Beans and rice dinner deliciousness! Pinto beans are slow cooked with zesty Andouille chicken sausage, sweet bell peppers, herbs and spices for an easy, filling meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor.
Beans and rice has been my go-to meal for years because it’s simple, inexpensive, and very versatile. I know that I can throw just about anything into a pot of simmering beans and know that the end result will be delicious. My mom calls those type of meals “Must Go Meals” because all of the stuff in the ‘fridge that “must go” gets thrown into the pot! Clearing out room in the veggie crisper adds extra nutrition to the protein-rich meal and virtually eliminates the need to throw out forgotten produce.
Before I was married and living in a sea of testosterone, I’d make a big pot of vegetarian beans and rice on a Sunday night and eat it all week long. However, all of the men-folk in my house put a quick stop to that habit until I added a little something extra to entice them. Tossing in a fair amount of chicken andouille sausage adds a little spicy kick, and ensures that my guys will ignore the extra veggies and dive right in.
This beans and rice recipe is a little more than a dump & run type slow cooker recipe, However, it’s worth the little extra effort.
And by effort, I’m not talking hours here, Friends. I’m talking a maximum of twenty to thirty minutes of preparation time, the majority of which can be done the night before. I’m a believer of using dried beans rather than canned because, well…they’re cheaper and far less salty.
But don’t fear the dried beans!
Dried beans come out perfectly every time, with just tiniest amount of coaxing. Give the beans a good rinse and sort before soaking them overnight in cold water. After getting the beans soaking, chop the onions, garlic, and other vegetables and then toss them in a zip top freezer bag in the ‘fridge overnight. I’ve even gone so far as slicing up the sausage and storing that in another zip top bag in the refrigerator so that I can throw everything together more quickly in the morning. Start to finish, twenty minutes of prep time–TOPS!
In the morning, drain and rinse the beans, brown the sausage, and sauté the vegetables. Then dump it all into a slow cooker with broth and seasonings. Pop the lid on the crock and let it all simmer on LOW heat all day long. That slow simmer will tenderize the beans and let them soak up all the other goodness going on in that crock pot. It also gives me plenty of time to educate my kids, maybe a few errands, and get through soccer practice. By the time we get home hungry and exhausted, dinner is served!
I love opening the door after a long day, greeted by the awesome aroma of chicken andouille beans and rice.
I also love coming home to a nutritious dinner that can be on the table rather quickly.
Serve the beans and rice with a side of artisan cheddar bread. You won’t regret it!