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!