Saturday, November 19, 2011

Crockpot Red Beans & Rice.

I seem to have a love-hate relationship with red beans & rice…I love to eat them, but have a devil of a time trying to make them, as evidenced by my first ever entry in this blog, when I attempted to make “quick” red beans & rice in my microwave (which ended up taking still about 30 minutes in the microwave and a lot of *DING!* *open microwave door & stir* “nope, still not done…”).  Red beans is a “low & slow” type dish, so I figured, what better than the Crockpot?

Sadly, perfect red beans eluded me again, but thanks to some quick thinking, I was able to salvage the dish.  I will give you the amended version here, to save you the heartache that I went through.


2 cans seasoned red kidney beans
1-2 cups water
2 links smoked sausage, sliced and cut in half
1 cup, cubed ham (I bought a ham shank for cheap, cut the ham off the bone & then threw the bone into the pot for extra flavor)
1 cup, each, chopped onion and bell pepper
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 tbs. or more Cajun seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
3 cups hot cooked brown rice (we like to use Minute Brown Rice)

Combine the first 12 ingredients in your Crockpot, & mix well.


(Photo taken before the water was added in.)

Cover & heat for 5 hours on high, or 8 hours on low. (We started it in the morning before work around 8am, set on Low, and I got home at 6pm.)  Then discard bay leaves and mash some of the beans (also, if you used a ham bone, remove it now & give it to your dog--he will love you FOREVER); add green onions and additional Cajun seasoning or some Tabasco to your taste, and cook for 15 more minutes. Add a little water, if necessary.

At this point, you have options—you can either serve your red beans poured over rice, or you can integrate your rice into the crockpot.  If the beans are still a little soupy, I recommend the latter—good red beans have a nice, thick, creamy texture—thus the smashing of the beans to really get the starches out.


Serve with french bread, some extra green onions, and a nice salad.

NOTE: The original recipe called for MUCH more water, so I’m assuming that chef intended the recipe to be made with dry beans, not canned/precooked, although it wasn’t specified. So when I came home, it was too soupy & hadn’t cooked down nearly enough. To salvage it, I (thankfully) had extra cans of beans in the house, so I smashed two extra cans of beans & tossed them in, & let it cook down for another 20-30 minutes on High without the lid on.  It was still thinner than I wanted, so I also mixed our rice in to help soak up some of the juices.  This got it to a thick enough texture for us to eat  without it feeling like soup (and serve to my in-laws, who I originally hadn’t been expecting for dinner), and then we let the rest continue cooking on Low until that evening when it really thickened up. 

And it worked out well in the end, because I had all the more servings to accommodate our unexpected guests, and still more than enough to take to work the following day for a potluck, while still saving back a few servings for my husband & I.

Serves 8.

Amount Per Serving

Calories 316.1

Total Fat 7.0 g

Saturated Fat 2.5 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g

Cholesterol 42.9 mg

Sodium  1,235.2 mg

Potassium  530.8 mg

Total Carbohydrate  42.1 g

Dietary Fiber  10.2 g

Sugars 2.3 g

Protein 20.3 g

Linked to: 33 Shades of Green

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