Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours

Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours

We can’t take credit for the slogan–it’s widely known that world famous jazz musician Louis Armstrong signed all his letters with these words. Red beans and rice is a cornerstone of the New Orleans food scene, originating way back in the 19th century and evolving into a tradition that is alive and well today. New Orleanians will tell you that nothing is more comforting than coming into a home suffused with the familiar aroma of red beans simmering and bubbling on the range.

Bathed in a rich broth flavored with sautéed onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic, the beans are seasoned with a medley of Creole spices, and chock full of andouille sausage and your choice of pickled pork, ham bone, or ham hock (or even just some diced smoked ham!). Served over long grain white rice with a sprinkling of minced parsley, this all-in-one meal is a weekly favorite in many New Orleans’ households.

Why do New Orleanians Eat Red Beans on Monday?

Monday was historically the “wash day” for the week in New Orleans. The woman of the house would cook a pot of red beans while she tended to laundry duties because the meal required little hands-on attention. The beans would be seasoned with the left-over hambone from Sunday’s traditional ham supper.

Today, red beans and rice is a staple in homes and restaurants around the state. It is a common Monday special in both fine dining and casual eateries. We, like most New Orleanians, ate them without fail — religiously — every single week with pickled pork and smoked pork sausage. I never dreamed pickled pork was anything other than a staple in every household! That is until I moved out of state and had an impossible time finding it. 

What is pickled pork and where can I find it?

For a delicious Cajun flavor, adding Pickled Pork to your next pot of beans is a must. This will add tons of flavor to your beans and the meat is fall apart tender.

If you’re like me and live out of state, you might have trouble finding this product. Don’t worry, you can order on Amazon straight from Louisiana! Or, try some alternatives:

Red Beans & Rice Meat Alternatives

  • pickled pork (our preference)
  • ham bone, leftover from Sunday dinner (or bought at your local grocery store)
  • ham hock
  • diced smoked ham
  • diced fried bacon


Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours

August 17, 2020
: 4-6
: 15 min
: 3 hr
: 3 hr 15 min
: easy


  • 1 lb. or andouille sausage, sliced (or smoked if you prefer)
  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, diced, or 2 medium
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 tbps. Cajun seasoning (Tony Chachere's, Slap Ya Mama)
  • 1 lb. dried red beans, Camelia or Blue Runner
  • ½ lb. Pickled pork, sliced into 1 inch pieces (can substitute with smoked ham, ham hock, ham bone, meat diced or shredded)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Louisiana long-grain white rice
  • Step 1 Rinse beans under water in a colander
  • Step 2 overnight is best, or for a minimum of one hour.
  • Step 3 Prep your veggies: dice the onion, bell pepper, and celery, and peel the garlic.
  • Step 4 Saute sausage slices in oil in a large cast iron dutch oven or deep pot, and remove to a platter when done, leaving the pork fat in the pot.
  • Step 5 Add 1 tbsp oil to the pot and saute the onion, bell pepper and celery in the pork fat and oil for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently to absorb all flavors.
  • Step 6 Add garlic and saute for an additional minute.
  • Step 7 Add cajun seasonings to the pot and mix.
  • Step 8 Add the beans (camelia or blue runner are our favorite)
  • Step 9 Fill the pot with enough water to cover about 2 inches over beans (6-7 cups) and cover and bring to a boil. For added flavor, use half chicken broth.
  • Step 10 Bring to a boil (Covered). Reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Step 11 After 2 hours, add in the sausage back to the pot, followed by the pickled pork slices and continue to cook for another hour.
  • Step 12 Adjust for salt and spiciness.
  • Step 13 Mash a cup or so of the beans in a food processor, and return to the pot. To save time, you can also use the back of a wooden spoon and smash against the side of the pot.
  • Step 14 Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Step 15 Serve in large bowls over Louisiana long-grain white rice.

Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours,

Marion & Vicky