Red Beans and Rice Recipe

| March 1, 2020 | 4 Comments

Southern Red Beans and Rice

Follow our easy, step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe to learn how to make Southern Red Beans and Rice. Printable recipe included.


Red Beans and Rice, enjoy!
Southern Red Beans and Rice recipe, made with cooked ham and seasoned with a ham bone. You can use a ham hock if you prefer. Just slightly spicy.


Red Beans and Rice, slider

We’re cooking up some delicious Red Beans and Rice – Southern style. Smile. What makes it Southern you ask?

I like to think it’s the addition of the ham as opposed to that Andouille Sausage you hear about in most recipes. While I do like the sausage, I wanted to use something I already had on hand, pork meat.

Recently, I purchased a Smoked Pork Shoulder. It was smoked, but not cooked. I decided to throw it in a big pot and boil it and you’ll find the recipe for that here on Taste of Southern.

After the Pork Shoulder was cooked, I had plenty of nicely flavored meat and a bone or two that I wanted to use. Thus, this recipe for Red Beans and Rice.

This wasn’t something Mama ever prepared that I can remember. But, it’s an easy enough meal to prepare and it will feed a crowd if need be. You’ll just need to sort through the dry red beans and soak them overnight so keep that in mind when you get ready to try the recipe.

It took just about two hours for me to cook the beans until they were tender. Yours could take longer or even less time, but you’re going to love the results once you’re finished.

Serve them over some cooked rice and you’ve got a complete meal right there.

If you don’t have a leftover bone, use a ham hock or even some bacon. I like the smokey flavor from both.

So, ready to give our recipe a try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!


Red Beans and Rice, ingredients you'll need.
Red Beans and Rice – You’ll need these ingredients.

It’s mostly spices. I’m using a leftover ham bone and some of the cooked ham meat for seasoning and to turn this into a meal within itself.


Red Beans and Rice, soak beans overnight.
Sort through the dry beans to remove any debris or stones that might have been in the bag. Place the beans in a large bowl and cover them with cold water. Let the beans soak overnight for best results.


Red Beans and Rice, measure the spices.
Since we’re using several spices, I find it easier to measure them out before I start cooking everything. They all go in at once, so doing a little prep work ahead of time will make it easier.


Red Beans and Rice, prep the veggies.
Dice and chop the celery, onion, and the bell pepper.

This combination of vegetables is often referred to as the “Holy Trinity.”


Red Beans and Rice, cut the meat.
And, go ahead and cut the meat into bite size pieces. On the left is the leftover bone I’m going to be using to add some additional smoked flavor to the beans. I recently boiled a Smoked Pork Shoulder Picnic, and this is the bone that came from that.


Red Beans and Rice, cook the veggies.
Place a large dutch oven or stock pot on your stove top. Turn the heat on to Medium and when it gets hot, add the bacon grease. You could also use some oil or butter if you don’t have the bacon grease.

Stir often and let the vegetables cook until the onions are fairly translucent and peppers are tender.


Red Beans and Rice, add garlic.
Add the chopped garlic. Stir again and let this cook for about two minutes.


Red Beans and Rice, drain and rinse the beans.
Place the beans in a colander to drain off the soak water, then rinse them gently under cold running water. Let drain again.


Red Beans and Rice, add beans to the pot.
Add the drained beans to the pot.


Red Beans and Rice, add tomato sauce.
Add the can of tomato sauce.


Red Beans and Rice, cover with water.
Add enough water to completely cover the beans by about one inch. I used 7 cups of water.


Red Beans and Rice, add the spices.
Add all of the spices. That’s the sugar, sage, black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, and the bay leaves. Don’t add the salt yet, we’ll save that for later.


Red Beans and Rice, add the meat.
Add the ham bone or your ham hock, whichever you’re using. Then, drop in the cut up ham.


Red Beans and Rice, cover the pot.
Stir everything together and let the liquid come up to a slight boil. When you start to see it bubbling, COVER the pot and reduce the heat down to Medium-Low.

Simmer the beans for 1 to 2 hours, or until tender. You’ll need to check them about every 30 minutes or so to give them a quick stir and to be sure your liquid is not getting too low. If it does, just add another cup or so of hot water and let it resume cooking.


Red Beans and Rice, add salt if needed.
When the beans start to get tender, taste them to see if you need to add some salt or if you need to adjust any of the other seasonings that you’ve added.

If you prefer a much creamier type of beans, scoop out a cup or two of the beans then mash them up really fine. Add them back to the pot and stir them in.

I’m going to leave these a bit on the juicy side. Tell you why in a moment. Smile.


Red Beans and Rice, ladle over rice.
Prepare your rice according to the package directions. When ready to serve, ladle the hot beans over the cooked rice.


Red Beans and Rice, enjoy.

I knew I’d have plenty of leftovers, so I added the remaining rice into the pot with the juicy beans. That’s why I didn’t want them to be real creamy. Choice is yours.

I packaged up the leftovers into storage containers and put three quarts in my freezer for later. Each container should yield about two meals. Smile.



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red beans and rice, printbox

Red Beans and Rice Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: Varies
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Southern


Southern style Red Beans and Rice, made with ham instead of sausage. But, you could easily use sausage if you prefer. Easy to prepare and serves a large crowd. Leftovers freeze well, so don’t be afraid to make the full recipe.



1 lb Red Kidney Beans, soaked overnight
1 Tablespoon Bacon Grease
1 Onion, medium, chopped
2 stalks Celery, chopped
1 Bell Pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon Garlic, chopped
1 small can Tomato Sauce (8oz)
About 7 cups water.
1 ham bone, or ham hock for seasoning
2 cups cooked Smoked Ham, chopped
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Sage
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
3 Bay Leaves
1 teaspoon Salt, if needed.
Cooked White Rice, prepared according to package directions.


Sort through beans to remove any debris or bad beans.
Place beans in bowl and cover with water. Let soak overnight.
Chop the onion.
Chop the celery.
Chop the bell pepper.
Place bacon grease in large sauce pot over Medium heat on stove top.
Add onion, celery, and bell pepper.
Stir and cook until onions are translucent.
Add chopped garlic.
Drain beans and add to pot.
Add tomato sauce.
Add enough water to cover beans by about 2 inches.
Add sugar, sage, black pepper, Cayenne pepper, Oregano, Thyme and Bay Leaves.
Add smoked ham.
Stir well until fully combined.
Bring liquid to a low boil. REDUCE heat to low simmer.
Cover pot and let cook 1-2 hours until beans are tender.
Add salt to taste.
For creamier beans, remove one half cup beans and mash fine.
Return mashed beans to pot and stir.
Remove bay leaves and ham bones prior to serving.
Serve beans over prepared rice.

Keywords: red beans and rice, ham, ham hock, ham bone, rice, bacon grease, easy, large meal

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You might also like: Skillet Cornbread Recipe

Or, maybe this one?  Hot Water Cornbread

How about this?  Ham Bone Soup Recipe



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Category: Main Dishes, Pork

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (4)

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  1. Cheryl Ann says:

    Hello Sir! Your story about the rolls took me back to my grade school days–only for me it was no bake cookies! Students who helped clean up after lunch were rewarded with an extra no bake cookie! Our lunch ladies were fabulous cooks and meals were always good–no hamburgers-no pizza–just good solid meals! I was very much saddened to learn recently that my old grade school building had been torn down. Oh, how I loved that old building! The high school I attended is also gone–progress they call it–where does one have a high school reunion when there’s no more high school? Made me sad. I guess they did have some sort of shindig–to say goodbye to the building and those who wanted could tour one last time-but I opted not to go. I haven’t been back home since my Family home burned down 27 years ago. I was actually shocked to learn just recently that the skating rink-of all things- is still going strong! Now that was childhood cant believe kids in my hometown still skate on Friday and Saturday nights! Something so simple Is still there. I have saved your recipe and may even try it this week-never had red beans and rice before. We had a fabulous 65 degree day yesterday but overnight temps dropped to 14 and it’s supposed to stay cold all week. My water heater took a nosedive this morning–And at the Same moment–the City shut my water off for outside repair of something or other–had the water still been on, my entire basement would have been flooded! Who says God is not looking out for us! Thank you for all you do in creating this blog.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Cheryl Ann, Thank you for being a subscriber to the Newsletter, and thank you for sharing your stories with us as well. I always enjoyed lunches at school myself. I’m sorry your old school is no longer there. I hope they replaced with something worthwhile instead of a parking lot. I hope you got that water heater repaired. That was pretty good timing for sure. God is good. I do hope you might try our Red Beans and Rice recipe one day soon. It’s my pleasure to share all the recipes. Thank you for all of your support. Its greatly appreciated. I do appreciate you stopping by today and I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  2. Karen Miller says:

    Love red beans and rice. I make it occasionally when we want something different. I’ve always fixed it with sausage that is slightly spicy.
    I look forward to Monday morning to see what recipe you are sharing this week.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Karen, I bet your recipe is awesome. I’ve made it with sausage before, but tried something a bit different this time. I do appreciate you being a subscriber to the Newsletter and for all of your support of our recipes. I will always appreciate your visits, so be sure to stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

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