Red beans and rice is a historic staple in Louisiana cuisine.
The ease with which red beans and rice comes together made it the ideal wash day meal. Women could let the red beans simmer and the rice cook while getting the laundry done for the week. It was an easy meal that didn’t require babysitting.
The idea behind this low maintenance dinner is just as attractive today.
With a few seasonings, fresh herbs, veggies, and meatless add-ins, red beans and rice becomes a vegan meal that’s full of flavor, but still comes together quickly. In about 45 minutes, to be more precise.
Untraditional Red Beans and Rice
This isn’t a traditional red beans and rice recipe. Rather, it has some traditional elements. In a standard red beans and rice dish, the beans are served over the rice. But in my vegan red beans and rice, I mix the beans and rice together. Fresh thyme adds a classic flavor, while paprika and smoked paprika add color. Sautéed onion, bell pepper, and celery add more flavor and moisture, while Beyond Meat Sausage and Morningstar Meatless Crumbles make this a filling meal that stays with you.
This red beans and rice dish is named after the legendary trumpeter and jazz musician, Louis Armstrong. Louis is best remembered today for his classic (and original) rendition of “What a Wonderful World.”
Louis’ favorite dish was red beans and rice. He was even know to sign autographs with the phrase:
“Red beans and ricely yours, Louis Armstrong”
Make Vegan Red Beans and Rice
Think of Louis, and listen to some of his timeless music while you make my vegan red beans and rice. It’s a weeknight meal to get excited about.
Watch Louis with his band and Bing Crosby in High Society (1956).
Louis' Vegan Red Beans and Rice
For the Beyond Meat sausage:
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 3 Beyond Meat sausage links, cut to half moons (I use Hot Italian flavor)
For the Morningstar Farms Veggie Griller Crumbles:
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz Morningstar Farms Veggie Griller Crumbles, or your favorite meatless ground beef substitute (note: you may need to add salt if you use a different ground beef substitute.)
For the veggies:
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- ½ green bell pepper, chopped
- ½ red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, cut to half moons
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
For the rice:
- 4 cups cooked white rice, I prefer Basmati (in my rice cooker, 4 cups cooked white rice equals 1 ½ cups dry white rice)
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 pinch of pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ cup parsley or cilantro, minced
- ¼ cup scallions, chopped
- 15 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained
- 1-3 tsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
Make the rice
- If you haven't already, now is the time to cook your rice. Let the rice cool for at least 10 minutes after cooking. This will keep if from clumping together when we add it to the other ingredients.
Cook the Beyond Meat sausage
- Add the Beyond Meat sausage, olive oil, and salt to a large skillet. Turn the heat on to medium, and cook the sausage for 10 minutes, flipping occasionally. Sausage is done. Transfer the sausage from the skillet to a large mixing bowl.
Cook the veggie crumbles
- To the same skillet you cooked the sausage in, now add 1 Tbsp olive oil and the Morningstar Crumbles. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the Morningstar is nicely browned. Transfer the Morningstar to the mixing bowl with the sausage.
Cook the veggies
- In the same skillet you cooked the sausage and Morningstar in, now heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds. Add the onion and ½ tsp sea salt. Cook for seven minutes, until the onion turns translucent and slightly browns.
- Turn the heat down to medium, and add the bell peppers and an additional 1 Tbsp olive oil. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. The bell peppers will be just starting to soften, but still have a bite to them.
- Now add the celery, the remaining ½ tsp sea salt, and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Cook for 3 minutes over medium heat, then add the fresh thyme. Cook for 3 more minutes. Veggies are done, transfer them to the mixing bowl with the Beyond Meat Sausage and Morningstar.
Add the rice and rice seasonings
- Add the rice to the mixing bowl with the Beyond Meat, Morningstar, and veggies. Roughly mix everything together. Now add in the dried thyme, dried oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion salt, paprika, and smoked paprika. Mix until the seasonings coat the rice, veggies, and meat substitutes.
- Last, mix in the red beans, scallion, parsley/cilantro, and 1 tsp lime juice. Taste, and add more lime juice, if desired.
Serve and enjoy!
- Serve as a one bowl meal, or with a veggie side, like sautéed kale.