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Apr 2, 2013 10:40 AM

Popeye's Red Beans and Rice

I have been trying to make red beans and rice for years. I have been trying to find a recipe that tastes like Popeye's but I have not had ay luck. There are many "copy Cat" recipes out there but nothing that compares. Does anyone have a recipe that will compare to Popeye's?

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  1. I always thought mine was similar.

    I take 1 lb of smoked sausage (Since I can't get andouille). Cut it into pieces and saute with some cajun seasoning. Remove when browned. Add 1 c diced onion, 1/2 c each diced bell pepper and celery. When softened I add some more cajun seaoning and garlic. Fry for 20 seconds or so. Add the sausage, a ham hock (ours are 4 - 5 lbs), beans (1 lb soaked overnight) and enough boxed chicken broth to cover. Simmer about 3 hours or until hock starts to fall apart. Remove hock, let cool. Remove the meat from the hock, shred and return to pot. While the hock is cooling, stir the beans and make sure you smash some against the side of the pot until the desired thickness is reached.
    Serve over rice.


    11 Replies
    1. re: Davwud

      That sounds so good. I will have to soak some beans tonight so that I can make it tomorrow. Thanks so much. I will let you know hw it turns out.

      1. re: Davwud

        This is pretty much my go-to recipe. I try to get a mild andouille or, if I have to, use kielbasa. I like to use a smoked hock, but if using the kielbasa, it isn't really necessary. Smashing some of the cooked beans really adds to the creaminess.

        1. re: Davwud

          hey davwud!

          you have a five pound hamhock for one pound of beans? plus sausage? i'll bet that is delicious.

          but that is one honkin' hamhock!

          1. re: alkapal

            I'll have to dig out some pictures. They're enormous.

            I may have to double check, it may be 1 kg of beans. I just know bag size.


            1. re: Davwud

              yes, i looked for some photos on your blog, but didn't find any.

              1. re: alkapal

                There's nothing to give you perspective but these are some I purchase often. They're in the 4lb range.


                  1. re: alkapal

                    I believe the correct term is "Oh baby!!"


                    1. re: Davwud

                      aww, don't get all technical on me, bro'!

          2. re: Davwud

            I know your post is old, but you can buy some AWESOME (true Cajun too) sausage online. Go to I promise you once you go there, you'll never be able to taste a simple andouille sausage again. I kid you not.

            I moved the area that it is made (no, I'm not vested in it, in any way, just a fan) back in '07 and had never tried it until some girls at work were talking about it. Since then, I cannot eat another sausage. It's sold locally here, but their online packages are good deals.

            We made a ham of theirs one year for Christmas. Unlike the sausage, that thing was gosh-darned expensive but I tell you what: it was the best freaking ham I ever had in my life! ;)

            1. re: magnoliasouth

              How odd that you mention that. We just got back from Alabama and somewhere we ate used them. I can't remember the details because Mrs. Sippi told me about it after.
              Anyway, she said it was great.

              Have you tried a Broadbent's ham?? They're up in the LBTL region of Kentucky. Awesome stuff. Best I've had.


          3. Could you perhaps give us some idea of what makes Popeye's version so wonderful or what seems to be missing in the copycats you've tried? It's been a long time since I've had it there, but it must not have made a lasting impression. The biggest difference between recipes that I've made seems to be in the quality/heat of the andouille sausage used.

            20 Replies
            1. re: grampart

              I do not think that Popeye's has meat in their red beans and rice. Atleast I have never seen meat in it. The texture is so creamy, and it just melts in your mouth. I have to say that I always add a package of Cajun Sparkle when I eat there. ( this is a spicy packet they give you to add more flavor) I love full flavors and spicy food. The copycats just seem to leave something out...I am not sure what it is.

              1. re: ksmburns

                You can leave out the sausage, but (imho) the ham hocks are a must!

                1. re: ksmburns

                  I've never seen meat and the website doesn't indicate it. What I do taste is liquid smoke and dried out rice, not a fan but haven't had any in a few years.

                  1. re: James Cristinian

                    I'm not one who totally dismisses the use of Liquid Smoke, but in rb&r? Never! That's why the smoked ham hocks are used! Perhaps, a vegan recipe? But, really, I don't know from vegans.

                    1. re: James Cristinian

                      I do not think that there is liquid smoke in it, I dont taste that.

                      1. re: ksmburns

                        I'm going to do a science project and order beans and rice and one piece of chicken, which I'm not wild about either. We have a local place that is light years better in both chicken and beans and rice and they use andouille, unlike the sausage less Popeye's.

                      2. re: James Cristinian

                        I agree that there's a liquid smoke flavor--which I regard as a decent ingredient rather than as something "artificial."

                      3. re: ksmburns

                        The real thing has no meat, you are confusing with Sucisse aux haricots. A very different traditional NOLA dish.

                        1. re: law_doc89

                          Really? There are regional differences, though; red beans are a Southern staple, not just a NOLA thing. My people come from Arkansas, Tennessee, and So. Carolina, and we do a hock, actually more than one in a pot, and sometimes neck bones, though I haven't had neck bones in years. It wasn't till I was an adult that I ever saw sausage in the pot. My relatives would do hot links, but they would do them separately.

                          See what you've done? You've made me crave red beans, with neck bones--and today is the day of my re-commitment to being meatless! The agony! :-)

                        2. re: ksmburns

                          Popeye's does a fine job hiding their ingredients. The site below gives an ingredient list that my best guess, probably reflects a frozen-food version they produce/(d). Pork fat is definitely on the list.


                          1. re: DuchessNukem

                            You remind me that I forgot to mention that the late Buster Holmes, who ws locally famous for his RB&R, used to finish his batch with margarine.Amazing how much margarine found its way into New Orleans food back then.(BBQ shrimp being the best example)

                            1. re: hazelhurst

                              but not with the real greats I always preferred Chez Helene to Dooky Leslie Austin cooked a rehearsal dinner for my wedding, He is missed,

                            2. re: DuchessNukem

                              My bet is that they use a ton of salt as well.

                              1. re: PattiCakes

                                I count 11 possible salt items in that ingredients list.

                                1. re: sandylc

                                  I was under no illusions that the original was a low fat low sodium food. What do you think makes it good? Not an everyday staple.

                                  1. re: Allthegoodnameswere

                                    I was just answering PattiCakes' question - no judgement!

                          2. re: grampart

                            I have heard that Popeye's uses a healthy dose of chicken fat in the beans. I have not had this confirmed, nor have I tried it myself.

                            1. re: grampart

                              I for sure thought there was some kind of pork product, but perhaps it is liquid smoke. I admittedly love their red beans and rice when the converted rice has actually been cooked properly.

                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                Cured pork fat is a listed ingredient.

                            2. I've been using Prudhomme's recipe with great success, but the texture of the beans was never quite creamy enough to emulate Popeyes. That is until I tried using Camelia Brand Red Beans. The combination of the richness of the pork hocks and mashing the beans with a potato masher seems to come very close to the Popeye's creamy texture. I also use a modified quick simmer technique where I put the rinsed beans in cold water, bring to a simmer, simmer for an hour, then let sit overnight in the hot water. This seems to kill off any of the latent yeasts that contribute to flatulence. When I'm ready to cook, I rinse the beans thoroughly and do them in the crock pot. I know some folks insist this washes away the vitamins and minerals, but I read in Rick Bayless's book that the loss of vitamin content is negligible and for me, it's worth the exponential reduction in gas. Fortunately I have a good source for coarse ground andouille; most smoked sausage and kielbasa is far too hotdog-like. The texture just doesn't work for me. I saute the sausage and add the other ingredients, then dump those in the crock as well.

                              The QC on the Camelia is impressive. Not a single cracked, split, or discolored bean. Other brands, I find at least a dozen, if not more. Can't recommend these beans highly enough.



                              9 Replies
                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                They both sound so good. I will have to try the Camelia beans. And I did not know that if you soaked and rinsed the beans that it would help with flatulance. ( this sounds great since I have a house full of boys)
                                Thank you both so much!

                                1. re: ksmburns

                                  Please try Camellia beans. You won't be disappointed and MAY be amazed at the difference.

                                  We were, when I joke-gifted my Wisconsin wife with twenty pounds from the website.

                                  Her beans are BEST with Camellia!

                                2. re: monkeyrotica

                                  monkeyrotica, where do you get your andouille?
                                  and the camellia beans, if you find them locally?

                                  i see camellia has a variety of beans, so i may have to go hog-wild and get a sampler.

                                  how do they compare with rancho gordo beans, anyone?

                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    I actually buy mine when I am in Texas. There is nothing available here in Kansas.

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      I get my andouille from Canales Meats in Eastern Market. I think Union Meats there also carries it. Their boudin isn't bad either.

                                      I was unable to locate Camelia beans locally, so I just ordered them through the website.

                                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                                        thanks. i was wondering in the back of my head whether you got andouille from the butcher at "let's meat on the avenue." he's got good sausages.

                                    2. re: monkeyrotica

                                      Camellia beans are essential. mashing them against the side of the pot helps with "creaminess." Some cooks add a can or two of Blue Runner beans (and ONLY Blue Runner beans). I add a second blast of onion and garlic about an hour before serving just to have something identifiable. The late Richard Collin, whose authority on such things is suspect, claimed to rate RB&R according to "bean definition" when complete. this was , and is, nonsense.

                                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                                        Yes. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE use Camellia brand beans. They are what Creole and Cajun folks use. I am a born and raised South Louisianian and the only times we didn't use Camellia brand beans or peas was when we had them fresh from the garden. Try their Lady Cream Peas and Field Peas (a food cited on the Ark of Taste years ago). They don't disappoint. As an adult stuck in California, I lug 10 lbs of beans/peas back with me after every trip home to see my family.

                                        1. Oh my, why would you want to duplicate this? I suggest you get hold of an old copy of Mary Moore Bremer"s cook book. She preserved recipes from the original way these dishes were made. You will be amazed to make and eat the real thing.

                                          It used to be known as "red beans a la nouvelle orleans" and it was all about cooing the beans which are added to rice at the end. The secret is a beef roux at the start, made with bacon fat, of course, and remembering the tea cup on the bottom of the bean pot.

                                          I cannot find a link, but the book is a classic, and there are many used copies available, cheap, ALL the modern big names in NOLA know and respect MMB.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: law_doc89

                                            I will look for the cookbook. Thanks

                                            1. re: ksmburns

                                              I found and ordered the cookbook by Mary Moore Bremer. I received it today in the mail, I am so excited to try alot of the recipes in there. I made some last week from one of the recipes on that was posted on here, and it was wonderful. Thank you everyone for your help, now I just need to get the Camelia Beans!

                                              1. re: ksmburns

                                                Amazon has if all else fails. I bought 6 bags not realizing I was buying 12# lol. Fortunately they store well; but single bags are available.

                                                1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                  Always excited to learn about southern cookbooks to add to my collection.

                                                  If I am to believe, I have just ordered a 1949 edition of Ms. Bremer's book, for $10.

                                                  Anything bound with plastic combs is first-rate in my library!