How to Make Cajun Red Beans & Sausage (+ Easy Rice Recipe)

Easy steps to make Cajun red beans and sausage along with an easy, foolproof rice recipe to serve it with.

Use Dried Red Beans for this Recipe

Dry kidney beans are perfect, and preferred, for this recipe. There are several sizes of red kidney beans, and any of those will work also. I am partial to the smaller ones, as I feel that they cook more quickly. The beans need to be rinsed and soaked in water overnight before making this recipe. Be sure to cover the beans with plenty of water, as the beans will absorb it and expand. Add more if you see the beans fall below the water line.

How to make red beans in the Instant Pot

If you have an Instant Pot, you can cook the beans portion easily in it. When I say bean portion, I mean the entire recipe MINUS the Cajun sausage (which you toss in at the end). I cook mine in the Instant Pot, along with the sautéed vegetables and 6 cups liquid. I cook on the bean setting (or 30 minutes high pressure). After they cook, I let them slow release. Then I add the sautéed sausage and let it sit in the bean soup for 30  minutes or longer before serving.

How to make red beans in the slow cooker.

If using a slow cooker, cook all (minus sausage) for 6 hours on high or 3 on low. Check beans to make sure they are tender. If not, cook a bit longer.

Broth and water can be used for liquid.

For the 6 cups of liquid called for in this recipe, I like to use chicken broth for most of this. Chicken bone broth is the healthiest, as it is full of protein. I use a few small cartons of bone broth and maybe a regular size can or two of chicken broth. I then add water to equal 6 cups of liquid. This is personal preference. The EVOO and seasonings and fat from the Cajun sausage will make this dish flavorful even if you use all or mostly water.

Add Cajun sausage at the end.

Many recipes call for cooking the Cajun sausage the entire time; I add it at the end. I’ve cooked it both ways, and I don’t like how the sausage dries up when cooked the entire time. My preference is to saute the sausage to perfection, and set it aside (in the fridge. When the soup is done, I toss in the sausage and simmer the soup for about 20 minutes or so. It is perfect.

How to make red beans and sausage ahead.

The vegetables can be sautéed and seasoned a day ahead and kept in the fridge as can the sausage. The beans can be made a day ahead also, and kept in the broth (refrigerated). The entire red bean mixture actually tastes better the next day, so it can be made completely and reheated the next day before serving.

Serve this over rice (and here is a recipe).

Cajun red beans & rice

I have and LOVE this Aroma rice maker, and it is spot on most every time.  But there is another way to make perfect rice if you don’t have a rice maker. As long as you have an oven and a saucepan similar to this one or this one (must have lids), you can achieve perfect rice. You can find all the details + the recipe in this post

If you make this, please let me hear how it turns out! As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

Cajun red beans & rice

Cajun Red Beans and Sausage

Yield: 14 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes

Easy, crowd pleasing New Orleans style Cajun (or Creole) red beans to serve over rice.


  • 1 onion, chopped (or one cup frozen chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TB minced garlic
  • 1-2 tsp Creole or Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • salt and black pepper to taste (I use about 1 tsp each)
  • 1 lb small red beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 smoked turkey necks (optional)
  • 1 lb Cajun sausage, slice into penny size
  • 6 cups liquid (use any combo of chicken broth and water)
  • 1 TB Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp. red Tabasco
  • 2-3 bay leaves



  1. Soak beans overnight; add water as needed to keep covered.
  2. Saute turkey necks (if using) in EVOO 4-5 minutes.
  3. Cook beans in 6 cupes liquid.
  4. In IP high pressure for 30 minutes. Slow cook on low 6 hours.
  5. Beans should be tender once cooked.


  1. Sauté sausage in a small amount of EVOO until browned.
  2. Remove browned sausage pieces with slotted spoon; set aside. (Do not remove grease from skillet).

Vegetable Mix

  1. Add diced onion, celery, peppers to skillet; saute 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add Creole of Cajun season and ALL other seasoning; stir.
  3. Set aside; keep in fridge3.

Final cooking:

  1. Add sausage and vegetables to bean mixture.
  2. If using IP, cook on SOUP setting (20 minutes high pressure).
  3. If using slow cooker, cook on low 1-2 hours.

Nutrition Information
Yield 14 Serving Size 1 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 191Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 25mgSodium 689mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 3gSugar 3gProtein 9g

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