Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice Recipe


This traditional creole red beans and rice original recipe is classic comfort food that’s super easy to make. With a quick prep time and mostly hands-off cooking, this recipe is such a breeze. This take on the Louisiana classic features tender red beans, hot cooked rice, and flavorful Andouille sausage (which can also be substituted with your choice of smoked sausage or ham hocks) all slow-cooked to perfection.

Want to learn how to make this great recipe? Read on to learn this slow cooker red beans and rice recipe.

Is Red Beans and Rice Healthy?

Slow cooker red beans and rice is very popular comfort food because of how simple, filling, yet nutritious it is. Red kidney beans and white rice are both full of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals with little fat and quite low in calories. This is one of quite a few delicious recipes to choose if you want to watch your weight and health while still getting in a filling meal packed with great flavor. 

Is It Safe to Cook Red Beans in a Slow Cooker?

How Long Should You Cook Red Beans For?

Cooking red beans is very important before placing them in the slow cooker. Dried kidney beans need to boil for about 10 minutes before being placed in the slow cooker as cooking beans in this manner is the only way you can get rid of the lectin, which can otherwise cause vomiting and sickness. Even on its highest setting, a slow cooker will not get hot enough to destroy this lectin.

How to Make Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients For This Recipe

  • 1 lb. dried red kidney beans, boiled for 10 minutes before adding to slow cooker
  • 1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 2 medium green onions, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 5 cups chicken broth or water
  • 4 cups steamed white rice or brown rice
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Recipe Directions

  1. Boil beans for 10 minutes prior to slow cooking.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper. Stir well and cook until vegetables start to soften, about 3-5 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure that the vegetables don’t stick.
  4. Add the smoked sausage, stir well, and continue to cook until sausage is browned and vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Continue to stir occasionally to make sure the onion, celery, bell pepper, and sausage aren’t sticking.
  5. Once done, remove the skillet from heat and transfer the vegetables and sausage to a slow cooker, Instant Pot, or crock pot.
  6. Add the chicken stock or water and red beans along with garlic powder, bay leaves, and dried thyme. Stir well and place the cover on the slow cooker.
  7. Set the slow cooker on low for 8 hours (or 4 hours on a high setting). Stir occasionally. Use the back of a spoon to mash some of the beans against the side of the pot to thicken the beans.
  8. Cook rice in a rice cooker according to package directions. Keep on warm setting until beans and sausage are cooked.
  9. Before serving, stir in thinly sliced green onions and salt, black pepper, or more spice to taste. Serve red beans over rice and with optional hot sauce.

Cooking Tips for Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

  • Opt for dried beans and avoid using canned red beans for this recipe, as canned beans are too soft and will turn to mush by the end of cooking time.
  • You can also choose to use black beans or pinto beans for this recipe.
  • Don’t worry if you can’t find Andouille sausage. This slow cooker red beans and rice meal can be eaten in its simplest form as a vegetarian meal (made even more flavorful with some Creole seasoning) or paired with any leftover meats you may have in your fridge.
  • To thicken the red beans recipe, use a potato masher and mash some of the beans, stir, and cook an hour longer or so. You can also stir in some corn starch.
  • Leftovers can be kept in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-5 days, or in the freezer in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month.

Final Note on This Red Beans and Rice Slow Cooker Recipe

Southern recipes like this slow cooker red beans and rice show us just how easy and effortless it can be to create easy meals that double as our main dishes of the day. Whether you’re meal prepping or making something for a larger gathering, we know that this recipe will keep everyone satisfied. Discover more interesting rice recipes like this one on our site.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are red beans and kidney beans the same?

While they can be substituted for each other in different recipes, red beans and kidney beans are very different. Red beans have a lighter, almost pink color while kidney beans are a darker red. Red beans also have a stronger and nuttier flavor while kidney beans will absorb the flavors of other ingredients in the recipe.

Is red beans and rice Cajun or Creole?

Red beans and rice is a dish of Louisiana Creole cuisine.

What goes well with red beans and rice?

Red beans and rice is a versatile base that can pair with almost anything. You can eat this recipe with chicken, beef, or pork, or add on more vegetables.