Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

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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!

You might also like our list of 73 Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes.

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Enjoy this slow-cooked bean and rice dish that is nutritious and packed with flavor.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Universal
Keyword: Diabetic-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Slow Cooker
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 271kcal
Author: SkinnyMs.


  • Minimum Slow Cooker size: 5 quarts


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

Sausage Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey or chicken 93% works well
  • 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.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 150mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 6

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49 Comments on "Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice"

  1. Eat.Style.Play  July 13, 2012

    This looks so yummy! I'm so excited to use my slow cooker this week. 

    • Skinny Ms.  July 13, 2012

      Thank You. Let us know what you think of the Red Beans and Rice? 🙂

      • Laura  November 26, 2017

        Hi- how many 1 cup servings does this make?

  2. Jen Anderson  July 23, 2012

    I know it's not the healthiest… but I'm gonna have to go traditional and make this using andouille sausage 🙂 LOL

    • Skinny Ms.  July 24, 2012

      Jen, Hmmmmm….you're right, not the healthies! It really is good with the turkey sausage.

  3. Shelley Elmblad  August 21, 2012

    Need clarification. 🙂 It's probably just a type-o, but want to get the recipe right. It looks like onions, peppers, celery, etc. are added to slow cooker twice for a total cooking time of 12-16 hours.

    • Skinny Ms.  August 21, 2012

      Hi Shelley, Just sent you an email with the corrections! 🙂

    • Shelley Elmblad  August 21, 2012

      Thanks for fixing that. 🙂

  4. SJord  August 26, 2012

    Maybe a dumb question, but does the nutritional info include the rice?

  5. Christine  October 11, 2012

    I think this would be good meat free!!

  6. kita eats  October 16, 2012

    I try making this but I think I messed up. Are you supposed to drain & rinse the beans? Or just dump the entire can in?

    • Skinny Ms.  October 17, 2012

      Kita, Either way will work fine. I rinse the beans, then drain to reduce the sodium. No big deal! Did you enjoy?

  7. Pingback: 77 Healthy Crock-Pot Recipes | Greatist

  8. Andrea  February 5, 2013

    is this dish safe to cook on high for half the time? i made the rookie mistake of not reading the instructions all the way through and i'm concerned about it finishing too late in the evening.

  9. Marnae  February 23, 2013

    Would this recipe work with Black Beans?

  10. angie  April 21, 2013

    how many servings is this? Am I missing it above?

  11. Lauren  June 10, 2013

    I made this tonight and it was good, but next time I would tripe or even quadruple the amount of veggies. I put in two large red bell peppers in mine and it still didn't have enough for my taste.

  12. nashvillefoodtruckjunkie  June 15, 2013

    I wonder if in place of the sausage mix, you used the Jennie-O turkey Kielbasa or Jennie-O Hot Turkey Sausage links would give it that more "traditional" feel without being really unhealthy. Has anyone tried that??? Cause I'm thinking of doing that instead of the sausage mix.

  13. Lyndsey  March 4, 2014

    I guess this recipe just wasn't for me. I did include the onions and garlic and spices, but I omitted the peppers and celery because I don't like those foods. The dish was a pretty decent consistency/texture, but it's just spicy with very little actual flavor.

    • SkinnyMs  March 4, 2014

      If you use a good quality chicken broth, vegetable broth, or beef broth for the liquid, that should impart a lot of flavor. Thanks for trying the recipe!

  14. Courtney Erwin Metcalf  May 31, 2014

    This was delicious! Definitely quite spicy, but something I would totally make again!

  15. Laura  July 26, 2014

    I'm confused…do I cook the rice, and then mix it with the sausage ingredients?

    • SkinnyMs  July 28, 2014

      Laura, You cook the sausage meatballs and beans together with the herbs and chopped veggies. Then, towards the end of the slow cooking time, get your rice ready, cooking on the stovetop separately according to package directions. Then ladle the beans and sausage meatballs over the rice. Another option is to carefully stir the cooked rice together with the other ingredients.

    • Job  September 26, 2014

      I read the recipe several times and almost did the same thing because my printer cut off the bottom part under "For the rice"…in the recipe the brown rice is listed as a sausage ingredient.

      • SkinnyMs  September 29, 2014

        Job, Thanks for letting us know. We will change that.

  16. Page  September 7, 2014

    Help!! I started making this and put the uncooked brown rice in my sausage mixture!! Now what can I do? 🙂 Thanks!!

    • SkinnyMs  September 8, 2014

      Page, Unform the meatballs so that you have a loose meat and raw rice mixture (along with other ingredients). Add an additional cup of chicken broth/stock to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients and add your meat/rice mixture uncooked. Meat and rice will cook in the slow cooker with the other ingredients. Instead of sausage meatballs, you will have your sausage, rice, and beans combined.. which is still a delicious way to have rice and beans!

    • JACM  January 25, 2015

      I almost did the same thing. The rice is listed in the sausage ingredients.

      • SkinnyMs  January 26, 2015

        JACM, Okay thanks for letting us know. I will revisit this recipe today and try to clarify that.

  17. Alicia Broughton  January 19, 2015

    Am I putting raw meatballs into the slowcooker? Not clear on to cook them or to put them in raw. Thanks!

    • SkinnyMs  January 20, 2015

      Alicia Broughton, Add the meatballs raw but be gentle when adding them so that they don't break up.

  18. Shannon  January 6, 2016

    i’m confused.. this is in your list of 8 dinners under 200 calories – 170 calories a bowl but on the page it says Calories: 271

    • Melissa Florero  January 6, 2016

      Shannon, Thanks, we are removing this from the 8 Dinners Under 200 Calories list. That was our error.

  19. Marla  March 9, 2017

    We love the slow cooker version of this. Any suggestions how to convert it for a pressure cooker?

    • Gale Compton  March 9, 2017

      Maria, Hmmmm…not yet. We recently purchased an Instant Pot and will be adding lots of delicious recipes very soon.

  20. April  May 18, 2018

    How much cooked brown rice for each one cup of bean/meat mixture to yield the indicated calories?

  21. April  May 18, 2018

    To clarify is the 270 calories 1/2 cup of rice and 1/2 cup of bean/meat mixture to make 1 cup?

    • Gale Compton  May 19, 2018

      April, Yes, 1 cup with a combination of sausage meatballs, beans, and rice.

  22. Lissa  July 31, 2018

    What can you substitute for the sausage? I don’t eat meat.

    • Gale Compton  August 1, 2018

      Lissa, I eliminate the sausage. The recipe is delicious without it too. You’ve got plenty of protein with the beans.

  23. Denise  March 24, 2020

    Do the beans need to be drained and rinsed?

    • Gale Compton  March 25, 2020

      Denise, I would at least drain them and rinsing is fine too.


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