Cajun Red Beans & Rice Skillet
The official start of Mardi Gras is March 1st this year. To celebrate try this hearty one skillet meal is inspired by the flavors of the classic Louisiana dish. However, this version comes together in one pot, rather than served with cooked white rice on the side. Although this dish offers a distinctly different visual presentation from the classic version, the robust flavor profile makes for a very satisfying meal.
The classic “Cajun trinity” sets the flavor profile of this dish. This distinctive aromatic blend is similar to the French mirepoix or the Italian soffritto, but diced green peppers are used in place of carrots in this popular flavor base. The most common ratio for the Cajun trinity is 1:1:1, or one-part onion to one-part celery and one-part green pepper. However, feel free to experiment with this ratio to find a combination that works for you. Note: homemade spice blends won’t include the preservatives found in prepared versions. Plus, preparing your own Cajun blend will allow you to control the level of heat by adjusting the amount of cayenne pepper used.
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 35-40 minutes Serves: 4-6
Cajun Seasoning Ingredients: 1 T. garlic powder 1 T. smoked paprika ½ T. onion powder 2 t. dried oregano 1 t. dried thyme 2 t. cayenne pepper 1 t. ground white pepper 2 t. fine sea salt
Skillet Ingredients: 3 3-oz. Cajun Andouille sausage links, sliced 2 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided 1 c. chopped white onion 1 c. chopped celery 1 c. chopped green bell pepper ½ c. chopped red bell pepper 1-2 T. Cajun seasoning, divided 1 c. basmati rice* 2 c. chicken broth or water 2 15-oz. cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed 3 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped *Recipe developed and tested with basmati rice. Cook time will vary if using different types of rice. Check package instructions and adjust accordingly.
Prepare the Cajun seasoning by combining all ingredients together in a bowl. Stir to combine and transfer to an airtight container. Set aside.
Add Andouille sausage to a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is browned on each side, approximately 4-5 minutes. Transfer browned sausage to a plate and set aside.
Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet and increase to medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, green pepper, and red pepper. Sprinkle with one tablespoon Cajun seasoning and stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften and develop some color, approximately 5-6 minutes.
Add remaining olive oil and the rice to the skillet. Toast the rice for 1-2 minutes, while stirring continually. Add the chicken broth and deglaze the skillet by lightly scraping the bottom with a spatula or wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits.
Bring the liquid to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove lid and add the browned Andouille sausage, kidney beans, and additional Cajun seasoning, if desired. Stir to combine and cover for 5-10 minutes.
Remove the lid and add the fresh parsley. Fluff the rice with a fork while stirring the parsley into the mixture. Serve immediately. Enjoy!