Satchmo's Vegan Red Beans and Rice

January 7, 2020     Updated May 2, 2021    Jump to Recipe

Vegan Red Beans and Rice

My Red Beans and Rice is loaded with fresh herbs and veggie sausage, making this dish the Vegan version of Louis Armstrong's favorite dish!

 Do you like Creole inspired dishes?

As I mentioned before in my Jambalaya with Tofu Ham recipe, Creole and Cajun dishes are very popular in our house!  If I’m not preparing one, we’re probably dreaming of our next visit to The Palace, one of our favorite restaurants in Santa Barbara that serves delicious Creole and Cajun food.  (It also happens to have been one of President Reagan’s favorite places to eat!)

Vegan Red Beans and Rice

Vegan Red Beans and Rice: An Easy Dish to Prepare!

I love Jambalaya, but it can take time to prepare.  That’s what is so great about this vegan red beans and rice recipe.  You get those delicious Creole flavors, but the meal is made and ready to serve in about 45 minutes.  Pretty awesome!

And historically, that’s kind of what red beans and rice was all about.  Back in the day, Mondays were wash days in Louisiana cultures, so women wanted a really low maintenance meal for Monday nights, a dish they wouldn’t have to think about while getting the wash done.   Enter red beans and rice!  The women could just let those red beans simmer away without too much thought while getting the laundry done for the week.

Vegan Red Beans and Rice

My Vegan Red Beans and Rice recipe borrows from the red beans and rice meal idea, but it’s also reminiscent of dirty rice: I like to mix the red kidney beans and rice together, along with veggie sausage, ground beef substitute, and yummy Creole spices.  So the white rice in this recipe turns the color of all these delicious seasonings, which is where the term “dirty rice” comes from.

Who is Satchmo?

And for anyone unfamiliar with the name “Satchmo,” let me explain. 

“Satchmo” was the nickname of the legendary trumpeter and jazz musician, Louis Armstrong.  I’m sure you’ve heard Louis’ music, even if you aren’t familiar with his name. (Think “What a Wonderful World.”  That’s him!)

Louis’ favorite dish was red beans and rice. So much so that he was known to sign autographs with the phrase

 “Red beans and ricely yours, Louis Armstrong.”

How cool is that?!

So this is dish is my tribute to the great Louis Armstrong!  I’m sure Satchmo himself wouldn’t have been able to resist a bowl of this vegan red beans and rice!  Make it for dinner this week, preferably while listening to some of Louis’ showstopping jazz.  (Here’s my favorite Louis Armstrong album [aff. link] if you’re interested in getting better acquainted with his music!)

Vegan Red Beans and Rice

A Quick Note on Paprika!

As you can imagine, the spices are a huge part of what gives this dish it’s amazing flavor! 

I use two types of paprika here, good old paprika, as well as smoked paprika.  If you’ve never cooked with smoked paprika you’re in for a treat!  It truly infuses this dish with a wonderful, smoky sweetness you just can’t get from any other spice.  Simply Organic is generally my favorite spice brand, and I absolutely love their paprika [aff. link] and smoked paprika [aff. link].

If you’re in the market for either, I highly recommend  going with Simply Organic for both!  Here they are on Amazon:

My favorite smoked paprika from Simply Organic. Click to view on Amazon! [aff. link]
My favorite classic paprika by Simply Organic. Click to view on Amazon! [aff. link]

...And a Fun Clip!

If you want to see Satchmo in action, watch as Louis and Bing Crosby jazz up High Society (1956) [aff. link], a fabulous film that also stars the beautiful Grace Kelly and FRANK SINATRA.  Yes, Bing, Louis, and Frank together in one film.  You can imagine how great the music is in this one!

Vegan Red Beans and Rice
5 from 3 votes

Satchmo’s Vegan Red Beans and Rice

My Red Beans and Rice is loaded with fresh herbs and veggie sausage, making this dish the Vegan version of Louis Armstrong's favorite dish!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 6
Print Recipe


For the veggie meat substitutes

  • 3 veggie sausage links, cut to half moons (I like Trader Joe’s Veggie Italian Sausage)
  • 8 oz ground beef substitute, frozen (I like to use Morningstar Veggie Crumbles, but use whatever your favorite ground beef substitute is)

For the rice:

  • 2 ¼ cups dry white basmati rice, rinsed
  • 3 cups water

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 seasonings

  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika

Everything else

  • ½ cup parsley, minced, plus extra for garnish
  • ½ cup scallions, chopped, plus extra for garnish
  • 30 oz dark red kidney beans, drained (or 2 cans)
  • ½-1 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed


Make the rice

  • To your rice cooker, add the rice and water. Start the cooker, and let the rice cook as you prepare the rest of the dish ingredients!

Cook the onion

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil, followed by the onion and ½ tsp sea salt. Cook for 7 minutes.

Add the bell peppers

  • Now add the bell peppers and an additional 1 Tbsp olive oil. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. The bell peppers will just be starting to soften, but still have a bite to them.

Add the celery

  • Add the celery, the remaining ½ tsp sea salt, and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Cook for 6 more minutes over medium heat, then turn the heat down to medium low, and add the fresh thyme.
  • Cook for 9 more minutes, until the bell peppers and celery are cooked through but not mushy. Veggies are done!

Cook the veggie sausage

  • While the veggies cook, make the veggie sausage and crumbles. Start with the veggie sausage.
  • To a medium sized skillet, add the veggie sausage and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Cook over medium heat until browned, about 7 minutes. Flip on occasion to allow all sides of the sausage to brown, then set the veggie sausage aside on a plate lined with a paper towel to remove excess oil.

Cook the veggie crumbles

  • In the same skillet you cooked the veggie sausage, now cook the veggie crumbles. Add an additional 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the skillet with the crumbles, and cook over medium heat until cooked through and slightly browned, about 7 minutes. Flip on occasion.

Bring it altogether

  • Once the rice, veggies, veggie sausage, and veggie crumbles are all finished cooking, it’s time to bring it all together!
  • To a large mixing bowl, add the veggies, veggie sausage, and crumbles. Use your spatula to mix them together.

Add half of the rice and seasonings

  • Now add half of the cooked rice to the mixing bowl, followed by ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion salt, ¼ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp paprika, and 1 tsp sea salt. Mix to combine.

Add half the beans and herbs

  • Now add half of the kidney beans, half of the parsley, and half of the scallions. Mix again to combine.

Add the rest!

  • Next add the rest of the rice, and the remaining ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion salt, ¼ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp paprika, 1 tsp sea salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, and ½ tsp smoked paprika.
  • Mix to combine, then add the second half of the kidney beans, parsley, and scallions.
  • Mix everything until it is completely incorporated, then add ½-1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice. Mix again, then taste.


  • Adjust seasonings as desired, and serve!
  • This dish is a meal all by itself, but you could also serve it with or over a bed of greens.


This recipe is vegan!
This recipe is gluten free, depending on the meat substitutes you use.
I like to use Morningstar Veggie Crumbles here for the ground beef substitute. They are already well salted on their own, so I do not add any salt when cooking them. If you use a different veggie ground beef substitute, make sure you add salt as needed during cooking. You don’t want your veggie ground beef substitute to taste bland!

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. David @ Spiced

    5 stars
    Interesting! This recipe is a cross between dirty rice and red beans…I love it! So I lived in south Louisiana for a while, and I absolutely fell in love with everything about that state…the history, the food, the football. You name it! We absolutely love Cajun and Creole recipes around our house, and this one sounds delicious. What a fun way to combine two classic recipes together into one!

    1. Shannon

      Thank you so much David! Louisiana would be such a fun place to live, sounds like you had a blast during your time there! I’ve yet to visit New Orleans, but it is one of the cities at the top of my list!

  2. Neil

    This is a lovely dish Shannon. Lynne and I do enjoy our beans and rice. And I’m with you totally when it comes to preparing nice and easy healthy dishes when time is short. I’ll have to make this whilst playing my favourite Louis Armstrong tracks! Lovely!

    1. Shannon

      Haha I love that idea Neal! Thank you so much! Can’t go wrong with beans and rice, right? Hope you have a lovely week!

  3. Ron

    5 stars
    Your Satchmo’s Red Beans with Rice does indeed look mighty tasty and as Satchmo is one of my favorite singers, it’s a must-try in my book. I thinking if old Louie was still around, he’d be singing “What a wonderful world” after eating a bowl of your Red Beans with Rice.

    1. Shannon

      Awww thank you Ron! Such a kind comment. I’m with you, Louis is one of my very favorite musicians. No one sings “What a Wonderful World” quite like Louis!

  4. Mimi

    Oh I love Creole and Cajun food, and don’t make it often enough. Thanks for a good reminder. I’m not vegan, and I wouldn’t mind a little chorizo or andouille in this, though I’m sure it’s fabulous with the substitutes. Happy New Year!

    1. Shannon

      Oh for sure!!! Those would be excellent substitutions! I love classic dishes like beans and rice that are so easily adaptable for many different ways of eating. Thank you so much for commenting Mimi! (And of course, I adore your name!)

  5. Katerina

    5 stars
    How fun was Satchmo’s autograph? I should definitely incorporate my favourite food into mine! This looks fabulous, Shannon. We don’t cook creole food at all but we loved it when we travelled the US, so I will give it a go! Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Shannon

      Thanks so much Katerina! I totally agree, isn’t it fun that Louis made beans and rice part of his signature? I think it speaks to what an awesome and fun guy he must have been!

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