Lighter Red Beans and Sausage with Quinoa

13 Mar

Red beans and sausage.  Not a food combination I really crave, but I found a recipe that claimed “healthy” red beans and sausage, and I thought, what the heck.  Try it.  The Big Guy likes this sort of thing.

Red beans and sausage are now on my must-have list!  Not once a month, but at least a couple times during the cold winter months.  Plus, if you follow this recipe, you end up with a big pot – enough to serve a gaggle of friends and family.  That’s always a draw for me.  When I cook and bake, I often picture a whole houseful of people gathering around the table, and the coffee table, and the patio table, and the fire pit, to eat the food that comes off the stove and out of the oven.  Yes, I may have a slightly unhealthy preoccupation with food.  I completely blame my pleasant upbringing – which so often starred FOOD as the backdrop to any event.

My job, as I see it, is just to provide the best food possible and a welcoming environment for people to gather to enjoy the food.

I love my job.

Red Beans and Sausage with Quinoa

I found this recipe on Confections of a Foodie Bride’s blog.  Having never made red beans and sausage before, I followed her recipe to the letter.  It was so, so good – so I recommend you do the same!  Here’s her recipe, with a few of the slight seasoning adjustments I made…  (I just noticed that I forgot to finish it with Tabasco!  I did add a lot of Cajun seasoning and several big pinches of salt, though.)

I served the red beans and sausage with cornbread on the side – because it seemed like the thing to do.

Lighter Red Beans and Sausage with Quinoa
Makes: 1 big pot – approximately 10 servings

  • 1 lb small red beans, rinsed and picked over (KM:  I’m not exactly sure what you’re looking for when you pick over beans…. maybe shriveled ones?  I found a few split beans and threw those out for good measure because I didn’t find anything else that looked suspect.  Good bag of beans, apparently)
  • 1/2 large yellow, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 slice of bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cajun Seasoning, optional
  • 14 oz turkey link sausage
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, per person
  • Tobasco, for serving


  1. Place beans in a large pot and cover with 3-4 inches of water.
  2. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes and then turn off the heat. Let sit for 1 hour.
  3. Return to medium heat and add the chopped onion, bell peppers, bacon, garlic, and bay leaves to the pot along with a generous pinch of salt, ground black pepper, and several good shakes of Cajun seasoning.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer until the beans have completely softened, 1.5-2 hours.
  5. Cut the sausage into 1/3-inch rounds and then again to form half-circles.
  6. Add the sausage to the pot and heat through, 10-12 minutes.  Taste; adjust Cajun seasoning and salt as needed.
  7. Stir in a few shakes of Tobasco and then serve over quinoa.


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