Vegetarianized Recipe: New Orleans Red Beans and Rice


We wandered into a bar in New Orleans last Monday night that offered free Red Beans and Rice to locals. At less than $2 per serving, it truly is a poor man’s complete meal—packed with fiber and protein—but also has some modern health benefits—low saturated fat and no cholesterol. I decided to recreate it at home with faux sausage, and boosted the flavor with lots of herbs and spices. To help the mock meat, I used smoked paprika instead of mild.

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Servings: 6
Time: 15 minutes active; about 75 minutes total

1 1/3 cups long grain brown rice
2 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 (3 ounces each) faux sausage; I used Lightlife Chorizo
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 celery, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon thyme, garlic powder and smoked paprika, each
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, chili powder and dried oregano, each
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, marjoram and salt, each
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 (15 ounce) cans of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1. In a medium pot over medium heat, add rice and toast 5 minutes. Add water and bring to boil, then cover, reduce heat and cook for 30-45 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Meanwhile in a large pot, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage, onion, pepper and celery. Sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add bay leaves, all the herbs and spices and garlic cloves. Cook 1 minute, then add beans and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and cook 60 minutes. In the last 15 minutes, remove lid slightly to boil off some of the liquid.

3. Divide rice among 6 bowls and spoon hot red beans over top.

Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog,, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all, tasty lifestyle.