We all want something that’s quick and easy for a weeknight dinner – but what if it could be healthy too? My vegan red beans and rice are the answer.
Use organic canned beans, some prepped onion and bell pepper and it’s on the table in minutes. Serve over leftover rice or any grain that needs to be used up in the fridge!
Why is Monday red beans and rice day?
Red beans and rice originate from Louisiana. Women used to make red beans on Mondays while they did laundry and it has become a New Orleans tradition to have them every single Monday.
Can red beans and rice be frozen?
One of the things I love about beans is that you can cook them and then freeze them for later.
Even though in this recipe we are using canned beans to make this in minutes, you could use pre-cooked kidney beans that you froze as well.
One thing that I often do is freeze lunch portions of stews with the grain. So I would totally freeze any leftover red beans and rice ready to heat up!
Are red beans and rice supposed to be soupy or thick?
I’ve seen them both ways, but I like my beans thick and creamy!
What do I mean by creamy beans?
I’m a southern girl and grew up on pinto beans cooked down until they break down, but don’t quite turn into a puree. I
f you look at the photos in this post you’ll see what I mean <3
Are all red beans vegan?
Definitely not. Most traditional red bean recipes have some kind of animal product in them.
If you are in a restaurant make sure to check with the chef before you order them!
Zatarain’s red beans are vegetarian, but not vegan. Also, they are not gluten-free in case you needed to know.
Popeyes red beans are not vegan – they contain pork fat. If you happen to be there make sure to skip their green beans too because they contain turkey bacon. It is not a vegan-friendly place.
Are red beans and rice gluten-free?
I haven’t seen any red bean and rice recipes that have gluten in them, but if you use a mix to make them look for a gluten-free symbol on the package because some additives and thickeners could contain gluten.
All my red bean recipes are gluten-free and super easy to make. Plus they are cheaper to make.
What do I eat with red beans?
They can be served with your favorite long grain rice. I love serving with Instant Pot dirty rice or red rice. I highly recommend serving a gumbo with it too.
I have recipes for a butternut squash gumbo, jackfruit gumbo with black rice, or an IP mushroom gumbo.
How do I season vegan red beans and rice?
In the non-vegan version of traditional red beans and rice, it gets its smoky flavor from a meat addition. You can still add that flavor and keep the dish vegan. Liquid smoke is your friend!
The animal fat makes the traditional version creamy, but I have a vegan trick up my sleeve. I mash some of the beans to create the same mouthfeel and creamy texture.
15 Minute Vegan Red Beans and Rice (No Oil)
Here's an easy non-traditional red beans that don't simmer on the stover all day. Instead this is a quick last minute meal!
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped celery (or 1/2 teaspoon celery seed)
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 to 3 teaspoons salt-free Cajun spice blend
- 2 (15.5 oz) cans organic kidney beans (drained with aquafaba saved)
- liquid smoke, to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon)
- salt, optional, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- hot sauce, to taste or serve on the side
- Heat a nonstick saute pan over medium hight heat, or add splashes of water as needed.
- Add the onion and saute until translucent, add the pepper, celery, and garlic and saute until the peppers soften. Add splashes of water as needed to prevent sticking.
- Add the strained beans plus 1/2 of the reserved bean water (aquafaba). Turn the heat to medium low.
- Use a potato masher and mash 3/4 of the beans to make them smooth and creamy while leaving some beans whole.
- Add more of the aquafaba as needed to keep from sticking and to make it as creamy as you like.
- Season and serve.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 105Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 2619mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 5gSugar 5gProtein 6g
Nutrition information is provided from nutritionix.com as a close estimate. If you have specific health issues please put the recipe information, including the exact ingredients you use, into the nutritional calculator your Dr. recommends.
Marleen Athorp says
Looks great….but 2600 mg of sodium! All that salt must be from the canned beans, is that right?
Kathy Hester says
So the nutrition program in my recipe plugin pulls in info without a way for me to check it. I suspect it used a salt-laden cajun spice.
That’s why there’s a disclaimer: Nutrition information is provided from nutritionix.com as a close estimate. If you have specific health issues please put the recipe information, including the exact ingredients you use, into the nutritional calculator your Dr. recommends.
Tom McFadden says
I tried to get that Cajun flavor in my Red Beans and succeed when I added Gumbo File (ground sassafras). It was the spice that finished the flavor profile that I was looking for all these years.
This recipe if fantastic. I added the one tablespoon of peanut butter that (you stated in your video) some creole chefs add in Louisiana. The rest of the recipe was made as written. My husband will only eat vegan food that “tastes good”. He is a big fan of this recipe…and that is a great compliment coming from him. We both loved it served over rice. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
I can hardly hear you, with my volume turned up as high as it can go.
Angela Fischetti says
Oh my goodness, Kathy, this looks incredible! Fabulous.
Thank you for this wonderful recipe and video!