Robert Irvine’s Red Beans And Rice.
Recipe courtesy of Robert Irvine

Red Beans and Rice

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
A Monday night staple in New Orleans, this iconic and easy one-pot dish has deep roots in the city’s history. Much before the time of washing machines, New Orleanians dedicated their Mondays to laundry -- a day-long affair that left little time to prepare any meals. So they combined rice and kidney beans with aromatics, spices and ham bone leftover from Sunday supper in one big pot and let it simmer until it was time to eat. This streamlined version of the dish leaves out the ham, but has the rice cooking in chicken stock for extra flavor. The rice and beans get cooked separately to ensure that the grains don’t overcook and hold their shape. Although there’s some debate on the lineage of this dish (some trace it back to enslaved West African people, other’s credit Haitian refugees fleeing the revolution), everyone can agree that red beans and rice is synonymous with the very essence of New Orleans.



  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Saute garlic, onion, celery, and bell pepper until tender. Stir in kidney beans, onion powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Reduce heat to low and let mixture simmer slowly while you cook the rice.
  2. Bring the chicken stock to a boil and stir in rice and butter. Return to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes without removing the lid. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Fold rice and beans gently together and transfer to a serving dish. Serve garnished with cilantro.