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Red Beans and Rice

The beans need to be soaked overnight beforehand. Plan ahead. Ladle over rice — white rice is traditional in New Orleans, brown is healthier.Keep the hot sauce handy — for a little something extra.


  • 1 pound dried red beans aka kidney beans, picked over, rinsed and soaked overnight
  • 6 cups water
  • 8 garlic cloves 2 whole, 6 chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 dried pepper optional
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 5 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 red or green peppers chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves from a few sprigs of thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce more if you like it hot
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 dried pepper crumbled or pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • generous sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  • Rinse and drain soaked beans.
  • Bring 6 cups of water to boil in a large soup pot. Throw in two whole garlic cloves, 1 bay leaf and the optional dried pepper. Add the beans. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Leave the beans to themselves for 2 hours, or until tender but shapely.
  • In a separate large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the 6 cloves chopped garlic, the chopped onions, celery and peppers. Cook, stirring, until vegetables soften and glisten with the oil, about 10 minutes. Add the thyme, hot sauce, allspice and smoked paprika and optional and dried pepper. Carefully tip the beans into the pot of vegetables. Stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium or medium-low, until you reach a very low simmer. Continue cooking, uncovered for 2 to 3 hours. The longer it cooks, the happier the beans and you will be. You need only give it an occasional stir. When you until you have a pot of creamy red and you can’t tell where the beans start and the vegetables end, you have achieved RBR.
  • Remove bay and whole garlic. Season with sea salt and pepper.
Keyword mardi gras, new orleans, president's day, red beans, red beans and rice, rice