Louisiana Red Beans and Rice is a perfect Mardi Gras food. Laissez les bons temps rouler! Even if Mardi Gras isn't happening this year because of the pandemic, you can still enjoy tasty food. Add a few sparkly beads to your outfit while you're cooking and pretend you're at the party. That's what we will do.
Louisiana Red Beans and Rice is a scrumptious vegan meal.
I think of Red Beans and Rice as Mardi Gras food–so I'm a little early—but you can eat it anytime. It's so tasty, and January is the perfect time. This recipe takes a little over an hour to make if you are starting with dried beans. To cook the beans, I suggest using your Instant Pot. But you can simply use canned red beans, and it will take about 30 minutes for the recipe. Using dried beans is much less expensive, though. It's always a trade-off, with convenience costing more.
The recipe came from a blog called What Would Cathy Eat? Cathy has some terrific (and heart-healthy!) recipes on her blog. I suggest you check it out.
Don and I attend a small Quaker meeting. As a fun way to get to know some of the other members and attendees, a couple of years ago we hosted a "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" night with eight Quaker guests. We knew who was coming, but the others didn't know who would be attending until they arrived. Two of the guests were vegetarian and one of those is also vegan, so this recipe worked great.
We topped it with Cucumber Salsa and some folks added sour cream. Others at the party brought side dishes, salad, and dessert. We were stuffed!
What You Need
If you are able, get yourself an Instant Pot. Making beans is a snap and so is everything else. For this recipe, you need a knife, cutting board, a couple of pans, a baking sheet, measuring cups and measuring spoons. You can really use any kind of pot to make this, but I love the Le Creuset cast iron pots. They are beautiful and functional.
Louisiana Red Beans and Rice Recipe
- 1 pound small red beans
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 6 cloves garlic
- 3 medium green peppers diced and roasted
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon ground sage
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon diced jalapenos jarred
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or hot paprika
- 3 cups vegetable stock I always make my own, but canned is okay.
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce be sure to check the label as some versions have anchovies in them
- ½ cup scallions white and tender green parts only, for garnish
- 2 cups Cooked rice for serving
- Tabasco sauce if desired
- Sour cream if desired
- Soak the beans overnight. Or simply used canned beans, rinsed and drained. (Then skip step two and don't cook them.)
- Drain, rinse, add fresh water and cook the dried beans for 10-15 minutes in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, until done. (You can also cook them on top of the stove, but it takes much longer—about 45 minutes.)
- Preheat the oven to 450°F degrees. (See note)
- Toss the diced green pepper in 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Place the green peppers in a single layer on a baking sheet topped with parchment paper.
- Bake the green peppers for 10-15 minutes until nicely roasted and a bit smoky.
- Heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot.
- Add the onion, garlic and celery.
- Sauté until the onion is transparent and the vegetables are soft, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add the beans, bay leaves, sage, oregano, jalapenos, cayenne, vegetable stock, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Add the roasted green peppers.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the juice is reduced down a bit. Remove about 1 cup of beans (don't worry about keeping the veggies out) and mash them in a food processor or by hand.
- Return them to the pot to help thicken the mixture.
- Remove the bay leaves and serve over rice (I prefer brown rice), garnishing with the scallions and Tabasco as desired.
- A little bit of sour cream and some Cucumber Salsa added at the serving stage is yummy too.