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New Orleans Style Red Beans and Rice – Celebrating Mardi Gras

New Orleans Style Red Beans and Rice – Celebrating Mardi Gras

Red beans and rice recipe for mardi

In case you weren’t aware, Mardi Gras is happening right now. It’s a few weeks of revelry every year in the Gulf Coast region that culminates on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, every year. I was in New Orleans for a quick family trip last week, and it thrilled me to the tips of my party planning toes to see the entire city decorated in purple, green and gold as if it were Christmas. Every door had a Mardi Gras wreath, and every business we visited was decked out for the season.


Of course, visiting family in Nola is never complete without lots (and lots!) of good food. We had quite a few of the family favorites, but missed out on my dad’s Red Beans and Rice. This recipe was the Southern Louisiana answer to the crockpot; this dish was traditionally made on laundry day when the cook in the house didn’t want to mess with preparing a meal after a long day of washing clothes. It was started in the morning, and by dinner time, there was something amazing to eat! This red beans and rice recipe is exceedingly easy to make and is a perfect touch of New Orleans for your Mardi Gras celebration.

New Orleans Style Red Beans and Rice

This is a family recipe written by my father, but taught to him by my grandmother who never wrote it down (she never measured). It’s such a fantastic flavorful dish that always makes me think of home. Daddy uses dried red beans that have been soaked overnight – they can also be used in place of canned beans in this recipe. I use canned for speed of preparation.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings 8


  • 4 cans red kidney beans
  • 1-1½ lbs smoked sausage cut into cubes
  • 1 Ham hock or ½ lb baked ham Not smoked ham cubed or hambone with
  • meat
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 3 to es chopped garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ Tablespoon Tabasco or hot sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • Chopped scallions or green onions
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 4-6 cups cooked rice


  • 1.Combine all ingredients (except rice) in a large pot.
  • 2.Cover with water to 1 inch above level of ingredients. Cook covered on medium/low heat for 1 ½ - 2 hours. Do not boil beans; just keep at a low bubble. Stir every half hour, scraping sides to keep from sticking. Keep adding water to keep ingredients covered.
  • 3.Take 2 cups of cooked beans out of pot, mash, then return to pot (for a thicker ‘gravy’). Add additional salt and pepper if needed.
  • 4.Serve over scoop of hot cooked rice. Garnish with scallions.


This is even a kid-friendly family meal! Leave out any spicy seasonings and it will be perfect for little ones. Or if your kids go for that kind of thing, leave in the hot!


red beans and rice mardi gras-2IMG_9245

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Paula Biggs

Owner at Frog Prince Paperie
Paula Biggs is a party planner, DIY crafter, and owner of Frog Prince Paperie, where you can find hundreds of party, craft and lifestyle ideas.
Recipe Rating

Jennifer Landsberger

Wednesday 11th of February 2015

Printed this out right away. Looking forward to trying it. I love smoked sausage. Think I'm going to try soaking the beans overnight, though. Thanks for sharing, Jennie p.s. I found your post via "The Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop" on Recipes for Our Daily Bread. p.p.s. Going to check out your Pinterest right now!

Becky at Cooking with Vinyl

Wednesday 11th of February 2015

Wow, this looks really tasty. I love rice and beans, but don't have a good recipe for it, so I'm excited to give this one a try. I'm a new food blogger and found you on a link party. I've followed your social sites and hope we can connect on those. Can't wait to read more of your blog. Becky


Monday 9th of February 2015

Love this, the sausage the beans, and the little Mardi Gras party! Saying hello from project inspired! :-) Cathy


Tuesday 10th of February 2015

It's really a great meal--hope you get a chance to try it!