There’s no way around it. Today is just a really gross day. The gray skies stretch on forever, it’s rainy, cold, and just blah. It’s like I’ve been transported to the Pacific Northwest, except we’re missing the beautiful green grass, gorgeous skylines, great music, excellent coffee, and the guys who throw fish.
Without all that, it’s just kind of gross.
This meal is a perfect fix for an icky day.
I was first introduced to Red Beans and Rice when we lived in New Orleans. You’d be hard pressed to find a restaurant in that town that doesn’t serve them. Now that I’ve moved away, I still love its simplicity, warmth, and coziness. It’s just homegrown comfort food, and this version makes it super-simple comfort food as it just cooks up in your Crock Pot!
I started by prepping my ingredients. Simplicity is key, so all I needed to prep was a pound of dried red beans that I rinsed and picked through, an onion, some garlic, and some smoked sausage that needed slicing.
You could use traditional Cajun Andouille Sausage in place of the smoked sausage, but I was feeding this to my girls, who would have been turned off by the spicy sausage. I decided to play it safe.
Once that stuff was ready to go, I got my seasonings together.
Then, I combined all of that (along with some bouillon cubes that, somehow, didn’t make the picture) with the other ingredients and some water in my slow cooker.
Looks good, eh? No, I know it doesn’t. Once it cooks for a few hours, things change dramatically.
After the beans had cooked for about five hours on high, and softened up nicely, I removed the lid from my crock pot and mashed some of them up against the side of the crock pot. This helped “cream” the beans up a bit, and added to that comforting, creamy texture that Red Bean lovers know and love.
I had rice ready to go in my rice cooker, so when it was time for dinner, I spooned up bowls full of the creamy beans and sausage, and topped it with the white rice.
It’s nothing fancy, but it sure is tasty, and it warms the soul on an icky, rainy day.
SLOW COOKER RED BEANS AND RICE
Adapted from Our Best Bites
- 1 lb. dry red kidney beans, rinsed and picked through
- 6 cups water
- 5 regular bouillon cubes or 1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. chicken base
- 1/4 lb. smoked sausage or Andouille sausage, quartered and cut into thin slices. You can also use a large, meaty ham bone.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning (Tony Chachere’s is my Creole seasoning of choice.)
- 3/4 tsp. cumin
- 3/4 tsp. coriander
- 3/4 tsp. oregano
- 1/8-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- cooked white rice
- Combine all ingredients (except for rice) in a 4-quart slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 5 hours, until beans are tender.
- Mash a little more than half of the beans against the side of the slow cooker, and stir the mashed beans back into the mixture.
- Serve with white rice and sprinkle with chopped green onions.