise you that you will not really miss the meat. This is creamy, flavourful, and has just the right amount of spice! This is a quick and easy supper comfort food dish at its best!
You can of course complicate things by cooking your own beans from scratch or add things like ham hocks or smoked sausage, both of which are incredibly delicious. Sometimes, however, the heart wants what the heart wants and this extremely basic simple recipe fills that need completely.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE RED BEANS AND RICE
This recipe is proof positive that good eating doesn’t need to complicated or elaborate.
|1 can (16 ounces) red beans, in chili sauce, undrained|
|½ green bell pepper, trimmed and diced|
|½ medium onion, peeled and minced|
|1 tsp mild chili powder|
|¼ tsp ground cumin|
|¼ tsp garlic salt|
|Cooked long grain white rice to serve|
HINTS AND TIPS FOR MAKING RED BEANS AND RICE
Using my hints and tips can help to make your Red Beans and Rice the best ever!
- Read through the recipe several times before beginning to familiarise yourself with any ingredients or equipment you may need to use.
- Assemble all of your ingredients before you begin. This can help to make sure you don’t leave anything out that is integral to the dish.
- I have used canned kidney beans in chili sauce for this recipe. Traditionally red beans are a bit smaller than kidney beans. If you can find them by all means use them. They are not available where I live and kidney beans work fine.
- Use really fresh vegetables for this. A crisp fresh onion and green bell pepper are what you need.
- To prepare the onion, trim off both the stem and root end and then cut the onion in half down the length of the onion. Then, working with both halves individually, using a sharp knife make long cuts down the length of the onion to the root end, and then holding it together cut it again crosswise into a nice dice. Make sure your pieces are not overly large.
- To prepare the green bell pepper, lop off both the stem and base ends of the pepper. Discard the stem. Trim out the ribs and any seeds and discard. Cut the pepper into strips and then cut the strips into a dice, again keeping the pieces not overly large. You can also chop up the base end into small bits, so as not to waste any.
- If you want a smoky flavor you can use a bit of liquid smoke, about ¼ tsp should do the trick.
- Toasting your spices in a small skillet over dry heat adds even more flavor to the dish. Just pop them into a dry skillet and toast over high heat for about 30 seconds. They will smell very fragrant.
- Once you have combined everything in the saucepan and brought it to the boil, reduce it to a slow simmer and cook it covered for the required amount of time. Stir it frequently to make sure that it isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan or drying out. If need be, you can add a bit of boiling water or stock to thin it out, but you really do want it to be fairly thick like a stew.
- Cook your rice while your beans are simmering so that everything finishes at the same time.
HOW TO MAKE RED BEANS AND RICE
There is absolutely nothing complicated about this dish!
Prepare your vegetables.
Chop your onion and your bell pepper into a small dice.
Toast your spices in a small skillet. This should only take about a minute or less. They will be quite fragrant.
Combine the undrained beans, toasted spices, garlic salt, bell pepper and onion in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and then cover and simmer until the bell pepper and onion are tender.
Taste and adjust seasoning as required.
Serve the beans hot and spooned over cooked rice.
Note, you will find a lot of Red Bean and Rice recipes which include meat of some sort. Its perfectly acceptable to add some if you are wanting a heartier dish. Chopped ham or smoked sausage go very well. I would brown them in a skillet before adding.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH RED BEANS AND RICE
You can either serve this tasty dish as a side dish to go along with other foods, such as fried ham steaks or grilled sausage, but it is fabulous all on its own as well, just the spicy beans and rice. I love baking up a nice pan of fresh cornbread or corn muffins to go along with this. Sweet or savoury, its up to you and it makes for some incredibly good eating.
Traditionally some type of green, such as collard or turnip greens and bacon are another classic side to enjoy with red beans and rice.
Feel free to accompany this dish with your favourite steamed vegetables. Green beans, broccoli, carrots, corn, etc. All go very well.
Coleslaw goes very well, as does a leafy green salad.
Amp it up by scattering some grated cheese over top. A nice Cheddar, Colby or Jack cheese would go very well.
As you can see my dish of Red Beans and Rice is lovely and thick and quite tasty looking. You don’t get much better than this. It is comfort food plain and simple. Delicious, quick, and easy to make. There’s nothing at all wrong with this. It really is the simple things in life which bring us the most joy!
- 1 can (16 ounces) red beans, in chili sauce, undrained
- ½ green bell pepper, trimmed and diced
- ½ medium onion, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp mild chili powder
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp garlic salt
- Cooked long grain white rice to serve
- Prepare your vegetables. Chop your onion and bell pepper into a small dice.
- Toast your spices in a small heavy based skillet over high heat. This should only take about 30 seconds or less. They will be quite fragrant.
- Combine the undrained beans, toasted spices, garlic salt, bell pepper and onion in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and then cover and simmer until the bell pepper and onion are tender.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as required.
- Serve the beans hot and spooned over cooked rice.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 437 (includes ½ cup steamed long grain rice)
Marie Rayner is a retired Chef, freelance writer, recipe developer, food blogger, and Cookbook author. She makes her home in Chester, UK, where she lives with her husband, Todd, and their much beloved English Cocker, Mitzie. Her motto is “Life is far too short to eat bad food,” and her goal is to share delicious and easy recipes which anyone can enjoy and cook in the comfort of their own home.