Kidney beans were the first beans I ever ate. Growing up we ate them in green salads and I always thought it was so funny that they were named after an organ. While I still love them in salads, my favorite way to eat kidney beans is simmered in a tomato-based sauce, jazzed up with a Cajun-inspired seasoning and maybe a bit of andouille, and served atop hot rice. Quick New Orleans-style comfort food for any night of the week.
Cajun Red Beans and Rice
- 6 oz (2 links) fully-cooked smoked andouille sausage (Recommend: Aidells)*
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 small green bell pepper, fine chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (less or omit to taste)
- 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 14.5 oz cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley
- Cooked rice
*Most smoked sausage is sold in 12-ounce packages. Use what you need for this recipe and consider freezing the remaining for another time. It will keep in the freezer for 3-6 months.
Sliced sausage links into 1/4-inch thick slices.
In a medium saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add sausage and cook for about 2 minutes, or until edges begin to brown. Add celery, onion and bell pepper and continue to cook until onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
Stir in garlic and spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add tomatoes with juice, kidney beans, water and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. Cover and continue to simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
Remove bay leaf. Season to taste with salt. Stir in parsley and serve over cooked rice.
Meal Prep Tips
Up to 4 days in advance: Chop the celery, onion and green pepper. Store them tightly covered (together is fine) in the fridge until ready to cook. This will save you about 10 minutes. Measure out the spices and keep them covered on the counter.