Level II: Meet Your New Favorite Weeknight Dinner

Photographed by Eric Helgas; Food styled by Ali Nardi.
I went to Costa Rica as a kid for a two-week camping trip, and we ate rice and beans every single day for lunch and dinner. Normally that might be something of a bore, but for some reason, I never tired of rice and beans. Always delicious and comforting, they're a great go-to dish when you want something cheap and cheerful that can be dressed up any number of ways. Here, we propose a version with andouille sausage and Cajun seasoning.

Red Beans & Rice
Serves 4 

3 cups cooked long grain white rice
8 oz fully cooked andouille or other smoked sausage, sliced
1/2 onion, peeled and diced
1/2 green pepper, diced with seeds removed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 15-oz cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5-oz can of low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning

1. Heat a large nonstick pot on medium-high heat. Add the sausage, onion, green pepper, and garlic, and cook until sausage and vegetables begin to brown, about 8 minutes. 2. Add the beans, broth, and Cajun seasoning to the sausage and vegetables. Bring to a boil then simmer and stir from time to time, mashing some of the beans. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the mixture is thick but still saucy. 3. Microwave the rice in a microwave-safe container to reheat, and serve mixed with the red beans.

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