Alabama-style Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice is a Cajun inspired dish with an Alabama twist. The traditional recipe for Red Beans and Rice uses andouille sausage, a Cajun ingredient. I opted for Conecuh Sausage, an Alabama ingredient. Based out of Evergreen, AL, Conecuh Sausage is the best commercial smoked sausage I’ve ever tasted. Alabama-style Red Beans and Rice is one of my husband’s favorite dishes.
Small red beans, historically used in the recipe, either fell out of favor or became hard to find. Kidney beans are used most now. I was thrilled to find a package of small red beans at my grocery store. REAL red beans. They’re smaller than kidney beans and taste more like pinto beans than kidney beans. I was happy to have an authentic ingredient.
Dried beans were served on Monday, historically. That’s because Monday was typically the day the laundry was done and it took all day. After the prep work was done, the beans were set on the stove on low heat and required minimal oversight outside of an occasional stir and care that the water didn’t cook out.
Cooking these beans in a slow cooker frees you up to do all sorts of things. And, you don’t even have to monitor the level of the chicken stock.
So, if you get behind on your laundry, here’s your menu: Alabama-style Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice with Conecuh Sausage.
Are red beans and kidney beans the same?
No, they’re different. Red beans are smaller and taste more like pinto beans than kidney beans. You can substitute kidney beans if you can’t find red beans.
Can I use andouille sausage instead of smoked sausage?
Absolutely. It’s strictly a taste preference.
- Cover beans with cold water and soak overnight.
- The next morning, drain and rinse beans. Add to slow cooker.
- Cut sausage into 1 inch pieces. Brown in an iron skillet over medium heat.
- Drain sausage and remove from skillet. Add to slow cooker. Pour grease from skillet. Add back two tablespoons.
- Chop onions, celery and bell pepper.
- Add chopped vegetables to skillet.
- Cook over medium heat until soften. Add chopped garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add cooked vegetables to slow cooker.
- Add chicken broth, bay leaves, and seasoned salt to slow-cooker.
- Cook on high 4 to 5 hours or until beans are tender. With a large spoon, mash some of the beans against the side of the slow cooker for a creamy texture.
- Serve over cooked rice.
Alabama-style Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice
- 1 pound dried small red beans or kidney beans
- 1 pound Conecuh smoked sausage
- 2 medium sweet onions chopped
- 2 to3 stalks celery including leaves chopped
- 1 medium bell pepper chopped
- 3 to 4 cloves of garlic finely minced
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 to 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons seasoned salt I use Season-all
- cooked rice
- Soak beans in water overnight. The next day, drain and rinse beans and add to slow cooker. Cut sausage in 1 inch pieces and brown over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. Remove sausage. Drain grease and add 2 tablespoons back to skillet. Add sausage to slow-cooker.
- Add onions, celery and bell pepper to skillet. Cook on medium heat 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes longer. Add vegetables to slow cooker along with stock, bay leaves and seasoned salt.
- Cook on high 4 - 5 hours or until the beans are tender.
- With a large spoon, mash some of the beans against the side of the slow-cooker for a creamy texture.
- Serve over rice.