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Cajun Red Beans and Rice

We made this dish on our local Chicago station, WGN.  So yummy!

Feeds 6-8 |Preparation - About 30 minutes (great make ahead meal)

Ingredient List

From your pantry:

  • 4-15 ounce cans of 8 Track Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed. Save the “bean water”
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoon, minced garlic from the jar (if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon, hot sauce (add more if you like heat)
  • 1 teaspoon of EACH of the following (thyme and dried paprika(smoked if you have it!)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/8teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 ounce vegetable broth (1tsp vegetable bouillon to 8 oz water)
  • Couple drops of red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups instant brown rice, dry (prepare according to package directions) 

From your fridge:

  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • Fresh scallions for garnish (not required)

 Preparation Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet medium heat, add olive oil, onion, bell pepper and celery.  sauté until vegetables are translucent (about 5-7 minutes).  Add garlic and cook one minute.
  2. Add oregano, thyme, hot sauce, paprika, salt and pepper; stir to coat veggies
  3. Add one can of kidney beans (approx. 1-1/2 cups) and mash with back of spoon or potato masher, add remaining beans (don’t mash!). Add bay leaves, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.  Remove from heat and Add a couple drops of red wine vinegar to brighten flavors.
  4. While the beans simmer, prepare rice according to directions
  5. Serve:  Ladle on bean mixture over a bed of rice and top with scallions
  6. Enjoy!


Food Science Tip: By smashing the beans, you release the natural starches.  This naturally creates a thicker sauce. 

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