Butter Beans and Rice with Sausage is one of those winter meals I crave once the weather turns cool. Sausage and beans, with a thick garlicky broth full of veggies, what’s not to love? The smell of this slowly simmering in the kitchen fills the home with herbs, garlic, onions, and sausages, you can hardly wait to dig in once they’re finished cooking.
This Butter Beans and Rice with Sausage recipe may actually be the first REAL recipe I made by myself when I was probably around 12 or 13 years old. I used to babysit for my neighbor’s little boy and this was one of the recipes that she would make. I remember she used a ton of garlic in her dried beans recipe and it was magical, I had never had anything like it, it was pure soul food goodness. After that, I started making my own version of Butter Beans and Rice with Sausage. In the beginning, the recipe was just that, beans, garlic, and sausage. However, my parents wanted more veggies in the stew, and I started adding tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, onions, etc. The recipe transformed into something that has stayed a favorite my entire life.
Beans and Rice
Beans and Rice are a staple in the diets of almost every culture. Although a simple meal, it packs a significant nutritional punch. Providing a healthy source of plant-based protein, good carbohydrates, fiber, and other nutrients.
Although I add sausage to this recipe, it can easily be omitted for a vegan or vegetarian meal. Any dried beans can be used in this recipe, and it can be easily modified to add additional vegetables, herbs, or seasonings.
Nine Essential Amino Acids
With the exception of soy, most plant-based proteins are incomplete and it is necessary to combine a variety of complementary sources. Although both rice and beans are an incomplete protein, when combined they contain all of the 9-essential amino acids humans need to build muscle and fuel organs.
Your body appreciates protein from a variety of sources, and plant-based proteins have the added benefit of being low in fat and cholesterol, and high in many nutrients not found in animal-based proteins.
Rice and Beans Ingredients
I kept this base recipe very simple in order to make it easy to modify to suit your personal tastes. I love to add ingredients to dried beans so they are always a little different. Here are some of my favorite extra ingredients:
- Vegetarian or vegan: The sausage is totally optional; this recipe can easily be vegetarian or vegan.
- Carrots: Healthy, colorful, and delicious, they are always a good addition to beans and rice.
- Fresh Spinach: Another superfood that helps make this already healthy meal even more so. Other leafy greens that are great in soups and stews include mustard greens, collards, and kale.
- Quinoa: A great source of protein and iron, if you are looking to make this recipe protein-packed and super healthy, this superfood is a great addition.
- Sweet Potatoes: Diced sweet potatoes are a delicious addition and a nutritional powerhouse.
Here’s my Butter Beans and Rice with Sausage recipe:
Butter Beans and Rice with Sausage
- 1 Pound Dry Beans I like white lima beans, but any beans will work
- 1 1/2 Quarts Water Or stock
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Red Onion Diced
- 1 Cup Celery Diced
- 2 Tablespoons Garlic Crushed and chopped
- 2 Cups Red Potatoes Diced
- 4 Cups Carrots Diced
- 1 14-Ounce Can Tomatoes Diced
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
- 1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 5 Ounces Spinach Or greens of your choice
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 1 Pound Polska Kielbasa or Turkey sausage
- 2 Cups Brown Rice
- Rinse and sort the dry beans to remove any weird beans or stones. Soak the beans at least 8 hours, overnight is best, then drain and rinse
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch Oven, add the beans, water, sausage, tomatoes, and the dry herbs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for approximately 1½ hours, until beans are almost done (check the cooking instructions on the bean package, cooking times may vary)
- Add the potatoes and carrots and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and continue to simmer for approximately 30-45 minutes
- In a separate frying pan, sauté the onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 3 minutes until soft, then add the celery and sauté for 2 more minutes. Finally, add the salt, garlic and sauté for 1 minute, add the onion mixture to the beans.
- The carrots will be the test if the soup is done or not. Test a large carrot. If it’s done, the soup is done.
- Add the fresh spinach, stir to combine and wilt, about 1 minute. Other tougher greens such as kale or collards will take longer
- Serve with a serving of rice in the bottom of the bowl
- Prepare rice separately per manufactures instructions