Slow cooker Cajun red beans and rice is a hearty dinner full of big bold flavors. With limited prep, you can throw this red beans and rice recipe in your crock pot in the morning and come home to dinner ready and waiting. The perfect meal to warm up to on chilly nights!
I love my crock pot. It’s definitely the MVP of my kitchen, particularly on busy days when I don’t have lots of time to make an involved meal to feed my family.
Being able to just throw a few ingredients into the slow cooker and then walk away until dinner time is key to my sanity. Aside from saving my sanity, it helps me avoid making unnecessary drive thru runs to get dinner on the table.
And let’s be honest, I’d rather eat a delicious bowl of this Cajun red beans and rice than takeout anything any day of the week!
What is red beans and rice and where did it come from?
Red beans and rice is a meal you’d find traditionally in Louisiana and other parts of the South. It’s often referred to interchangeably as Cajun or Creole. Two distinct cultures with histories & cuisine that often intertwine.
Think of them like country & city cousins. While red beans and rice may have Creole origins, it was quickly adapted by it’s Cajun cousins and influenced & enjoyed by both.
Sundays were typically big meal days with something like a whole ham being prepared for dinner. Mondays would be the start of the week with much less fanfare, and also wash day. Something like red beans and rice could easily be prepared in the morning and then slow simmered on the stove top all day long.
Leftover meat from Sunday’s big dinner could be thrown in with ham and andouille sausage being most common. Now, the meal’s often enjoyed for everyday & special occasions a like. And despite centuries passing since it’s American inception, much has stayed the same about this simple country supper.
The beans get slow cooked to release their starch and create a creamy stew. Most often, you’ll still see it cooked on Mondays with leftover pork bones from a Sunday ham or roast pork.
You don’t have to add pork bones of course. I love adding sausage for an extra shot of flavor, but you might see lots of different meats added including ham and other pork products in this dish. Chorizo sausage is also another really tasty meat option.
How to Make Cajun Red Beans and Rice with Sausage
This red beans and rice recipe is one of the easiest meals you can make!
To make it, start by soaking red beans in water overnight. Then add your soaked red beans to the bottom of a slow cooker.
Dice up a green bell pepper, an onion, a jalapeno, and some garlic and add that to the slow cooker as well.
Next, you can throw in your sliced sausage, a tablespoon or so of a Creole seasoning blend, and some black pepper. Then cover the whole thing with water.
Turn the slow cooker to high and let it cook for 8 hours or until the beans are creamy when you bite into them. The recipe is pretty forgiving so you can leave it for more than 8 hours if need be.
Just before serving, mash about a third of the beans with a potato masher for the ultimate creamy texture. Spoon it over cooked white rice and enjoy!
Customize this Red Beans and Rice Recipe
This red beans and rice recipe is delicious as it is but you can adjust the recipe as desired to suit your tastes. You can do a few things to adjust the flavor for you like:
- Skip the jalapeno if you don’t like spicy food. Not including the jalapeno will lower the spice level significantly. If you really don’t like spicy food, only add a tsp of creole seasoning and go easy on the black pepper.
- Use andouille sausage for the best flavor, but a simple smoked sausage like kielbasa will work in it’s place, and as a much milder flavored meat.
- For a vegetarian version of this, skip adding sausage. It will still be delicious.
- Looking for an extra meaty version? Add pieces of ham or crumbled bacon in addition to the sausage.
What to Serve with Cajun Red Beans and Rice
This Cajun red beans and rice recipe is a meal on its own.
A lot of people like to serve this dish with cornbread. It’s great crumbled in it and eaten together, or as a tasty tool for sopping up any leftover juices.
I also love it with mustard greens. Okra would also be a tasty side dish for this southern soul food favorite. Even green beans make a perfect simple side dish to serve with red beans and rice.
It can be ladled into a bowl, and eaten almost like a thick stew. It can also be served over steamed white rice or fluffy mashed potatoes.
Looking for other Southern soul food recipes? Try these:
This slow cooker Cajun red beans and rice is a must make for soul food lovers looking for a hearty, easy meal. Make it this week and see why. If you’re looking for other slow cooker soul food recipes try these:
Pair one or more of these together with these red beans & rice to make a delicious, filing meal full of Southern flair just like my Grandma used to make. If you really want it to be authentic, add some classic fried chicken or simple fried fish to the menu too.
For an extra special treat, you can add a little extra broth and make our sour cream cornbread dumplings right in the same crock to serve with it!
If you’ve tried this SLOW COOKER CAJUN RED BEANS & RICE, or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on.
Slow Cooker Cajun Red Beans & Rice
- 1 lb dried red beans soaked overnight
- 10 cups water
- 1 lb andouille sausage sliced into rounds (smoked beef sausage works well too)
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped (optional)
- 8 cloves garlic chopped (the more the better)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1-2 Tablespoons Creole seasoning or to taste
- 8 cups cooked rice
- Rinse the soaked red beans and add them to the bottom of a slow cooker.
- Add in the water, sausage, onions, peppers, jalapeno (if using), garlic and pepper.
- Cook on HIGH for 8 hours or until the texture of the bean is creamy when you bite into it.
- Mash about 1/3 of the beans with a potato masher.
- Season with the Creole seasoning and serve over cooked rice.