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Popeyes Red Beans

This recipe is from my new book,’s Dining out in the home. You can order’s Dining Out in the Home at

You can make Popeyes Red Beans any day with these beans, and here we use spices right out of your own kitchen cabinet to create the Cajun flavor. The ham hock in this recipe provides a wonderfully smoky flavor that infuses the beans. The lard is a key ingredient here, as this type of rendered fat gives the dish a lot of its Old South flavor. Lard is found in most grocery stores where solid shortening is sold.

Please note: Their actual recipe contains no meat. I find the smoke flavor from a ham hock to be better than from liquid smoke. This is my reasoning for this recommendation.

Popeyes Red Beans and Rice from

Popeyes Red Beans

Popeyes Red Beans and Rice

  • Author:
  • Recipe Type: CopyKat Recipes, Side dish Recipes, Main dish Recipes
  • Prep time:20 minutes
  • Cook time:40 minutes
  • Serves: 10
Popeyes Red Beans and Rice

Popeyes Red Beans and Rice will remind you of dishes that you will enjoy in New Orleans. It is hard to beat this, by using canned beans you will save time in the cooking process. We use ham hocks here for the smokey flavor.


  • 3 (15 1/2-ounce) cans red beans, divided
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound smoked ham hock
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon lard
  • 4 to 5 cups cooked long grain rice, drained


Pour 2 cans of beans with their liquid into a 2-quart pan. Add the smoked ham hock and water. Bring the pan to a simmer on medium heat for an hour, until the meat starts to loosen from the bone. Remove from the heat and cool until the ham hock is cool enough so the meat can be removed from the bone. Place the meat, beans, and liquid in a food processor. To the mixture add the onion powder, garlic salt, crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, and lard. Process for only 4 seconds. The beans should be chopped and have a soupy, liquid consistency. Now drain the liquid from the remaining can of beans and add the beans to the food processor. Process just for a second or two—you want these beans to remain almost whole. Pour the bean mixture back into the pan and cook slowly on low heat, stirring often, until ready to serve. Serve the beans over the cooked rice.

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  • Cajunsmashed

    I don’t use ham hocks, I use a lb of sliced kielbasa sausage.

    • Stephanie

      Great idea! I love Kielbasa

  • Rita Williamson

    Thank you so much for this recipe and for all others. This is outstanding. Love your apron. Do you mind telling me where I can find one? Bless you for all your hard work.

    • Stephanie Manley

      A friend gave me this apron. She got it from Marshalls, but most of the other aprons I wear in the videos come from Sur La Table. I am glad you enjoy the recipe.

  • Tony

    I’ve been making this recipe for about a year now and I think it’s BETTER than Popeye’s in flavor. Many thanks, friend.

    I did have a couple of questions. I am not a cook. At the bottom of the recipe you say to “cook” the final beans mixture on “low heat” until “ready to serve.” Thanks in advance for your time on these answers . 1) Earlier in the recipe, we were “simmering” on medium heat. I am assuming that since the final process is to “cook” it that you mean a setting lower than I used to “simmer” it. Correct? 2) I thought “cooking” was teh most important process of any meal. I don’t know what I am looking for in a finally “cooked” batch of beans. That is, can you be more specific on what changes am I looking for in the bean mixture before it is “ready to serve?”

    Thank you again.

    • Stephanie Manley

      I think I said some misleading terms. Everything in these beans is already cooked technically. I suggest heating on medium heat for awhile, then then reducing the temperature. The beans need a little time to break down, and become creamy.

  • terea

    any truth to Judys remark about the liquid smoke?

    • Stephanie

      No one has confirmed this at this time.

  • Judy

    Just so you know
    I knew Al Copeland Sr. back in the 70’s and he said,” I do not use any meat in my Red Beans, only Liquid Smoke.”

    He also said my biscuit recipe is my Mother In Laws….

    • Jen

      Actually that is not true, on the ingredients label of Popeyes Red beans and rice, it does say pork fat and smoke flavor (liquid smoke). Maybe Al Copeland never anticipated that label would have to show the ingredients and he wanted to keep it a secret. There may not be any actual meat, but the rendered juice from pork fat is definitely there.

      • Tony

        My brother worked at the plant and you would not believe the amount of lard and pig pork that goes into each batch. This recipe is actually healthier than their very own recipe. :)

  • Heidi’s Recipes

    If I use my Christmas ham bone is there something I could add to get the smoky flavor? Do they sell lard at HEB?

    • Stephanie

      They sell lard pretty much everywhere. It is sold near the vegetable shortening.

  • Sean

    Is there an easier way to make this for the masses. I need to make about 150 servings and it seems the food processor would not be the way to go. Thanks

    • Stephanie

      I would consider a stick blender. I hope this helps.

  • William

    What is the green stuff on top of the beans? Parsley?
    Yes William, it is parsley. You do not have to add it, Parsley makes pictures look pretty 😉 ~Stephanie

  • Dragana

    Stephanie – I believed you meant 1/4 cup, but you forgot to write “cup” in the recipe!

    • Stephanie

      So, I messed up on my correction 😉 It really is 1/4 cup of lard, plus one more tablespoon. Thank you for having such watchful eyes!

  • Dragana

    Hi Stephanie,
    This looks very easy to make and delicious but I’m confused about the amount of lard in the recipe. 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon?

    • Stephanie

      I am sorry if the amount of lard is confusing, it is 1/4 cup plus one more tablespoon of lard. 1/4 cup wasn’t enough, and the next measure up would be what, 1/3, I didn’t quite like that either. Does this help?

  • Fran

    Funny, I picked up a block of lard yesterday, although I have no plan for it yet. I suppose it will end up in pie crusts, but red beans has a good ring to it right now. I didn’t have any all winter so there’s no time like the present.

    • Arleen

      Fran…when they say red pepper in the red beans and rice…is it like the italian shaker pepper flakes? and instead of lard…can I use some reserved bacon grease? Dont want to mess up my popeyes red beans and rice…

      • Stephanie

        I am not Fran, but I will give you an answer. The red pepper flakes are the chili flakes you see in italian shakers. Bacon grease would work, but lard would be a better choice.

        • don

          can i substitute evoo for lard

          • Stephanie

            You could. It won’t taste quite the same.

  • Casey@Good. Food. Stories.

    Can I just say YAY LARD! I was so psyched to see it in my local Stop & Shop the other day amongst the butter and out of its “ethnic specialties” ghetto.