This easy Red Beans and Rice recipe is made simple and flavor-packed with Mesa de Vida Creole cooking sauce!

Whether you’re cooking up a pot of Creole Red Beans and Rice for your Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday celebration, or just want to enjoy this New Orleans classic recipe and want it to be as simple and easy as can be, without sacrificing flavor or health, then our delicious Red Beans and Rice recipe is perfect for you!

Mesa de Vida Creole cooking and seasoning sauce makes this recipe as simple as pour, stir, simmer, and enjoy. Unlike many other Creole seasonings, our healthy blend is extremely low in sodium, has no sugar, and is made with vegetables, fruit, spices and herbs. And, when you choose Mesa de Vida as your go-to Creole seasoning blend, you get a multi-use jar of goodness that will bring life to endless meals at your table! It can be used as a seasoning by the spoonful, replacing salty, sugary, chemical-laden blends that are often on the market, or as in this case, as the base for transforming simple ingredients into amazing meals.

This is a Creole Red Beans and Rice Recipe that is lower in sodium, easy to make, and packed with flavor! 

No need to spend forever chopping the trinity of Creole and Cajun cooking – celery, onion, bell pepper – as well as garlic and parsley, or going out to buy a pantry full of spices and herbs. When you use our thick, rich flavor base, everything you need for authentic Creole cooking is already prepared and ready for you. You get amazing Creole flavor in less time, with fewer ingredients.

Whether you’re making authentic Creole and Louisiana recipes such as our gluten-free Red Beans and Rice, Jambalaya (our version includes a grain-free Whole30-friendly recipe for those that don’t eat rice, too), Gumbo, Shrimp Etouffee and more, or just bringing the inspiration from this vibrant cuisine to anything you cook with a dollop or two of our healthy cooking sauce, having Mesa de Vida in your pantry means you’re minutes away from simple, exciting meals that bring life to your table!

Can I make Red Beans and Rice in the slow cooker? What kind of meat do I use for Red Beans and Rice? Can I make Red Beans and Rice Vegetarian? Can I use canned beans for Red Beans and Rice? 

Here are answers to common questions, and some recipe tips. Remember: Red Beans and Rice is a simple recipe. You can make it a quick-fix meal in 20 minutes by using canned beans and simmering at a higher heat, or you can let it go low and slow all day long, just getting creamier and more intensely flavored as it continues to cook. This is also one of those recipes, like chili, that taste even better the next day, and freezes well, too.

  • Red Beans and Rice can absolutely be made in the slow cooker! Pour everything into your slow cooker or Crockpot, and let it cook on for at least 3 hours, and up to 8 hours.
  • For meat, use a smoked pork hock, Andouille or other smoked sausage, or just use bacon if that is all you have on hand! I don’t recommend using the thin-sliced, traditional American breakfast bacon. Use a meatier, thicker bacon such as Hemplers, or a piece of smoked ham on the bone for better flavor and texture. You can also leave the meat out to make Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice.
  • You can use canned red beans when making Red Beans and Rice. It allows you to make this recipe in a shorter amount of time, but I highly recommend using uncooked beans that have been soaked overnight for the best flavor and results.
  • This recipe for Red Beans and Rice created creamy, smooth, rich-tasting cooked red beans that were absolutely perfect. If you find that your red beans are a bit thinner than you prefer (all beans, stoves and slow cookers can produce different results) you can thicken it up by removing some of the beans, mashing them, then returning them to the pot. Increase the temperature to a high simmer, and reduce to your liking.

I hope you love this healthy and simple Red Beans and Rice recipe, and I can’t wait to hear how you enjoyed it! Make sure you buy stock up on Mesa de Vida Creole cooking sauce so you can make amazing meals every night of the week!

Here is a photo from another time I made this Creole Red Beans recipe. This time I added several handfuls of chopped kale as everything cooked, and served it up with sourdough bread. Delicious!

Red Beans and Rice Recipe

Servings 6


  • 2 tsp healthy oil/fat of your choice
  • 1/2-1 lb meat of your choice meaty, smoked bacon (not traditional thin strip bacon), sliced Andouille or other smoked sausage, smoked pork hock all work great! Leave out if you'd like to keep this a vegetarian recipe.
  • 1 lb red beans about 4 cups. Use uncooked beans that have been soaked overnight, or cooked canned beans that have been rinsed and drained.
  • 1 jar Mesa de Vida Creole Healthy Cooking & Seasoning Sauce
  • 4-6 cups low-sodium, high-quality or homemade broth
  • 1 Tb apple cider vinegar optional
  • salt and hot sauce to taste
  • Hot cooked rice for serving


  • Heat a large, heavy-bottom pot over medium heat, when hot add oil, swirl to coat.
  • Add the meat of your choice. If using thick smoked bacon pieces, cook until just crispy before proceeding. If using pre-cooked sausage, or smoked pork hock, add to the pot and immediately add the remaining ingredients.
  • Pour in the Mesa de Vida Creole healthy cooking and seasoning sauce. Stir, cooking for about 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the apple cider vinegar, broth, and beans. If you're using uncooked, soaked beans use 6 cups of water, if using canned beans use 4 cups of water.
  • Add salt to taste. Mesa de Vida sauces are very low in sodium, so you add the salt to your own preference. (If using smoked meats I recommend not adding salt at this point, as the meat is likely to be fairly salty.)
  • Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat accordingly: If you're making this with uncooked, soaked beans cover and cook on low, at a gentle bubble, for at least 1 hour, and up to 6 hours. If you're making this with cooked, canned beans cook on medium low, and do not cover. Cook for 30-45 minutes. If you'd like to continue cooking at that point, cover and lower the heat to low. Cook the Creole Red Beans to the desired consistency you like. If you would like them to get creamier and softer, you can leave this on to cook on low all day!
  • When the beans are at the consistency you desire, taste for seasoning, add a bit of salt at a time until you reach the desired saltiness. Serve with hot rice and hot sauce to taste.
  • Enjoy!


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