The slow cooker is the easiest way to make red beans and rice because the crock pot does all the work!
Tender and creamy red beans are slow cooked to perfection with seasonings, smoked sausage and leftover holiday ham for rich and savory dinner!
When we say this is the easiest way to make red beans and rice, we are not kidding around. Slow cooker recipes are the best because you can, "set it and forget it", until it's time to eat!
It truly makes dinners stress-free when you are busy but still want to make something homemade and healthy for your family.
What you need
- dried red kidney beans
- smoked sausage
- smoked ham shank (or ham hock)
- bell pepper
- salt and pepper
- garlic powder
- dried thyme
- chicken broth or water
- steam white rice
Here's a few ways to modify the recipe if needed.
- If you don't have leftover holiday ham you can find smoked ham shanks in the meat department of the grocery store.
- We used dried kidney beans in this recipe because the slow cooker is perfect for cooking beans from scratch without having to stand over a stovetop for hours. Dried beans can be substituted with 4 cans of kidney beans that have been drained and rinsed. Adjust the cooking time to 4-6 hours on LOW.
- White rice can be substituted with brown rice, cauliflower rice or omitted entirely.
- Onion powder, garlic cloves, cayenne pepper, hot sauce and bay leaves are other ways to add spice seasoning the red beans and rice recipe.
How to make it
Step 1: Boil the beans for 10 minutes
Sort and rinse the beans to make sure there are no small stones. Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the kidney beans for 10 minutes.
(DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP, THIS WILL REMOVE LECTINS FROM THE DRIED KIDNEY BEANS THAT AREN'T REMOVED IN THE SLOW COOKER)
Step 2: Drain the beans
Drain and rinse the beans and then place them into the slow cooker liner.
Step 3: Slow cook
Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.
When it's time to serve, cook the white rice according to package directions.
How to store it
Leftover crockpot red beans and rice can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. After that, freeze them for up to 6 months in a freezer-safe container.
Kidney beans MUST be boiled for 10 minutes before they are added to the slow cooker to ensure that the kidney bean lectin is destroyed. This lectin can cause vomiting and sickness. Even on HIGH heat, the slow cooker does not get hot enough to destroy this lectin.
More easy comfort food recipes
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Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice
- 1 lb. dried red kidney beans (boiled for 10 minutes before adding to slow cooker)
- 1 lb. smoked sausage (sliced)
- 1 smoked ham shank
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 3 stalks celery (chopped)
- 1 large bell pepper (chopped)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoons thyme
- 5 cups chicken broth (or water)
- 4 cups steamed white rice
- Sort and rinse the beans to make sure there are no small stones. Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the red beans for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans and then place them into the slow cooker liner.
- Add the remaining ingredients and give them a stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours. Give the beans a stir and serve over steamed white rice.
- Keep leftovers refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen up to 6 months.
Fun Fact: Red beans and rice was traditionally served on Mondays in New Orleans, Louisiana. Why? Because this was the day everyone did their laundry. Putting on a pot of red beans was an easy way to get dinner ready without standing at the stove!