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Cajun Red Beans and Rice Salad

Cajun Red Beans and Rice Salad

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  • 2 large fresh thyme sprigs, divided, plus 1 tablespoon chopped
  • 1 15 1/2-ounce can red beans or kidney beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 5 teaspoons Cajun seasoning blend

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil in small saucepan. Stir in rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 thyme sprig; return to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

  • Transfer rice to large bowl; remove thyme sprig. Cool 5 minutes.

  • Stir beans, bell pepper, and green onions into rice. Add oil, vinegar, Cajun seasoning, and 1 tablespoon chopped thyme; mix well. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with remaining thyme sprig and serve.

Recipe by Brooke Dojny, Melanie BarnardReviews Section

Red Beans and Rice

I really should eat Red Beans and Rice more often! It’s one big flavorful bowl of smokey, spicy goodness!

Well, it’s that time of year again! Fat Tuesday is just around the corner. If you know me, you know that I love to make Cajun food! When I was thinking about what to make this week, I couldn’t believe that I didn’t have a recipe for Red Beans and Rice. It’s one of my favorite things to make. I love the rich, creamy beans, the spicy andouille sausage, the Cajun spice blend and all the veggies inside this big pot of goodness! To me, it’s a perfect meal!

When I was gathering all my ingredients to make this weeks post, I realized that many of my staple foodstuffs are products that are made in Colorado! We are lucky here as we have some amazing local companies producing some of the best products on the market. This isn’t a sponsored post but I am going to give shoutouts anyway! In my mind, it’s good to support local companies and this is my little way of doing so!

I will provide links to all these companies, but feel free to use products that you love to substitute if you aren’t local or just don’t want to place an online order.

Merf’s Hot Sauce

Merfs Condiments was created in Denver, Colorado among the scenic Rocky Mountains. We are excited to be a part of a thriving food community that’s focused on providing organic, local, and delicious eats“.

The first time I tried Merf’s was at a local restaurant and thought I had died and gone to heaven with the Hand Granade Siracha and the Jamberry Siracha sauces. Both had so much flavor and just the right amount of heat. Jamberry is a little sweeter though, which I like. I enjoyed them so much, that the next day, I went down to the General Store 45 in Downtown Littleton and bought 4 bottles.

When I getting ready to make this weeks post, I headed back down to the shop and bought Dancing Queen. It’s definitely a bit spicier with a bit of a vinegar undernote which is great for Cajun food. I used Dancing Queen in this recipe but Fool’s Paradise would be great too if you like things really spicy!

I highly suggest trying to get your hands on Merf’s if you love a great hot sauce. To me, hands down, the best that I have ever had!

If you are in Colorado, you can buy Merf’s at specialty food stores and at King Soopers in the “Buy Local” section. Out of state friends, go to Merf’s Condiments or they sell their products on Amazon as well! If you order it, let me know how you like it! I love to hear all about it!

Savory Spice Shop

I will begin by saying that the Savory Spice Shop is my happy place. I have been shopping at their Littleton location for years and it’s the ONLY place that I buy my herbs and spices, period. They sell the freshest product at super reasonable prices. Once you check out their prices you will wonder why you buy spices at the grocery. It really doesn’t make sense. Another bonus of buying at Savory is that you can buy in small quantities. People always wonder about shelf life for spices, if you buy what you will use in a reasonable time, your spices will never go bad! Hum, brilliant!

For this recipe, I used their Cajun Blackening Seasoning. I know it says blackening but it’s a true Cajun blend that’s perfect for Red Beans and Rice. It has a “good” heat to it, so adjust to your taste. I used 2 tablespoons in this recipe which was just what it needed for me. Savory’s blend doesn’t contain salt so if you use another brand for this recipe and it contains salt, you will need to adjust the salt in the recipe to your liking.

Savory Spice has locations all over Colorado and many other states as well. If you don’t have a shop near you, you can order online. Even if you have to pay to ship it will be more cost effective than buying at the grocery!

Polidori Sausage

My heart belongs to Polidori. Seriously. I adore it. My love affair with good sausage probably started in my teens while traveling in Europe. I got my first taste of good sausage back then and could not find a good one since until I found Polidori. I know, what you are all thinking (giggle) but in all seriousness, Polidori is the bomb!

Polidori is a local Colorado company that has been producing top quality sausage products for generations. They source only the finest cuts of pork, use all natural spices and don’t add any MSG to their over 60 varieties of sausage products. I always have their Italian sausage on hand but I also love their chorizo, their brats (amazing), they have a green chili brat that is to die for, and for this recipe, I used their andouille which is just as great as something made in Lousiana! The spices are spot on and it’s just spicy enough for you to say, “hum”!

Polidori is sold in over 2500 stores in the Western Region including King Soopers, Safeway (they have the best selection in their meat case), City Market and Spinelli’s. Unfortunately, you will have to come out for a visit if you don’t live out West for this product, it doesn’t look like ship their products! But if you live here in Colorado, make sure you buy Polidori! It really is the best sausage, hands down.

Final Thoughts

When you read my recipe, feel free to substitute these products for what you have on hand. I was just lucky enough to realize while I was making it that I had really great “Colorado Proud” products on hand. It was the perfect post to give support to companies that make my life happy. Yep! A good hot sauce, spices, and sausage can make a gal happy. I live a simple, uncomplicated life and when good food fits this, life is really good!

One last thing

If you are looking for other great Cajun food try these on for size!

Holy Cow! Look at this pot of goodness!

Here it is folks! One big ol’ beautiful pot of Red Beans! It will thicken up once it’s cooled down a bit.

An up close and personal view of the ever delicious Red Beans and Rice!

Merf’s Dancing Queen Hot Sauce and Savory Spice Shops cajun blackening seasoning spice up this red beans and rice nicely!

Cajun Red Beans and Rice Salad - Recipes

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Cajun Red Beans & Rice Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup long-grain rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large fresh thyme sprigs, divided, plus 1 tablespoon chopped
  • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can red beans or kidney beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 5 teaspoons Cajun seasoning blend

Preparation: Bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil in small saucepan. Stir in rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 thyme sprig return to boil. Reduce heat to low cover and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
Transfer rice to large bowl remove thyme sprig. Cool 5 minutes.
Stir beans, bell pepper, and green onions into rice. Add oil, vinegar, Cajun seasoning, and 1 tablespoon chopped thyme mix well. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with remaining thyme sprig and serve.

Reviews ( 24 )

Who the hell wrote this recipe and felt entitled enough to slap the name of an ethnic minority group on something so incredibly inauthentic? Not Cajun. Not red beans and rice. (Red beans and rice originates from Creole culture, anyway. ) People's willful misunderstanding Louisiana culture is pretty frustrating.

I grew up in Baton Rouge in a family of 9 so Red Beans and rice was a regular staple. I don't know what you made but in Louisiana if you put canned beans in RB and R you likely have broken several laws. Putting a ham hock or other meat in with the beans when they are cooking is a necessity. I agree with the other reviewers, call up a Cajun or look one up on the internet

What in Hell do you think you are doing? I am cajun and this recipe is far from real cajun food. I would not feed that to my dog. If I could give it a negative 5 star review I would.

Is the the same idiot chef who works for Disney and gave us that total abomination of a gumbo recipe a couple of years back? The similarities are eerie.

This isn't Red Beans & Rice. This isn't Cajun anything! Those of us who live in Louisiana have no idea what the hell you made, but don't you dare call it either Cajun or Red Beans & Rice.

If you want Cajun food recipes, please please, please consult a Cajun chef's website,, or just randomly call people who live here and ask them for their momma's recipe because anything would be better than this recipe.

At least no one tried to add kale to it.

I can not believe you had the audacity to ruin Redbeans like that and how dare you make a claim that the recipe you posted is in fact "Cajun"! There is not a Cajun in the world that would make red beans like this! We take our food and recipes seriously! Ask any true cajun! Not only will we teach you how to cook it right, but we will invite you over to come eat some real cajun cooking and send you home with a to-go plate as well! Come to Louisiana baby and we will teach you how to make some REAL Cajun Redbeans. I need to see a ham hock or a turkey next in those beans before you can claim they are cajun!!

Like other reviewers, I chop my own vegetables. This results in probably doubling the amount of onions, celery, and bell pepper. I also add in some chopped carrot - I don't think it does much for the flavor, but I'm always looking to increase the amount of vegetables. Although I don't particularly like celery, it's an important ingredient here, as it adds a crunch to the dish. I use all four of the sausages, which means that I also increase the amount of spices that I use and the amount of liquid. I use chicken stock instead of water, if I have it. I let this simmer for about half an hour, while I'm waiting for my brown rice to finish. Delicious and good for leftovers, too!

Enjoyed the flavors. Leftovers reheated well. Used crumbled chicken andouille (not links), omitted celery, and added a little cayenne. It had a nice little spicy kick, and then had hot sauce on the table. It all came together pretty easily.

Heat will always be up to the individual, and we added Tabasco at the table. Otherwise followed as written except to chop up my own vegetables (saves lots of money & I always have those on hand anyway), skip the water, and made the rice with chicken stock for more flavor. I used Applegate's turkey Andouille, which is quite spicy but healthy and low-fat. We enjoyed this a lot with cornbread and slaw.

I at least doubled the veggies and swapped the sausage for some soyrizo. Very easy and tasty.

This recipe was a surprise at how good it came out. I think I had lower expectations because it didn't seem to be that complicated or too many ingredients-- but I was wrong. It is a healthier version to the Cajun boxed rice stuff. I didn't used prechopped veggies-- I cut my own which might have increased the amount of veggies slightly. Overall a very solid (EASY) recipe that I think would be a good crowd pleaser.

This was surprisingly good for something so easy to prepare. I'll definitely make it again!

Love it. Quick, easy and in constant rotation at our house.

I loved this! I had some leftover sausage from a BBQ and I did not want to make yet another pasta dish. This was spicy and delicious! The only thing I changed was I substituted the water for fat free, low sodium chicken broth. Served over brown rice. Will definitely make again.

This was fantastic! I used 1/2 an onion, 1 green pepper and 1/2 an orange pepper and also added 1 plum tomato (using up stuff in the kitchen) and didn't mash up the red beans. I don't know if I would add the water next time. Served it with corn muffins. This is a definate "do again" recipe!

I have to admit, I didn't expect to like this (because I never had tomatoes in RB&R), but I needed a quick red beans & rice recipe, so I took a chance. I'm so glad I did the family raved about how good it was! This is my new favorite red beans & rice recipe.

This was a fantastic weeknight supper. Very easy to prepare, without much prep work. I substituted Aidelle's pork andouille sausage, creole seasoning I had on hand, and used brown rice, but otherwise prepared as directed. My husband and 9 year old loved it. Served with homemade mixed greens (collards, etc) and cornbread. This definitely will get made again.

I liked this quite a bit but the rice/beans ratio wasn't right. I followed the instructions on the (brown) rice package, and wound up w/about an add'l cup of rice, which I stashed in the fridge. I also couldn't find the aromatics mix at the market so just eyeballed and chopped onion, bell, and celery.

I really enjoy this recipe. Although it isn't exactly what I think of as "red beans and rice" the flavors are great and it's a very filling entree. I generally just cut up onion and green pepper, as my grocery store doesn't carry a prechopped onion, bell pepper, and celery mix. I don't think it's worth buying celery just for this recipe.

Just made this for dinner and it is outstanding. I substituted habanero and monterey jack chicken sausage instead of andouille 1 tsp of regular sodium cajun seasoning instead of 1.5 tsp 1/4 tsp salt instead of 3/4 tsp low sodium home-chopped yellow bell peppers, onions, and celery instead of pre-chopped and yellow rice instead of long-grain white rice. I only substituted because these were what I had on hand. Even with the stand-ins i really loved this dish. I will be making this several times a month! Thanks for a GREAT recipe CL!

quick and easy for a weeknight meal.

I thought this was a great, easy weeknight dinner. I couldn't find chicken andouille, so I used the Aidells brand pork andouille instead, and only used a tiny bit of oil since the sausage was kind of fatty. I also realized too late that I didn't have white rice - only one of those mixes of brown and wild rice. I was worried the wild rice would ruin the dish, but the it was surprisingly delicious with the beans and sausage, and more nutritious too. I will definitely be making this a lot!

I rank this 4 stars, meaning very good. I would not make this for a special occasion, but it's very good for every day. This recipe is very easy to put together and yields a lot of flavor - perfect for a weeknight meal. I chopped my own celery, onion and peppers, adding up to about 9 ounces total or 1/2-3/4 cup of each. I also used regular andouille, but a little less than the recipe called for. I served it over brown basmati rice.

Slow Cooker Cajun Red Beans and Rice

When the nights are chilly and our days are filled with school, hockey and some NJ snow I go straight for my slow cooker for something delicious and easy! This Slow Cooker Cajun Red Beans and Rice is jam packed full of great flavor and really simple to throw together. Its hearty, not overly spicy and just a perfect comfort meal on a cold night.

Happy Friday friends! Today is another special day here on the blog, its our Freaky Friday Blog Hop- Winter Edition 2021! So what does that mean? A bunch of us food bloggers get together for a recipe swap. We are each assigned a blog to then chose a recipe from to recreate and share. For this round I was assigned that wonderful Kathleen from The Fresh Cooky!

My pal Michaela from An Affair From The Heart puts so much time and work into organizing these recipe swaps throughout the year. Her blog is packed with some of the most tasty recipes you’ll find! Her Sausage Cheese Dip would make for a perfect snack at any party! You have to check out her Chocolate Whoopie Pies– they are adorable and perfect for a Valentines Day treat! Oh my goodness and her Baked Roast Beef Sliders with Horseradish Sauce are to die for. Everything on her blog is mouth watering and sure to be a family or crowd pleasing dish!

Let me tell ya, I am surrounded by amazingly talented friends because Kathleen from The Fresh Cooky totally crushes it in the kitchen! Like me, Kathleen is married with two boys. Hers are a few years older than mine and if they eat the way my boys eat then I have no doubt she spends a lot of time in the kitchen cooking up things to feed those hungry bellies! When I browse through her blog the first thing that comes to mind is COMFORT and I love that! Her Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup has so much flavor and will surely warm you on a cold night! Her Greek Butter Cookies are a delicious treat any night of the week.

I have to tell you, when I saw her recipe for Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice I knew that was the winner! Really simple ingredients but so much flavor. The prep is minimal and everything just gets thrown in the slow cooker to do its magic. I love what Kathleen writes in the post about this dish- Is it traditional? Maybe not exactly what you’d get in New Orleans but its a darn delicious meal that the family will love! This is why I love cooking so much. You can play, you can alter, you make it your own.

If you happen to have a slow cooker where the insert can go on the stovetop you get one less thing to clean. If not that’s ok- its just one sauté pan. You start creating an amazing base of flavor right here with sautéing onion and celery in a little olive oil until softened. You’ll then add in the cajun seasoning, thyme, bay leaf and a pinch of salt and pepper.

You can technically skip all this and throw everything into the slow cooker but I definitely recommend doing it this way. When you add garlic, the dry seasoning and herbs to the sauté pan the flavors really wake up and get a bit of a toasted enhanced flavor to start the dish. You’ll just cook this for a couple extra minutes before adding it to the slow cooker.

One little note- I didn’t have dry beans so I used canned red kidney beans (rinsed and drained) so I do use less liquid here then in Kathleens recipe. At this point you are ready to add everything right into the slow cooker. You’ll add sliced kielbasa and water. Kathleen gives the option for chicken breasts as well and I thought that was great. If you use the chicken breasts as well you can add them in 4 hours into the cooking time. This is also when I added my beans since they are already cooked.

You’ll let this go in the slow cooker for 6-8 hours on high or 8-10 on low. The result is fantastic. The beans are creamy, the perfect amount of spice from the cajun seasoning and the tender chicken and kielbasa… YUM. You’ll serve with a heaping spoonful of white rice cooked per the package directions. This Slow Cooker Cajun Red Beans and Rice is one incredibly comforting meal! After enjoying it for dinner I texted my dad and said, “I have a meal for you to come pick up”. So on day 3 of of this snow storm we just had my dad came by and here’s what he had to say, “That was the best rice dish I’ve ever eaten. Moist, creamy, super tasty”.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sweating means to cook the small diced vegetables in oil, stirring frequently until they release some of their juices and become tender.

Whatever you do, don&rsquot miss this step. The mashed beans help to make the gravy thick. As it simmers, the mashed beans create a thick, creamy, and bold flavored gravy sauce.

Yes, traditionally Cajun Red Beans and Rice are spicy. I like to use a Cajun seasoning called Tony Chachere&rsquos Original Creole Seasoning that is found in the spice section of the grocery store. I use 2 teaspoons of spice seasoning but you can start with just one and taste to see if it needs to be spicer.

I&rsquove made this recipe using Kielbasa sausage and it turns out delicious. I recommend using a sausage that has a heavier casing so it holds up to the 60 minute simmering time.

This is a traditional southern one-pot meal. Tradition is that red beans and rice is served on Mondays in the south. Some stories say that Mondays were washing day and the ladies could put on a large pot of beans and tend to the laundry all day rather than fussing over dinner. Other stories say that ham and sausage were usual meats for Sunday dinner and a pot of red beans was a great way to use up leftover meats. Traditionally this dish is served with a side of cornbread and sweet iced tea.


  • 1 pound dried red kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 ounces andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Parsley leaves (optional)
  • Hot sauce (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 357
  • Fat 5.7g
  • Satfat 1.5g
  • Monofat 1.5g
  • Polyfat 0.7g
  • Protein 22g
  • Carbohydrate 57g
  • Fiber 16g
  • Cholesterol 13mg
  • Iron 6mg
  • Sodium 484mg
  • Calcium 107mg
  • Sugars 4g
  • Est. added sugars 0g

Vegan Cajun Red Beans and Rice

This Vegan Cajun Red Beans and Rice recipe was inspired by an old non-vegan recipe I used to cook for my daughter and me before I went vegan. Cajun red beans and rice with sausage was a favorite on our regular rotation, but my family requested a sausage-free version and I was more than happy to oblige.

This recipe uses dry red beans instead of canned. Dried beans take more prep work, but they’re a lot cheaper and we think they have a lot more flavor. They’re also more environmentally friendly due to reduced processing and packaging.

If you’re in a hurry or don’t want to mess with dry beans, you can use three 16 oz cans of red beans with the juice and reduce the vegetable broth to 1 cup.

This Vegan Cajun Red Beans and Rice dish pairs well with Vegan Cornbread and a Hearty Side Salad.

  • 4 cups red beans cooked from dry
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice (3 cups cooked)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium shallot chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or agave
  • 2 tbsp Cajun spice blend
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper or to taste

Serving size is about 1 cup.

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Where do I start on this topic? How about Louis Armstrong! This was his comfort food, his “birthright” as he once said, as I’m sure it is for many New Orleanians. He actually used to sign his name Red Beans and Ricely Yours, Louis Armstrong. I’ve been a huge Louis Armstrong fan since I discovered him when I was a kid, so it’s hard not to think of him when eating a big plate of Red Beans. I’ve tracked down two different red beans recipes from Louis Armstrong which I will share in the future.
Everyone has their own recipe for Red Beans & Rice, just like most great New Orleans classics, most of which probably change a little with each cooking, usually depending on either:
what’s in the refrigerator, or what looked good at the store.
This one is made with my homemade Tasso, and homemade Andouille Sausage, so it has a rich, down home smoky flavor.
This traditional Monday lunch in New Orleans, stems from lean times, and a good cook’s sense of how to make something, out of nothing! It’s my absolute favorite thing to cook, I make it once a week, usually on Monday, staying with tradition. I never follow a recipe, but you can always find nine, or so, cookbooks open on my table when I’m cooking it. I always search for a new technique, they almost always turn out good, but once in awhile, there is magic in the pot.
So here is some traditional Monday comfort food, and anyone who loves New Orleans, can certainly use any comfort they can get these days.

Red Beans & Ricely Yours – Danno

Red Beans & Rice Recipe

1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
1 Cup Onion, chopped
1/2 Cup Bell Pepper, chopped
1/4 Cup Celery, Chopped
1 Cup Andouille Sausage, Cubed
1 Cup Tasso, Cubed
1/2 lb. Small Red Beans (soaked overnight or for at least a few hours)
1 Tbsp Fresh Garlic, Minced
3 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock (You could certainly use water)
3 Fresh Bay Leaves
1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar (When I don’t use Pickle Meat, I add a little vinegar because I like the flavor it lends. Pickle Meat makes wonderful Red Beans by the way recipe forthcoming.)
1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce (I learned this from Louis Armstrong’s Recipe)
1 Tbsp Italian Parsley, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Green Onions, thinly sliced on the bias
1/2 Recipe Creole Boiled Rice

Mix together the Holy Trinity (Onions, Celery, Bell Pepper). Drain the beans.
Melt the butter over medium heat.
Add 1/2 of the Holy Trinity, 1 Tbsp of the Creole Seasoning, Tasso, and the Andouille, turn the heat to medium high. Cook this for about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to get some color.
Add the beans and cook stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
Add the Chicken Stock or Water, Garlic, Bay Leaves, the remaining Trinity and Creole Seasoning. Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let this simmer for 2- 2 1/2 Hours. The first hour is low maintenance an occasional stir and making sure the beans are covered with liquid. The second hour, you want to check back a little more often, the beans will really start to absorb some liquid and you don’t want them to stick.
After the beans have cooked for two hours, add the Tomato Sauce, the Parsley and 1/2 of the Green Onions. Make your Rice. Cook the beans for another half hour.
To Serve:
Remove the Bay Leaves. Mound a half cup of Rice each, onto two serving plates, Cover with a generous helping of the Red Beans, Garnish with the remaining Green Onions. Make sure there is a bottle of hot sauce on the table. Perfect compliments to this meal are a simple vinaigrette salad, Good Crusty French Bread, and your favorite Ice Cold Beer.