I've made crock-pot red beans and rice many times using this as a guide. There is no question that the recipe, as followed, will yield very bland, and not very tasty red beans. I have manipulated the recipe many times over and still have not found a fix, but I do some things that make it a heck of a lot better:
1) Double the recipe--unless you're a small family of light eaters who don't want any leftovers.
When I say double, I mean approximately. For instance, double the dried beans to 2 cups, maybe even 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 cups. Instead of doubling the water, I use about 9 - 9 1/2 cups of liquid. This includes a 32 oz. container of chicken stock and about 5 - 5 1/2 cups water. You need the additional water because when it's done cooking, you will need to separate the beans from the other ingredients (peppers, celery and sausage) in order to mash some of the beans into a paste. (It helps to remove the liquid, too, in order to see exactly how much you've mashed. Use a potato masher or pastry blender tool. This is MANDATORY or your dish will have the consistency of broth. You don't want that. It must be thicker. You will probably need to mash 1/2 - 3/4 of the beans. That is why I add the extra 1/4-1/2 cup of dried beans...so that you can have the thicker consistency and still have a fair amount of whole beans. You want it thick but not extra thick, because when it cools and is refrigerated, it thickens even more.
2) Don't use the ground red pepper (cayenne pepper) at all. Especially, don't double it--that is way too much. I cook for kids, also, so the cayenne powder is just not tolerable to them. Instead, I use Frank's Red Hot Sauce, which is made from cayenne peppers. It has a milder heat than Tabasco and is just more flavorful. I don't measure, I just shake it in until I think it's enough. For starters, if you're unsure, I would give about 8-10 good shakes into the pot. You can always taste it when it's done and add more then, or even just to individual plates.
3) Don't use the thyme. It adds an odd flavor to the dish, which really stands out. If you like thyme, I would suggest using half the amount recommended.
4) Double the paprika, the black pepper, the bay leaves and the garlic. Even though using the chicken stock, which adds a fair amount of sodium, I would suggest still adding the full teaspoon of salt. You may even need more. This dish is bland if you strictly adhere to the recipe.
5) I use about 2 1/4- 2 1/2 cups of each of the onions and peppers. Mix it up and try different onions. For the peppers, I will usually use a green bell pepper and either a red, yellow or orange pepper. I like the color it provides to the dish. I use about 1 1/2- 2 cups of sliced celery.
6) I usually add cilantro (about a half a bunch freshly chopped) to provide more complex flavor. I love cilantro; some don't. It's worth a try.
7) For sausage, the best (as far as flavor goes) store-bought sausage I have used is Johnsonville Andouille sausage. It also adds a little spice to the dish. If not that, then I suggest beef or pork smoked sausage. The low-fat turkey sausages have no flavor once cooked. Whatever sausage you use, I use two 13 oz. or 14 oz. packages.
8) The last couple times I have made it, I have used my standard spices that I use when making Jambalaya and other dishes. I just pour them in my hand one at a time and mash them together finely over the pot. I would guess that it is about 2 Tablespoons each of oregano, basil and parsley, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder and 1 teaspoon of onion powder. It makes it better.
If you still find the dish lacking, I would suggest using a smoked pork hock, smoked turkey leg, salt pork or smoked neck bones or bacon. These add a lot of flavor to dishes like soups and stews. Read how to prepare them first before adding to the pot, if necessary (for instance, you don't add raw bacon, you need to brown/cook it first).
Most important: no thyme, no cayenne powder. Use Frank's Red Hot Sauce and mashing the beans is absolutely necessary.
trying it Tonight.Hopefully my Family likes it.Substituting some things.:)
Boring and no flavor.Read More
I followed the recipe, except I used 1 can of chicken broth and then added enough water to make up the 3 cups of liquid. I also added cornstarch to thicken when it had been cooking for 8 hours. My husband and I found this bland- added creole seasoning at the table to punch it up. (I didn't add any of the salt the recipe called for.) I don't think I'll make this again. It's just not worth all the time put into prep.Read More
I enjoyed this recipe. Reading other reviews I didn't have chicken broth so I added one chicken bouillon cube along with one 14oz can of diced tomato with no added flavors. Also added in one whole 14oz package of smoked turkey sausage. Left out the red peppers for my young son, but overall it turned out great. Will definitely make this again!Read More
Making this for the second time today! We double the recipe so we can eat it all week. The only thing we add is some creole seasoning, and we omit 1/2 the salt. It's low fat and filling -- and we love the flavor. It's not incredibly intense, and would be better if we used andouille -- but we're trying to cut back, so it's perfect for us. Will make again and again!Read More
Big disappointment. All heat, no flavor. Used chicken sausage which was dry and tasteless after this length of time, but 5 hours was necessary to cook the beans.Read More
Very flavorful! I can't understand where others have found it lacking in flavor. It was super-easy. Of course fresh ingredients (like green onions or parsley) freshen up any slow-cooker dish after it's cooked. Chicken sausage worked great. It's family-approved and nutritious. I'll definitely make this again.Read More
Really tasty and easy. I used Cajun seasoning instead of thyme, smoked paprika and chicken andouille sausage. I also decided to throw in 3/4c frozen okra in the last 10 minutes. Not traditional, but still good!Read More
SO So yummy, I loved it. I didn't have any paprika so i used 1 tsp of cajun seasoning. It was perfect. Instead of using 3 cups of water I used 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth and 1 1/2cups of water.Read More
I don't know why so many reviews say this is bland. Anything but! Very flavorful! I did use turkey smoked sausage and doubled the amount that I used of that. I might add more beans next time. The broth was too thin after cooking, but I thickened with a roux (1 Tbsp. flour, melt in skillet over medium low heat, sprinkle 1 Tbsp four and cook and stir until roux is light brown. Stir into crock and let return to boil on high. Ready) and it was perfect consistency. Husband loved the heat of it, but if making for myself, I would reduce the cayenne red pepper just a bit. Great recipe! Andouille sausage would be good in this, too.Read More
Normally I scan the reviews before making a recipes but I didn't this time; I really wish I had because then I would have not made it. This was bland and boring. The sausage was leeched of any flavor and had a strange texture after cooking for 5 hours. I took one bite and almost spit it out. The texture of the beans was fine, I didn't have a problem with those. It was just the extreme lack of flavor that I couldn't get past. I emailed the recipe to a friend and she gave me some recommendations of spices to add to the remaining amount in the slow-cooker. It helped some but not enough. I even tried adding a ton of Tapatio and that helped enough for me to choke down the rest. I will NOT be making this one again.Read More
bland and watery.Read More
Meh, very watery, lacks flavor.Read More
when i wanted to make this, i read all the reviews because i saw all the ratings were all over the place. i figured, i like spicy food, so i didn't alter the spices at all and did whatever the recipe said. the only change i made was i did 1 cup chicken broth and 2 cups water, and then as some people said after cooking on low 8 hours i cooked the rice (i used brown rice) using the liquid that was left in the crock pot. SO GOOD! i loved it. Also i used red/yellow peppers instead of green because i like the taste better. I also discarded the celery because i didn't have any in my fridge but it still came out awesome. I used johnsonville turkey and cheese sausage, by the way.Read More
I make red beans in the crock pot all the time. Cooked on low for 8-10 hours, they are ready when everyone comes home. But this recipe doesn't have enough beans! I usually soak 2 pkgs of dry red beans overnight. Rinse and dump in the crock pot with 1 pkg of Andoille sausage and some ham. Chop onion, celery, green peppers and add some garlic and at least a tablespoon of cajun/creole seasoning instead of the salt or other dry seasonings in this recipe. Add enough water to just cover. Comes out perfect every timeRead More
To help with the watery consistency of this dish, I recommend doing two things: 1. cook the dish in a dutch oven instead of a slow-cooker (this will also cook the beans faster - within the 5 hour timespan) and 2. use 1 cup of the final broth to cook the rice. It will reduce the amount of water in the dish as well as impart more flavor. I also used hot italian turkey sausage, browned the onions, celery and garlic in the dutch oven and added 1.5 tbsp of tomato paste. I found the dish to be excellent. Very flavor full and rich.Read More
Thanks to the reviews on this recipe, I had an excellent experience with some alterations. Used canned kidney beans, slow-cooked for 10 hours. I added about 2 tbsps of cornstarch before serving. It is delicious and will definitely make it again in the future.Read More
This wasn't awful but it just didn't seem to blend together well. It was like eating broth with a few ingredients thrown in it.Read More
My family loves this recipe! The beans cook perfectly and it has a lot of flavor. I did leave out the cayenne pepper because of my husband and kids, so I can't comment on how spicy it would be with that included. But overall, I thought it was really good. The only thing I changed was, I used a whole Trader Joe's turkey kielbasa. I would say half of one would not be enough.Read More
I have been looking for good red beans and rice recipes and this is a good one. Nice but not too much spice and good flavor. I did use 2 cups of tomato juice and 1 cup of water, instead of 3 cups of water, and used smoked paprika.Read More
Maybe it was something I did, but this was just water and bland. I used canned instead of dry beans. And cooked on low for 9 hours instead of high for 5 hours. If I did make this again, i would use maybe tomato puree instead of water, and less of it.Read More
In order to succeed this recipe you have to use Diamond Pearl Basmati Rice. This is a Pure Indian Basmati rice. If you want more informations go on the website http://www.sonaimpex.net or send a mail at firstname.lastname@example.orgRead More
I make a recipe similar to this and it calls for tomato juice (about 2 cups). I've also used v-8 juice with great results too. Both give the broth a wonderful taste.Read More
Had lots of heat, but absolutely no flavor. Followed the recipe to the letter, but was really disappointed with the results. Anyone have any ideas on what to add to the leftovers to make it edible?Read More
Excellent! I used andouille sausage and doubled the amount called for. So quick and easy to throw together.Read More
This was bland, tasteless mush. Followed the recipe exactly and wound up with something that required a good deal of hot sauce to force down.Read More
Very good! Everyone liked it, there were no leftovers! I added extra veggies and sausage, and used stock for half the water. I would make this again!Read More
I used canned Kidney beans instead of dried. I used 2 cans to match the 1 cup dried. Otherwise I followed the recipe. It had just the right amount of kick to it, and had a ton of flavor. My family loved them, even my husband who doesn't eat anything with beans! Try this, you will love it!!Read More
I doubled this recipe b/c that seemed natural (1/2 a package of smoked sausage, basically 1/2 a package of dried beans,...). I followed other reviewers' suggestions to use chicken broth instead of water but used about 2 cups less than I should have. It came out REALLY spicy. Not so bad that we couldn't eat it, but you need a big glass of water on the side. Was very easy to put together and quite flavorful, but I will try it again w/ the appropriate amount of liquid!Read More
All of the right ingredients are here. You need to remove your beans after cooking in slow cooker to stove top pot to get the creamy texture that beans should have.Read More
beans were hard not any flavor unfortunate indeed as we are still searching for a great slow cooker red beans recipe.Read More
Not much flavor! Really, only the red pepper comes through. Would really have to be tweaked to be any good.Read More
Not good! The beans were not soft even though I cooked them for 9 hours on low! I won't even try to fix this recipe. I am just going to find a whole new recipe!Read More
I made this dish with cooked chorizo which might have been the first mistake. Other than that I followed the recipe to a T. There was absolutely no flavor to this after 8 hours on low. I had to add chili seasoning and salt in order for it to be edible. I will not be making this dish again.Read More
I will put it into the rotation, but will wait to add the sausage at the end. It loses some of its flavor in the cooking but the beans taste great.Read More
We really liked this Beans and Rice. I made it as outlined in my crock pot. Then when we ate it we added Tony's Cajun Seasoning. Next time I will change the sausage to Andoulille, a little spicer than what I used this time.Read More
This dish was great! The second my husband, a VERY picky eater, walked in the door yesterday, he had a spoon in the crockpot...he ate half the RB before we ever sat down for dinner! I soaked the beans overnight, and used 2C low sodium chix broth & 1C water. Skipped the salt and forgot to add the paprika, but was great w/o it. Will be making & freezing more this weekend!Read More
I grew up in New Orleans but have since moved away. It has been a long time since my family has had red beans and rice, and we love this one. Very delicious.Read More
A very easy recipe, no frills just lots of good flavors. I added a little extra bell pepper and onion, but that's just my taste. I love that it cooked in a slow cooker and the texture of the beans was perfect.Read More
excellent recipe; easy; good as leftovers tooRead More
This was great! Spicey and flavorful. Will make again.Read More
This was really easy and very tasty. I skipped the red pepper flakes so that my 5 year old could have some, which she loved.Read More
This was very good. The only things I changed was I didn't measure the vegetables, I just put in what looked right, and I added a bit of corn starch to thicken it up. It cooked on low for 8 hours then stayed on keep warm for about 4 or 5. It seemed to get better the longer it sat in there! Me and my dad thought it was perfect, although my mom thought it was too spicyRead More
I used chicken broth instead of water, sweet turkey sausage instead of the spicy mix, and added some worcestshire sauce and Adobo seasoning (both Adobo and the red packet) instead of the thyme (not a big fan of thyme). It was easy and my 2 year old loved it.Read More
I loved the idea behind this recipe, but following the advice of other cooks, I used broth and andouille sausage to boost the flavor. Because red kidney beans contain a high level of toxins, I pre-soaked the beans and made the recipe in my pressure cooker.Read More
Lower fat crockpot recipe? I wanted to love it! But alas, it's salty and not overly flavorful. Perhaps it could be doctored up, but it's not worth the effort.Read More
Not a good recipe to use. My husband likes red beans and rice, so I thought I'd try it. Not again! Way tooo spicy; even reduced the red pepper. Way tooo bland. I don't use salt, but with this, I had to, to give it some taste. It was also way to watery. Oh, my husband wasn't too fund of it either. :(Read More
This had an odd flavor; perhaps too much thyme and bay leaf when combined with the Healthy Choice smoked sausage. My family did not like this at all and we will not be making this again.Read More