Vegan Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice
This vegan version of New Orleans-style red beans and rice omits the sausage and ham hock, and instead adds smoked paprika, miso and soy sauce for a savory, rounded flavor. If you have a favorite Cajun or Creole spice mixture on hand, use 1 heaping tablespoon of it in place of the sage, cayenne, garlic, onion powders and sweet paprika, and taste before adding any salt, as seasoning blends contain a varying amount of sodium. These vegan beans are not as creamy as the ones made with pork, so smash a few against the side of the pot before serving to thicken the liquid. Serve with hot sauce, preferably a vinegary, cayenne-based Louisiana-style sauce like Crystal, Louisiana brand or Tabasco.
- Serves: 6 persons
- ¼cup vegetable oil
- 1large yellow onion, finely chopped
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 3celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 10garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1heaping tablespoon white or yellow miso paste
- 2teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1teaspoon onion powder
- 1teaspoon garlic powder
- ½to 1 teaspoon ground cayenne, plus more to taste
- ½teaspoon ground sage (optional)
- 1pound dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight
- 3dried bay leaves
- 3fresh thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1teaspoon soy sauce
- Cooked rice, for serving
- Sliced scallions, for serving
- Louisiana-style hot sauce, for serving
Step 1Heat the oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium. Add the onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until the onion is limp and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the celery and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the chopped garlic, miso paste, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne and sage, if using. Grind in a generous amount of black pepper and add 3/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine until the miso has dissolved, then remove from the heat and scrape the mixture into a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker. Add the beans, bay leaves, thyme and 6 cups water. Cook on high until the beans are very tender and creamy, about 7 hours.
Step 2If your beans are not bubbling at all by the time they are done cooking, turn the heat up to high and let them bubble for about 10 minutes, to make them easier to digest.
Step 3Before serving, add the soy sauce, and season to taste with salt and cayenne. Using a fork or the back of a spoon, mash some of the beans against the side of the slow cooker to make the mixture slightly creamy. (It will continue to thicken as it sits.) Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Top the beans with hot cooked rice and scallions; serve with hot sauce.