Frugal Family Feast: Red Beans and Rice

Photo (cc) by jeffreyw

Red beans and rice is a traditional combination of comfort food that’s packed with flavor. This budget-friendly meal is a snap to prepare and can simmer for a long time on the stove, or makes a perfect candidate for your slow cooker.

Chef Chad Thilborger, author of “Whole Heap of Goodness,” shared his recipe for Red Beans and Rice Pork with Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson. Watch them whip up the red beans in this video and read on for the recipe.

Wonderful family meal for less than 15 bucks!

In New Orleans, many families make red beans on Monday. Traditionally, Monday was laundry day, so women used to put a pot of red beans on the stove to simmer all day while they were busy with laundry.

The slow cooking makes the beans tender and creamy, and allows the flavor from the spices and seasonings to fully develop.

Starting with dried red kidney beans is the most affordable way to make this dish, and it’s easy. Place a pound of beans in a large bowl and fill the bowl with water. Leave about 3 or 4 inches of space for the beans to swell up and rehydrate. Drain and rinse the beans when you’re ready to cook.

Beans, beans, the magical fruit… These fiber-filled legumes pack powerful nutrients, but we all know they can be blamed for unpleasant gas. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can reduce the potential bean-related gas, which is caused by indigestible sugars in the beans.

Place a pound of beans in a stockpot with 10 or more cups of water and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover tightly, and set aside overnight. Rinse the beans and 75 to 90 percent of the gas-causing elements will be gone.

Ham and bacon are often used to flavor red beans, and a leftover ham bone is perfect. You can cook these beans on the stove slowly for about 90 minutes, stirring every 25 to 30 minutes. This also the perfect meal to place in a slow cooker. If the beans aren’t the consistency you prefer at the end of cooking, move a couple of cups of beans to a bowl, mash them up, return them to the pot, and mix the creamy beans in.

Red beans can be served with white rice, and are also delicious with brown rice. This is a perfect dish to double and freeze for a quick and affordable meal later.

Enjoy!

Red Beans and Rice – Courtesy of Chef Chad Thilborger

Ingredients

1 pound dried red kidney beans
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
4 or 5 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (I use Tony Chachere’s)
1 pound bacon or 1 pound ham
1 pound of smoked sausage
Salt and pepper to taste

Steps

  • Rehydrate beans: Soak beans for at least a few hours, but overnight if you can. Rinse and drain before use.
  • Prepare seasoning
  • Cook bacon until done and set aside. Save the grease.
  • Cook beans
  • In a large pot, use a couple of teaspoons of bacon grease or oil to sauté onions and peppers for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add garlic and sauté for 5 more minutes.
  • Pour 5 cups of water in and add beans. Bring to a boil. After a few minutes of boiling, turn the heat to low.
  • Add ham or bacon and Cajun seasoning. Make sure the water level is about 2 inches above the beans.
  • Cover and simmer for 90 minutes, stirring every 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Add cut-up smoked sausage and simmer for 30 more minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper at end if desired.

If you’re using a slow cooker, rehydrate the beans, add everything to the pot. Initial water level should be 2 inches above beans. Cook on low for 6 hours. Ladle beans over cooked rice and serve.

After you try the recipe, go to our Facebook page and let us know how you like it!

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate
10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate

Clever shoppers can save money without sacrificing quality. Here is how to do it.

How Much of My Social Security Benefit Can My Ex Take From Me?
How Much of My Social Security Benefit Can My Ex Take From Me?

A man wonders if his ex-wife will siphon away his Social Security benefit.

7 Ways Coupons Waste Your Money and Time
7 Ways Coupons Waste Your Money and Time

Here’s why I hung up my scissors and quit clipping coupons.

33 Home Upgrades That Cost Less Than $100
33 Home Upgrades That Cost Less Than $100

A little money goes a long way with these imaginative projects. You can do most of them yourself.

Secret Ways to Save on Netflix
Secret Ways to Save on Netflix

These little-known savings tactics can help whittle down what you pay for your streaming video subscription — every month.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss
21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss

Start off the new year by implementing these small-but-smart savings strategies. They’ll soon add up.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster
7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster

These tips can get your bathroom sparkling with little time and no elbow grease.

Do This in the Car If You Want to Avoid COVID-19
Do This in the Car If You Want to Avoid COVID-19

It takes just seconds to take this simple preventive measure.

7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors
7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors

These accounts offer exclusive discounts and other perks — including interest — to older customers.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.