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Slow Cooker Red Beans & Rice

Hearty, earthy, and packed with tender veggies, this slow cooker red beans and rice recipe is a perfect comfort meal for a cold night. It’s rich, filling, packed with protein, and has the perfect kick of spiciness. 

View from the side of a plate of rice topped with red beans and sausage.

 

Red beans and rice is one of my favorite comfort foods. It’s so soothing, hearty, and filling. A steaming hot bowl of slow cooker red beans and rice on a cold day always warms me up and satisfies both my taste buds and my soul. 

This crock pot red beans and rice recipe is my favorite version of this classic dish. It has a perfect kick of heat and smokiness from cajun seasoning and andouille sausage. It is loaded with bell peppers and celery with a rich sauce. This is a recipe that you’ve got to make this fall or winter. 

Why You’ll Love These Crock Pot Red Beans and Rice

This smoky and spicy recipe is one that you’re bound to make time and time again. Here’s why these red beans and rice are a must-try recipe.

  • So easy. This is about as easy as dinner gets. All you have to do is cook the sausage, throw all the ingredients in your crock pot, and let the slow cooker do the work. Recipes don’t get any easier than that! 
  • Intensely flavorful. Despite being so easy to make, this recipe is exploding with flavor. Cooking the red beans and rice in the crock pot for 6-8 hours brings out the strongest flavors from the tomato sauce, garlic, beans, chicken broth, and andouille sausage. The spicy and smoky cajun seasoning permeates the meat, beans, and sauce, and adds so much richness and complexity to the dish. 
  • Comforting. This is one of my favorite comfort meals. Hearty beans, smoky sausage, earthy veggies, and a rich sauce, all served over white rice is my idea of a perfect dinner on a cold night. This is one of those recipes that will instantly make you feel better. 
Overhead view of the ingredients needed for red beans and rice: a bowl of sliced sausage, a bowl of red beans, a bowl of tomato sauce, a bowl of chicken broth, a bowl of diced celery, a bowl of diced onion, a bowl of minced garlic, a bowl of rice, a bowl of cajun seasoning, and a whole green bell pepper.

What You’ll Need

Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make slow cooker red beans and rice. Scroll to the recipe card at the end of the page for the exact quantities needed to make this rich and hearty sausage dinner. 

  • Andouille sausage
  • Dried small red beans
  • Celery
  • Green bell pepper
  • Onion – A yellow onion is best, but you can also use a white onion, red onion, or shallots.
  • Garlic
  • Canned tomato sauce
  • Chicken stock
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Cooked white rice

How to Make Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Here’s how to make this easy and soothing red beans and rice recipe. It really couldn’t be any easier!

  • Slice the meat. Cut the andouille sausage into bite-size pieces.
  • Brown the sausage. Cook the sausage in a medium skillet over medium-high heat to brown it.
  • Add all the ingredients. Place the sausage and the rest of the ingredients, except the rice, in your slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  • Cook. Turn on the crock pot and cook on low heat for 8 hours or on high heat for 6 hours. 
  • Serve. When the red beans and rice are done cooking, serve over white rice. You can mash the beans a little bit if you’d like a thicker consistency. 

Tips & Variations

Here are a few tricks to use, and variations to try when making red beans and rice in the slow cooker. 

  • Use different sausages. I prefer andouille for this recipe because it has an irresistible balance of smoky and spicy, which really adds to the red beans and rice. But you can use any type of sausage that you prefer. Smokiness is a really important flavor in slow cooker beans and rice though, so I strongly suggest using a smoked sausage of some kind.
  • Really brown the meat. The best way to get flavor out of meat is to brown it. When cooking the sausage at the start of the recipe, make sure that the pan is hot enough that the meat is browning. That will add so much more flavor to the sausage, and that flavor will meld into the rest of the recipe in the crock pot. 
  • Use kidney beans. I like to use the traditional small dried red beans for this recipe, but you can also use dried kidney beans if you prefer. However, kidney beans take longer to cook, so boil them for 10 minutes before adding them to the slow cooker.
  • Make it spicier. This recipe has a nice amount of heat from the andouille sausage and cajun seasoning. But if you’re a fan of spiciness, you can kick it up a notch by adding diced jalapeños, hot sauce, or chili powder. 
Red beans and sausage cooking in a crockpot, with a wooden spoon removing a spoonful.

Serving Suggestions

Slow cooker red beans and rice are so rich and hearty. Because of that, I like to serve this dinner with a lighter vegetable side dish, to make the meal a little more fresh and complete. Here are a few of my favorites.

How to Store Leftover Red Beans and Rice

Leftover red beans and rice can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave in 30-second increments, or on the stove over medium heat until warm throughout. You can also freeze this cozy and hearty meal in an airtight container for 3 months. Make sure to fully defrost or thaw the beans and rice before reheating. 

Overhead view of a plate of red beans, sausage, and rice.

More Easy Dinner Recipes

If you know me, then you know that I’m all about easy dinners. Here are a few of my other favorite recipes for dinners that are as easy to make as they are delicious.

Yield: 6 servings

Red Beans and Rice

View from the side of a plate of red beans and sausage on rice.

Slow cooker red beans and rice is hearty, rich, smoky, and spicy. It's a super easy dinner and the ultimate comfort food.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound andouille sausage
  • 1 pound dried small red beans
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
  • Cooked white rice for serving

Instructions

  1. Slice the andouille sausage into bite-size pieces.
  2. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat, then add the sausage. Cook until browned.
  3. Add the sausage to the slow cooker, then add the dried beans, celery, bell pepper, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, chicken stock, and cajun seasoning.
  4. Cook in the crock pot on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  5. When the red beans are done cooking, serve over white rice. You can also mash some of the beans to make the sauce thicker.

Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.
  • Reheat in the microwave in 30-second increments, or on the stove over medium heat.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 446Total Fat 24gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 51mgSodium 2048mgCarbohydrates 37gFiber 6gSugar 6gProtein 21g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on dinnersdishesanddesserts.com should only be used as a general guideline.

Did you make this recipe?

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Latest posts by Erin S (see all)

Erin

Sunday 26th of November 2023

Have you tried it with a ham hock?

Erin S

Monday 27th of November 2023

I have not, but I am sure it would add a lot more flavor

Beth

Monday 16th of October 2023

Red beans and rice is one of my all time favorite dishes. This recipe looks absolutely fantastic!

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