Just a short post here (and no pictures, because let’s be honest, red beans and rice doesn’t actually look that appetizing once it’s been reduced down to a brown mush). Every few weeks I’ll stop by Popeyes – I love their spicy chicken strips with buffalo sauce – and will get red beans and rice as a side. A few weeks ago I decided to try to recreate the recipe, mostly by staring into the spice rack, picking a random spice and thinking “yeah, that’ll work”.

After a few iterations, I’ve got a recipe which is not 100% exact to Popeyes, but is still wonderfully tasty. And as usual, is easy to make with pantry items. (You could of course do things like use real celery instead of flakes, add salt pork or shrimp, etc, but this is a good simple base.)

  • 2 cans (approx 15 oz each) red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can broth
    • ½ can each of beef and chicken broth is best IMHO, but basically requires doubling the recipe. Vegetable broth can work too, or a bouillon cube and 1 can water.
  • 1 tsp celery flakes
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ⅛ tsp cumin (this can overpower the recipe if used too much)
  • Optional: ½ pound andouille sausage, shrimp, etc

Combine all ingredients, cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover, remove bay leaf and mash moderately; most but not all beans should be broken. Add meat now, if desired.

Leave uncovered, re-add bay leaf and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Consistency should be a medium to thick sauce. Remove bay leaf. Serve over rice.