This is an easy-to-make, family friendly recipe. (Unless you are the one of my five children who won’t touch anything that looks like a hot dog or sausage. She just picks around those and eats the rice and beans.) I usually have all of these ingredients on hand, so when I end up at the end of the day and don’t know what to cook, it is easy to pull some smoked sausage out of the freezer and put this together.
You can start with uncooked rice, or use leftover cooked rice to prepare it even faster.
The amounts of spice in the recipe will make a mildly spicy dish. Adjust the amount of Cajun seasoning and tabasco sauce to your family’s spice tolerance.
Red Beans & Rice with Smoked Sausage
1 cup uncooked brown rice *(See Note)
2 ½ cups water *
2 links (about 1lb each) smoked sausage, cut into diagonal slices
10 strips bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can kidney beans
1 can diced or crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
½ tsp Cajun seasoning
¼- ½ tsp Tabasco sauce
¼ tsp dried thyme, crushed (or 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves)
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish
In a medium saucepan, bring brown rice (do not rinse first) and water to boiling point. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 45 minutes.
While rice is cooking, cook sausage and bacon in a large skillet until well browned. Drain excess grease. Add onion, celery and garlic; cook until tender. Add remaining ingredients, except rice (which is still cooking in separate pot) and Parmesan. Cover skillet and simmer over low heat.
When rice has cooked for 45 mins, stir rice and any water still in the pan into the skillet with the sausage (rice will still be slightly firm). Cook, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove bay leaf. Serve with grated Parmesan.
- To make with leftover cooked brown or white rice (about 2-3 cups): Eliminate the water and cook the rest of the ingredients as instructed. Stir in the cooked rice and let simmer until rice is warmed and excess moisture is absorbed. Or add a small amount of additional water if mixture is too dry.
- To cook brown rice in an Instant Pot: Add rice and 2 cups water to IP. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, and then do a quick release. Rice will not be completely cooked. Cook sausage mixture as directed above in a large skillet. Add par-cooked rice and remaining water in the IP to the skillet with sausage. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. You may need to remove skillet cover and boil off excess liquid at the end of the cooking time.