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Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice 4

3-4 servings
Prep info
6 hr soak + 10 min prep + 10 min boil + 3.5 hr simmer + 15 min prep & cook + 15 min simmer
Prep time
Not set
Cook time
10 hours, 20 minutes
Time required
10 hours, 20 minutes
Oven preheat
Mains - Misc
Cajun vegetarian


  • 1/2 lb dried red beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 L water
  • 2 t oil
  • 2 whole peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 t Henderson's relish (or vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, or soy sauce)
  • Vegetables, etc:
  • 1 T butter
  • 2/3 c chopped green bell pepper (100g)
  • 2/3 c diced onion (100g)
  • 2/3 c chopped celery (70g)
  • 1 t minced garlic (about 1 clove)
  • 1 t salt (6g)
  • 2 t oregano (2g)
  • 2 t black pepper (4.5g)
  • 2 t sugar (8g)
  • 2 t dried basil (1.5g)
  • 1 t dried thyme (1g)
  • 1.5 T red wine vinegar
  • cooked white rice, for serving


Rinse and pick over beans, then soak for at least 6 hours or overnight.  Drain the beans, and dump the soaking water down the drain.


Add fresh water (1 Liter / 1 quart) to beans in large soup pot.  Bring to a rolling boil, and let them boil for at least ten minutes.*  Add oil, whole garlic cloves, bay leaf, and Henderson's relish.  Reduce heat to low and simmer.  Continue cooking, uncovered, over low heat until beans are soft and mixture is creamy, about 3 ½ hours.  Stir occasionally. 


Towards end of this cooking time, melt 1 T butter in a skillet.  Add all remaining ingredients except rice and vinegar (leave beans in their pot); saute until vegetables are soft.  Add to beans with vinegar and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat.


Meanwhile, cook the rice.  Serve bean mixture over rice.


* IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO BOIL THE BEANS FOR AT LEAST TEN FULL MINUTES.  Red kidney beans contain a toxin, Phytohaemagglutnin (Kidney Bean Lectin), in high enough concentrations that it can cause severe gastric upset if the beans are not treated properly.  See here:

SJ Note 12 Aug 2009: This is an amalgamation of two recipes: a traditional slow one and a fast one, designed to be used with canned beans (linked in the source field).  The fast one is nice when you're in a hurry, but I prefer the creaminess of the slow-cooked beans.  But, I like the not-totally-mushness of the vegetables in the faster recipe.  So, I think I've got the best of both worlds here.  It was very yummy, and most of it is gone!

SJ Note 12 Feb 2013: We've had this many times; it is our favorite red beans and rice recipe.  I forgot to soak the beans last night, so I tried just cooking them longer today, and it worked well!  So, a note for the future - what I did: I boiled the beans for 10 minutes, then discarded that water; I put the beans back in the pot with 1.5L water and simmered with the bacon, garlic, bay leaf, and Worcestershire sauce until the beans were soft and creamy.  I forgot to leave it uncovered for part of that, though, so I reckon you could get by with less time (and possibly less water - perhaps 1.25L - I had much reducing to do).

SJ Note 9 Jan 2014: I made this vegetarian version a couple of days ago, and it came out really well.  Not too surprising: wasn't much adapting to do.  Perserving it here for future reference.