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What’s the Secret to Your Red Beans?

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There are as many ways to make your #RedBeansDoneRight as there are beans in a bag, but the one thing they all have in common is a passion for red beans as big as ours.

Here are some of the amazing ways you suggested for making a perfect pot of beans. If you don’t see your secret below – tell us in the comments section!

“The roux.”
Kristin W.

“The garlic n smoked sausage”
Monteria I.

“Smoked ham hocks and sausage, bell peppers, onions and garlic! Oh yeah!”
Aimee M.

“Lots of love, and killer cornbread on the side!!!”
Bobby S.

“Chicken broth, bacon grease, and ham hocks.”
Heather V.

“Pork neck.”
Victor F.

“Bacon grease. Gotta have it!”
Claire S.

“Allspice.”
Angelle G.

“Crab boil!”
Jamie A.

“Ketchup.”
Ellen H.

“I learned from Frank Davis to use beef and chicken broth for the water.”
Benny’n’Angi J.

“The andouille from Cajun Specialty Meats Pensacola, FL.”
Karen C.

“Smoked bacon, smoked turkey neck, and the grease from the bacon, celery”
Theresa G.

“My secret is cooking with love.”
Tiko A.

“LOTS of onions and ummmm good!”
Chris H.

“Butter.”
Charlene G.

“A Bud Light.”
Benny R.

“A lil brown sugar – not much though. Between a teaspoon & a tablespoon”
Susie M.

“A can of cream of mushroom soup, and a can of rotel tomatoes.”
Theresa S.

“The trinity, smoked sausage, liquid smoked and garlic.”
Chastity M.

“Gotta have pickle meat and beef broth.”
Judy C.

“Gotta have the trinity plus garlic, bay leaves, Tony’s and hot sauce!!!”
Stephen M., Jr

“Tasso.”
Jennifer M.

“Smoked ham shank.”
Anne P.

“Smoke ham shank, mesh some of the beans on the side of the pot. I use a little file and a little butter. Take frozen bacon and a sharp knife and cut in thin half inch slices cuts perfect when frozen.”
Harvey H.

“Cajun Power Garlic Sauce, Tony Chachere’s, smoked ham shanks, braised ham hocks and lots of bay leaves.”
Gretchen W.

“Andouille and slap-ya-mama seasoning…”
Ron S.

“The secret is to only use Camellia Red Beans! No other bean cooks to be as creamy as y’all’s do! The BEST!”
Adele S.

“Bay leaves is a must have ingredient!”
Troy R.

“Boil the smoked ham hocks first to make a smokey broth and use that broth for the beans.”
Southern L.

“Camellias..lots of onions..bay leaf..fry ground green onion sausage Patton’s Sausage and Smoked Cajun Sausage drain S&P cook slowly mash 2 cups creamy.”
Bonnie M.

“The only kind of bean I cook!”
Angela M.

“Bay leaves.”
Robert M.

“Soak beans overnight in water and vinegar night before cooking.. Always use slow cooker and chicken broth.”
Alison S.

“Some good smoked green onion sausages, smoked Tasso, smoked ham hocks, onion, Bell pepper, Tony’s seasoning. Slow cook for hours!!!!! I forgot.. GARLIC!!!”
Tonya M.

“Bell peppers of course…”
Vanessa W.

“I love pickled onions in my red beans!”
John F.

“Manda’s hot sausage, trinity, garlic, 1Tbs Tony’s, 2 Tbs Worcestershire, 1/2 tsp thyme, 3 bay leaves, Crystal hot, in a crock pot, sometimes tasso too.”
Rhys M.

“Hot Rod’s Creole Seasonings and Sauces and butter with plenty of sausage and ham.”
Rodney B.

“Soaking them overnight, trinity, tabasco.”
Lee B.

“Fresh herbs, celery, shallots, onions, parsley, bay leaf, garlic, pickle meat, smoke sausage and seasoning salt.”
Bonnie W.

“Garlic and butter.”
Patrick S.

“Soaking beans and little bit of garlic with onion.”
Beth Ann W.

“Bacon grease.”
Kuris N.

“A ham hock and slow cooking,seasoning,hot and smoke sausage pig tails and tips y’all don’t know.”
Charleyne L

“Zatarain’s Red Bean Seasoning Mix….it’s AWESOME….taste like Popeye’s red beans… but better because they’re full of delicious sausage!”
Lisa D.

“Rouses Andouille.”
Dawn O.

“Going back to the way my Mom cooked red beans, soaking them overnight, saute’ onion, celery, garlic in bacon fat, add pickle meat, drain beans put in pot, add water, season with salt & cayenne pepper, add bay leaf and let cook until creamy.
She didn’t add all that stuff you buy today and the were delicious!”
Rose Anne L.

“Bacon grease-sauté onions-pickled pork, Tasso, little roux, ham base, low and slow till they cream, green onion tops at the end!”
Jimmy Y.

“Smoked meats.”
Shannon M.

“Pickled chayote squash better none as mirlitons.”
Eddie C.

“Cooked some of these yesterday. Used sausage.”
Debra R.

“Andouille:)”
Marquand P.

“Zatarains crab boil.”
Lisa C.

“Just Tony’s.”
Lis B.

“Chicken stock. Cumin.”
Debra E.

“I soak the beans a few hours, trinity of course, garlic, bay leaves, tonys, rotel. My secret is cream of celery soup. Andouille.”
Kirk P.

“Zatarains Liquid Crab Boil.”
Roma E.

“Every Monday! Try with Patton’s Hot Sausage from Louisiana.”
Deirdre S.

“Coffee!”
Karen B.

“Bell pepper, garlic, onion, bay leaf, ham, skinless smoked sausage and pigtail, cayenne, Tony’s …. New Orleans style”
Linda G.

“Okra at the end.”
Rene T.

“Since I can’t eat pork anymore, I gotta use some liquid hickory smoke with my beef sausage and fresh bay leaves!”
Karen H.

“Time. Not thyme.”
Mitchell P.

“A shot of Zatarain’s liquid crab boil and a double shot of liquid smoke with a lot of crushed garlic and fresh parsley finely chopped.”
Gary C.

“Bay leaf, a little dried basil and a little dried rosemary. Also, my grandma used to serve her pickled mirlitons alongside the beans. Delicious!”
Gail S.

“Pickled pig tails and cooking oil @ the end.”
Teara M.

“Butter, chicken cubes and pickled tips… and garlic.”
Dina G.

“Smoked hot sauce.”
Mike S.

“Sazon”
Aracely L.

“Andouille and smoked Tasso and or ham. In the slow cooker. All day.”
Try H.

“Andouille, diced pickled pork, garlic, Tony’s, and a really good blend of other seasonings.”
Liz X.

“Cumin.”
Donna W.

“Sazon, Adobo, sofrito.”
Corey S.

“BACON!!!! Tbsp cornstarch and tbsp cold water at the end to thicken.”
Nicole N.

“Curry and lots of Splenda near the end.”
Marc L.

“Soak them overnight.”
John G.

“Liquid crab boil.”
Randy J.

“A Chisesi ham hock and a healthy dose of Tabasco.”
Randy S.

“A ham hock from heavenly ham or one of those ham stores
and half stick butter per pound!”
Maria C.

“This sounds disgusting (and perhaps it is) but some add ground up hot dogs in their beans. Popeye’s beans are said to have this “secret ingredient”…”
Michael R.

“A little bit of baking soda when soaking the beans.”
Rene E.

“Thyme, fresh cut bay leaves, 1 tsb catsup, tonys, one clove of garlic, fresh green onions.”
Sonny C.

“A nice fresh piece of salt meat, fresh squeezed garlic, green onions, parsley, and 1 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!!!!”
Cindy N.

“A stick or 2 of butter.”
Michael B.

“Bay Leaves!”
Debbie G.

“Add about a tablespoon of butter just before serving…..used 1lb.bag.”
Ruth H.

“Soak overnight. Lots of garlic! Onions celery parsley chives. Pickle meat hot sausage and a pinch of baking soda to help w digestion. Gotta say everyone loves my red beans! And of course salt to taste!”
Cheryl Q.

“Sometimes cook with pickle and salt meat or mild smoke sausage ,also some people use bacon.”
Roxanne F.

“Pickled meat.”
Jennifer M.

“Andouille of course!!”
Mary Lynne F.

“Bacon…. Yum!”
Patty H.

“Salt pork!”
Wade L.

“Tasso”
Ethel M.

“Beef sausage and ham hocks.”
Daphane M.

“Always cook them in the pressure cooker makes them very creamy. All fresh seasonings, plenty of garlic. Add a little pickle juice to each serving! Delish! Judy from the 9th!!!!”
Judy B.

“Don’t soak them, rinse and boil them hard adding water as needed, makes thick intense gravy.”
Scott I.

“Pickled pig tails, pickled rib tips, D&D smoked sausage.”
Kia M.

“Mexene chili powder.”
Loria W.

“The secret to creamy beans is to let them boil for five minutes with fresh green seasoning, garlic and a couple of bay leaves.”
Darlene W.

“A little cinnamon.”
Kenneth M.

“Soak overnight. Salt, garlic and a great big smoked ham hock. Bring to good boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 2 hours or until beans or soft texture.”
Kathy F.

“For creamy beans: wash beans and place in HEAVY-bottomed cooking pot. Pour a kettle of boiling water over washed beans, add a pinch of baking soda and cover tightly, and allow to sit overnight.”
Dez C.

“I use Camillas, my secret starts with seasoning my sausage n fresh seasoning n frying them before I put them in my beans, grease n all. Of course I use bay leaves n celery like most folk.”
Shavonda H.

“Applewood bacon fat!!!”
Arianna P.

“Fresh chopped garlic in the last 10 min of cooking.”
Reed C.

“35 minutes in the pressure cooker…ham shanks, hot sausage, bell pepper and lots of onions=BAM!”
Gina M.

“Pickled meat, garlic, bay leaf ,onions and let them simmer on top of the stove! Serve over rice with a little hot sauce, fried Chicken, and fresh French bread!”
Daphine J.

“I ALWAYS add about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of liquid crab boil in my red beans depending on the size of the pot. And a few drops of liquid smoke…”
Dyra H.

“Always use ham bone with bone exposed (or saw the bones)-read-a long time ago- a recipe from Leah Chase that said the marrow makes the beans creamy-it works. Plus lots a garlic, onions, little celery, bay leaf or 2 pinches of sage, thyme etc. Add some smoked sausage near the end.”
Carol Jo B.

“I also use crawfish and alligator sausage in mine! Yummy”
Martha F.

“Hot pepper pickled Pickled Onion and Ketchup!”
Charles s.

“U want creamy beans? Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil at the end. Works everytime.”
Shana T.

“Soaked in beer with bay leaves unattended.”
Tearyeyes L.

“I  use bacon grease to help make my beans creamy. I also use bay leaves off of a bush that has been handed down 4 generations! So yummy!”
Rhonda K.

“Plenty of fresh thyme and smoked Tasso.”
Fiera T.

“Soak and rinse them. Put them in the crock pot with some onions, garlic, celery, boiled pickled meat, kitchen bouquet and brown gravy powder.”
Adia H.

“My homemade smoked sausage.”
Brandon F.

“Teaspoon of liquid crab boil, smoked sausage or pickle meat. (Not salt meat). onions finely chopped.”
Jim L.

“I like the Zatarains red bean seasoning but also add lots of onion, garlic and minced celery. For meat I added both beef sausage and a chunk of ham.. Soo good!!!”
Miyoshi M.

“Liquid crab boil.”
Brian M.

“Crumbling cornbread.”
Diana L.

“I use hickory smoked bacon! The grease from the bacon will make the beans creamy and flavorful!! But I can’t forget the smoke sausage, pickled meat and ham hocks!!!”
David H.

“sour cream, tasso, white onion after it’s done cookin!”
Johnny G.

“The woman who taught me to make red beans when I lived in New Orleans added a whole stick of butter…delish!”
Karen K.

“1 tbsp oregano at the beginning.”
Peter T.

“One of the things is I drain my rice water into my beans to help thicken in the end.”
Steve P.

“Syrup!”
LeAnna T.

“The best beans I make all year are always the batch I do after Easter when I’ve got that big beautiful leftover ham bone to throw in to the mix.”
Melissa S.

“Camellia beans only. Slow and long cooking, lots of onion, green onion, a little parsley and celery.”
Sherry B.

“bacon, onions”
Karen B.

“Mayonnaise is delicious in red beans!”
Gary A.

“A stick of butter….and making a roux first.”
James S.

“Zatarain’s red bean seasoning, Cajun smoked sausage or andouille and a secret I can’t tell nobody.”
LaTaiya B.

“Good andouille!!!!!”
Mandy J.

“Some good smoke meat and mother love opelousas in the house you come back for more.”
Ivory C.

“lots of garlic, onion, bell pepper and celery”
Terry S.

“Coffee.”
Georgia C.

“Always soak my dry beans overnight shortens the cooking time. Leave on a medium. Fire covered until they pop. Once they have opened up I throw in my seasoning and salt meat and turn up the fire. I like pickled tips in my beans.”
Bridget C.

“Chicken stock instead of water.”
Gwendolyn B.

“My mom put some chili powder in hers.”
Carmen W.

“Pickle meat and smoked ham hocks and smoke sausage.”
Pamela S.

“All of the above plus ham and cajun sausage lots of garlic,celery, a large onion and gumbo file'”
Lynn D.

“Simplicity. Soak overnight. Rinse. Ham bone & some ham seasoning…. Not a fan of tasso & andouille in beans. Add garlic, onion, bell pepper, bay leaf. Cook til soft, salt & pepper.”
Susan J.

“saute onions, garlic in canola oil, stir in some tony’s roux mix, salt & pepper & a can of diced rotel tomatoes, then add the beans (that were soaked overnight) – add water & cook for a LONG time”
Susan P.

“ Best red beans are ragin cajun red beans with seasoning packette. Add your meat n water. Don’t have to worry about over salting.”
Chris R.

“I put a couple of drops of liquid crab boil in mine”
Ann M.

“Liquid smoke!”
Deborah C.

“creole explosion seasoning”
Jada D.

“Lots of chili powder!!!! It adds flavor but not a lot of heat.”
Julie P.

“Capt’n Jack’s creole spice seasoning and fresh bay leaves Gretna Farmers Market Sat. Am 8:30 to 12:30”
Janis O.

“Tasso.”
Linda M.

“Soak overnight…pickle pork meat…zatarain’s red bean seasoning packet and chicken stock instead of water…Yum!”
Brandi B.

“1/2 cup of bacon grease and 2 ham hocks. Sounds gross, tastes awesome!”
Dawn W.

“ham hocks (smoked)”
Alice W.

“Spicy Cajun Conecuh sausage. Good stuff.”
Johnny C.

“Soak overnight w/ pinch of baking soda! When browning seasoning meats and holy trinity add drained beans to skillet with the above to let the steam expand them further; then I put them in slow cooker with 2 quarts of chicken broth.”
Jimmy C.

“Pickle meat”
Linda C.

“Liquid smoke”
Lacey G.

“Bay leaf a bit of File’ “
Bentley K.

“I use the trinity, salt meat, smoked or regular turkey necks, Tony’s, and that’s about all. I will try the crab boil.”
Saja M.

“Use Smoked Ham Hocks as the Meat, saute onions, garlic, celery in butter and add once the beans start creaming. Add chopped green pepper in at the end – Delicious!!!”
Julie H.

“Add savory to your list of seasonings!”
Ernest A.

“I make a roux!”
Lynda B.

“Soak beans into 12 hour sessions. The first one just water; the second with salt, bell pepper, shot of cayenne & some Lea & Perrins. After 2nd session pour in pot; get beans to a boil, add other seasoning, then slow cook until beans are really soft. Remove a cup of just beans & crush real fine, return to beans & stir to make a nice gravy; let cool.”
Bill R.

“Liquid crab boil”
April K.

“Lard”
Debbie L.

“Make them the day before you want to eat them”
Dana N.

“A teaspoon of bacon grease.”
Connie W.

“little liquid smoke…”
Sue H.

“Rotel hot”
Johnna B.

“Anyone put a little vinegar on top?”
Pam V.

“Zummo Sausage and TexJoy Seasonings!”
Kimberly M.

“Pressure cooking. The creamiest beans ever in 30 minutes.”
Pat A.

“The secret is to soak the night before. Pour that water off. Then cook slow slow and they will be DELISH.”
Chyra D.

“Bay leaves & bacon grease”
Shelita H.

“PICKEL MEAT!”
Alex H.

“Andouille sausage, garlic, Tony’s, onions and mash some of dem beans to thicken it up. Slow cook”
John M.

“Cilantro and celery salt”
Farrah K.

“I put onion, little garlic, celery, bell pepper, bay leaves, chili powder, Tony’s, bacon grease, salted pork. Cook about two and half hours.”
Nancy L.

“A can of Rotels…”
Lily M.

“Smoked pork neck and bacon grease.”
Shannon G.

“has to be Camelia, and REAL ham”
Priscilla C.

“crab “berl”
Lou Ann S.

“Smoked ham hocks”
John H.

“Pickled meat and Double D Smoked Sausage!”
HaroldBecky M.

“It really brings out all of the flavor of the beans”
Donna O.

“Slow cook them overnight and all the next day. Onion, peppers and celery. Tony’s. Perfection!”
Tisha H.

“Slow and low, Manda smoke sausage, picked tips, onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, bay leaf, Tony Chachere , fresh cracked black pepper”
Morris C.

“Tasso, smoked green onion sausage, onions, little bell pepper, garlic. Chicken broth. Cook on high then turn down. I cook all day. Thick and creamy.”
Janet B.

“Camilla beans cooked in onions, bell peppers, garlic, celery and sausage. Saute everything add water to cover put in 350 degree oven. Cook an hour checking half way to make sure of liquid”
Ruby L.

“Manda Ham Cubes , Bacon , Andouille Sausage, Creole Cut Up Seasoning, Basil, Oregano, and Tony Chachere’s”
Rene R.

“Bay leaves and a few drops of Zatarain’s liquid crab boil!”
Ron E.

“A sprinkle of ground cloves and a dab of tomato paste.”
Kathryn W.

“after the beans are done take a cup out and mush and put them back”
Amy M.

“OH YES,,, GOTTA HAVE BELL PEPPER, CELERY, HOT SAUSAGE, AND OF COURSE 3 YELLOW ONIONS, CUT UP LARGE, SERVED WITH HOT GERMAN POTATO SALAD,, WITH CORN BREAD,,, AND OF COURSE—- LOUISIANA HOT SAUSAGE,,,, ENJOY”
Mark B.

“Camellia beans and Slap ya Mamma”
Doriegh S.

“electric pressure cooker…”
Ellen T.

“Richards turkey tasso,and of course onions,bell pepper,celery,and garlic salt and zatarain’s red pepper always bring to a boil, sit an hour pour off first water, brown turkey tasso and onions,etc.add to fresh pot cook about 1 and half hour, add salt at the end the tasso is salty”
Edie H.

“Garlic, a bay leaf, one or two chicken bullion cubes (I know, right?), and a ton of fresh ground black pepper.”
Dean M.

“Trinity, bay leaf, ham hocks, smoked sausage, low sodium chicken stock,Cajun spice blend (Beazell’s) and dried or fresh dill.”
Linda F.

“I put bacon in my red beans. They come out so flavorful and creamy!”
Peggy C.

“Pressure pot bay leaves onions Bp seasonings at the end a lil cooking oil they’re the best!!!!!”
Tammy B.

“Little bit liquid smoke n Beazells”
Michael H.

“Bay leaves”
Darren L.

“onion, garlic, flat leaf parsley, celery, bay leaf, tony chachere’s, woochushire (can’t spell it) sauce, salt pepper”
Rebecca B.

“For every pound of red beans we add a small can of tomato sauce. My husband’s grandmother’s recipe. Makes the “gravy” awesome. You don’t even taste the tomatoes.”
Mona D.

“Onion, garlic, bell peppers, bay leaf, a little Brown sugar, Worcester sauce, a little tomato sauce, shortening, pork jowls, ham hock, bacon fat, smoke sausage, towards the end, a sprinkling of chopped wild green onions and a pound of fresh shrimp.”
Melernea N.

“ Chitlin puree”
Marc G.

“I’ve been cooking Camellia red beans for 55 years. I use onion, garlic, bacon fat and salt meat. If I can’t get salt meat, I use pickle meat. I taste the beans before I add salt.”
Eunette B.

“Should put a tablespoon of Mint Flakes per pound of beans too!”
Kevin W.

Categories: Let's Cook! Bean Love
  • Argol

    Using roux in beans is unnecessary just plain wrong: cooked long enough, the beans go creamy and thick.

    • Wanda Blubyu

      ikr…..roux is for gumbo and gravy!

  • Bruce B

    Use nothing but Sewerage & Water Board tap water, can’t be duplicated anyplace else!

  • Bmed504

    Liquid crab boil (about a capful per pound of beans) too much and they’re too HOT, bay leaf, the TRINITY, garlic, Smokey Hollow sausage, Tony’s. I also like pickled meats.

  • Michael Duvic

    If using meat, brown it in olive oil after patting it with your favourite seasonings. I use a Croatian brand called Vegeta. It has salt, so adding extra salt is crazy.

    Afterwards, use some of the oil (if there’s a huge amount of fat rendered) and all off the drippings to sauté all the veggies. Use illegal amounts of garlic and bell peppers, in addition to onions and celery. Caramelise them, then add roux! Hear me out… ROUX IS OUTSTANDING in red beans and rice.

    Also, a healthy (big) dose of tomato paste.

    Add beans and go!

    Simmer for at least 3-4 hours

  • Milyorkee

    A pinch of smoked brown sugar and a sprig of fresh thyme.