My favourite side dish to serve alongside red beans and rice has to be a good southern style coleslaw. I remember growing up as a child, having a big Sunday night dinner that always included a side of coleslaw and my grandmas famous Red Beans and Rice.
When I think of red beans and rice, I think of comfort and warmth, which is why I love the idea of using coleslaw as a side. It’s light and refreshing, so it balances out the bold flavours in the red beans and rice.
What goes with red beans and rice? Coleslaw
Coleslaw goes particularly well with red beans and rice, because the texture of the cabbage complements the creamy texture of the red beans. Plus, the crunch of the cabbage helps to break up the savoury and slightly spicy flavours of the red beans.
I recommend that when making the coleslaw, you go with a classic southern recipe. Start with a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing – you can use a store-bought mix, or if you’re feeling ambitious, you can always whip up your own. Once you’ve got the dressing prepped, all you need is a head of green cabbage, carrots, celery, and purple onions.
You’ll want to shred the cabbage finely, slice the carrots and celery thinly, and mince the purple onion. By prepping the vegetables in this way, they‘ll all absorb the delicious creamy dressing. Mix everything in a bowl, adding a generous sprinkle of black pepper, and give everything a good toss.
Once the coleslaw is prepped, you can serve it straight away, but I personally prefer to give it a few hours in the fridge for the flavours to really marinate. If you’ve got the time to let things marinade, it’s worth doing – it enhances the flavours in the coleslaw, and seals in the moisture.
I love coleslaw and red beans and rice together. Every time I make this pairing, it brings me straight back to my Sunday night dinners at Grandma’s house. It’s a great side to go alongside the red beans and rice, the combination of flavours are unbeatable. Plus, it’s easy to make and it keeps well in the fridge for leftovers.
What to make with red beans and rice? Salads and veggies
When it comes to a good ol’fashioned Southern-style dinner, I think the sides are just as important (if not even more so!) than the main. And when your main is a soul-satisfying bowl of red beans and rice, you’d want your sides to make it all the more enjoyable.
First, let’s start off with the lighter sides – salads, veggies and so on. Personally, I think roasted broccoli goes really well with a bowl of red beans and rice. It’s a dish composed of simple, clean flavours, but I find that the vibrant green of the broccoli and the herby notes of garlic and rosemary helps counterbalance the rich creaminess of the red beans and rice.
If I have more time, I’d opt for a fruit salad with fresh oranges, mangos, and limes. Not only is it packed to the brim with vibrant colours, it also tastes great with the acidity of the citrus and the light sweetness of the mangos. Plus, you don’t even have to heat it up!
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But if I’m really in the mood to go all-out for my red-beans-and-rice dinner, there’s one side dish that always does me right: a classic Southern-style collard greens. Not only do they add a pop of earthy greens colour to the plate, but it also brings a punch of savoury boldness with the help of garlic, smoked ham, and of course, bacon. It’s a flavour combination that’s impossible to regret.
On top of that, there’s plenty of other sides that could really take your red beans and rice dinner to the next level. For example, a saucy vegetable dish like in a stew would be a great companion to the velvety beans and rich fats in the red beans and rice.
Another would be a Southern vegetable slaw – tart and peppery slaw with a creamy dressing work superbly with the red beans and rice. For those who want something sweet, a spoonful of sweet potato smoothie or a side of baked sweet potatoes would pair beautifully with the savory notes in the red beans and rice.
At the end of the day, there’s no right or wrong answer as to what side dishes you can serve with your red beans and rice. My only advice is to mix and match flavours that suit your taste buds and provide an enjoyable balance between creamy, hearty, savoury and sweet.
Go with something unexpected, your comfort food favorites, and of course, top it off with a few seasonings and herbs for seasoning. The possibilities are truly endless! 🙂
What sides complement Red Beans and Rice?
Oh, the delightful dance of flavors! To elevate your Red Beans and Rice, pair it with classics like buttery cornbread, zesty coleslaw, or a refreshing side salad. For a touch of Southern charm, consider crispy fried chicken or smoky sausage. And don’t forget the hot sauce – it’s a must!
Can I serve Red Beans and Rice as a standalone meal?
Red Beans and Rice, with its rich blend of textures and flavors, can certainly stand on its own as a hearty and comforting meal. However, if you want to jazz it up and impress your taste buds even more, try those delectable sides we mentioned earlier.
What are some vegetarian options to serve with Red Beans and Rice?
For our vegetarian friends, the culinary world still has plenty to offer! Pair your Red Beans and Rice with a fresh spinach salad drizzled with a tangy vinaigrette, or indulge in some cheesy garlic breadsticks. For a protein-packed punch, try roasted vegetables or a quinoa and avocado salad.
Are there any healthy sides that go well with Red Beans and Rice?
Absolutely! Eating healthy doesn’t mean sacrificing taste. Consider serving Red Beans and Rice with a side of steamed broccoli or sautéed kale for a nutritious boost. For a dose of fiber, try a side of roasted sweet potatoes or a quinoa and black bean salad. You’ll feel nourished and satisfied!
Can I serve Red Beans and Rice with seafood?
Oh, seafood, the treasure of the ocean! Indeed, you can pair Red Beans and Rice with succulent shrimp, grilled fish, or a seafood gumbo. The combination of tender beans and flavorful seafood creates a harmonious symphony of taste that’ll make your taste buds sing!
What about dessert? Any sweet treats that complement Red Beans and Rice?
Indulgence is a must, and dessert is the perfect way to wrap up a scrumptious meal! Opt for a classic New Orleans beignet, warm bread pudding with a generous drizzle of caramel sauce, or a creamy vanilla ice cream sundae topped with crushed pecans. A sweet ending that’ll leave you smiling!
How many calories are typically in a serving of Red Beans and Rice?
Ah, the calorie count! A 1-cup serving of Red Beans and Rice typically ranges from 300 to 400 calories. Of course, the final count may vary based on the specific ingredients and cooking methods used. Remember, a little indulgence is okay – it’s all about balance!
Is Red Beans and Rice a nutritious option?
Absolutely! Red Beans and Rice is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. The combination of beans and rice creates a complete protein source, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians. Plus, the fiber helps promote a healthy digestive system.
Can I make Red Beans and Rice ahead of time?
You betcha! Red Beans and Rice is one of those dishes that actually tastes better the next day. Prepare a big batch, let the flavors mingle in the fridge overnight, and reheat it for a scrumptious meal the following day. It’s a time-saving hack with a delicious reward!
How can I add a kick to my Red Beans and Rice?
Spice it up, buttercup! To add some zing to your Red Beans and Rice, sprinkle in a pinch of cayenne pepper, a splash of hot sauce, or a dollop of spicy creole seasoning. Don’t forget to balance the heat with a cooling side – a glass of sweet tea should do the trick!
I have always loved cooking and discovering new flavors. My hobby gradually grew into a serious hobby and now I write about food professionally on my blog. For almost a year now, I’ve been sharing my thoughts with the world and helping many people find their perfect “recipe” 🙂