Black Folks Soul Food Red Beans And Rice

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Experience the rich taste of soul food by way of a simple yet flavorful staple dish. Black folks’ soul food red beans and rice. A dish that will make your mouth water when you smell the aroma of savory seasonings and spices as the red kidney beans soak in the rich flavors of this dish!

Black Folks Soul Food Red Beans And Rice

What ethnicity is red beans and rice?

Soul food red beans and rice is a Black people Louisiana tradition. Red beans and rice is a must-have, Black folks’ soul food menu staple that’s simple, rich, and filling.

This dish is prepared from scratch with love and tenderness, using only fresh ingredients like dried thyme, cayenne pepper, and smoked paprika. 

Followed with salt, black pepper, and bay leaf to simmer together for an infusion of flavors. The main ingredient is red beans, but it’s not uncommon to use sausage, bacon, or a ham hock in this dish.

What is the story behind red beans and rice?

After the Haitian Revolution of 1804, thousands of refugees of African descent fled Haiti to New Orleans. These Haitian refugees brought to the US with them their staple dish, red beans and rice.

What do red beans taste like?

Red beans are commonly used in Louisiana cuisine in dishes like jambalaya, red beans and rice, red beans and rice with hot sausage, and sausage and red beans. 

The taste of red beans is pretty complex and hard to describe, especially after soul food seasoning. 

They have a savory, earthy flavor that isn’t too sweet. 

Why you’ll love Black folks’ red beans and rice soul food recipe

A classic vegetarian entree – but not your basic bland rice and beans!

Black folks’ soul food red beans and rice is delicious, easy to prepare, and budget-friendly. 

This Southern staple full of protein and fiber serves as a main dish or a side.

What goes with red beans and rice?

How do you make Black folks’ soul food red beans and rice?

Start with the perfect combination of seasonings and spices for rice and beans exploding with savory flavor! 

Traditionally, this dish gets its rich flavor when it’s cooked on the stovetop simmering in soul food seasonings over low heat. 

Innovative new cooking methods like the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker allow red beans and rice to cook in a fraction of the original stovetop time. And without soaking the beans, the seasonings still penetrate deep into this dish. 

The rice then absorbs the red beans’ delicious juices. And while any rice will work for this Black folks’ soul food red beans and rice recipe. Soft and fluffy Jasmine rice is always my rice of choice for this dish. 

How do you make red beans and rice from scratch?

Easy! With the guided soul food recipe below.

How do you make red beans and rice from scratch?

Kitchen equipment for Black folks’ soul food red beans and rice

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Ingredients for Black folks’ soul food red beans

  • 1 pound of dried kidney beans (small red beans)
  • 6 cups of chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegans & vegetarians)
  • 1 cup of diced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • ½ a teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon (vegans & vegetarians use a Creole seasoning)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper 
How to make soul food red beans and rice from scratch

How to make soul food red beans and rice

Instructions for Black folks’ soul food red beans

  1. Open the Instant Pot lid and pour the chicken broth into the stainless-steel inner pot.  
  2. Add the kidney beans, onion, garlic, bay leaf, paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, chicken bouillon, salt, and black pepper.
  3. Stir the ingredients to combine. 
  4. Make sure the beans are soaking and covered in the broth.
  5. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 40 minutes.
  6. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 15 minutes.
  7. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  8. Remove the bay leaf and serve soul food red beans right away over rice, optionally with sausage and gravy.

Ingredients for beef sausage and gravy (optional)

  • 12 oz. of beef smoked sausage, chopped into approx 1/4″ rounds (optional)
  • 1/2 a cup of water
  • 1/2 a cup of broth from the pot of red beans
  • 1 cup of dry brown gravy mix (1 packet)
What meat is good with red beans and rice?

Instructions for the beef sausage (optional)

  1. Open the Instant Pot lid and add the cut sausage, water and bean broth into the stainless steel inner pot.
  2. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
  3. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes.
  4. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  5. Add the brown gravy to the sausage broth and stir to combine and eliminate any clumps.
  6. Serve this Black folks’ soul food red beans and rice with sausage and gravy over rice, and enjoy!

Ingredients for the rice

  • 2 cups of jasmine rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar, granulated
Black Folks Soul Food Rice And Beans

Instructions for the rice

  1. Open the Instant Pot lid and pour the water into the stainless-steel inner pot.  
  2. Add the jasmine rice, sugar, and salt to the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot.
  3. Stir to mix the ingredients and make sure the rice is covered in the water.
  4. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is in the sealing position – up) and pressure cook on high for 4 minutes.
  5. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural release of pressure for at least 2 minutes.
  6. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  7. Fluff the cooked rice with a fork.
  8. Serve the rice with soul food red beans on top, and enjoy!

Pro tip: To avoid the rice drying, immediately remove the inner pot with the rice after the pressure release. 

Soul Food Sunday Red Beans And Rice

What goes with red beans and rice?

Several foods complement red beans and rice. For example, if you want a meaty protein touch, you can add slices of bacon to your kidney beans dish. 

Another of the most popular choices is beef, pork, andouille sausage, or vegan sausage. 

A traditional Southern dish, this vegetarian main is usually served with a side of cornbread.

Other suggestions include pork chops or even ham hocks topped with bell pepper, green onion, or hot sauce.

What sides do you serve with red beans and rice?

For the main dishes, there are two kinds of rice served in New Orleans – dirty rice and red beans and rice. 

Dirty rice is most often served as a main dish with sausage or ham and sometimes crawfish as an entree. 

Red beans and rice is more commonly a side dish served alongside seafood and other meats, such as fried chicken, pork chops, roast beef, pork roast, and roasted turkey, to name a few.

What meat is good with red beans and rice?

Sausage, smoked turkey, or ham? What pairs well with rice and beans?

All of the above! It simply depends on what kind of meat you like. You can use sausage, boiled hamsmoked turkey, or even ribs

Soul Food Red Beans And Rice - Sausage, smoked turkey, or ham?

New Orleans’ famous restaurant Joey K’s served smoked ham hock in their rice and beans.

Beef Brisket, tenderloin, and other slow-cooked or tender pressure-cooked meat also go well with red beans and rice. 

The truth is that any meat will go terrifically well with a soul food red beans and rice recipe. It’s an all-purpose dish that’s just plain delicious if done right!

Black folks’ soul food red beans and rice FAQs

Is red beans and rice good for you?

Black folks’ soul food red beans and rice is delicious and highly nutritious! A good source of protein, iron, and calcium. Beans provide protein and various vitamins and minerals. Rice provides carbohydrates. 

It’s also a very inexpensive meal to make, even with variations. 

What city is known for red beans and rice?

New Orleans, baby! 

Is red beans and rice Cajun or Creole?

Red beans and rice is indeed Louisiana cuisine of Creole descent. 

Cajun cuisine is a style of cooking developed by the Cajun–Acadians who were deported from Acadia to Louisiana during the 18th century. They incorporated West African, French, and Spanish cooking techniques into their original cuisine.

Cajuns today are commonly White, and Creoles are Black or mixed race. Creoles tend to come from New Orleans, while Cajuns populate the rural parts of South Louisiana.

Black Folks Red Beans And Rice

Craving more cuisine of New Orleans?

Try these soul food Southern New Orleans recipes by The Soul Food Pot: shrimp and grits and seafood gumbo.

What is the holy trinity in Cajun cooking?

Cajun or Creole recipes, like gumbo, jambalaya or étouffée, tens to incorporate a trio of common vegetables onions, green bell peppers, and celery. AKA the Cajun cooking holy trinity!

How To Make Soul Food Red Beans And Rice

What meat goes into red beans and rice?

The best meat to put in red beans and rice is smoked sausage or bacon. Because what better meat for a Southern classic than smoked meat?

What’s the difference between jambalaya and red beans and rice?

  • Jambalaya is rice cooked with meat and spices. It is a Louisiana dish and is still prepared in one pot. Though jambalaya is more time-consuming to prepare than red beans & rice, the primary ingredient is rice and meat.
  • Red beans and rice is a traditional dish that originated in Louisiana. It’s mainly prepared with red kidney beans and rice, and both dishes are prepared separately, then combined upon serving.

A Black folks’ soul food red beans and rice recipe is often enjoyed with old-fashioned homemade cornbread or even a French baguette. 

Red beans and rice is a dietary staple in New Orleans and the surrounding states.

What’s the difference between jambalaya and red beans and rice?

How do you thicken red beans and rice?

Many people ask do you use a roux for red beans and rice? You don’t have to for this recipe, but if you choose to, the easiest way to thicken red beans and rice is by adding a bit of flour, cornstarch, or gravy.

How long do you cook red beans and rice?

Before people get started with red beans and rice from scratch, they often ask: How long doe sit take to make red beans and rice?

The time it takes to cook red beans and rice depends on the cooking method in the recipe. 

If you follow a long-cooking traditional recipe (and add ham hocks or other smoked meats). It can still take hours to cook after soaking the beans overnight to help tender them.

How do you cook red beans and rice? 

With this soul food Instant Pot recipe!

Is red beans and rice Cajun or Creole?

How long do you cook red beans?

Instant Pot red beans – Thanks to the innovative Instant Pot pressure cooker, this easy red beans recipe only takes 20 minutes to make! 

The Instant Pot rice takes only 4 minutes!

This Instant Pot red beans recipe is as good as the original recipe, but it’s quicker and easier to make.

Slow cooker red beans – You can also use the slow cooker for this soul food dried beans recipe, but it would still require soaked beans slow cooking for long hours.

 

What day are you supposed to eat red beans and rice?

It’s a tradition in New Orleans and Louisiana that people eat red beans and rice on Mondays. 

Why do Cajuns eat red beans and rice on Mondays?

As the story goes, Mondays have been historically known to be laundry days. 

And red beans and rice is a dish easy to prepare with little or no effort while still tending to household chores. 

Soul Food Red Beans And Rice

New Orleans red beans and rice seemed like the perfect dish to prepare at this time since it doesn’t require constant attention and is very easy to make. 

There are a lot of Mondays in a year – marking red beans and rice as a popular Louisiana meal!

Black people also include soul food red beans and rice on the famous list of red foods for a Juneteenth menu.

With either Creole or Cajun seasoning, it’s also a Mardi Gras staple dish.

You could also make soul food Sunday red beans and rice!

Does red beans and rice make you fat?

It’s a myth that red beans and rice make you fat. It is a myth. 

In fact, red beans and rice can be quite the opposite!

Eaten in moderation, it can help you shed pounds because red beans are packed with protein, which reduces hunger, and the high fiber content keeps your tummy full for a long time. This is why this dish is labeled a superfood.

Red Beans And Rice Soul Food Recipe

Are kidney beans and red beans the same? 

Yes, red beans is another name for kidney beans. Or Louisiana red beans.

What are the types of kidney beans?

Red beans come in two types: the red kidney beans used in Western cuisine and the small red beans used in Caribbean and Louisiana cooking. 

Do you have to soak your beans for red beans and rice?

It depends on the cooking method used.

Typically, kidney beans need to be soaked overnight and then boiled to soften them. 

Suppose you’re using an electric pressure cooker. In that case, you can eliminate the soaking step and go straight to pressure cooking the beans in a matter of minutes!

Can you use canned beans instead of dried beans?

Canned beans will not require cooking like in this recipe.

You’ll also want to ensure you’re using dried kidney beans, not a pinto bean, for this recipe.

What do you think of this Black folks’ soul food red beans and rice recipe?

Have you had it?

Would you make it? 

Comment below and lemme know.

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Tell them to start HERE with this soul food recipes index!

The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
What is soul food? Soul food recipes are African-American recipes full of flavor! A legacy of Southern cooking the Black way. Check out this collection of the best soul food recipes!
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Black Folks Soul Food Red Beans And Rice Recipe
Black Folks Soul Food Red Beans And Rice

Black Folks Soul Food Red Beans And Rice

Experience the rich taste of soul food by way of a simple yet flavorful staple dish. Black folks' soul food red beans and rice. A dish that will make your mouth water when you smell the aroma of savory seasonings and spices as the red kidney beans soak in the rich flavors of this dish!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Rice Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 6 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Servings: 8
Calories: 526kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot electric pressure cooker (optional)

Ingredients

Ingredients for Black folks soul food red beans

  • 1 pound dried kidney beans small red beans
  • 6 cups chicken broth use vegetable broth for vegans & vegetarians
  • 1 cup red onion diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon vegans & vegetarians use a Creole seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Ingredients for beef sausage and gravy (optional)

  • 12 oz sausage beef smoked sausage chopped into approx 1/4″ rounds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup broth from the pot of red beans
  • 1 cup gravy dry brown gravy mix, 1 packet

Ingredients for the rice

  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar granulated

Instructions

Instructions for Black folks’ soul food red beans

  • Open the Instant Pot lid and pour the chicken broth into the stainless-steel inner pot.
  • Add the kidney beans, onion, garlic, bay leaf, paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, chicken bouillon, salt, and black pepper.
  • Stir the ingredients to combine.
  • Make sure the beans are soaking and covered in the broth.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 40 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 15 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Remove the bay leaf and serve soul food red beans right away over rice, optionally with sausage and gravy.

Instructions for the beef sausage (optional)

  • Open the Instant Pot lid and add the cut sausage, water and bean broth into the stainless steel inner pot.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Add the brown gravy to the sausage broth and stir to combine and eliminate any clumps.
  • Serve this Black folks’ soul food red beans and rice with sausage and gravy over rice, and enjoy!

Instructions for the rice

  • Open the Instant Pot lid and pour the water into the stainless-steel inner pot.
  • Add the jasmine rice, sugar, and salt to the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot.
  • Stir to mix the ingredients and make sure the rice is covered in the water.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is in the sealing position – up) and pressure cook on high for 4 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural release of pressure for at least 2 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Fluff the cooked rice with a fork.
  • Serve the rice with soul food red beans on top, and enjoy!
  • Pro tip: To avoid the rice drying, immediately remove the inner pot with the rice after the pressure release.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 526kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 1864mg | Potassium: 1004mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 221IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 5mg
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