what goes with red beans and rice

What Goes with Red Beans and Rice: 13 Southern-Inspired Dishes

One of Louisiana’s most well-loved Creole dishes is red beans and rice. It is borne out of innovation and resourcefulness, as this dish is not just delicious, but it’s also practical. It utilizes the leftovers from Sunday dinner, and the southern mamas can leave it simmering while doing other chores.

But now, it isn’t just them who appreciate red beans and rice. You can easily make a bowl or two to enjoy. If you’ve ever wondered what goes with red beans and rice, take a pick from any of these 13 easy and tasty recipes.

1. Honey Butter Cornbread

Cornbread is the most well-recommended side dish to many southern entrees, including red beans and rice. Although you can make it the traditional way, incorporating butter and honey flavors introduces new dimensions to your meal. For instance, you get more sweetness which beautifully contrasts the savory flavors of the red beans. Moreover, all you’ll need are easy-to-find ingredients: cornmeal, butter, honey, oil, and milk.

2. Southern-Style Buttermilk Biscuits

Another southern favorite is golden, tender, and flaky buttermilk biscuits, whose buttery, rich flavors melt beautifully on your tongue. They’re a perfect side to many dishes, and red beans and rice are no exception. It takes only 30 minutes to make and bake these biscuits. Then you can serve them warm and fresh, which is the best way to have buttermilk biscuits.

3. French Bread

French bread is a classic pairing with red beans and rice in New Orleans. It is incredible with the dish because it is soft, light, and fluffy, allowing it to absorb the sauce and flavors more efficiently. Although most stores sell French bread, they’re less satisfying than homemade ones, which you can easily and confidently make with this recipe.

4. Southern Collard Greens

As one of the region’s most popular, healthy side dishes, collard greens have a special place in the US southern cuisine. You get a lot of flavors from it, as the greens are combined with chili peppers, spices, sugar, and other flavorings. Most recipes also include some meat, like bacon, but this recipe uses smoked turkey wings. It is flavorful yet simple, the perfect accompaniment to savory red beans and rice.

5. Andouille Sausage

As it is a classic, even traditional pairing to red beans and rice, many recipes already incorporate Andouille sausages. But if you prefer to keep yours on the side or want to know how to make it at home, here’s an easy-to-follow recipe that promises traditional, Cajun-style sausage. It takes time and effort, but the impeccable flavors make it worth the while.

6. Smoked Pork Chop

Although meat doesn’t sound like a side dish, many serve their red beans and rice with protein dishes, including smoked pork chop. It makes the meal more satisfying and filling and contributes to the incredible depth of flavor you experience. For instance, this smoked pork chop brings in smoky, juicy, and savory tastes, rendering the meal’s flavor profile more complex.

7. Southern Fried Chicken

If you prefer crunchy and juicy meat over flavorful ones, swap your pork chop recipe for this southern-style fried chicken. It’s everything you can ask for from such a dish – crispy exterior, moist meat, and a delicious combination of seasonings. When paired with red beans and rice, it doesn’t just contribute to the complexity of flavors; it also brings in incredible and satisfying textures.

8. Slow Cooker Beef Brisket with BBQ Sauce

Another of the south’s favorite proteins, BBQ beef brisket is perfect on its own, but it’s also welcome beside red beans and rice. It’s flavorful, tender, heartwarming, and juicy – everything you need to elevate a humble yet savory meal like red beans and rice. The downside is it takes more than 10 hours to make and cook, but like all good things, it’s worth the wait.

9. Southern Fried Catfish

If you find beef and pork too heavy, try red beans and rice with fried catfish. It has a crispy breading, and the inside is flaky and tender. Its unique golden color also brightens up the meal. The salty, lemon pepper, and spicy flavors are also well-balanced, and they don’t hide the fantastic taste of the catfish itself.

10. Classic Southern Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a reliable go-to recipe for a quick and easy side dish. This simple, tri-color cabbage salad brings fresh and crisp flavors to contrast your red beans and rice meal in a good way. The south also has a version of this slaw, which focuses on cold, tangy flavors to suit their favorite meals.

11. Southern Green Beans

If you find the beans in your red beans and rice not quite enough, who says you can’t add more? These southern green beans also go well with such a dish, as their flavors are simple, and the beans are perfectly tender. It isn’t as saucy as the red beans, so you won’t have to worry much about overwhelming flavors.

12. Creamy Potato Salad

There’s a lot to love about this potato salad: it’s perfectly creamy; easy to make, with tangy, sweet flavors; and slight spice. These qualities sound like a far cry from red beans and rice, but that’s what you need if you want some contrast and novelty in your meal. Besides the potatoes, this salad also has hard-boiled eggs, celery, herbs, red onion, and dill pickles.

13. Fried Green Tomatoes

If you haven’t had any luck frying your tomatoes, you should take notes from the southerners. Their fried green tomatoes have a crisp exterior and a juicy yet firm interior. The flavors are tangy and fresh, perfect if your red beans have heat. Ingredients are simple, too: green tomatoes, salt, flour, Cajun seasoning, milk, egg, white cornmeal, breadcrumbs, and oil.

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences.