This southern dish will keep you satisfied for hours.
What’s more satisfying than a big bowl of red beans and rice? We combine dark red kidney beans, brown rice, onions, and bell pepper with freshly made meatballs and savory seasonings to simmer all day in the slow cooker. Slow cooker red beans and rice is always a family favorite with a salad and a big crusty loaf of French bread. Be sure to make extra because it’s even better the next day!
Traditional Red Beans and Rice
Red beans and rice is a classic southern recipe that actually originates from the Spanish Caribbean over 200 years ago. It was introduced in Louisiana, where this dish has become an iconic staple. Traditionally, it’s made with sausage, red kidney beans, rice, and spices. We’ve created a recipe that uses all of those ingredients but is also super easy to make.
Slow Cooker Recipes
Slow cooker recipes are awesome for anyone who is super busy, needs an easy recipe, or wants to plan ahead for dinner that night (which I think includes most of us!). Once you’ve made your meatballs, all you have to do is flip the switch on your slow cooker and come back 6 to 8 hours later!
If you’re a fan of slow cooker recipes, you might also like our list of 20 Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes.
Make this Southern Rice and Bean Recipe
Start by making the meatballs. First, you’ll combine the lean ground turkey or chicken, garlic powder, ground black pepper, dried sage, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and oregano in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly until well blended. We recommend mixing the ingreidents by hand to make sure they’re properly combined. Form the mixture into small meatballs, about half an inch in diameter, and refrigerate while the veggies are cooking.
For the beans and rice, heat olive oil on medium-low in a large skillet. Once hot, add the onions, bell pepper, and celery, sautéeing until tender. This should take about four minutes. Then, add the garlic and sauté for one additional minute.
Add the sautéed onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, stirring to combine. Then, place your sausage meatballs into the pot and stir gently. Place the lid on the Crock Pot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Separately, cook your brown rice according to the directions on the package.
Remove the bay leaf from the slow cooker, and serve your sausage meatballs and beans over a bed of brown rice. Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice
Beans and Rice Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 3/4 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- kosher or sea salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons freshly snipped thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 30 ounces dark red kidney beans canned
- 3 cups chicken broth low sodium, fat free
- 2 cups long grain brown rice uncooked
- 1 pound lean ground turkey or chicken 93/7% preferred
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
For the Sausage
- Place all the above sausage ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly until well blended. Make into small meatballs, about 1/2". Refrigerate while veggies are cooking.
For the Beans and Rice
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil to medium-low, add onions, bell pepper and celery, sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté one additional minute. Add sautéed onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic and remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, stir to combine.
- Add sausage meatballs and stir gently, cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. Recommend 4-6 quart slow cooker.
- Separately, cook brown rice according to the directions on the package.
- Remove the bay leaf and serve sausage meatballs and beans over a bed of brown rice.
Have you made this recipe?
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Are you going to try our leaner, slow cooker red beans and rice? If you do, be sure to let us know what you thought of it in the comment section!
You might also like to try these southern classics:
- Juicy Faux Fried Chicken
- The New Southern Style Sweet Tea
- Healthy Southern Greens
- Healthy Fried Green Tomatoes