2 ratings

Red Beans and Rice

A side dish with a side of heat
Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

If you're not a fan of Christmas lima beans, you can sub them for cranberry beans or red beans. 

This recipe is by JeanMarie Brownson and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune

Ready in
3 h, 40 m
1 h, 25 m
(prepare time)
2 h, 15 m
(cook time)


  • 1 pound heirloom Christmas lima beans
  • 10 cups unsalted vegetable or chicken broth (or water)
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, trimmed, peeled, halved, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 small jalapeno or serrano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 small fresh thyme sprigs (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon salt plus 1 teaspoon
  • 2 cups long grain brown jasmine rice
  • 12 ounces (3 to 4 cups) shredded cooked roast pork or ham
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Red hot sauce


Put beans into a large (4 or 5-quart) saucepan.

Add cold water to cover.

Heat to a full boil.

Turn off heat and let stand 1 or 2 hours.

Drain well.

Return soaked beans to pan.

Add 8 cups of the broth and the celery, onions, carrots, garlic, jalapeno, bay leaves and thyme.

Heat to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer, and partly cover the pan.

Cook, stirring often and adding remaining 2 cups broth as needed, until beans are tender, about 2 hours.

Stir in 1 tablespoon salt.

Simmer 15 minutes more.

Meanwhile, cook rice in 2 2/3 cups water with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a rice cooker according to the manufacturer's directions.

(To cook rice on the stovetop, bring the rice, salt and 3 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook, covered, until water is absorbed, about 40 minutes.)

Ladle 2 cups of the beans and their cooking liquid into a blender; puree smooth.

Drain off the liquid from remaining beans; return beans to pot.

Stir in pureed beans and pork.

Heat through on low heat.

Taste and adjust salt.

Serve bean mixture over a scoop of rice in warm bowls.

Sprinkle generously with cilantro.

Pass hot sauce.