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