Cooking with dried beans can be intimidating, but they are a delicious, cheap, and healthy diet staple! Today, I will cook the beans and rice together in a slow cooker for perfect results! Here’s what you’ll need:

Red beans and rice is a traditional New Orleans dish, so we will begin with the classic “holy trinity” of New Orleans style cooking; celery, green bell pepper, and onion. One of each. Dice them up!

For the aromatics, we’ll be using 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook 5 minutes, until softened and lightly browned. Add the aromatics and cook 30 seconds.

Add 5 cups water and 5 teaspoons better than bouillon vegetable or chicken broth base, 1 pound of rinsed dried pinto beans, and 1 bay leaf. 

Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to low heat. Simmer 20 minutes, then transfer to the slow cooker. I always spray my slow cooker with cooking spray.

Now spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Add 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice, 2 cups water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Cover tightly with foil, and nestle the loaf pan into the beans in the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on high 3 to 4 hours. If you live at high altitude, like me, you’ll want to cook the full 4 hours. Remove the pan of rice and set aside.  

Transfer 1 cup of bean mixture to a food processor or blender and puree. 

Stir the pureed beans back into the slow cooker, along with sliced kielbasa sausage. Cover and let the sausage heat through, 5 to 10 minutes.