WNK-Somethin'outtanothin'-book cover Somethin' Outta Nothin' Lorenzo Espada

4 to 5 servings

Prep: 15 minutes, plus 8 hours soaking time | Cook: 90 minutes

If you’ve never had red beans and rice before, let me warn you that you just might become addicted to it. When you cook this dish, the house will smell amazing, and you will be eager to dig in every minute you wait for it to be finished. Make this with Honey Jalapeño Cornbread and thank me later. 


  • 16 ounces dried red beans

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

  • 14 ounces smoked turkey sausage, sliced

  • 3 celery stalks, diced

  • ½ small yellow onion, diced

  • ½ small green bell pepper, diced

  • 4 to 6 cups chicken broth (see Pro Tip 1)

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 3 bay leaves

  • Cooked white rice

  • Chopped fresh parsley


1.     Add the beans to a bowl and pour in just enough water to cover. Soak overnight or for at least 8 hours, then drain.

2.     To a large pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and the sausage. Cook until seared, 2 to 3 minutes on each side, then remove from the pot.

3.     To the same pot, add 1 tablespoon of oil, your celery, onion, and bell pepper. Cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

4.     Add the chicken broth, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and beans. Mix, then add the bay leaves.

5.     Bring to a boil, cover, and cook until the beans are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (Uncover and stir the beans about every 10 to 15 minutes.)

6.     Use a wooden spoon to crush some of the beans against the side of the pot (see Pro Tip 2). Reduce the heat to low and allow the beans to thicken, 20 to 30 minutes.

7.     Stir in the sausage, then taste the beans and adjust the seasoning if desired.

8.     Serve with rice and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Pro Tips

1.     Reserve extra chicken broth (or water) in case the beans begin to dry out in the cooking process. Add an extra ½ cup at a time while cooking if needed.

2.     This will help thicken the broth. But don’t smash all of the beans! 

Copyright: "Excerpted from Somethin’ Outta Nothin’ reprinted by permission of DK, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2023 by Lorenzo Espada.”

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