How to Cook Dry Beans | Red Beans & Rice New Orlean’s Style

Image: slow cooked red beans with rice in a thermos

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  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound dried red kidney beans
  • 10-ounce ham bone, or 10-ounce smoked tasso, or 1/2 lb uncooked bacon (46 strips), diced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Water
  • 23 green onions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups cooked white rice


  1. In a 5-8 quart heavy soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat, add onions, bell peppers, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the onions translucent.
  2. Add the dried kidney beans, ham hock (or tasso or bacon), bay leaves and seasoning. Stir to combine and toast seasoning with vegetables for about a minute or two.
  3. Add 2-3 inches of water above the bean line (about 8-9 cups).
  4. Increase the heat to high and bring water to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce heat to low, allow the beans to simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes until the beans are creamy and begin to break apart when you stir them.
  5. When beans are done cooking, take out ham hock (or smoked tasso) remove bone and roughly chop the ham meat. Return it to pot, stir, and cover.
  6. Optional: remove 1 1/2 cups of red beans from pot, blend in a blender, pour back in the pot. This will yield a very creamy thick base.
  7. At the last minute, stir in green onions, season with salt and pepper and serve with white rice.



  • Slow cooker directions: add all ingredients and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours.
  • Vegetarian option: use vegetable oil, omit ham bone add 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika.