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Miss Leah’s Red Beans

20 minutes prep
2-5 hours active cooking
2 1/3 - 5 1/3 hours total

Makes 6 - 8 servings

Leah Chase, like any good New Orleanian, would specify Camellia’s red kidney beans.

Leah Chase transformed the sandwich shop and lottery ticket outlet run by her husband’s family into Dooky Chase’s Restaurant and fed musicians, artists, world leaders, and Black New Orleanians who wanted a special meal.

Like any good New Orleanian, Miss Leah would specify Camellia’s red kidney beans. While they’ll make the most traditional version, you could use Rancho Gordo’s Hidatsa reds or King City pinks and still have a very tasty bowl of red beans. You can leave out the smoked sausage and ham to make this meatless, but if you do add a tablespoon of Burlap & Barrel’s smoked pimenton to give the beans that smoky flavor.

Adapted from The Dooky Chase Cookbook

What you'll need


For the shopping list

1/2 pound of

red kidney beans


onion, chopped

1/2 pound of

smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices

1/2 pound of

ham, cut into small cubes

2 tablespoons of


1/2 teaspoon of

black pepper, freshly ground

To serve

flat leaf parsley

To serve

green onions

To serve

Crystal hot sauce

2 cups, cooked to serve


From our shop

$10 - Cao Bằng - Vietnam

Out of stock
1 teaspoon of Italian Fine Sea Salt

$7 - Trapani - Sicily

Italian Fine Sea Salt

$32 - Sicily - Italy

Antheo D.O.P.


From the kitchen


Bean Pot (or oven safe pot)


Sauce Pan


Chef Knife


Cutting Board

Measuring Spoons

We’ve also added a step we learned from our friend Pableaux Johnson, another Crescent City red bean aficionado.

He taught us how to cook the onions until they’re dark and caramelized for more flavor.

~ Jim Dixon, founder Wellspent and Real Good Food

What you'll have to do

Step 1

We like to cook our beans in the oven; it takes longer but the results are creamy and delicious. Use a covered pot and add 4 cups of water to 1/2 lb of beans along with a teaspoon of sea salt and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cook in the oven at 225F for 3-4 hours or until the beans are very soft. If you can smell them cooking, you may need to add more water to keep them covered.

Alternatively, put the beans, salt, and olive oil in a pot on the stove, bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the beans are tender, usually about 90 minutes.

Step 2

While the beans are cooking, cook the onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until dark, about 30-40 minutes.

Step 3

Take them out of the skillet and use the same pan to brown the sausage and ham. When the beans are done, use a spoon to mash some of them against the side of the pot. You want them creamy.

Step 4

Add the onions, sausage, ham, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 teaspoon of purple stripe garlic, and 2 tablespoons thyme to the beans. Taste and add more salt if needed. Simmer for another half hour (return to the oven or use the stovetop). Serve over rice with chopped parsley, sliced green onions, and Crystal hot sauce.

Shop this recipe

Salt, Herbs, & Spices

Purple Stripe Garlic

Burlap & BarrelCao Bằng - Vietnam
Out of stock
Italian Fine Sea Salt
Salt, Herbs, & Spices

Italian Fine Sea Salt

Gucciardo VincenzoTrapani - Sicily
Antheo D.O.P.
Olive Oil

Antheo D.O.P.

COPA Società Cooperativa AgricolaSicily - Italy

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