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Lean red beans and rice recipe

Lighten up this hearty Louisiana favorite with smoked turkey sausage instead of the traditional andouille sausage (made from smoked pork and beef).

Or, make a vegetarian version, with no meat at all.

But remember: meat adds flavor, so if you use less meat or less spicy sausage, add additional spice according to your taste. 

Lean Red Beans and Rice

Serves 4

  • 1 cup red beans
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 ounces boneless smoked pork chops (or other meat), well trimmed, diced
  • 4 ounces andouille or smoked turkey sausage, diced (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • Steamed brown rice (1/2 cup per serving)

In a large pot, cover beans with water and soak overnight. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat.

Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes.

Stir in pork chops, sausage, thyme and cayenne and sauté 2 minutes.

Drain soaked beans, then add to pot with 3 1/2 cups water. Simmer over low heat until beans are creamy, about 1 1/2 hours.

Serve with steamed rice.

Nutritional information: 150 calories per serving (about 270 calories with ½ cup rice) , 5 g fat, 614 mg sodium, 20 mg cholesterol. 

Adapted from Bon Appetit.

About Sheryll Clarke

Sheryll Clarke is a Ascension Medical Group registered dietitian who specializes in helping kids and adults control their weight and manage health conditions through healthy food choices. When she's not enjoying the great outdoors, she loves collecting healthy recipes. She received her master’s degree in Foods and Nutrition from Kansas State University.