Red beans and rice with sausage is a quick and easy Cajun style dinner, made in about 30 minutes. Tender red beans, fluffy white rice, smoked sausage and veggies, all kicked up with Creole seasoning.
Have you ever been super hungry, but too nauseous to eat? That’s been me all week long. I don’t know if it’s because of the fact that I had a melodramatic, malady-stricken Monday, or because my sinus cavities have been SO congested from the high pollen and mold counts, but something really threw my stomach into somersaults every time I thought about food. Until Thursday night, when I made this easy red beans and rice dinner.
Kicked Up Red Beans and Rice
Ahhh…comfort food in a bowl! Never mind the fact that I added enough cayenne pepper to the red beans and rice to clear the sinuses of everyone in the neighborhood. There’s just something wonderful about creamy rice dishes that make me a happy girl.
Maybe it’s because whenever I think of hearty, spicy dishes like red beans and rice, I think of how much my dad loved them. He was the king of the stew pot. Chili, Hungarian goulash (our traditional Christmas eve meal), beef stew…. he slow cooked them all with love and they were always loaded with flavor.
Because I wasn’t feeling very well this week, I didn’t want to spend forever and a day chained to my kitchen, so I created this Cajun style dish in the “semi-homemade” style, by kicking up a boxed red beans and rice mix with veggies and smoked sausage. I used Zatarain’s Red Beans and Rice and Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage, because I love them both, but feel free to use whatever your favorite is.
I do enjoy making beans and rice from scratch, starting with dried beans. They’re SO much healthier than canned/processed beans and they’re super budget friendly! But, they take a long time to soak and cook, so on this particular occasion, the Zatarain’s worked exceptionally well and fit my needs better.
From box to table, this semi-homemade dinner will take you about 30-40 minutes to prepare, so it’s one that I’m sure I’ll fall back on again. I hope that you’ll make and enjoy it enough to do the same!
Ingredient Substitution Ideas
If you don’t care for smoked sausage, here are some other ideas for protein options:
- chicken breast
- seafood (red beans and rice with shrimp would be fantastic!)
- vegetarian – leave out the meat entirely and serve a vegetarian red beans and rice
Red Beans and Rice with Smoked Sausage
- 1 pkg red beans and rice mix
- 1 Tablespoon olive, canola, or vegetable oil
- 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 13.5 oz canned diced tomatoes, with juice
- 3 cups water
- 13 ounces smoked sausage links, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or creole seasoning
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place the oil Into a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat, Once the oil starts to shimmer, saute the onion and green pepper 3-4 minutes. Add the sausage and continue cooking until the onion is translucent, about 4 more minutes.
- Add the beans and rice mix, water, tomatoes, and cayenne pepper or creole seasoning. Stir to combine and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, or per the directions on the beans and rice package.
- Once the beans and rice are tender, uncover, remove from heat, and let it sit for about 5 minutes to thicken.