Copycat Popeyes Red Beans and Rice Recipe

Copycat Popeyes Red Beans and Rice is a delicious way to enjoy creamy red beans seasoned with cajun spices and tender, fluffy white rice. This is one of those great recipes that tastes even better the next day. This has to be one of the most requested recipes from Popeyes. These red beans are an easy recipe to make! These beans make a delicious meal, or I know it will soon become a favorite side dish of the whole family. 

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 like the Popeyes Red Beans and Rice recipe, try this copycat version because it is even tastier. Don’t miss out on this delicious side dish. 

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

This version surpasses even Popeye’s because 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 Popeyes Red Beans and Rice recipe 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, 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. This recipe lets you make Popeye’s Red Beans and Rice at home.

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 saucepan. 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 into 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 to break them up. 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 with fluffy white rice on top. 
bowl of copycat Popeyes red beans and rice and a spoon on a napkin.

How To Serve Red Beans and Rice 

Spoon 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 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, as it is a hearty dish, but it is 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 Fahrenheit 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.

bowl of copycat Popeyes red beans and rice.

Popeyes Red Beans and Rice

You can make amazing red beans and rice like Popeyes.
4.60 from 45 votes
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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. Jamie

    I’d like to first thanks Stephanie for posting recipes for dishes for my favorite restaurants. I’ve seen were readers have commented negatively with regard to Certain ingredients that are known to not be in Popeyes red beans and rice with rebuttal comments suggesting that the commenter go to Popeyes if they want Popeyes red beans and rice. The term copycat means that we don’t know exactly what’s in the recipe but here is “the close as I can get” version. My view is this; when presenting a copycat recipe the goal should be to get as close to the recipe being copied as you can possibly get. You can always post another recipe stating that it is the best red beans and rice you’ve ever had. A reader commented on the fact that there’s always a statement saying this is it what they do but this makes it better; a reply to that comment call the person an idiot and instructed them to go to Popeyes. The person making that reply is the idiot. I, like most other people reading this recipe want the exact or as close as you can get recipe to Popeyes, I am not an idiot for wanting this. Sure I can go to Popeyes whenever I want but because I like their red beans and rice so much I’d like to be able to make it at home. As to the other comments suggesting putting bay leaves or oregano or other ingredients; I’m sure this makes it quite good however it’s not Popeyes red beans and rice. Finally, the video that accompanies this recipe is completely different, as far as method goes, than the type written recipe. The beans and ham hocks are currently simmering on my stove, I can’t wait to try this.

  2. Marie Norcross

    5 stars
    I made this for my husband as he loves Popeye’s Red Beans and Rice. He loved this recipe so much that he ate it all in 1 day.

  3. Steve Marino

    4 stars
    You’re a brave woman to wade into the mine field of New Orleans beans and rice cooking Stephanie.It’s awfully hard to nail this particular recipe, and pretty close is about as good as anyone of us will ever get. As someone else stated, Popeye’s probably uses lard in their beans, which gives a particular type of taste. The rest of the stuff is a family secret I guess. Yes, one should use bay leaves and dried beans, but canned beans will work if someone is pressed for time. Canned won’t give you the same taste because this dish needs to simmer for many hours on the stove,

    It tastes even better if you put it in the fridge for a day or two before serving it. It’s a very difficult dish to get right despite it’s apparent simplicity. Beans and rice should always be served over fluffy long grain white rice, w/ diced green onions and Louisiana hot sauce sprinkled liberally on top. It’s also supposed to be paired with a good cole slaw, cold beer, toasted french bread slathered with garlic salt and butter, and desert should be pecan pie or homemade bread pudding with a whiskey sauce. Bonus points if you serve it and watch the Saints play on TV.

    • Stephanie

      Well, I think it would be even better with some Abita beer 😉 I agree cooking with dried beans gives a better result. I appreciate your input. Are you in Galveston? If so, we are in the same neck of the woods.

    • Amanda Moore

      Slow cooking dried beans with 2 bay leaves, garlic, minced bell pepper, minced onion, and a smoked turkey leg ( their red beans and rice are kosher) salt, pepper and garlic powder, and Zatarains cajun seasoning. Slow simmer until beans are tender, take out the turkey leg and use a potato masher to mash some of the beans to make them creamy. Serve over rice. ( I was a cook at Popeye’s and live 45 mins from New Orleans lol)

  4. Steven S Hair

    5 stars
    I think you have done a great job, Ive used your recipes for years. You handle the ones who argue with you quite well, you take nothing personal. That shows great character.

  5. Jeff Martinsen

    Red Beans and Rice

    What is the serving size of just the beans on your nutrition information so I can calculate the carbohydrates


  6. Rick Sivley

    4 stars
    I don’t like the fact that you and others call it Popeyes Red beans and rice but then you start saying “but I use ______ and Popeyes don’t”. I’m wanting a true Popeyes recipe and if they don’t use ham hocks or whatever then I would like a recipe where you don’t use stuff that they don’t use. Every Popeyes recipe on the Internet is the same, they all say ” now here’s what I do different because it makes it better”. Fine, everyone has a great red bean and rice recipe but stop calling it Popeyes.
    Popeyes makes millions of dollars a year on their recipe and you cannot improve on that.

    • Gloria

      Well why don’t you go to Popeyes then! She strictly said that it was a “copy kat t” recipe, that tastes like Popeye red beans and rice! —-Stop being ignorant!—Stop being ignorant and know the difference!-the key words are”copy kat!”

    • tammy

      5 stars
      Copycat means something close but not identical. Cooking is an adventure. Have fun experiment, enjoy yourself, you might find you like your own creation better than the original.

    • Riley

      3 stars
      I agree, it isn’t popeyes red beans and rice if it isn’t close to the original. I can’t really argue at what a “copycat” is but I think it’s to come as close to the original as possible

    • Venus

      They use lard and smoked bacon, but I used liquid smoke, Cajun seasoning and no meat and mine tasted just like there’s . Of course I used beans from scratch, 1/2 red onion, 1/2 yellow or brown onion, 3 stalks of celery and vegetable stalk as my liquid in place of water. This brought out the flavor. Added basil and thyme as well as bay leaves!

  7. Doug

    5 stars
    Popeye’s Red Beans and Rice has been a favorite of mine ever since I visited an old friend in Lake Charles, LA, back in the ’80s. I’ve tried to imitate it several times, and even bought frozen, boxed, canned and mylar pouches of it, but came up short every time. I think yours is the charm. I do have a couple questions though. Your video says Garlic, but your written recipe says Garlic Salt. What do you prefer? Also, in the video you simmer / cook it down, but the recipe calls for a food processor. Your order of ingredients is different in the video versus the written recipe. Is one a newer / better version? I really want this recipe to work.
    Thank you.

    • Beverly

      Hi, I have a few suggestions if anyone would like to use these of coarse rinse dried red beans, soak 2 hrs. Or overnight and then boil on stove or crockpot add fresh garlic, onion salt to your taste and maybe some Cajun pepper to your taste. I suggest some coconut oil in place of lard or bacon grease for a healthier result but it’s to your satisfaction. Then I would use either a ham hock or maybe even some soy chorizo or beef or pork chorizo of your choice if not using ham hock to put in your cooking beans whichever one you desire. Then when beans are done I would mash them with a hand masher add sea salt or hemaylaian salt to your taste and serve beans with cooked rice on top maybe to your bowl 1/4 cup or less of rice depending on your serving bowl size. Please feel free to try this way and reply back if you like this recipe.????

  8. partygoer007

    Thank you so much Stephanie, your contributions to the food world are really great. I believe that the bacon grease is more healthier than the Lard.

    I’m sure glad I saved all of my bacon grease. I let mine cool down then I put it in a air tight plastic container and keep it in the frig.

    I’m going to use dry red beans instead of the canned beans. I was thinking about cooking the red beans and ham hocks and some bay leafs in the crock pot then putting the finished contents in my food processor then heating it back up before serving it with Parboiled Rice.

  9. shaynel ahmed

    thank you for this!! Thanks too – it’s canned red beans!!!
    I am a Brit – of Pakistani heritage- and this is so similar to a Pakistan Dish. I lived in Dallas for 10 years – and I have returned to the UK – and I miss Popeyes Red Beans ‘n’ rice (and so many other US dishes) – and it’s reall lovely to find your recipes…

    I like red beans the Cajun way – it’s not as “pestered’ as Pakistani/indian food….

    thanks – will let you know when I have tried it…

    PS – Red Beans are called “Raj Mer” beans in Pakstani – meaning the “king of Beans”…

  10. Paula

    Hi Stephanie,

    I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but it sounds amazing! I just thought I should let you know that some guy named Brian Child has copied your recipe and has plagiarized your brief article to boot. Almost a complete copy+paste job. You most certainly weren’t given any credit for “his” recipe or “his” article. Here’s the link: XXXXXX

    I know it may not make much of a difference to you, but it does bother me when someone grabs credit for someone else’s hard work.

  11. James

    If you want traditional Red beans and rice stay away from cans!! Buy dried and soak them overnight. The unique flavor of red beans and rice comes from pickled pork, not ham hocks and can only be found around the Nawlins area. At least I haven’t been able to find them anywhere else along the gulf coast. Traditional red are usually served with sausage, Some folks just cut and add to the beans others fry sliced rounds and add to the beans, others just fry in lengths and serve on the side. Different strokes for different folks. One thing for sure there are as many red bean recipes as there are families for this southern dish. It is not unique to N.O. Most folks around N.O. use andouille sausage. I like the fried sausage as it flavors so much better and is closer to the Popeyes taste. You must also add bay leaves to your red beans as well as other spices. Use a potato masher to mash about a third of the beans. Cook them long and slow, most of the day is good, Serve them over long grain rice with french bread and real butter.

    • James

      Rather than lard try bacon grease (southern gold) we put it in most everything!! (well veggies anyway!!) LOL. Actually to me Popeye’s taste like its flavored from the grease of fried sausage. Since its a commercial product they may use some sort of flavoring in the product. Where I live we favor a sausage call connecuh. Its deep smoked sausage. The best I’ve ever tasted. combined with with a little dried basil, garlic powder, onion powder, and a shot or two of worchestershire and a little dash of white wine and you are on your way. Oh yea don’t forget to put a bottle Tabasco on the table.

    • Admiral

      Carmella brand beans is what we use inn Louisiana..use Blue Runner creole beans if you must use canned beans

  12. Kathy Soule

    When I went to NOLA for mardi grais. We had a popeyes just a couple steps away from our hotel. I went for authentic red beans and rice. Had a bowl at every Cajun restraunt wr went to. The jury is in!! Popeyes might be a chain but they were the BEST. Lucky me I have a new new Popeyes going in my own neighbor hood.

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Copycat Recipe Secrets for 2023


Yes, you CAN make it at home! 
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