As a native of New Orleans there is one dish that you can count on being present at every family gathering. This dish is red beans and rice.
Red beans and rice was a meal that my Mom often cooked on Mondays. Schools served red beans and rice on Mondays as well. Even though I was born and raised in New Orleans, I never knew the history of this being a Monday meal.
Back in the day, Monday was the day that the women traditionally took care of washing clothes. Of course, washing clothes way back then was an old day chore.
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Red beans were a dish that could simmer on the stove for hours and required little tending. So, dinner could be simmering away on the stove while the wash was being done.
The ham bone from Sunday’s meal was usually thrown into the pot of red beans on Monday for seasoning. Most people still use a ham bone or some type of pork to add the saltiness and extra flavor to their beans.
Once I removed pork from my diet, I began to use smoked turkey parts and chicken bouillon to replace the pork seasoning. And it worked phenomenally! I still had my creamy New Orleans style red beans but this time with the addition of smoked turkey.
Camellia brand red beans are a must! I won’t even make red beans and rice if I can’t get my hands on some Camellia red beans.
Check out my recipe below. It requires no veggie chopping as I add in frozen pre-chopped seasoning that includes the trinity (bell pepper, onion and celery) that is the base of almost every New Orleans dish.
Red Beans and Rice With Smoked Turkey
- 13 oz package Hillshire Farm Beef Smoked Sausage
- 1 lb dried red beans, soaked, rinsed and drained Camellia Brand
- 1/2 package pre-chopped frozen seasoning blend onion, celery, bell pepper blend
- 1 smoked turkey neck
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 3 tbsp seasoned salt I use Season-All by Morton's
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 4 cups cooked jasmine rice
- Make sure that you have rinsed and sorted your red beans and soaked them overnight
- Place the soaked beans into a dutch pot, stock pot or saucepan that is at least 5 quarts and cover beans with water
- Bring beans to a rapid boil on medium-high heat
- Once to a boil, add the bouillon cubes, pre-chopped frozen seasoning and smoked turkey neck
- Stir until the bouillon cubes are dissolved
- Reduce to a simmer and add bay leaves, seasoned salt, garlic powder and cayenne pepper
- Cover and cook for about 2 hours. If the beans have dried out to where they are no longer covered in water, add more water (or chicken broth if you have any)
- Use a slotted spoon to remove 1 1/2 cups of red beans and place in a glass bowl or cup
- Use a wooden or heavy spoon to mash the beans until smooth, then add back to the pot
- Continue to cook about another 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally and add more liquid if the mixture appears to be too thick. You want it to be creamy and soupy, not watery
- Taste and add more seasoned salt or cayenne pepper if needed
- Add the beef smoked sausage and cook until heated through (about 15-20 minutes)
- Remove the turkey neck and bay leaves
- Serve over rice and garnish with green onions
Be sure to let me know if you tried the recipe and if you added anything differently!