Copycat Popeye’s Red Beans And Rice

4.95 from 99 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.
4.95 from 99 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




55 Comments

  1. Every one misses a key ingredient with dried beans (canned in this case). A pinch, very small pinch of sugar brings things to life. You’re welcome.

  2. Does this recipe actually taste like Popeye’s Red Beans and Rice? I have tried other copycat recipes and they do not taste like Popeye’s.

    Let me know.

    Thanks!

  3. Hello- I can’t wait to try this, thank you for posting. However, I don’t eat bacon. What can I use as a substitute?

    Thank ylu

    1. I think you could just leave it out all together. The liquid smoke will give you a nice flavor. You could add another tablespoon of butter to replace the bacon grease. Hope this helps. Thanks!

  4. 5 stars
    I absolutely LOVE this recipe!! I love to make this on a rainy Sunday. It has basically become a tradition in our home.. Our lives are so busy! A rainy Sunday is my most favorite thing, every thing just stops, We make TRIPLE POT of this with some cornbread.snuggle up on the couch with a cocktail, and watch movies.. perfect day!!!
    I do brown some smoked sausage and add it in. I also chop up white onion to add on top. This is just such a warm a comforting meal. Absolutely one of my family’s favorites

  5. 5 stars
    This turned out delicious. I doubled the recipe and and my family ate seconds. I did add a few more dashes of liquid smoke just to add a little more smokiness but it was delicious even without extra dashes. Great copycat recipe!!

  6. 5 stars
    Love your recipes… Eeee—-ZZZZ, is how I like cooking with affordable food, real food 😋🥝 😂. This helps me out so much.
    Happy I found you!
    😁

  7. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! I live north of the Mason Dixon line and we don’t have a Popeyes in sight so I can’t comment on the authenticity, but man oh man are these beans good. I sautéed a Serrano pepper in the bacon grease before adding the beans so the dish had a nice kick. Thank you for sharing!