Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice! This vegan red beans and rice recipe is so satisfying and perfect for chilly winter days.
Don’t you love meals that are easy (👋 crockpot) and comforting (👋 rice and beans.)
Consider this your new I don’t feel like cooking but I want something stick to my ribs cozy yet not covered in butter, cream or cheese. This vegan red beans and rice recipe is like a rice casserole for the adult crowd, smoky beans and creamy rice that takes all of five minutes to throw together.
RB&R (red beans & rice) was one of those meals that we had all the time growing up, and with good reason. Dried beans and rice are dirt cheap and simple for a family a 5. Her version was naturally plant-based, and I’ve adapted it to fit the slow cooker.
Making her recipe in the slow-cooker was even easier that I thought it would be. Throw in all of the ingredients except for the rice and cook for 4 hours. From there, add in the rice and cook an additional hour if using white rice and 2 hours if using brown rice.
To make this simple slow cooker dinner, you’ll need:
This slow cooker vegan red beans and rice recipe is so simple, it’s only two steps. First, drain and rinse the canned beans then place them in a slow cooker along with the onion, green pepper, celery, thyme, garlic, vegetable broth, bay leaf, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Cook on low heat for 4-5 hours.
The beans should be tender and very flavorful by this point. remove the lid, stir and add in the uncooked rice and simmer for another hour or so until rice is cooked and absorbed all of the broth flavor.
You’ll need to have enough broth (2 cups) remaining in the crockpot to cook the rice this way. If you decide to make the rice on the stove instead, reduce the broth by 1/2 for cooking.
Remove the lid, fork the rice and season to taste, adding more salt or fresh black pepper as desired. Serve into bowls then garnish with fresh chopped parsley and hot sauce, if desired.
Several commenters below have added in sausage to the recipe and enjoyed it. My favorite plant-based brands are Field Roast and Beyond Sausage. The photos here have seared Field Roast sausage added on top.
As written this recipe is gluten-free but if you add in vegan sausage, then you need to make sure your sausage is gluten-free if needed. Many plant-based sausages are seitan based and made with wheat.
This recipe is better suited for the slow cooker than a pressure cooker. However, if you want to make it on the stove top then you will sauté the onion, pepper and celery in olive oil until tender, then add in the spices and garlic and cook another minute. Add in the drained and rinsed beans, vegetable broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
While the beans are cooking, make the rice according to package directions then serve with the beans.
Yes, you can make these red beans on the stove. To do so, sauté the onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic and spices in a few tablespoons of olive oil until very soft. Add in the canned red beans, bay leaf, two cups vegetable broth and simmer until thickened.
Serve with cooked rice and additional hot sauce, as desired.
Can I put on my dietitian hat for a moment and geek out on the amazingness of beans? Plant-based eating patterns that include beans, like kidney beans, reduces cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes risk, low-grade inflammation and may and may play a role in immune-related disease risk management. In general, diets that consistently contain more plant foods, like beans, and lesser amounts of animal foods are associated with less risk and incidence of type-2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, and mortality risk.
Why are beans specifically so amazing? They contain fiber, which helps reduce cholesterol levels, and improves microbial diversity and overall gut health. Intake of beans and legumes are associated with anti-obesity effects: high bean consumption decreases body weight and weight circumference.
They are a cheap, yet nutrient-dense food loaded with protein, polyphenols/phytochemicals, iron and zinc. One of the keys in the Blue Zones diet, places where people routinely live longer than average, is consuming at least one serving of beans and legumes a day.
Pretty incredible stats for such a humble food. I try to eat beans at least 1-2x a day and simple meals like this slow cooker red bean and rice recipe makes it easy to do so.
If you try this vegan red beans and rice recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!Print
Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice! This vegan red beans and rice recipe is so satisfying and perfect for chilly winter days. Consider this your new I don’t feel like cooking but I want something that’s stick to my ribs cozy yet not covered in butter, cream or cheese. It’s like a rice casserole for the adult crowd, smoky beans and creamy rice that takes all of five minutes to throw together.
Depending on the type of rice you use, it should cook in 1-2 hours on high. I used a sprouted blonde rice and it cooked in 40 minutes. Brown rice should take roughly 2 hours. If you decide that you don’t want to add the rice into the slow cooker, reduce the liquid to 1 cup and cook rice on it’s own.
This recipe was first published in 2015 and updated in 2021.
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