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Red Beans and Rice, a beloved staple of Louisiana cuisine, has been thoughtfully resized for a comfortable meal for one or two, while preserving the rich flavors and comforting essence of the traditional dish. This recipe, a family favorite passed down through generations, has been skillfully adapted to a smaller portion without losing its heartwarming appeal. This dish comes with instructions for both slow cooker and stovetop preparation. It’s a flexible recipe designed to fit your kitchen and time constraints, allowing you to experience the soul of Southern comfort food in a convenient, smaller serving.

Enjoy your steaming red beans and rice, enhanced with a dash of extra hot sauce for a fiery kick. Pair this hearty dish with buttery Sautéed Green Beans, a slice of moist Cornbread, or a piece of crunchy French bread for a complete and satisfying meal. For a sweet finale, consider indulging in a slice of warm Bread Pudding drizzled with rich whiskey sauce or a delightful serving of Bananas Foster, adding a touch of Southern decadence to your meal.

Why You’ll Love This Red Beans And Rice Recipe

  • Minimal Prep: With most ingredients going straight into the slow cooker, you won’t have to deal with a complex cooking process.
  • Perfectly Portioned: This recipe has been carefully scaled down to serve one or two, eliminating food waste.
  • Flexible: It allows for ingredient substitutions based on your dietary preferences or pantry availability.
  • Nutrient-Dense: Packed with protein, fiber, and a range of vitamins and minerals, it’s not just delicious but also nourishing.

Exploring The Classic Southern Dish: Red Beans And Rice

Red Beans and Rice is a classic dish from the Southern United States, known for its simple yet richly flavorful ingredients. At its core, this dish combines red kidney beans and smoked sausage with a trio of vegetables known as “The Holy Trinity” – celery, onions, and green bell peppers. Enhanced with a blend of Creole seasoning, garlic, and thyme, Red Beans and Rice is a symphony of tastes, offering a hearty and satisfying meal.

Originating from Louisiana Creole cuisine, particularly in New Orleans, this dish has humble beginnings. It was traditionally prepared on Mondays, the day reserved for laundry, making it a practical choice for a busy day. Over the years, it has gained popularity due to its affordability, nutritional value, and the ease of its preparation, making it a beloved staple known for its comforting and deeply satisfying flavors.

How To Cook Red Beans In A Slow Cooker

Safe Preparation Methods For Slow Cooker Red Beans

In the past, I used a straightforward approach for my slow cooker red beans recipe: I would add unsoaked, uncooked red beans directly to the slow cooker. This method has been my go-to for years. However, I’ve recently learned important information about the safety of cooking red beans, both from news sources and inquiries from readers, prompting a change in the recipe.

Uncooked red beans contain a toxin called phytohaemagglutinin, which can cause gastrointestinal distress. Normally, this toxin is neutralized by boiling the beans for at least 10 minutes at a temperature of 212° F (100°C). This is typically achieved in stovetop recipes that simmer the beans for extended periods.

While I have often made this recipe without pre-soaking the beans and haven’t experienced any issues, it’s crucial to understand that if the beans don’t reach and maintain the required temperature for at least 10 minutes, the toxin may not be fully eradicated, posing a health risk.

To ensure safety, here are three methods you can choose from:

  • Soaking Overnight: Start by thoroughly rinsing the red beans under cool water, picking out and discarding any beans that are shriveled. Then, put the beans in a bowl and add enough clean water to cover them by about 2 inches. Let the beans soak in this water overnight. The following day, rinse the soaked beans once more. Place them in a pot and add fresh water, again ensuring the beans are covered by about 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil and let the beans boil for 10 minutes. After boiling, drain the beans and then place them in your slow cooker.”
  • Using Canned Red Beans: A convenient alternative is to use canned red beans. Simply drain and rinse the beans from the can. This option also shortens the cooking time to 2 hours on HIGH or 4 hours on LOW in the slow cooker.
  • Stovetop Cooking: Another safe method is to cook the red beans on the stove. Ensure the beans are fully submerged in either broth or water in a medium-sized pot. (Refer to the stovetop instructions below for details).

It’s reassuring to know that once red beans have been boiled for at least 10 minutes at 212°F, the toxins are effectively destroyed.

Although I’ve never encountered any health issues with the original method, the safety of my readers and their families is paramount. That’s why I’ve revised the recipe to include these safer preparation methods for red beans going forward.

RELATED: Best Soup Recipes For One

A close up of a bowl of red beans and white rice with sausage.

Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this small crockpot recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

This slow cooker red beans and rice recipe includes all the classic ingredients you’d expect, each contributing to the dish’s traditional flavor profile:

  • Red kidney beans: Use dried beans in this recipe.
  • Vegetables: The recipe calls for onions, celery, green bell pepper, and chopped garlic – the key veggies that add depth and aroma. These same four vegetables can be found in our Seafood Gumbo, Shrimp Creole, and Crawfish Pasta recipes.
  • Sausage: Smoked sausage is recommended. If you prefer, you can switch to turkey or vegan sausage for a healthier or plant-based alternative. If you have leftover sausage, consider using it in our Jambalaya recipe.
  • Creole seasoning: You have the flexibility to use either a homemade Creole Seasoning mix or your favorite store-bought brand. Remember to adjust the seasoning quantity based on your taste preferences.
  • Chicken broth: or those seeking a vegetarian version of the dish, vegetable broth is a suitable substitute for chicken broth.

Essential Tips For Delicious Slow Cooker Red Beans And Rice

  • Layer Your Ingredients: When adding your ingredients to the slow cooker, start with the beans at the bottom, then add the sausage and vegetables, followed by the seasonings. This will ensure even cooking and distribution of flavors.
  • Check for Doneness: Although slow cookers are quite reliable, it’s a good idea to check the beans for doneness an hour or so before the end of the suggested cooking time. If they’re tender, you can switch the slow cooker to a warm setting until you’re ready to serve.
  • Adjust Seasonings: Once the beans are cooked, give the dish a taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Sometimes, the slow cooking process can mellow the spices, so you may want to add a bit more Creole seasoning or hot sauce to suit your palate.
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How To Cook Red Beans On A Stove

To cook red beans on the stove, simply follow these steps. Use the same quantities of ingredients as listed in the recipe, except where specific adjustments are noted below.

First, prepare the beans as directed in the recipe.

Then, in a 2-quart saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the vegetables and sauté them until they become soft, which should take about 3 minutes.

Next, incorporate the sausage, beans, and broth into the saucepan. You may need to add more broth, but ensure that the beans are not completely submerged.

Once combined, bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for 1 hour, stirring it from time to time.

After about an hour, when the beans have softened, stir the mixture thoroughly. Gently mash a few of the beans with the back of a spoon to thicken the sauce

An overhead view of a bowl of red beans and white rice with sausage and cornbread in a cast iron skillet in the background.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size slow cooker should I use to make a single serving of red beans and rice?

For making a single serving of red beans and rice, a slow cooker with a capacity of 1.5 to 2 quarts is recommended. This size is perfectly suited to accommodate the ingredients while ensuring even cooking and ideal flavor development.

Can I use canned beans instead of dried red beans when making red beans and rice?

Yes, canned beans can be used if you’re short on time. However, remember to adjust the cooking time as canned beans don’t require as long to cook as dried beans.

Can I make vegetarian red beans and rice?

Absolutely! For a vegetarian version, simply substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth. For a vegan option, replace the smoked sausage with a plant-based alternative and use vegan butter or olive oil.

How spicy are red beans and rice?

The level of spiciness can be adjusted according to your preference. If you prefer a milder version, consider reducing the amount of Creole seasoning and hot sauce. Remember, you can always add more spice, but it’s more challenging to remove it once it’s been added.

RELATED: 25 Single Serving Summer Recipes

More Single Serving Slow Cooker Recipes

If you’ve enjoyed the simplicity and comfort of this Red Beans and Rice recipe, you’ll love exploring more small crockpot recipes. Each of these recipes harnesses the ease and convenience of your slow cooker to create perfectly portioned, flavorsome meals:

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

RELATED: How To Cook Small Meals In A Large Slow Cooker

If you’ve made this small batch Red Beans and Rice recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out for you. Please rate the recipe and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Snapped a photo? Tag us on Instagram; we’d be thrilled to see your creation!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Slow Cooker Red Beans And Rice For One

5 from 9 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Enjoy an easy Red Beans and Rice recipe for 1 or 2, packed with Southern flavors. Includes simple slow cooker and stovetop instructions for quick comfort food.

Ingredients 
 

  • ½ cup dried red kidney beans (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 cup sliced smoked sausage (about 4.5 ounces or ¼ pound)
  • 1 celery stalk , chopped
  • ½ cup chopped onion (about 2.5 ounces)
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper , chopped (about .85 ounces)
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • ½ teaspoon Creole seasoning (homemade Creole seasoning or your favorite brand.)
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce
  • teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter

To Serve

  • 1 cup cooked rice

Instructions 

Prepping the Beans

  • Start by rinsing the beans and removing any debris. Soak them in a medium-sized bowl or pot, ensuring they are covered with at least two inches of water. Let them soak overnight.
  • In the morning, drain the beans and give them another rinse. After draining them again, place them in a medium-sized pot and cover with 1-2 inches of fresh water.
  • Heat the pot until the beans reach a rolling boil. Keep boiling for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Once boiled, drain the beans one last time, rinse and transfer them to your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Add sausage, celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, Creole seasoning, hot sauce, thyme, and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Stir everything together well.
  • Set your slow cooker to high and cook for 4-5 hours, or until the kidney beans are tender. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to your taste.
  • Finally, stir in butter and serve the red beans over freshly cooked rice.

Video

Notes

Expert Tips
    • Layer Your Ingredients: When adding your ingredients to the slow cooker, start with the beans at the bottom, then add the sausage and vegetables, followed by the seasonings. This will ensure even cooking and distribution of flavors.
    • Check for Doneness: Although slow cookers are quite reliable, it’s a good idea to check the beans for doneness an hour or so before the end of the suggested cooking time. If they’re tender, you can switch the slow cooker to a warm setting until you’re ready to serve.
    • Adjust Seasonings: Once the beans are cooked, give the dish a taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Sometimes, the slow cooking process can mellow the spices, so you may want to add a bit more Creole seasoning or hot sauce to suit your palate.
 
TO MAKE A SINGLE SERVING OF RICE
Ingredients
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup white rice 
Directions
1.  Bring the water, salt and butter to a boil in a 1-quart saucepan. Stir in the rice.
2.  Reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid.
3.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 783kcal, Carbohydrates: 77g, Protein: 55g, Fat: 74g, Saturated Fat: 29g, Cholesterol: 190mg, Sodium: 2154mg, Potassium: 2164mg, Fiber: 17g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1083IU, Vitamin C: 43mg, Calcium: 137mg, Iron: 9mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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42 Comments

  1. Terrific recipe. For 2 different takes on this recipe: For soup: put all the ingredients into 1 1/2 cups broth, simmer till done, then serve. For salad, combine all ingredients together and serve with any salad dressing. All versions are YUMMY.