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Red Beans and Rice Print E-mail

Start this recipe first because it takes a long time before the beans cook down! We used a crock pot on high and it took about 5 hours. This New Orleans recipe was traditionally made on wash day. Before washing machines and hot water heaters, the women in the family would boil huge pots of water on the stove or in the yard over fires to be able to have enough hot water to scrub all their family's clothes. They would put a extra pot of water on to boil the beans, giving them an occasional stir between loads of wash.

You'll need:

  • 1 pound of dried kidney beans - soaked overnight in 8 cups of water
  • 6-8 cups of fresh water
  • 1 large onion - chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
  • 1 large smoked ham hock or 1 pound of smoked turkey necks
  • 2 cups of diced ham or 1 package chicken andouille sausage
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • A bay leaf
  • A little adult help


  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • A heavy bottomed soup pot or crock pot
  • A wooden spoon
  1. Drain the soaked kidney beans.
  2. Put beans in a heavy pot - we used a crock pot.
  3. Cover the beans with the fresh water.
  4. Put the lid on the crock pot and turn the heat to high. Boil the beans for 45 - 60 minutes, making sure they are covered with water the whole time.
  5. Next, take the lid off the pot. Add all the other ingredients into the pot and boil, boil, boil for another 3 hours.
  6. Have your mom or whoever is helping you take the bone out of the pot and cut up the meat. If you are using turkey necks there will be a lot of little bones so have your adult helper pull the bones out before the meat falls off them.
  7. Return just the meat to the pot and continue to cook the beans until they are creamy.