Best Rice for Red Beans and Rice: Achieve Fluffy & Flavorful Grains

Last update:
Red beans and rice in a white plate with a text "best rice for red beans and rice"

Red beans and rice is generally a forgiving dish.

But, if there’s one mistake people make the most when preparing this classic Louisiana staple, that’s using the wrong type of rice!

Even if you cook the red beans perfectly…

You won’t really achieve the ideal finished product if your rice isn’t fluffy, is too mushy, or doesn’t absorb flavors well. 

So, yup, if you plan to cook red beans and rice soon, make sure you list the best rice variety in this week’s grocery list! 

Top Rice Variety: American Long-Grain White Rice

Long grain rice in a wooden spoon.

I often consider long-grain white rice to be the perfect “blank slate” among rice varieties.

It has a very mild flavor, unlike varieties like jasmine or basmati.

Plus, it has a neutral aroma that doesn’t overshadow flavorful dishes like red beans and rice.

The best part of all…this rice variety is pretty much in every grocery store! 

So, no need to run out of steam to find it. 

Reasons to Use Long-Grain White For Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice in a blue plate.

Fluffy Texture: When cooked right, long-grain white rice offers a fluffy texture that contrasts perfectly with the creaminess and heartiness of red beans.

Easy to Cook: Long-grain white rice is one of the easiest rice varieties to cook. Even if you occasionally over or under-measure the water, it still turns out well!

Very Versatile: This rice variety is extremely popular in both Western and Asian cuisines. So, even if you have uncooked leftover rice, you can easily find other recipes that make good use of it. It won’t be one of those ingredients that gets forgotten in your pantry for months. 

Rice Runner-Ups

Though long-grain white rice is my go-to when cooking red beans and rice, I also give a thumbs-up to choosing either of the two rice varieties below for this dish. 

Carolina Rice

Carolina rice doesn’t exactly have a neutral flavor or aroma.

But what I love most about this rice is that it absorbs flavors and seasonings better than long-grain white rice.

This allows the rich, savory notes of red beans to seep in better, making every bite more flavorful and satisfying.

Jasmine Rice

Jasmine rice in a wooden bowl placed on top of burlap.

If you love Jasmine rice’s innate aroma, you can also use it for red beans and rice.

I think its slightly nutty flavor complements very well with the dish’s spices and seasoning.

And although it’s stickier than long-grain white rice, it still has a relatively fluffy texture that’s suitable for red beans and rice. 

Rice Matters in Red Beans and Rice 

The three rice varieties I recommended above are the superior options for cooking red beans and rice. 

Prepared properly for this dish, they’re guaranteed to impress you and your guests’ palate.

Just remember, long-grain white rice is the classic option. Carolina rice is the best alternative. And Jasmine rice is an adventurous choice. 

That said, you’re all set to cook the best red beans and rice your kitchen has ever produced! 

Yield: 4

No-fuss Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice in a red bowl.

A no-fuss red beans and rice recipe that only needs half an hour of active cooking yet comes out delicious every single time!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup of onions (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup of celery (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup of bell peppers (finely chopped)
  • 2 strips of thick-cut bacon (diced)
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 2½ cups of water
  • ½ tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon of your preferred hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of creole seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper (to taste)
  • ½ pound of dried red beans (already been soaked and drained)
  • Cooked long-grain white rice to serve with the red beans


  1. Grab a large pot and heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, bell peppers, and celery. Cook them for 8-10 minutes or until they start to caramelize and become tender.
  2. Add the diced bacon to the pot. Cook it for about about 4-5 minutes or until it becomes crispy. Remove any excess bacon fat, but leave about 1 tablespoon in the pot for extra flavor.
  3. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Be careful not to let it burn.
  4. Increase the heat to medium-high. Pour in the chicken stock and water. Then, mix in the Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, creole seasoning, hot sauce, salt, and pepper.
  5. Stir the content of the pot for a while, then add the soaked red beans.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. 
  7. Cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours (extend it for half an hour if needed) until the beans are tender and the mixture has thickened. 
  8. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Then, turn off the heat.
  9. Allow the beans to rest for 15 minutes to thicken further. Serve the beans over freshly cooked long-grain white rice.

Related articles:

Javelyn Puso Avatar


Leave a Comment

Skip to Recipe