Spicy vegan red beans and rice is a classic budget friendly dish that's so easy to make. It’s a one pan recipe that’s packed full of flavor and it’s hearty enough to satisfy the hungriest person at the table. Serve it with our sautéed Swiss chard or collard greens and our easy vegan cornbread.
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What to Expect
This popular Southern dish is always a hit, specifically in Louisiana and during Mardi Gras.
Traditionally made with andouille sausage and the holy trinity in Cajun cuisine; onion, bell pepper, and celery, this simple combination of ingredients is the base for one of our favorite meals.
Although this is an easy and straightforward recipe, we’re going to share a few tips and tricks with you so that you can make the best red beans and rice, ever!
Here are the topics we’ll go over:
- The Best Vegan Sausage
- How to Make it Meatless
- The Best Rice
- Tips to Make the Best Beans and Rice
- How to Make It
- More Southern Inspired Vegan Recipes You’ll Love
Now that you know what to expect, let’s get cooking!
The Best Vegan Sausage
Classic red beans and rice is made with andouille sausage. It’s a smoked sausage that lends a great flavor to the dish.
Obviously we don’t recommend using meat sausage, and thankfully, there are some fabulous meatless sausage products that mimic the real thing in texture and flavor.
We’re hands down obsessed with Beyond Meat sausage.
We’ve served this to our meat loving friends and they were blown away by how authentic this sausage is.
The Hot Italian is what we recommend for this dish; however, if you’re not into spicy food, you can use the Sweet Italian or the Brat Original.
We are also big fans of Field Roast sausage. Their Italian Sausage works well for this recipe.
Of course, you can go ahead and use your favorite brand of vegan sausage if we haven’t listed it here.
How to Make it Meatless
If you’re not a fan of fake meat, you can certainly leave it out.
Here are a few vegetable alternatives you can replace the sausage with to add more texture.
- Super Firm Tofu
Make sure that you cook the vegetables when you add the celery and bell pepper, so they cook until they’re tender.
The Best Rice
White rice is best for red beans and rice.
You can use long grain, basmati, jasmine, or instant rice.
Long grain white rice and jasmine are similar, yet different.
They’re both long grain, but the jasmine rice is a bit sticky when cooked and is more fragrant than standard white rice.
Basmati is also a long grain rice, and unlike jasmine, it’s a fluffy, drier rice.
Whatever white rice you decide to use, make sure to follow the instructions on the box to ensure that your rice is as good as it can be.
Tips to Make the Best Red Beans and Rice
Rinse your beans. Rinsing the liquid from the beans will remove any slimy texture from the liquid.
Follow the instructions on the package of rice exactly as recommended.
Cook the sausage in the pan first. This will ensure that the sausage gets a crispy crust on each side, and the oils from the sausage will flavor the vegetables.
Cook the onions and bell pepper until the onion is slightly browned and the pepper is fork tender
If you’re not into spicy food, slowly add the spices and taste until it suites your taste. You can add more, but you can’t take it out once it’s there.
Add a little fresh cilantro or parsley to the finished dish for a bright fresh flavor.
How to Make It
Make the rice according to the instructions on the package.
Start by slicing the vegan sausage and frying it in the skillet in a bit of vegetable oil.
Cooking the sausage first will make it nicely browned and crispy on the edges. Additionally, the sausage will release its flavors and help to season the vegetables.
Once the sausage is cooked, remove it from the pan and set aside.
Now it’s time to sauté the onion, green bell pepper, and celery, otherwise known as the holy trinity.
Why is it called that? We don’t know, but if we had to guess, we’d say it’s because of the heavenly aroma it creates.
After cooking the holy trinity for approximately six minutes, stir in the spices and the minced garlic and cook for two minutes, stirring often to prevent the garlic from burning.
Add the sausage back to the pan.
Stir in the tomato paste until it coats the sausage and veggies, then add the vegetable broth, beans, and hot sauce, and bay leaf and stir until fully combined.
Bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for approximately fifteen to twenty minutes, or until the mixture thickens. Stir often to prevent the bottom from scorching.
Nobody likes a scorched bottom. 😉
This is what it will look like after you add the broth.
This is what it should like like once it thickens.
How to Serve
We like to serve this in a shallow bowl. Put a pile of rice on one side and the red beans on the other side. Garnish with some minced flat leaf parsley to give it some color and brightness.
This dish goes great with wilted greens. Chard, collard or mustard greens, even kale or spinach work.
We love it with cornbread, or our homemade vegan biscuits, too!
How to Store
Store it covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and reheat on the stove or in a microwave.
Freeze it in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator and then reheat on the stove or in a microwave.
More Southern Inspired Vegan Recipes You’ll Love
Make our spicy vegan red beans and rice recipe and let us know what you think. We love to hear from you! And, don’t forget to take a picture of your gorgeous creation and tag us @veganosity on Instagram.
And, don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the blog so you never miss a recipe. Scroll below the recipe or in our side bar to become a Veganosity subscriber.
Spicy Vegan Red Beans & Rice
- 4 servings of basmati rice cook as directed on the package.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 14 oz package vegan sausage, thinly sliced (SEE NOTE)
- 1 medium sweet onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper cored and diced
- 3 celery ribs diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (SEE NOTE)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 45 oz red beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups no-chicken stock or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp hot sauce SEE NOTE
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Make the 4 servings of rice according to the instructions on the package and set aside when done.
- In a large skillet, heat the 1 tbsp of oil on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the sausage and spread it out evenly in the pan. Flip them often and cook for approximately 7 minutes, or until they’re nicely browned and crispy on the edges. Remove from the pan and set aside. Leave the oil in the pan.
- Add the onion, green bell pepper and celery.to the pan that you cooked the sausage in and stir often. Cook for approximately 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften and the onions begin to brown. Add the sausage back to the pan.
- Add the garlic, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp cayenne (see note), and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the 3 tbsp of the tomato paste until the sausage and vegetables are coated.
- Stir in the red beans, 3 cups of no-chicken (or vegetable) stock, 1 tsp of hot sauce (see note), and bay leaf and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until it thickens. Stir frequently to prevent scorching on the bottom.
- Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.
- Serve it in a shallow bowl with the rice, and garnish with the parsley.
- We use Beyond Meat Spicy Italian sausage or Field Roast Italian sausage.
- If you’re not a fan of spicy food, we recommend adding a pinch of the cayenne and tasting before adding more. The same goes for the hot sauce. Add slowly until it suits your taste.
- Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stove or in a microwave.