Quick Red Beans + Rice With Sausage

by Amy on 24 July 2013

Quick Red Beans + Rice with SausageWhile I love making a dish 100% from scratch, I confess that there are times that I appreciate a “semi-homemade” dish. During busy weekdays, between juggling work, family, social life, + household chores (not to mention a newborn), it isn’t always practical for me to make dinner entirely from scratch. So, I have some tried-and-true “semi-homemade” dishes that I turn to on busy evenings – they give me that home-cooked, comfort food feeling, without all the time + energy that from-scratch dinners sometimes entail.

And this dish – Quick Red Beans + Rice with Sausage – is one of my favorite easy weeknight dinners. A simple store-bought red beans + rice mix (preferably low-sodium if you can find it) is jazzed up with sauteed onions, garlic, carrots, celery + sliced sausage, + a few dashes of hot sauce. For this particular version, I used chicken sausage, but andouille or other smoked sausage would also work wonderfully. Served with crusty italian bread + a fresh, simple salad, it’s a delicious, easy weeknight dinner that tastes far more homemade + time-consuming than it is. =)

If you’re looking for another fab semi-homemade dinner to try, this Pasta With Lentil ‘Bolognese’ is super simple, healthy + delicious! That reminds me that I’ve got to make it again soon. =)

Quick Red Beans + Rice with Sausage

Quick Red Beans + Rice With Sausage

serves 4-6, adapted from Cajunlicious


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 lb sausage, sliced into half-moons
8 oz package seasoned red beans + rice mix, preferably low-sodium or reduced-sodium (like Zatarain‘s or Vigo)
optional: hot sauce + italian bread for serving


In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, + celery, + cook for 7-10 minutes, until the onions are translucent + the veggies have softened. (NOTE: do NOT season with salt/pepper at this point. Between the salt/seasoning of the rice mixture + the chicken broth, it’s easy to over-salt this dish. Wait until the end to see if you need any salt or pepper.) Add the garlic + cook for 1 minute more, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the sliced sausage + cook for about 5 minutes, until the sausage is starting to brown.

Add the bay leaf + chicken broth, + bring to a boil. Stir in the contents of the red beans + rice mix, reduce to a simmer, cover + cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice + beans are tender, + most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat + allow to sit for about 5 minutes to thicken up.

Add more salt + pepper if needed (we did not need any) + serve with hot sauce + crusty italian bread. enjoy!

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Luv What You Do July 24, 2013 at 7:47 am

I am all about semi homemade (or the crockpot) on week nights. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Although I’m not a huge fan of beans, this looks fantastic!

2 Leah | So, How's It Taste? July 24, 2013 at 8:19 am

I love quick meals that come together so easily but taste like you’ve been slaving away in the kitchen all day. The colors in this are so pretty with the pop of orange and dark red. I must try it!

3 Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef July 24, 2013 at 8:51 am

this sounds so good! i love that you added veggies to a dish that usually doesn’t have any :)

4 danielle July 24, 2013 at 9:33 am

I could eat rice and beans ever day if I had to. This looks quick and delish!

5 Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes July 24, 2013 at 10:43 am

Nothing wrong with “semi-homemade”! They are very necessary sometimes! Looks so yummy :)

6 dixya| food, pleasure, and health July 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I agree as much as I would love to make it fresh and from scratch – you have to do what you have to do :) My philosophy is as long as majority of the plate has unprocessed food and few semi-processed- its all good.

7 Nik@ABrownTable July 24, 2013 at 2:06 pm

It is nice sometimes to save time when you can, I love rice and beans and this reminds me of NOLA!

8 Amy (Savory Moments) July 24, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I appreciate dishes like this as well, especially during the week. This looks delicious!

9 Tracey July 24, 2013 at 7:54 pm

I love the simplicity of this for a quick weeknight dinner! And I bet the leftovers are fantastic :)

10 amy July 24, 2013 at 8:48 pm

It does make for fab leftovers! you know i’m a sucker for anything that generates delicious leftovers. =)

11 CJ at Food Stories July 24, 2013 at 9:14 pm

This dish looks so comforting & delicious :)

12 Anne ~ Uni Homemaker July 24, 2013 at 10:05 pm

I’m a big fan of semi-homemade. Not everyone has the time to make everything from scratch although I do love that notion! I think I have a box of red beans and rice mix from Zataran’s in my pantry for those occasions. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us Amy. Looks absolutely delicious! :)

13 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com July 24, 2013 at 11:37 pm

It’s still healthy and yummier than any takeouts :)

14 Jackie l FoodWineFashion July 25, 2013 at 9:42 am

I have always loved the idea of semi-homemade. Why wouldn’t you want to take a few short cuts if they aren’t going to hurt you in the end? And with a newborn – congrats to you for getting anything on the table!

xo Jackie

15 Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com July 25, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Definitely healthier than take out!

16 Adri July 26, 2013 at 1:26 am

To tell you the truth, I am amazed at all you do – and with a newborn too. You are really pretty impressive, m’dear.

And oh, heavens, but wouldn’t we all love to cook from scratch all the time. However, that is just impossible, so I think we need to make smart choices about the prepared products we do purchase. This looks fab. I’m going to have to try it.

I hope you and yours are doing well and enjoying the summer.

17 amy July 26, 2013 at 9:17 am

You are the sweetest, Adri – thank you for your kind, uplifting words – they always mean so much to me!

18 natalie@thesweetslife July 26, 2013 at 10:08 am

i’m all about quick and simple, esp in the summer!

19 Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) July 26, 2013 at 11:49 am

I need to utilize beans and rice way more than I do–such a cheap and tasty meal!

20 amy July 26, 2013 at 11:58 am

yes! beans + rice are definitely one of the most economical meals around. =)

21 Kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts.com July 27, 2013 at 2:09 pm

This looks great, and I know the leftovers must taste really divine.
Any short cuts you can take to get a meal on the table are good ones in my book.
What a great idea for dinner!

22 wendy (the weekend gourmet) July 27, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I’m the weekend gourmet for a reason: i’m all about fast and delish weeknight dinners like this! i keep a few boxes of red beans and rice in my cupboard at all times.

23 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl July 27, 2013 at 9:29 pm

This is my kind of meal! We always need quick and easy during the workweek, and my kiddo is 6! I am so impressed that you’re cooking AND blogging with a newborn – amazing!!

24 amy July 28, 2013 at 11:01 am

You are too sweet, Ashley – thank you! I’m doin’ what I can. =)

25 Craig June 10, 2015 at 5:23 pm

I’m sure using a classic mirepoix would be just fine, but Cajun cuisine is all about the Holy Trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery (along with the garlic). Red beans and rice are a weekly dish at my family table :)

26 Amy June 10, 2015 at 5:31 pm

I couldn’t agree more, Craig! Tragically, we have a bell pepper loather in our household, so I rarely get to use that Holy Trinity. Have an extra serving that way for me. =)

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