$5 Meals: Pinto Beans & Andouille Sausage

Pinto beans, rice, and Andouille sausage is one of the most delicious, healthy $5 meals  you can make!

Dried pinto beans are a staple of the bare cupboard. How many times have you gone into the kitchen, pilfered through the cabinets and thought, “There’s nothing to eat!”, despite seeing copious mason jars, ZipLoc Bags, and cans of various edibles? The fact is – there usually is something to eat! It just takes some preparation.

Dried beans can be daunting, as they take some foresight to get right. If you’re cooking dried beans from scratch, you’ll need to soak them ahead of time, for up to 12 hours preferably. The effort is worth it, however, as it’s easy to make huge batches of pinto beans, rice, and Andouille sausage for the week, freezing or refrigerating the rest for lunches and leftovers.

Pinto beans, rice, and Andouille sausage is a particularly delicious mash-up of Cajun and Mexican food, both of which are essential to master if you want to learn how to cook on a budget. In New Orleans, longtime Louisianians take intense pride in their beans and sausage, slow-cooking them on cast iron, gas flame stoves for almost 24 hours, then delivering Tupperware portions to all of their neighbors. This delicious dish often costs barely pennies a portion, but can be more satisfying than the top Michelin-rated restaurant’s fare. Beans and rice are the definition of the ‘slow food movement’.

Despite being some of the most delicious food on the planet, a lot of people north of the Mason-Dixon line don’t know the glory that can be pinto beans, rice, and Andouille sausage! Here’s a recipe from my time down South, so you can taste what you’re missing!

How To Make Pinto Beans, Rice, and Andouille Sausage

andouille sausage beans rice

Andouille Sausage & Pinto Beans is one of the most delicious meals you can make for $5 or less/photo: InsatiableMunchies

1 pound dried pinto beans
12 cups water
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon taco seasoning Preferably homemade)
12 oz. Andouille sausage, sliced or diced
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice

Soak the beans overnight in cool water or, alternately, in warm water for 2 hours. Rinse in a colander, under cool running water, checking for broken or spoiled beans. Add the rinsed beans and 12 cups of water in a large pot. Add diced tomatoes (and their juice), diced green pepper, taco seasoning, and sliced Andouille sausage.Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for up to an hour-and-a-half, or until the beans are tender. Cook your rice about half-an-hour before your beans are done, then fluff and let cool. Serve pinto beans and Andouille sausage on top of rice.

For the most authentic Cajun experience, pick up some Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning and some Louisiana Sauce Hot Sauce or Crystal Hot Sauce, for a real taste of N’awlins!

What are some of your favorite meals to make for $5 or less?  Let us know in the comments!

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Author My First Apartment
J Simpson

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J. Simpson is a prolific freelance writer, blogger, and musician, based out of Portland, Or. He is fascinated with every aspect of modern living, and how to make the best of it, frequently writing about business, technology, and spirituality, as well as every aspect of culture - music, art, literature, cinema, TV, and comics. For more from J., follow him on Twitter at @for3stpunk.

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