This slow cooker red beans and rice recipe brings you creamy, New Orleans style beans the easy way!
I grew up eating two different kinds of red beans and rice. My mom made her own slow cooker version with canned large red kidney beans and tomatoes, which had whole beans and a thin broth. At Southern restaurants and the good ol’ Mississippi State cafeteria (loved that place), I had the thick, creamy version with mostly mashed beans. Both versions were delicious, but I only knew how to make my mom’s kind until I tried Emeril’s recipe for New Orleans Red Beans and Rice. That recipe is spot on for the cafeteria-style dish I remember, but I wondered if I could make creamy red beans in the slow cooker.
As it turns out, you can cook dry beans in the slow cooker without even soaking them, which you can read all about at The Kitchn. In an effort to make this recipe as simple as possible, I decided to go for it without soaking the beans, which actually worked!
I opted to use small red beans, and as wrong as it seemed, I poured the unsoaked guys right into the slow cooker with all the other ingredients. The Kitchn said unsoaked beans would be ready in 5-6 hours on low, but when I checked mine after three hours, they still had a ways to go. I turned the heat up to high for three more hours, and next time I’ll go with eight hours on high or ten hours on low, as is written here. I think the shorter cooking time might be good if you want your beans to be just tender, but I was looking for soft, mashable beans for these slow cooker red beans and rice.
Once the beans were soft, I got busy with my potato masher, mashing about half or more. Yes, you will mash some of the sausage while you’re at it, but that’s OK. Let it cook another hour or two, and you will have creamy, wonderful red beans to ladle over your rice!
Did my kids like this? Will you like the recipe more if I say yes? Then “YES!” Except they actually didn’t because they don’t eat mashed, soupy foods, but I have hope that they will come around as they get older. (Until then, I can make them as spicy as I like!) I hope your whole family enjoys this slow cooker red beans and rice recipe!
Adapted from Emeril’s New Orleans Red Beans and Rice.
- 1 pound dried small red beans, rinsed and sorted
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 4 ribs celery, chopped
- 7 oz. smoked boneless pork chops, diced into ½-inch cubes
- 12 ounces andouille sausage (I use chicken sausage), cut in half lengthwise and sliced into ½” thick slices
- 1 tsp. kosher salt (plus more to taste)
- ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 4 c. cooked rice
- Place all ingredients except cooked rice in slow cooker. Add about 7 cups of water, enough to cover contents with about an inch of water. Stir, cover, and cook on high 8 hours or low 10 hours.
- About an hour before serving, use a potato masher to mash at least half of the beans, stir, and cook on high an hour longer. (This step is what gives the creamy texture.)
- Before serving, taste beans and add additional salt and cayenne to taste. Remove bay leaves, and ladle beans into bowls over cooked rice.
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