Camellia Brand

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The Camellia Bean Blog

Seasoning Red Beans

Louisiana-style red kidney beans are typically cooked down in water or chicken or vegetable broth with sautéed onions, bell pepper, and celery (also known as “the Holy Trinity”) and garlic.

The cooking liquid is further flavored with herbs and spices that may include any combination of bay leaves, parsley, thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, and cayenne and/or black peppers. Leftover or inexpensive cuts of meat, such as smoked ham, pickled pork, sausage or wild game, are often simmered with the beans to impart specific flavors. “Heat” spices are usually kept relatively tame, allowing the diner to personalize his or her serving to taste with condiments offered at the table.

Once that plate of red beans hits the table, it’s anything goes.

If you put red beans and rice in front of three different people from three different Louisiana families, you’ll see at least three different ways to dress up those beans before they take a bite.

Common tableside additions to the red beans and rice dish include hot pepper sauce, sliced green onions, chow-chow (a mustard and pickle relish), a big dollop of butter, ketchup, mayonnaise, pickled white onions, olive oil, and vinegar.

  • Mellie

    Top off with French’s yellow mustard! Yum!

  • Tanejent

    Liquid Crab Boil…but not too much!

    • Dianne

      Did to much. Was good but only eat a small amount. It was only a tablespoon in 2 packs of beans. Dry jerk seasoning is better. Again not too much. That is a cure for tcommon cold.

  • Cindy Naquin

    A nice fresh piece of salt meat, fresh squeezed garlic, green onions, parsley, and1 large diced yellow onion, don’t forget the big cooking spoon of Mazola Corn Oil for creamy beans! These are the best!! Cooked in a crock pot!!!!

  • Karen

    Chili powder and allspice with a little vinegar in the cooking liquid then topped with chopped onions and jalapenos or pickled white onions. So good!

  • Betty Boop

    Serve with cornbread and collard greens! MmmmnummNummy!

  • Douglas P. Haughton La.

    Trappy’s these Bull louisiana hot sauce , and sweet yellow cornbread.

  • Steve Norman

    worcestershire added early, french bread with a hard crust and smoked sausage.

  • Melissa

    top mine with chopped green onions…..yum!!

  • Nancy Foster

    Onions, garlic, bacon and/or ham hock, bay leaves and a couple of dried ancho peppers in the beans and my Mama’s sweet pepper/onion relish on top

  • Nadiam57

    Serve with chow chow and buttermilk white cornbread.

    • Melody Dumplin

      I’ve never heard of Chow Chow. What part of Louisiana does that come from?

      • Nadiam57

        I know its a southern thing…its a relish made with cabbage and green tomatoes…goes great with beans and rice.

  • missbike

    You can tell where people went to high school by what they put on their red beans!

    Bay leaf. That pot should spill a lovely perfume into the air when you finally lift the lid. All that hot sauce and stuff, that goes on the table so nobody fights over how to cook the beans.

  • Melody Dumplin

    Dill Pickle juice. So good!

    • Nadiam57

      I know a lot of people use that chili pepper vinegar…will have to try it.

  • Joy

    I am vegetarian from New Orleans….LOL….yes, for realz….I was wondering if anyone could suggest a way to get the smoky taste WITHOUT adding any meat….?

    • Melinda

      Liquid Smoke

    • Kell Brigan

      Ditto on the liquid smoke — a little goes a long way. Start with a teaspoon for each cup of beans. Smoked paprika is good, also — start with a half teaspoon and see what you think. Also, I make a fake bacon out of buckwheat and adzuki beans (Sounds crazy, but it’s incredible), and will sometimes throw a strip in with the beans while they’re cooking, a la a smoked meat. It’s all good. Here’s the fake bacon recipe: http://www.ordinaryvegetarian.com/2010/11/vegan-mofo-7-amazing-homemade-vegan.html