This vegan red beans and rice recipe is a filling meal packed with flavour and made with simple, inexpensive ingredients. This New Orleans classic is veganized with the help of marinated oyster mushrooms which give this dish a great smoky flavour and a satisfying meaty texture.
I absolutely love veganizing Creole and Cajun dishes, and you love them too! My vegan jamabalaya quickly became my number one most visited recipe shortly after I posted it (maybe you’ve seen it on pinterest), and my vegan gumbo recipe is a close second.
So I’m back with another Louisiana classic: vegan red beans and rice! If you’re not familiar with red beans and rice, it’s not as innocent as the name would imply – it’s usually loaded with pork products. That’s why we need to make a vegan version!
While most other vegan red beans and rice recipes on the internet simply leave the meat out, I decided to replace it with mushrooms to give this dish more of a meaty texture. If you don’t like mushrooms, you could also prepare cubes of tofu in the same way I explain for the mushrooms in the recipe.
In order to try to recreate the same flavour profile as traditional red beans and rice, I watched an episode of America’s Test Kitchen where they explain in detail the role of each element of the (non-vegan) dish and some tricks to recreating it at home.
The most important thing that I learned from that episode was that this dish needs a sour element to replace the pickled pork. That’s why I added rice vinegar to my mushroom marinade and also a teaspoon of red wine vinegar to the beans. The spicy smokiness of the tasso pork is easy enough to replicate with some cayenne pepper and smoked paprika or liquid smoke added into the beans.
I chose not to replace all of the fat that would normally come with the pork products, making this dish nothing but super healthy while still being packed with flavour. However, if you want the extra richness, Beth from Budget Bytes suggests stirring a spoonful of coconut oil into your bowl of vegan red beans and rice.
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As for the beans if you can get your hands on a bag of Camellia red beans, then you’ve got exactly what you need. They have the perfect creamy texture for this dish. However, Camellia beans aren’t available everywhere so the next best option is another brand of small red beans (you may need to look in the Latin section of your supermarket).
Note that they’re not the same as kidney beans. While some recipes for vegan red beans and rice call for kidney beans, they’re more mealy in texture and I personally find the flavour to be quite different. If kidney beans are all you’ve got, however, go ahead and give them a try. Let me know if they work!
This New Orleans classic is veganized with the help of marinated oyster mushrooms which give this dish a great smoky flavour and a satisfying meaty texture. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Vegan Red Beans and Rice with Smoky Mushrooms
For the smoky mushrooms
For the red beans and rice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1527mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 8gSugar: 5gProtein: 12g
This New Orleans classic is veganized with the help of marinated oyster mushrooms which give this dish a great smoky flavour and a satisfying meaty texture.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Can I use an instant pot to cook the beans? If so, what is the recommended time for a pressure cooker setting for such a recipe?
The Bearded Hiker says
Camellia beans are where it's at, no doubt! Used them all my life and never had a rock or bad bean, only creamy goodness. Can't wait to give this a try! The coconut oil sounds pretty good too.
This was lacking a bit in flavor for me, so I upped the smoked paprika by a lot, a bit more thyme as well, and added some garlic and onion powder. I also added some tomato paste because I found the beans to be a bit watery even though I used a lot less water than the recipe called for.
I agree that different brands of paprika have different levels of smokiness. I guess mine is quite smoky!
Thanks for finally talking about >Vegan Red Beans and Rice
with Smoky Mushrooms | Cilantro and Citronella <Liked it!
Ichi Tokyo says
Thanks. i love your blog. Thank you for all the great ideas!
Only made the beans (no mushrooms on hand, sadly) and they were so flavorful. I was stunned! The only downside is that the beans ended up more soupy than thick and creamy. I'd probably cut back by at least two cups of water next time (or more beans to soak up that yummy liquid).
Lisa M Clark says
How long do you recommend marinating the mushrooms for?