You will fall in love with this New Orleans Style Vegan Red Beans and Rice recipe! These red kidney beans are slow-cooked and flavored to perfection just like the authentic version from New Orleans. There are few things as comforting to me as a hot bowl of smokey beans and rice. Sweet potato pie, mashed potatoes and gravy, popcorn…oh…and chocolate. I’m sure there are others, but beans really have a way of sticking to your ribs and making you feel all loved on the inside.
How To Make Vegan Red Beans & Rice
This pot of beans may take overnight to soak, and about an hour and a half to cook, but they are really easy to make. Heck, if you have a slow cooker you can throw them in there! I also included instructions for making them in the Instant Pot. Making beans from scratch is well worth the effort. They are more tender and tastier than their canned cousins.
How to better digest beans
If you have any issues digesting beans toss some kombu (a mineral rich seaweed) in the pot as they cook, and it’ll reduce the raffinose sugars (which are responsible for giving you gas and digestive problems). Adding kombu to reduce the toots will also help you to absorb more of the nutrients in the beans. Beans are obviously a great source of fiber and protein, but they also supply our bodies with important minerals––like magnesium, iron, zinc, and folic acid––b vitamins, and even antioxidants.
In New Orleans there is a tradition of making your red beans on Monday. You soak them Sunday night, cook them Monday, and by dinner you’ve got a hearty meal that will last the week.
So, Happy Monday, now go make them beans!
New Orleans Style Vegan Red Beans & Rice
- 1 pound red kidney beans rinsed, picked through, and soaked at least 10 hours
- 2 cups celery diced
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 3 garlic cloves diced
- 8 cups water
- 1 4- inch strip of kombu
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 3 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp liquid smoke more to taste if you like
- 1 tsp cajun seasoning more if yours doesn't have salt already
- 2 cups rice Any kind. My favorite is medium-grain brown rice
- 4 Field Roast smoke apple sage or Italian sausages sliced
- 1 cup parsley chopped
- Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a heavy bottomed pot. If you're oil-free, warm some water to sauté.
- Add the celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add a pinch of salt in there too.
- Add the beans, followed by 8 cups of water.
- Bring to a boil, then add the kombu, bay leaves, and thyme.
- Reduce to medium low heat to simmer and cook uncovered for about 90 minutes. Check halfway through to skim off any foam that may form on the top.
- While the beans are cooking, make your rice following the package instructions (brown and white have different instructions).
- This is also a good time to fry your vegan Field Roast sausage in a couple tbsp of oil.
- When the beans have finished cooking (taste a bean to make sure), remove them from the heat and stir in the bouillon, smoked paprika, liquid smoke, and Cajun seasoning.
- Add another bouillon cube if you want it saltier (I usually do 2 cubes).
- Stir in the vegan sausage.
- Serve over rice, and garnish with parsley.
Instant Pot Instructions
- Sauté the aromatics as instructed above, only in the Instant Pot. Add the beans, kombu, bay leaves, and thyme to the sautéed veggies. Add enough water or vegetable broth to cover the beans by a centimeter. If you are using water, add the veggie bouillon cube or paste now. Cancel the sauté setting and secure the lid on the Instant Pot. Set it to pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. Once it has finished cooking, allow the pot to naturally release pressure for another 15 minutes before quick pressure release (follow the instructions for your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker). Add the smoked paprika, liquid smoke, and Cajun seasoning. Season to taste with more salt or bouillon. Stir in the vegan sausage. Serve over rice.
- Use high quality red kidney beans. I like Camellia beans.
- Don't soak the beans longer than 10 hours. I find that excess soaking slows the cook time.
- Add more water or vegetable broth as necessary.
- Depending on your beans, you may need to cook them longer than 90 minutes. Actually, I sometimes let mine simmer for up to 3 hours so they'll be extra tender and creamy. Enjoy!