Julia’s Vegan Red Beans and Rice

Here’s my vegan version Red Beans and Rice recipe. You can cook the rice while the red beans simmer.

Serves 6 to 8


  • Red Beans
    • 4 to 5 large cloves of garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
    • 1 medium yellow (or white) onions diced – should make 1 cup
    • 1/2 green bell pepper or red bell pepper diced – should make at least 1/2 a cup
    • 1 fresh spicy pepper (optional)
    • 1 to 2 large ribs of celery, diced – should make at least 1/2 a cup
    • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 tbsp gumbo file powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 bay leaves
    • 1/2 tbsp salt
    • fresh ground black pepper to taste, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more to taste. (1 to 2 tsp for spicy red beans)
    • 1/2 tsp ground Chipotle
    • 1 tsp savory
    • 1 tsp thyme
    • 1 tsp oregano (Mexican, if you can get it)
    • 1/4 tsp of liquid smoke
    • Zatarain’s Shrimp and Crab Boil
      • If the bag version, one bag will do.
      • If the liquid version, then 1 tsp, and you can add more to taste. I usually use 2 tsps.
    • 3 cans of 15.5 oz of red beans
    • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • Garnish
    • 1 bunch of chopped parsley (optional) or
    • 2 scallions cut diagonally for garnish (optional)
  • Rice
    • 2 cup long grain rice
    • 2 1/2 cup water to 4 cups water
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • French Bread
    • Baguette
    • Olive oil

You can leave out all the herbs and spices except for the gumbo file powder and the Zatarain’s Shrimp and Crab Boil. You still need to add salt.


  • Drain the red beans and rinse them.
  • Put a large pot, 5 to 6 quarts, on medium high heat on the stove. Add 1 tablespoons of oil and heat until it shimmers.
  • Stir in the onions, bell pepper, hot pepper (if using), celery and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions should be translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the black pepper, cayenne pepper, Chipotle, savory, thyme, oregano, and salt
  • Add the red beans and stir. Add 1 and 1/2 cup of water and stir.
  • Stir in the gumbo file powder, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, liquid smoke, and Zatarain’s Shrimp and Crab Boil and let boil. Turn down heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Once you’ve started to let the red beans simmer, make the rice; see the Kitchn site on how to make rice. Or make it in your rice cooker or Instant Pot if you have one.
  • Taste the red beans to see if salty enough, hot enough, or if any other seasoning needs to be added. Add additional seasoning, if needed and stir. Let simmer for about 5 more minutes and taste again. Keep in mind that the rice will mellow the spice of the red beans.
  • Serve over rice by putting about a 1/2 cup of cooked rice in a bowl and ladling the red beans over the rice.
  • To garnish the red beans, sprinkle with the parsley or scallions.
  • While letting the red beans simmer, make the bread. Turn on the broiler, slice the baguette diagonally into 8 pieces, drizzle olive oil on one side, put the oiled side up on a sheet pan, and brown under the broiler. Do not step away, this goes from white to burned very quickly. (Yes, this is the voice of experience.)
  • Set out Tabasco sauce and bread for serving with the red beans and rice.


  • Keep in mind that the beans need to be spicy, as the rice mellows out the spice.
  • The red beans taste better the next day, so if you want, you can make it ahead up to 3 days before you serve it. You should make the rice the same day you want to serve it.
  • Garlic bread is also good with red beans and rice.
  • A green salad or cole slaw goes very well with red beans and rice.

3 thoughts on “Julia’s Vegan Red Beans and Rice

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