Aunt Lizzie's Cajun Red Beans and Rice Recipe - Authentic American Cuisine

Aunt Lizzie’s Cajun Red Beans and Rice

Aunt Lizzie's Cajun Red Beans and Rice Recipe - Authentic American Cuisine
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 4 hours | Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes | Servings: 4


Aunt Lizzie’s Cajun Red Beans and Rice
Aunt Lizzie’s Cajun Red Beans and Rice

Aunt Lizzie's Cajun Red Beans and Rice is a heartwarming dish that brings the vibrant flavors of Louisiana right to your kitchen. This recipe is a testament to the rich culinary tradition of the Cajun people, known for their unique blend of spices, hearty ingredients, and soulful cooking methods. Whether you're a seasoned cook or a beginner, this dish promises to deliver a delicious and comforting meal that will be remembered by all who taste it.


The origins of Cajun Red Beans and Rice trace back to the early 18th century in Louisiana, where it was considered a staple among the Creole and Cajun populations. Traditionally, this dish was prepared on Mondays using leftover pork bones from Sunday's dinner, simmered with red beans, spices, and vegetables, then served over rice. Over time, it has evolved into a beloved classic, enjoyed by many for its simplicity, flavor, and ability to bring people together.


How to prepare

  1. Rinse the beans and drain them well. Cook them in 5 cups of water for 1 hour along with the bay leaves.
  2. Add the onion, thyme, garlic, parsley, green pepper, and salt to the pot.
  3. Simmer the mixture over medium heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Pour in the wine and continue simmering for another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the bay leaves.
  6. Serve the dish over hot rice, garnished with scallions.


  • Consider adding smoked sausage or shrimp for a non-vegetarian version. You can also experiment with different types of beans or spices to customize the dish to your taste.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Cajun Red Beans and Rice turns out perfectly, consider the following tips:

- Soak the beans overnight to reduce cooking time and enhance their texture.

- Use a heavy-bottomed pot to prevent the beans from sticking and burning.

- Cook the vegetables until they are soft and translucent to release their full flavor.

- Adjust the seasoning as you go, keeping in mind that the flavors will intensify as the dish simmers.

- Serve the dish hot, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this dish hot, garnished with chopped scallions for a pop of color and freshness. It pairs well with a side of cornbread or a crisp green salad for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

The key to this recipe is the slow simmering of the beans, which allows the flavors to develop fully. Sautéing the vegetables before adding them to the beans also enhances the overall taste of the dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have red wine, you can substitute it with vegetable broth or water with a splash of vinegar. For a different flavor profile, try using black beans instead of red.

Make Ahead Tips

This dish can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Simply reheat on the stove or in the microwave when ready to serve.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the beans and rice in a deep bowl, garnished with scallions and a sprig of fresh thyme. A colorful side salad or vegetable dish can add visual appeal and balance to the meal.

Pairing Recommendations

Aunt Lizzie's Cajun Red Beans and Rice pairs beautifully with a light, crisp beer or a glass of dry white wine. For a non-alcoholic option, try iced tea with a squeeze of lemon.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply warm the dish over medium heat on the stove, adding a little water or broth if necessary to prevent sticking.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of this dish contains approximately 300-400 calories, making it a moderate option for those monitoring their calorie intake. The exact number will depend on the serving size and any additional ingredients or sides.


A serving of Aunt Lizzie's Cajun Red Beans and Rice provides a good source of carbohydrates, primarily from the beans and rice. Carbohydrates are essential for energy, and this dish offers a balanced amount, making it a satisfying meal that can fuel your day.


This recipe is low in fats, with minimal amounts coming from the vegetables and a trace from the red wine. It's a heart-healthy option that fits well into a balanced diet.


Red beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein, making this dish a fantastic option for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. The protein content helps make the meal filling and nutritious.

Vitamins and minerals

Aunt Lizzie's Cajun Red Beans and Rice is rich in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C from the bell peppers, iron and magnesium from the beans, and various B vitamins from the rice. These nutrients contribute to overall health and well-being.


This recipe is free from common allergens such as nuts, dairy, and gluten, making it suitable for individuals with these sensitivities. However, always check the labels of store-bought ingredients to ensure they meet your dietary needs.


Overall, Aunt Lizzie's Cajun Red Beans and Rice is a nutritious, balanced meal that offers a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and essential vitamins and minerals, with low fat content. It's a wholesome choice for anyone looking for a hearty and healthy dish.


Aunt Lizzie's Cajun Red Beans and Rice is a flavorful, nutritious dish that embodies the spirit of Cajun cooking. With its rich history, versatile ingredients, and comforting taste, it's sure to become a favorite in your recipe collection. Whether you're cooking for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion, this dish is guaranteed to impress.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was captivated by its simplicity. Aunt Lizzie’s Cajun Red Beans and Rice was a dish that seemed to embody the essence of comfort food - hearty, flavorful, and satisfying. I had always been drawn to Cajun cuisine, with its bold spices and rich flavors, so I knew I had to learn how to make this dish.

I first came across Aunt Lizzie’s recipe when I was visiting New Orleans many years ago. I had been wandering through the bustling streets of the French Quarter, taking in the sights and sounds of this vibrant city, when I stumbled upon a small market selling fresh produce and spices. As I browsed through the stalls, a friendly elderly woman approached me and struck up a conversation.

She introduced herself as Aunt Lizzie, a local Cajun cook who had been sharing her recipes with travelers for years. She had a warm smile and a twinkle in her eye as she told me about her famous Red Beans and Rice dish. She explained that it was a traditional Cajun recipe, passed down through her family for generations, and she offered to teach me how to make it.

I was thrilled at the opportunity to learn from someone with such a deep knowledge of Cajun cooking, so I eagerly accepted Aunt Lizzie’s invitation to come to her home the next day. As I followed her through the narrow streets of the French Quarter, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of excitement building inside me.

Aunt Lizzie’s home was a cozy little cottage with a welcoming porch and a lush garden overflowing with fragrant herbs and vegetables. As we stepped inside, I was enveloped in a cloud of spicy aromas that made my mouth water. Aunt Lizzie led me into her kitchen, a bustling room filled with pots and pans bubbling on the stove and herbs hanging from the ceiling.

She handed me an apron and a wooden spoon, and with a mischievous smile, she set me to work chopping onions and bell peppers while she tended to the simmering pot of red beans. As we worked together, Aunt Lizzie shared stories of her family and their deep connection to Cajun culture. She spoke of long days spent fishing in the bayou, of lively dances at family gatherings, and of the rich history of Cajun cuisine.

As the beans slowly cooked and the aroma of spices filled the air, Aunt Lizzie taught me the secret to a perfect Cajun Red Beans and Rice. She explained that the key was in the seasoning - a blend of paprika, cayenne pepper, and thyme that gave the dish its distinctive flavor. She also showed me how to cook the rice just right, so that it was fluffy and tender, the perfect complement to the savory beans.

After hours of simmering and stirring, the dish was finally ready. Aunt Lizzie served up steaming bowls of Red Beans and Rice, garnished with fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon. As I took my first bite, I was transported to a world of bold flavors and comforting warmth. The dish was everything I had hoped for and more - a true taste of Cajun hospitality and tradition.

From that day on, Aunt Lizzie’s Cajun Red Beans and Rice became a staple in my own kitchen. I would often make it for family gatherings and special occasions, sharing the recipe and the stories behind it with anyone who would listen. It became a link to the past, a connection to a culture and a people that I had come to love and admire.

As the years passed, I continued to refine and perfect Aunt Lizzie’s recipe, adding my own touches and variations to make it my own. But no matter how many times I cooked it, the dish always brought back memories of that fateful day in New Orleans, when I learned the secrets of Cajun cooking from a wise and generous soul.

So whenever I make Aunt Lizzie’s Cajun Red Beans and Rice, I do so with a grateful heart and a sense of pride. It is more than just a recipe - it is a legacy, a piece of history that I am honored to carry on. And with each spoonful of that rich, flavorful dish, I am reminded of the power of food to connect us, to nourish both body and soul, and to bring people together in love and joy.


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