Red Beans and Rice with Tasso

A hearty bowl of Red Beans and Rice with Tasso, a spicy Cajun pork |

[Jump to recipe]

A few weeks ago when we were in Louisiana, we dropped by Bergeron Boudin & Cajun Meats on our way out of Shreveport and picked up some cajun meats to bring back home.  We filled our ice chest with boudin, andouille and tasso, some of which we shared with our New Mexico family and friends. We’ve been using the rest to make some of our favorite Louisiana dishes.  Last weekend Bobby planned to make a pot of red beans and rice with some of the tasso and andouille; however, once he cooked down the beans with the tasso he found that no andouille was needed.  The tasso added both the spicy and the meaty components to the beans while delivering a different, but just as delicious flavor as we get when he uses andouille.  The recipe below is Bobby’s Red Beans and Rice with Tasso.  It is pretty much the same recipe he uses for his regular red beans and rice, so I’ve indicated the differences in my Kitchen Notes. And yes, red beans and rice is Bobby’s dish because he makes it SO GOOD!

Tasso is a highly seasoned smoked pork that is found throughout Louisiana, but not many places outside of Louisiana.  It’s very similar to New Mexico’s carne adovada which is a marinated then braised pork shoulder/butt, but instead of the pork being braised after marinating in a spicy sauce, tasso is smoked.  Everyone makes their tasso differently; therefore, some is spicier and smokier than others.  Normally, because it is so smokey and spicy, it’s used as a seasoning component, much like ham hock.  However the tasso we got at Bergeron’s had so much more meat relative to the amount of spice, that we found that no additional meat was needed.  Bobby did add some more cayenne because we do like it spicy.

Red Beans and Rice with Tasso

A hearty bowl of Red Beans and Rice with Tasso, a spicy Cajun pork |

A hearty bowl of Red Beans and Rice with Tasso, a spicy Cajun pork |
Print or Save Recipe
Bobby’s Red Bean and Rice with Tasso Recipe
30 mins
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
2 hrs
A spicy meal of red beans cooked with tasso and andouille sausage then served over rice.

The prep and cook time indicated below is preceded with a 4 hours brine of the red beans.

"*" See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Southern US
Yields: 6 servings
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
  • 2 cups or 1 pound dried kidney beans
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • water
Bean Dish Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. bacon drippings
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ to ½ tsp. cayenne depends on how hot you want it
  • 4 to 6 cup liquid 2 cups chicken stock plus water
  • 1/2 pound tasso*
  • 1 andouille sausage sliced (optional)*
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Greens from 2 green onions for topping
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • Tabasco Sauce or Louisiana Hot Sauce optional
Brining the beans
  1. Rinse the bean. In a large bowl, dissolve 1 Tbsp. salt in about 4 cup water. Add the beans and enough water to cover the beans plus 2 to 3 inches above the beans. Set aside for 4 hours to brine.
  2. After 4 hours, remove any floating beans, drain and rinse the beans, discarding the soaking liquid.
Cooking the Beans
  1. *Transfer the beans to a pressure cooker, add 2 cups chicken stock and 2 to 3 cups water (enough to cover the beans and then some).
  2. Follow the instructions for your pressure cooker and cook your beans for 10 minutes once pressurized.
  3. In a large Dutch oven melt the bacon drippings over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, oregano, thyme, cumin, and cayenne. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Transfer the beans and liquid from the pressure cooker to the Dutch oven. Add the bay leaves and tasso, and more liquid if needed.
  6. Continue to cook for 30 minutes to an hour until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove the tasso and tear into bite size pieces. Return to the pot. Taste the beans.
  8. Add salt and pepper and more cayenne if needed, and you if want, add an andouille sausage*.
  9. Cook another 30 minutes or until the beans are soft and you have a thick soupy mixture. (You may have to add some water during the cooking process to keep it from getting too thick too soon.)
  10. Remove from the heat. Add the parsley.
  11. Ideally, let the beans come to room temperature OR sit in the refrigerator overnight.*
  12. When ready to serve, reheat slowly and make the rice.
  13. Serve over rice, then top with the greens from a couple of green onions and some more parsley, if desired.
Kitchen Notes

Tasso – As previously mentioned, tasso can be extremely spicy and smokey; therefore, taste or at least smell the tasso before adding. Tasso should be smoked, so there shouldn’t be any danger in tasting it.  After doing a taste test on the Bergeron tasso, we decided to put 1/2 pound in the beans which, along with the cayenne, yielded a very spicy dish with plenty of meat. If you find the tasso too smokey or spicy, then cut back to 1/4 pound of tasso and add 2 andouille sausages.


Substitution for tasso – If you don’t have tasso, then use an 8 to 10 ounces ham hock. Cook the beans with the ham hock, then remove any meat and return to the beans along with 2 to 3 andouille sausages.


Andouille – Andouille adds a complementary flavor to the tasso and the ham hock.  So whether to add andouille and how much is a personal preference. We like it both ways.  Also, since andouille is already smoked, we like adding it toward the end of the cooking process to prevent it from drying out and becoming tough. Even in 30 minutes, it does a great job in adding flavor to the beans and stays tender.


Pressure cooking the beans – When using dried beans, I always brine and then pressure cook for 10 minutes.  Most of the time, the beans are undercooked on purpose, because this allows me to add the remaining ingredients and finish cooking the beans.  If one were to cooked the beans on the stovetop or in the oven without pressure cooking, it would add at least an hour to the total cooking time.  I don’t like to use the pressure cooker for the total cooking time, because I want more control over the texture of the beans. I don’t like mushy beans.


Allowing a resting time – As with most soups and stews, you need time for the flavors to meld; therefore, if you have time, let the beans come to room temperature before reheating.  For the best results, let cool, refrigerate and have for the supper the next day.


A hearty bowl of Red Beans and Rice with Tasso, a spicy Cajun pork |


By now you’re probably looking up “tasso” and finding a supplier so that you can make a pot of this yummy Red Beans and Tasso.

Have you ever had tasso?  If so, how did you like it?

If you like these Red Beans and Tasso, you’ll love these other beans dishes as well.

Pinto Beans

Savory Navy Beans

Beans and Rice with Sausage

Black Bean Mole


Tags: , , , , ,

47 Responses to “Red Beans and Rice with Tasso”

  1. Marsha February 11, 2017 at 10:06 pm #

    I am FROM Louisiana, but now live in the Ozark Mountains. I LOVE Tasso. I can’t eat spicy, but the Tasso I buy is not THAT spicy! I always use it in my chicken and sausage gumbo. I have never thought to use it in my red beans. I also do not use Andouille, because it is a little too spicy. Instead I use smoked deer sausage. It is a little more flavorful than regular sausage. I order all of my Cajun ingredients on-line, from a Cajun market in Louisiana!! Thanks for a new way to eat Tasso!

    • mj February 12, 2017 at 4:57 pm #

      Welcome Marsha! Thanks so much for your comments. I was raised in Louisiana and moved to NM in the 70’s so my cooking is sometimes of mix of the two cultures. Because I still have family in LA we still go back at times and bring back goodies like tasso, andouille and boudin. Love adding it to dishes with New Mexico flavors. 🙂 Hope you give adding tasso to red beans a try. It’s really good!

  2. Bill May 2, 2015 at 7:19 am #

    You know I love my Louisiana food, MJ! I’ve never used tasso but I’ve heard of it all my life. I know your version of red beans with a kick is delicious! Great post!

    • mj May 3, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

      Thanks so much Bill!

  3. Nami | Just One Cookbook April 13, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

    I truly want to visit Louisiana one day! I can imagine discovering all the new ingredients I’ve never seen in California. I’d love to try Tasso! I can imagine Bobbi’s signature bean and rice is amazing!

    • mj April 14, 2015 at 1:59 pm #

      Thanks so much Nami!

  4. The Wimpy Vegetarian April 8, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    I think the tasso is probably really important to the layers of flavors, but do you have any thoughts what I could sub for it that would be vegetarian? Balsamic roasted tomatoes?? I love red beans and rice – it’s a dish that makes me feel good, if that makes any sense, and would love to make this!

    • mj April 9, 2015 at 8:27 pm #

      Thanks Susan! I had to think about the vegetarian substitution for a while and I would suggest a smoky chile sauce with some roasted tomatoes. You want to get the “smoky” and the “spicy” of the tasso, but without the pork. I don’t think balsamic would work, but then I could easily be wrong. Now that you have me thinking about it, I will be posting a smoky chili sauce next week that I think would work great in this dish. I’m excited that you find it appealing even with the meat. 🙂

  5. Raymund April 6, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    Never heard of tasso but that sounds really tasty

    • mj April 7, 2015 at 10:50 am #

      Tasso is right up your alley Raymund. 😉

  6. Bam's Kitchen April 4, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

    Mj your dish is gorgeous. I know my family would love it with all of those delicious flavours. Great dish to make in advance and even freeze for one of those really busy week night meals. Sharing and pinning, of course!

    • mj April 7, 2015 at 10:50 am #

      Thanks so much Bobbi! This would be a great meal for your whole family, especially those growing boys of yours. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Karen (Back Road Journal) April 4, 2015 at 7:30 am #

    Such a homey and welcomed dish that is full of flavor.

    • mj April 4, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

      Homey is a good word for it. 🙂 Thanks!

  8. Dedy@Dentist Chef April 3, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

    Nice and comforting food..

    • mj April 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

      Thanks Dedy!

  9. Amy (Savory Moments) April 3, 2015 at 11:23 am #

    This dish looks so flavorful and scrumptious! Tasso is new to me.

    • mj April 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

      Thanks Amy!

  10. Debra April 3, 2015 at 7:23 am #

    I love to see two totally different cultures that have basically the same food traditions, i.e. tasso and adovada.

    • mj April 4, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

      That’s very true. Thanks Debra!

  11. Liz April 2, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

    It looks wonderful—and your description has my mouth watering. Of course, having tasso and andouille from NO probably added a wonderful depth of flavor! Can’t wait to see what else you cook up with your finds 🙂

    • mj April 4, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

      Thanks Liz! It is nice having authentic tasso and andouille!

  12. Carol at Wild Goose Mama April 2, 2015 at 5:48 pm #

    Tasso is new to me too. But whoa baby I love red beans and rice. This looks mouthwatering to me. I can almost smell the aroma.

    • mj April 2, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

      Thanks Carol!! Red beans and rice is a great dish isn’t it? 🙂

  13. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles April 2, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

    I’ve never heard of tasso and I’m laughing at myself because I’m looking at the title and the image and thinking… ooh, we have a lovely vegetarian dish here with some exotic liqueur of sorts 😉 — don’t get me wrong, the actual tasso sounds wonderful too and a big thank you to Bobby for introducing us to such an appetizing dish that features it. Beautiful images MJ ~ beans are not always easy to capture in all of their glory :p but you really do just that – they appear succulent, earthy and satisfying — dressed for spring too. Just perfect.

    • mj April 2, 2015 at 7:27 pm #

      Thanks so much Kelly! I know, the word “tasso” doesn’t give you a clue as to what you’re talking about. 🙂 I will relay your thanks to Bobby. Thanks for the comment on the photos. I had to pull out a spray bottle and spray water on the beans to keep them fresh looking after several minutes of shooting. 🙂

  14. Sissi April 2, 2015 at 7:24 am #

    It’s the first time I hear about tasso, but it sounds fantastic! I can very well imagine why tasso was sufficient source of protein here. It must have scented the whole dish giving a wonderful smokey aroma… (Actually, these beans remind me a bit of Polish beans with smoked sausage. I could never imagine this dish without smokey flavours.)
    I wish I could take a plane just to do some grocery shopping in Louisiana too. I bet the food was delicious. Is boudin “black pudding” like in France? I love black pudding and have it quite regularly (even though it’s rather high-calorie, it’s also healthy because rich in iron, so I feel somehow excused 😉 ).

    • mj April 2, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

      Thanks so much Sissi! Boudin is one of those “sausages” that people make in a variety of ways. Yes, some boudin is blood sausage; however, the boudin that we bought from Bergeron was not blood sausage. Instead it was spicy sausage with rice stuffed in a sausage casing. I like to wrap it with some vegetables and bake. It’s good stuff. I feel like I’ve been to a grocer’s in Switzerland, going through all of the goodies I recently received. 🙂

      • Sissi April 7, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

        Haha! You are so kind… I hope I’ll be able to share more of my food world with you one day…
        The boudin you bought sounds extraordinary! I was right to ask.

  15. Angie@Angie's Recipes April 1, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

    I have never had tasso, but I know I would love it since I am a fan of spicy food. This red bean rice looks mouthwatering and those shots are simply beautiful.

    • mj April 1, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

      Thanks so much Angie! I just finished another bowl of these beans (the leftovers) and they were even better than the first night. 🙂

  16. Shashi at RunninSrilankan April 1, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    I’ve never tried tasso before – but, MJ – I am drooling over your hearty, flavorful and so wonderfully colored, red beans and rice recipe!

    • mj April 1, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

      Thanks Shashi! Tasso is not a very common ingredient outside of Louisiana so it’s no wonder that you’ve never tried it. 🙂

  17. Judy @Savoring Today April 1, 2015 at 7:22 am #

    I am making red beans and rice for the cookbook today! It is surprising how satisfying this simple meal is, and easy on a budget–I often mix sausage types too. Great recipe, MJ, I’ll have to try the tasso sometime. Happy Easter!

    • mj April 1, 2015 at 7:23 am #

      Thanks Judy! Good luck with your cookbook!

  18. Ramona April 1, 2015 at 5:12 am #

    I would devour a big bowl of this… I can see all the flavor just popping out of the photos. 🙂

    • mj April 1, 2015 at 7:23 am #

      Thanks Ramona!

  19. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef March 31, 2015 at 8:31 pm #

    Tasso is new to me and probably not available in rural Australia. I LOVE red beans and rice though.

    • mj March 31, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

      Thanks Maureen!

  20. minnie@thelady8home March 31, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

    Love love love the dish, and beautifully captured too. I have never heard of tasso, but do you think it woud work with something like, say, chorizo?

    • mj March 31, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

      This recipe would definitely work with chorizo – Spanish or Mexican. Now you have me wanting to make it. 🙂 Thanks Minnie!

  21. John@Kitchen Riffs March 31, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

    Tasso is a bit scarce where I live (I sometimes see it, but that’s a rare event), but I do know how good it is. And I’ll bet it’s totally wonderful in red beans and rice. I can see why andouille isn’t needed (that’d be too much flavor — who knew that was possible!). Really good recipe — thanks.

    • mj March 31, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

      Bobby was quite surprised that the andouille wasn’t needed, and he was right. After a couple nights of sitting in the fridge this got even better and the tasso seasoning shined even more. Thanks for commenting!

  22. Vicki Bensinger March 31, 2015 at 7:14 pm #

    Wow your dishes are always packed with so much flavor. I’ve never tried Tasso but I will definitely check it out. You’re just a wealth of information when it comes to dishes like this. Nice recipe!

    • mj March 31, 2015 at 8:07 pm #

      Thanks so much Vicki!

  23. skipper tttt March 31, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

    I love tasso.
    I live near Houston, Tx.
    We have several Cajun meat mkt. here.

    • mj March 31, 2015 at 8:07 pm #

      That’s cool! Wish we had a Cajun market in New Mexico. 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

I love hearing from my visitors, so please leave a comment. Thanks for dropping by!