Venessa Williams' New Orleans-Style Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice


Fried & True

Published by Clarkson Potter

This image courtesy of Evan Sung

This is a meatless version of a beloved local classic. Red beans and rice are typically served at the beginning of the week in New Orleans, since Mondays were traditionally dedicated to the labor-intensive task of laundry, domestic workers prepared long-simmering stovetop dishes that required little attention. Camellia brand red beans, easily ordered online, are the classic choice for local New Orleans chefs, but any brand of kidney beans works fine; leaving the beans unsalted during cooking allows them to cook up faster and more tender.

Serves8 Generously



Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course, side dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch


  • 1 pound dried Camellia brand red beans or red kidney beans
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 small habanero pepper, seeded (optional) and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste


  1. Cooked rice, for serving (about 6 cups for a full batch). Rinse and drain the beans three times and transfer to a large (at least 8-quart) saucepan with a lid. Add 7 cups water and all of the ingredients except the rice. Bring the beans to a boil, then cover tightly, reduce the heat to medium, and let cook, stirring once after about an hour, until they are tender and the liquid has thickened, 2 to 2½ hours. Remove from the heat and season with salt. Serve the beans over the cooked rice with Cajun Moon Funky Fried Chicken.

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