Copycat Popeye’s Red Beans And Rice

4.96 from 103 votes
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Bring a little of Louisiana home with this Copycat Popeye’s red beans and rice recipe. Creamy, smoky red beans are topped with fluffy white rice to make this simple and delicious side dish or main dish that can be made in about 30 minutes.

Rice and beans in a bowl.


 

Making copycat recipes at home is super easy and fun. There are lots of great ones to try like Wingstop fries and KFC Twister wraps.

This easy Popeye’s red beans and rice recipe is one of my favorite copycat recipes to make at home. These full flavor beans are so simple to make and are a wonderful warm, hearty dish. We like serving it with a side of cornbread for a filling meal.

Is there meat in Popeye’s red beans and rice?

The original Popeye’s red beans recipe does not have meat. It does have bacon grease so it’s not considered vegetarian. This copycat recipe uses chopped bacon to make bacon grease but feel free to use any leftover grease you might have sitting around.

If you want to replace the bacon grease for a vegetarian version, use olive oil or vegetable oil.

Ingredients needed

Red beans – I like using canned red beans instead of dry beans because it’s a little faster. Make sure to grab red beans not red kidney beans. Red beans are smaller and a little softer than kidney beans.

2 15-ounce cans of beans are used for this recipe. You will use the whole can, so no need to rinse.

Bacon – Used for the pork fat. For a vegetarian version, substitute bacon grease with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

Onion powder

Garlic salt

Creole seasoning – Use your favorite creole or Cajun seasoning blend. You can also substitute with 1/2 tablespoon of hot sauce.

Liquid smoke – Liquid smoke will give you that delicious smoky flavor. It can typically be found in the condiment section of the grocery store. This is strong so you will only need 1/4 teaspoon of liquid smoke.

Rice – Use your favorite white rice.

Bowl of rice, seasonings, red beans, bacon, and butter.

How to make Popeyes Red Beans and Rice

  1. Rice: Start by cooking the rice. Follow the directions on the rice packaging. You can add a tablespoon of butter while it’s cooking for a little extra flavor.
  2. Beans: Start by adding chopped bacon into a large, deep skillet or sauce pan. Cook until it starts to brown. ***At this point you can leave the bacon or remove the bacon pieces depending on how you like your beans. Make sure to leave the bacon grease in the pan.
  3. Stir in both cans of red beans. Use a potato masher to smash some of the beans. You can leave some of the beans whole.
  4. Stir in water, onion powder, garlic salt, creole seasoning, and liquid smoke into bean mixture.
  5. Let simmer over medium low heat for about 15 minutes or until beans start to soften. Make sure to stir often.
  6. Serve beans in a bowl and then place a scoop of cooked rice on top of the beans mixture.
Pot of rice and beans.

How to store

Let the rice and beans completely cool. I would recommend storing the beans and rice in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator.

Reheat in the microwave or on the stove until heated through. You might need to add a little extra water if the mixture is too thick.

Red beans and rice can also be frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer safe container.

Recipe tips

  • The rice takes about the same time to cook as the beans so start the rice before cooking the beans.
  • Mashing some of the red beans helps to thicken the mixture and make it creamy. You can mash them right in the pan but try leaving a few of the whole.
  • Popeye’s version does not have meat so feel free to remove the chopped bacon. Just make sure to leave the grease in the pan.
  • If you want to add a little extra heat, stir in a few splashes of hot sauce or 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
  • Some recipes uses ham hocks to add smoky flavor.
  • Feel free to use your favorite rice. You can even use brown rice or cauliflower rice. Just cook according to package instructions.
Spoon with bowl of beans.

How to serve

This recipe is hearty enough to be served as a main dish but can also be used as a perfect side dish.

Try serving it alongside fried chicken, pork chops, corn bread, French bread, collard greens, salad and more.

More easy copycat recipes

More Recipes You Will Love

Did you try this creamy beans and rice dish? Let me know in the comments below.

Bowl of beans and rice.
4.96 from 103 votes

Popeyes Red Beans and Rice

By Heather
Copycat Popeye's red beans and rice recipe is a simple, flavorful meal. Red beans are cooked with bacon and spices and served with fluffy white rice.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups uncooked white long grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 2 15 oz cans red beans
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke

Instructions 

  • In a large saucepan or pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add rice and butter and lower to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until rice is cooked.
  • Add chopped bacon a large deep skillet or saucepan. Cook over medium heat and stir until bacon starts to crisp. ( If you don't want bacon in the beans, carefully remove the bacon bits but leave the bacon grease. )
  • Pour in whole cans of red beans. Using a potato masher, mash some of the beans but leave some of them whole.
  • Pour in water, garlic salt, onion powder, creole seasoning, and liquid smoke. Stir to combine.
  • Let simmer for 15 minutes or until beans start to soften. Make sure to stir so that the beans don't stick.
  • Serve beans in a bowl with a scoop of rice on top.

Video

Notes

  • The rice takes about the same time to cook as the beans so start the rice before cooking the beans.
  • Mashing some of the red beans helps to thicken the mixture and make it creamy. You can mash them right in the pan but try leaving a few of the whole.
  • Popeye’s version does not have meat so feel free to remove the chopped bacon. Just make sure to leave the grease in the pan.
  • If you want to add a little extra heat, stir in a few splashes of hot sauce or 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
  • Some recipes uses ham hocks to add smoky flavor.
  • Feel free to use your favorite rice. You can even use brown rice or cauliflower rice. Just cook according to package instructions.

Nutrition

Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 468mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 304IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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Recipe Rating




56 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Quick and easy to make and is absolutely delicious! This recipe is every bit as good as Popeyes red beans and rice.

    1. Hi Judy, There are canned beans called “Red Beans” in the store. If you can’t find them use your favorite red beans.

    2. Pinto beans are better for Mexican dishes, kidney are best for making chili, stick with plain red beans for this recipe

  2. 5 stars
    Look no further…the most delicious and easiest red beans and rice recipe! (We leave the bacon in; yum!) We make it for every Monday night football game and then some. Thank you 1000X!

  3. My only complaint…is I should have made a bigger batch. This dish is amazing, comforting and addictive. Soooo good! I will never buy red beans and rice from Popeyes again🥰

  4. 5 stars
    These are wonderful! But I used dried red beans and ham hocks. Cooked the hocks and about an hour in added the beans and the rest of the ingredients. I made a huge batch, saved a generous portions for myself and gifted the rest to friends. Received race reviews. You can’t lose with this recipe. I think that it turned out better than Popeyes 💞

  5. 3 stars
    Drain those beans or your finished product is going to be a bit loose! That was my experience… I used Maggie in place of the liquid smoke and worked awesome! This recipe is close but, something is missing. Definitely a good start!

  6. If I have leftover rendered bacon fat / grease in the fridge, but no bacon, what measurement of bacon fat should I use? Cheers.

    1. 5 stars
      Do not use old oil from previous cooked oil. Just use real bacon to get the oil from it. 4 strips!

  7. I could not get my red beans to have a beautiful taste like Popeye’s. This recipe really helped me out tremendously! I needed to put Cajun seasoning in it. I am so pleased!! Thank you all so much for sharing!
    Mrs. Barbara King