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Classic Red Beans and Rice

This regional favorite has broad appeal because it is hearty and tasty but no too hot. It's a good way to add variety to the menu.—Shirley Johnson, Kenner, Louisiana
  • Total Time
    Prep: 2-1/2 hours + standing Cook: 2 hours
  • Makes
    65 servings (about 1 cup beans and 1/3 cup rice)


  • 6 pounds dried kidney beans
  • 18 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons browning sauce, optional
  • 2 pounds sliced bacon, diced
  • 3 pounds smoked sausage, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1-1/2 pounds cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 6 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 green peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons pepper
  • 22 cups hot cooked rice
  • Hot pepper sauce, optional


  • Sort beans and rinse in cold water. Place beans in stockpots; add water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
  • Drain and discard liquid. To beans, add 9 qts. water, garlic, bay leaves and browning sauce if desired. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until beans are tender.
  • Meanwhile, in large skillets, cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels. In the drippings, cook the sausage and ham until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.
  • Add oil to drippings in skillets. Stir in flour until smooth; cook and stir over medium heat until reddish brown, about 12-14 minutes. Add the onions, celery and green peppers; cook and stir until tender. Stir into bean mixture.
  • Add the bacon, sausage, ham, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Serve with rice and hot sauce if desired.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/3 cups: 373 calories, 13g fat (4g saturated fat), 23mg cholesterol, 1035mg sodium, 47g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 7g fiber), 18g protein.

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  • tderksen
    Feb 26, 2011

    I found this recipe years ago in the Taste of Home magazine and it is by far the absolute best red beans and rice I have ever tasted.