Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice can be a non frugal dish. If you have left over ham, perfect. If not, keep reading.

A Somewhat Frugal Version of Red Beans and Rice

Two years ago, when I decided to try making Red Beans and Rice, I was on the hunt for frugal meal ideas.  I wanted to add more frugalness to my Master Menu Plan for when times are a little leaner than others. Sadly, this does not fall into the category of frugal in my mind, but it is a rather inexpensive meal. While it is inexpensive, it is so yummy!

I have learned to embrace my crock pot! I use it for cooking dried beans over night so they are ready for the next day. This keeps me from having to soak, speed cook, blow torch and whatever else you would have to do to cook those little pieces of hardness to use in a recipe. If you are in an area like me, where dried small red beans are few and far between, but you can find canned red beans, use them. I have and they worked out beautifully! Kidney beans can even be used, but... yeah, my husband and son do not think of them as the perfect bean for Red Beans and Rice.

I'm all for not using every pot and pan in my kitchen to prepare a meal.  I love the idea of cooking in one pot and this is the perfect recipe to do just that, after you have the beans cooked.


1 pound dried, small red beans
½ pound of bacon, chopped
1 package (14 oz.) andouille sausage or smoked sausage, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
black pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste, optional
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 bay leaves
½ tablespoon  oil (if you use turkey bacon)
2 quarts of water
salt to taste, if needed (AT THE END OF COOKING)
Hot, cooked rice

Rinse and sort beans and place into a crock pot, adding water to cover beans plus about an inch or so. Do not add any seasonings or salt, cook on low overnight. When ready to cook the rest of the ingredients, drain the beans and keep them in a separate container.

In a a large pot, cook the bacon until lightly cooked. Add the sausage, onion and bell pepper to the bacon and sauté the veggies until tender. Add the seasonings to the mixture and cook for about 3 minutes, keep stirring.  Add the beans to the pot and add two quarts of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes. If you need to thicken the juice up a bit more, remove about a cup of the beans and mash them and return them to the pot. Serve over hot, cooked rice.

Be prepared for amazing leftovers, since the juice thickens over time. YUM!

A Somewhat Frugal Version of Red Beans and Rice


  1. Yours look delicious and very similar to how I make them, I haven't made them in a long time but I did buy a new bag of beans recently to make this. Thank you for the reminder

  2. Looks yummy! We don't eat beans and rice, but this looks like a good recipe to start with!

  3. As a native Louisianan, I can give you a tip. If you want it thicker, when it's almost done, put some of the beans in a small bowl and mash them with a fork before returning them to the pot. And we use ham instead of bacon; but I bet that's good!

  4. Well, now that I've reread more carefully, I see that you already knew that one. lol. And now I want some red beans and rice. :)


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