Copycat Popeyes Red Beans and Rice Recipe

Popeyes Red Beans and Rice came in direct response to many people’s requests. You can enjoy Cajun food when you are not in New Orleans.

bowl of copycat Popeyes red beans and rice.

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What Makes Popeyes Red Beans and Rice So Good? 

While there is no denying Popeye’s serves amazing chicken, the chain’s other Southern classics, such as their version of Red Beans and Rice, are equally good. Red Beans and Rice is a favorite of many diners because it is inexpensive, filling, and has that authentic Louisiana everyone loves.

If you are a fan of the Popeyes Red Beans and Rice recipe, you got to try this copycat version because it is even tastier.

Why You Should Try This Copycat Recipe for Red Beans and Rice 

The reason this version surpasses even Popeye’s is that it uses a real ham hock. Southern cooks traditionally love ham hocks for the deep, meaty, smoky flavor they impart to their beans, but the recipe for Popeyes Red Beans and Rice doesn’t include it.

If you can find one, use it, but if you would rather not, see below for a budget-friendly vegetarian alternative.

Popeyes Red Beans and Rice Ingredients

To make this Popeyes Red Beans and Rice recipe, you’ll need:

  • Red beans, canned
  • Smoked ham hock 
  • Water
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Lard
  • Ground pepper
  • Long grain rice
Popeyes red beans and rice ingredients on a tray.

Ingredient Notes

A larger ham hock means more flavor. Select one weighing half a pound or more. If you don’t want to use a ham hock, 1/4 teaspoon of liquid smoke is a good alternative. 

If you leave the ham hock out because you want a vegetarian version of this recipe, make sure to replace the lard with three tablespoons of olive oil. 

Please use good-quality rice with this. We did not like the results with Minute Rice, but Success Rice boil-in-the-bag did come out well. You will be able to make Popeye’s Red Beans and Rice at home with this recipe.

How to Make Red Beans and Rice Like Popeyes

To prepare this copycat Popeyes Red Beans and Rice:

  1. Empty two cans of the beans into a medium sauce pan. Add the ham hock and water.
red beans and ham hock in a pan.
  1. Bring the uncovered beans to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for about an hour until the meat is tender. Keep an eye on the beans to ensure they never come to a full boil or dry out.
  2. Take the pot off the stove and allow it to sit until the ham hock is cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bone and dice it until small pieces.
  3. Discard the bone and return the meat to the pan. Stir in the remaining seasonings and the lard.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree the beans for only a few seconds to help break up the beans. You can use a food processor if you don’t have a stick blender.
red beans, ham, and seasonings in a food processor.
  1. Dump in a can of drained red beans and pulse once or twice just to break them up a little. Return the bean mixture to the pan if you are using a food processor. 
red beans in a food processor.
  1. Stir the uncovered beans over low heat for a few minutes to warm them evenly, and serve. 
bowl of copycat Popeyes red beans and rice and a spoon on a napkin.

How To Serve Red Beans and Rice 

Ladle the red beans into a bowl. Spoon hot white rice in the center of the red beans. Try garnishing with a few slices of green onions or scallions for a pop of color and an extra burst of flavor. Serve with hot sauce on the side.

What Goes With Red Beans and Rice?

You can serve red beans and rice as a main course, but it is more often a side dish with fried chicken. Other sides that go with it include mac n cheesebiscuits, and coleslaw

How To Store Leftovers 

Let extra red beans cool, and then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

To keep the beans longer, you can freeze them for up to three months in a freezer bag.

If you have a lot of leftovers, try freezing individual portions.

How to Reheat Beans and Rice for the Best Results 

For the best flavor and texture, prepare the rice fresh. 

While the rice is cooking, you have time to reheat the beans the correct way:

  1. Dump the thawed beans in an ovenproof casserole dish with a splash of water on the bottom. 
  2. Cover and heat for about 15 to 20 minutes in a 350-degree oven until hot.
closeup of copycat Popeyes red beans and rice in a bowl.

Enjoy rice? Check out my favorite rice recipes

Be sure to take a look at more of the best side dishes and copycat restaurant recipes.

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bowl of copycat Popeyes red beans and rice.

Popeyes Red Beans and Rice

You can make amazing red beans and rice like Popeyes.
4.53 from 34 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Cajun
Keyword: Popeyes Red Beans and Rice, Red Beans and Rice Recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10
Calories: 365kcal


  • 3 cans red beans
  • 1 smoked ham hock (1/2 to 3/4 pound) (or substitute with 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke)
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons lard
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups cooked long grain rice for serving


  • Pour 2 cans of beans into a 2-quart saucepan along with the ham hock and water.
  • 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 to handle.
  • Remove the meat from the bone, and place the meat, beans, and liquid from the pot in a food processor.
  • Add the onion powder, garlic salt, red pepper flakes, salt, and lard.
  • Process for only 4 seconds. The beans should be chopped and the liquid thick.
  • Drain the remaining can of beans and add it to the processor.
  • Process for just a second or two; you want these beans to remain almost whole.
  • Pour everything back into the pan and cook slowly on low heat, stirring often, until you’re ready to serve.
  • Serve over rice.



Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 304mg | Potassium: 632mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 4mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Sandra Aseremo

    i love this Copycat Popoeye Recipe. the only difference is, that I add more of the Ham Hocks and used dried beans. The extra Ham hocks makes the broth more flavorful. To me, its close to Popeye but better. One of the reason why some people think its Bland is because of the lack of Ham hock flavor. When I bought an Off Brand, that is what happened. I had to put in more. Now, I just buy the name brand one not the store brand one. That secret is the Ham Hocks !

    Thank You !!!!

  2. BBLee

    Would you please provide a Copy Kat recipe for “Southern Classic” brand red beans and rice? I think it’s even tastier than Popeye’s.

  3. Toni

    3 stars
    The recipe as printed really comes out quite bland. To a DOUBLE recipe, I added a quarter cup each of onions and celery and a whole clove of garlic pulse together in the food processor plus a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper and two to three tablespoons of taco sauce. Now it tastes like Popeyes.

      • TheSocialGadfly

        How so? Processed pork products, such as ham hock and bacon, derive their flavor from smoke and salt, both of which are vegan-friendly. As such, vegans who wish to replicate popular dishes while maintaining their compassionate lifestyle may do so by substituting vegan-friendly ingredients and methods of processing. I don’t see how this is “lowkey disrespectful.” If anything is “lowkey disrespectful,” it’s your comment.

  4. Neka

    4 stars
    I love Red beans. This recipe is a great starter. I did not use the cans of beans i used a 16 oz dry bag of small red beans and frozen ham left over from Thanksgiving. I put the Ham and beans in the crock pot on low. After 2 hours I put in the seasons in this recipe. I also added extra seasons such as 1tsp of Tony’s Creole seasoning, a tsp of Cumin and a small chopped onion. I let it cook slow for 4 more hours. Checked all of the boxes for me. Thanks.

  5. Linda

    I made the red beans and rice today and it did not taste anything like Popeyes! I knew it was missing something so I added a little chili powder and it was better.

  6. Sasha

    5 stars
    I doubled all of the seasonings except for the salt and red pepper flakes. I also cooked the beans with 3 bay leaves and 2 ham hocks, not 1. SO good! I absolutely adore this!!

  7. Victoria S

    I have never cooked with ham hocks b4 so I did not realize I should not put the skin in so I ended up with a bunch of chewy pieces in my food. I wish the video and recipe matched. Overall, it was fine tasting, but I felt like the recipe was truly missing something.

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