Red Beans and Rice with Braised Collard Greens

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This is a delicious and nutritious dish that features creamy red beans, fluffy rice, and tender collard greens. It’s vegetarian, gluten-free, and freezer-friendly, making it a perfect choice for busy weeknights or cozy weekends. You’ll love the rich flavors and textures of this Southern-inspired comfort food.
Freezer Friendly

Who says you need meat to make a satisfying and hearty meal? This recipe for Red Beans and Rice with Braised Collard Greens proves that you can enjoy a meatless dish that is full of flavor and protein. It’s a simple and easy recipe that you can make with pantry staples and fresh greens.

The red beans are cooked with onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and Cajun seasonings, creating a thick and savory sauce that coats every bite. The rice is the ideal accompaniment to soak up the sauce and add some texture. The collard greens are braised in butter, broth, vinegar, sugar, and hot sauce, adding a touch of sweetness and tanginess to the dish. The result is a balanced and satisfying meal that will fill you up and warm you up.

This dish is also very budget-friendly and versatile. You can make a big batch and store it in the fridge or freezer for later use. You can also customize it to your liking by adding or swapping some ingredients. It’s a dish that you can enjoy any time of the year, whether it’s a chilly winter night or a sunny summer day.

Customizing This Recipe

  • If you don’t have white rice, you can use brown rice, quinoa, couscous, or cauliflower rice.
  • If you don’t have collard greens, you can use kale, spinach, mustard greens, or Swiss chard.
  • If you want to make this dish vegan, you can omit the butter and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. You can also use vegan butter or oil to sauté the vegetables.

If you want to add some meat to this dish, you can use andouille sausage, smoked ham, bacon, ham hock, or leftover ham from a roast. Just cook the meat with the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic, and then add the beans and water.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

You can store the leftovers of this dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, you can microwave it for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until hot. You can also reheat it on the stovetop over medium-low heat, adding some water if needed to thin the sauce.

Freezing and Reheating

You can freeze this dish in a freezer-safe container or a ziplock bag for up to 3 months. To reheat, you can thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, and then follow the same steps as above. You can also reheat it from frozen, but it may take longer and you may need to add more water to prevent burning.

Red Beans and Rice with Braised Collard Greens

Red Beans and Rice with Braised Collard Greens

Prep Time:
8 hours, 20 min
Cook Time:
2 hours, 15 minutes
Total Time:
10 hours, 35 min
Equipment Needed

For the Beans:

  • 1 pound of dried red kidney beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 6 cups stock, chicken or vegetable
  • 2 bay leaves

For the collard greens:

  • 2 bunches collard greens, washed, stemmed, and chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter, dairy or plant-based
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  1. The night before, place your beans in a large pot or lidded container. Fill with enough water to cover the beans by about 2 inches. Put in the fridge to soak overnight.
  2. When you’re ready to cook, drain the soaked beans, rinse with cool water, and drain. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute, then stir in the paprika, cayenne, thyme, and oregano and cook for another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the stock, bay leaves, beans, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, or until the beans are tender and the sauce is thickened. Mash some of the beans with a potato masher or a fork to create a creamier texture. Adjust the seasonings if needed. Keep warm.
  5. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the collard greens and toss to coat. Add the broth, vinegar, and hot sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the greens are tender and the liquid is reduced. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. To serve, spoon the rice onto a large platter. Ladle the bean mixture over the rice and sprinkle with the green onions. Add the collard greens on the side.
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