top of page
  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Red Beans and Rice from Louis Armstrong

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

Louis Armstrong is one of New Orleans most famous natives. He was so tied to New Orleans that all of his written letters were signed Red Beans and Ricefully Yours. The other day, a friend of mine, Jimmy Bassford,  copied me in a Facebook Post with the Red Beans and Rice recipe from Louis & Lucille Armstrong titled, Pops Favorite Dish. The one thing I see differently from this recipe is the use of tomato sauce. Also, for the rice it calls for 2 cups water for 2 cups rice. In the directions, they say to use 1 1/2 cups water to 1 cup rice. So, here is the recipe

Pops Favorite Dish

Creole Red Beans (Kidney) and Rice

1 lb Kidney Beans

1/2 lb Salt Pork (Strip of lean, strip of fat) (Slab Bacon may be used if preferred)

1 small can of Tomato Sauce (if desired)

6 small Ham Hocks or one smoked Pork Butt

2 Onions diced

1/4 Green (Bell) Pepper

5 tiny or 2 medium dried Peppers

1 clove Garlic, chopped

Salt to taste

Wash beans thoroughly, then soak over night in cold water. Be sure to cover beans. To Cook, pour water off beans, add fresh water to cover. Add salt pork or bacon, let come to a boil over full flame in covered pot. Turn flame down to slightly higher than low and let cook one and one-half hours. Add diced onion, bell peppers, garlic, dried peppers , and salt. Cook three hours. Add tomato sauce, cook one and one-half hours more, adding water whenever necessary. Beans and meat should always be just covered with water (juice), never dry. This serves 6 or more persons.

To prepare with Ham Hocks or Pork Butts… Wash meat, add water to cover and let come to a boil in covered pot over medium flame. Cook one and one-half hours. Then add beans (pour water off), add rest of ingredients to meat. Cook 4 and one-half hours. Add water when necessary.


For non pork eaters, chicken fat may be used instead of salt pork. Corned beef or beef tounge may be used instead of ham hocks or butts.


2 cups White Rice

2 cups Water

One teaspoon of Salt

One Pot with Cover

Wash rice thoroughly, have water and salt come to a boil. Add rice to boiling water. Cook until rice swells and water is almost evaporated. Cover and turn flame down low. Cook until rice is grainy. To insure grainy rice, always use one and one-half cups water to one cup rice.

To Serve

On dinner plate–Rice then beans, either over rice or besides rice as preferred.


33 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page