This Small Batch Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice recipe is filled with sausage, the trinity of vegetables, plenty of creole seasoning, and tons of flavor. Our classic Louisiana recipe scaled down to serve one or two. Recipe video included in our easy to make recipe.
Today I'm happy to bring you my family's red beans and rice recipe in a scaled down, single serving form made in a slow cooker.
If you've read my other Louisiana inspired recipe posts, you know how much I miss New Orleans.
I grew up there and I love and miss so much about the city, especially the wonderful food.
Thankfully, I grew up surrounded by wonderful chefs and home cooks who showed me the way to true southern cooking.
Why I Love This Recipe
Growing up, my mother often cooked red beans in a big pot on the stove. It was a long process where the beans would cook over a low fire for hours.
This method of cooking red beans is great but I prefer cooking them in my slow cooker. With this slow cooker red beans and rice recipe, there's no stirring or watching the pot. The beans cook at a low temperature in a slow cooker or Crockpot and this method delivers perfect beans every single time.
If you're short on time and are looking for a convenient way to cook red beans for one or if you're working during the day and want to come home to a fabulous meal at the end of your day, this slow cooker red beans and rice recipe is ideal for you.
How To Cook Red Beans
Originally, I created this recipe as a no-soak, no pre-cooking required recipe. Meaning that I simply put the red beans in the pot without soaking and cooking the beans first.
I have been making slow cooker red beans for years this way.
However, it has recently come to my attention through news articles and through readers' questions that red beans need to be cooked before putting them in the slow cooker.
Apparently, uncooked red beans contain a toxin called phytohaemagglutinin, which can cause severe GI upset. With normal cooking, this isn’t a problem. The toxin is destroyed after ten minutes of boiling (cooking at 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C). Most stovetop recipes easily eliminate the toxin with their hours of simmering at that temperature.
Truthfully, I’ve made this recipe many times without soaking the beans, and no one has ever gotten sick from it.
The problem is if those beans don’t get cooked for at least 10 minutes at 212 degrees F or hotter, there can be enough of the toxin left to cause illness.
So, here's what I'm suggesting we do...
- Either soak the red beans overnight: Rinse the beans under cool, running water and remove any shriveled beans. Transfer them to a bowl and cover with 2 inches of clean water. Let them sit overnight. In the morning, rinse the beans and continue with this recipe.
- Or, use 1 can of red beans. Just drain the liquid from the can and rinse them before using them. Reduce the cooking time to 2 hours on HIGH or 4 hours on LOW.
- Or, follow this recipe and cook the red beans on the stove. You'll need to add more liquid (broth or water) so that the beans are completely covered in the pot. I would suggest using a medium-sized pot (scroll down to find the stovetop instructions).
The good news is that once you've cooked the beans for at least 10 minutes at 212 degrees F the toxins are destroyed.
As I said, I have never had an issue with getting sick and neither has anyone in my family. But, I don't want it to happen to any of you or to anyone in my family.
This is why I've updated this red beans recipe and going forward I will be pre-soaking and pre-cooking the beans.
Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice
You'll find all the flavors and ingredients you love in traditional red beans and rice in this slow cooker red beans and rice recipe.
In addition to the beans, we've got the "trinity of vegetables" - onions, celery and bell pepper as well as chopped garlic, thick slices of smoked sausage and a healthy dose of creole seasoning.
I used a half of a cup of dry red beans in this recipe and it's the perfect amount for one person.
I just put the pre-soaked, pre-cooked red beans into the slow cooker along with all of the other ingredients and let them all cook together.
In about 4 hours, the red beans are soft, tender and perfectly seasoned.
How To Cook Red Beans On A Stove
As mentioned above, if you would like to cook red beans on the stove, follow these instructions. Use the same amounts of each ingredient as called for in the recipe unless stated otherwise in the instructions below.
- Prep the beans as instructed in the recipe.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the vegetables and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the sausage, beans, and the broth. You might need to add additional broth but do not completely cover the beans.
- Bring to a light boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- When beans are soft, stir well and mash a few with the back of a spoon.
What To Do With Leftover Ingredients
You might like to consider using any ingredients left over from this red beans recipe in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:
- Sausage: Sausage and Peppers Sheet Pan Recipe, Broccolini With Sausage, Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya
- Red beans: Vegetarian Chili, Chili Baked Potato, Minestrone Soup
- Celery: Baked Stuffed Fish, Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup, Tomato Sauce
- Onions: French Onion Soup, Chicken Fajitas, Rice Pilaf
- Bell pepper: Goulash, Crawfish Etouffee, Gumbo
- Creole seasoning: Cajun Shrimp Tacos, Crawfish Pasta, Shrimp Creole
- Hot sauce: Shrimp Creole, Crawfish Beignets, Baked Chicken Wings
- Chicken broth: Chicken Pot Pie, Green Curry, Risotto
What To Serve With Red Beans and Rice
Any of these single serving side dish recipes would go great with a big bowl of red beans and rice:
For this recipe, I use a 1.5-quart capacity slow cooker. For best results, please use a slow cooker of similar size.
For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.
- 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
- ¼ teaspoon hot sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
How To Video
PREPPING THE BEANS
- Rinse and sort beans. Soak in water overnight. (Place beans in a medium-sized bowl or pot, and cover with at least two inches of water.)
- In the morning, drain the soaked beans. Rinse the beans and drain again. Next, put the rinsed beans in a medium-sized pot, and cover with 1-2 inches of water.
- Bring pot of beans to a full boil. Continue boiling for at least 10 or up to 20 minutes.
- After boiling, drain the beans and transfer them to your slow cooker.
SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS
- To the beans, add the sausage, celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, Creole seasoning, hot sauce, thyme and chicken broth to the bowl of a small slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- Cook on high for 4-5 hours, or until kidney beans are soft. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
- Stir in butter and serve over cooked rice (see directions for making a single serving of rice in notes).
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ tablespoon butter
¼ cup white rice
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.