I’ve been scanning my cache of recipes to the Cloud. They’re now safe on Google drive where someday I’ll sort through them and get them organized. I had tons of those little recipe books you see at the checkout counters and various bits torn from pages of magazines. Some were cut from the backs of boxes and others were hand written. Tucked amidst all the recipes was a card for Red Beans and Rice published by Uncle Ben’s in 1986!
Instead of opening a box with a seasoning packet, Go Boxless and make your own red beans and rice at home.
Red Beans and Rice contains ingredients that are easy to store in the pantry, making it a perfect “go-to” recipe for hectic evenings. It takes less than 30 minutes to make, depending on the type of rice you use. In addition to avoiding the added salt and preservatives found in a store bought box of Red Beans and Rice, I like it because I can cook it all in my large wok pan (affiliate link).
This version of Red Beans and Rice isn’t very saucy, but it has really good flavor. The original recipe called for 6 slices of bacon, which I omitted. I served sliced chorizo on the side as you can see in the photo. Add a couple ounces of sliced sausage (andouille or kielbasa) if you prefer. For best flavor, use the stock of your choice; beef, chicken or vegetable. I used beef stock because I had a carton on hand in the pantry.
For the beans I used a 40 oz. can of kidney beans (also in the pantry) but if you have cooked kidney beans available, substitute 4 cups of cooked beans.
- 6 slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces OR 2 ounces sliced sausage (optional)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 large green bell pepper, diced
- 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil if omitting the bacon
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 14 ounce carton of beef broth OR 2 1/2 cups home made broth of your choice
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 40 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or 4 cups cooked kidney beans)
- If using bacon, cook it until nicely browned, but not crisp. Drain on paper towels. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of drippings.
- If not using bacon, heat olive oil in a large skillet and sauté onions, peppers and garlic until the onion is tender.
- Add enough water to the beef broth to make 2 1/2 cups. Add to the skillet.
- Mix in the rice, thyme, salt and bacon, if using.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the temperature to a simmer and cover the skillet with a lid.
- Simmer 15 minutes or until rice is tender.
- Add the kidney beans and mix thoroughly. Allow them to heat through.
- Let stand to allow all the liquid to be absorbed.
- Serve with your favorite hot sauce.
To make this a vegan dish, omit the meat, use your favorite oil and vegetable broth. How do you like your red beans and rice?