Recipe: Joey’s Red Beans & Rice

Pot of red beans
Dishing out red beans is an easy way to help tackle hunger in your neighborhood. Photo by Elliot Wade

Joey Thibodeaux wants to put beans into the hands of the people. After a year and a half of dishing out red beans every Monday, As Cool As Beans has served over 1,700 hot beans to Lafayette residents. Want to make red beans to share? Here’s his recipe.

Cooking Time: 4 hours start-to-finish (30 minutes active prep time)

Makes: 8-9 servings of 1 cup of beans + ½ cup of rice. (You can double this pretty easily in a 12 quart pot.)


  • 1½ pounds red beans
  • 1 pound andouille or other smoked sausage, sliced in thin coins
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 9 cloves garlic, minced (or 3 tablespoons jarred)
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 32 ounces vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne


  1. Wash beans and soak them overnight. (I put them in a big pot with 1 tablespoon of salt and 10 cups of water for each pound.) Put the lid on and stick it in the fridge. (I let them soak for 12-24 hours, but 8 would probably do fine.) 
  2. Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an 8+ qt stainless steel pot, toss in andouille and brown on medium-high until it starts to crisp up.
  3. Add the rest of the olive oil, onions and garlic. Sauté until the onions are translucent and limp. 
  4. Add celery and bell pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.
  5. Add stock and a pint of water, and stir in your dry herbs and spices. Add the beans. The water should cover your beans by at least a couple of inches. Add more water if you need. Bring them all the way to a boil and reduce to a simmer with the lid off. Simmer for a total of 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning. (I try not to do too much heat if it’s for a crowd. People can always add hot sauce. If it reduces too much throughout the process, you can add a bit of water and put the lid on.)
  6. When the beans have simmered for a little over 2 hours, start cooking the  rice. (I make about 1/4 cup of dry long grain per person. I wash my rice in a mesh strainer until the water runs clear so that it’s less starchy.) Use 2 cups of water and ½ tsp of salt per cup of rice. Boil, then heat on low for 18 minutes. Let it sit with the lid on for 10 minutes off the heat. Take the lid off and fluff the rice with a fork.
  7. Once the rice is on simmer, use a slotted spoon to take 1 cup of beans out into a bowl and mash up with a fork. (The first time you make this recipe you may want to do this before you start your rice because this will let you know if the beans are all the way done. The beans should be really creamy and easy to mash. If they’re still tough or dry, toss them back in the pot, add a little more water and let them simmer another 30 minutes.) Thoroughly mix the mashed beans back in so there are no clumps and simmer until your rice is ready to serve. Garnish with green onions.

(Recipe courtesy of Joey Thibodeaux. Read more about As Cool As Beans.)