What to Serve With Red Beans and Rice

Are you unsure of what to serve with red beans and rice? Perhaps you want to introduce this healthy, hearty meal into your family meal plan. But what goes well with red beans and rice? Don’t worry because that’s where our list of tasty side dishes comes in handy.

Red beans and rice is a traditional Creole dish believed to have originated in Louisiana during the 18th century. Today, red beans and rice are a staple in New Orleans cuisine and a popular item on restaurant menus. 

This Southern staple is typically made with kidney beans, rice, sausage, and spices such as cayenne pepper and paprika. The warm hearty flavors work well with lots of different sides. Read on to find out some excellent ideas!

Excellent Side Dishes for Red Beans and Rice

1. Roasted Chicken

You can never go wrong with oven-roasted chicken. That’s why it’s the perfect choice when deciding what to serve with red beans and rice. Everybody loves a juicy, well-spiced, outside-crispy roasted chicken.

The best part is you can season your roasted chicken whichever way you choose to deliver the flavors you prefer. The combination of juicy, crisp roast chicken with starchy, spicy red beans and rice is simply delicious.

2. Beef Brisket

A meaty accompaniment never disappoints when you’re serving red beans and rice. And beef brisket is no exception. A slow-cooked tender beef brisket pairs exceptionally well with red beans and rice. 

Every bite of beef brisket is packed with flavor and will melt in your mouth. And the rich, hearty flavor of the brisket pairs perfectly with the slightly spicy beans and the fluffy rice.

3. Coleslaw

The cool, creamy texture of coleslaw provides a delicious contrast to the hearty flavors of red beans and rice. Plus, the cabbage in coleslaw is a good source of vitamin C, which helps to boost immunity. 

To really bring out the flavors of this dish, serve coleslaw with a vinegar-based dressing. The acidity will help to brighten the flavors of the beans and rice. Add a touch of hot sauce or Dijon mustard to the dressing for an extra zing. This flavor combination is sure to please any palate. 

4. Fried Green Tomatoes

Serve fried green tomatoes with your red beans and rice for a genuinely Louisiana-style meal. They’re absolutely delicious and take just 15 minutes to prepare.

The rich, earthy flavors of the beans are complemented by the acidity of the tomatoes. And the crispy texture of the fried tomatoes provides the perfect contrast to the creamy rice. 

5. Corn on the Cob 

Look no further than corn on the cob when determining what to service with red beans and rice. Deliciously juicy corn on the cob with hearty, spicy red beans and rice? Yes, please. 

You can spice your corn in various ways to complement the rich flavor of the red beans and rice. Simple butter, pepper, and salt are a quick, straightforward, and classic option. Add freshly chopped cilantro, cheese, and a touch of lime juice for a unique and divine experience.

6. Pulled Pork

This is one for the pork lovers. Some people like to add pork to their red beans and rice to add to the dish’s flavor. But for a fall-apart soft textured pork, you should slow-cook it separately before serving it with your main.

Pop your pork shoulder into the slow cooker with some onions, garlic, and stock. Some recommend using Coca-Cola instead of stock to tenderize the meat. Then cook till very tender,  add some seasoning, and pull apart with a fork. Serve it hot with your red beans and rice.

7. Fried Pork Chops

Pork chops are among the simplest side dishes to make if you want to increase the protein value of your dinner. And they’re a great option when figuring out what to serve with red beans and rice.

The succulent fried pork pairs perfectly with the creamy beans and fluffy rice. And the crunchy coating provides a nice contrast to the other soft ingredients. Plus, the pork fat adds an extra layer of flavor that really brings the dish to life.

8. Corn Bread

The addition of cornbread makes the hearty, flavorful red beans and rice dish even more satisfying. Cornbread has a sweet and buttery flavor. And the crispy edges of the bread add a different texture to the meal.

Cornbread helps to soak up any sauce from your main. And the slight sweetness pairs perfectly with the spiciness of the beans and sausage. Serve the cornbread warm, topped with a dollop of butter for extra deliciousness.

9. Shrimp Scampi

If you’re a seafood lover trying to decide what to serve with red beans and rice, this is a delicious side. Shrimp scampi is prepared in a sauce comprising butter, garlic, and white wine, among other flavors.

Using fresh herbs such as parsley and chives will add a delightful burst of flavor and aroma to the dish. The acidity of the lemon juice and sweetness of the white wine complements the hearty red beans and rice perfectly.


If you’re searching for a protein-rich side dish to go with your red beans and rice, chicken, beef, or pork will do the trick. Slow-cooked or roasted meats are the best. But if you’re looking for vegan options, stick with coleslaw, corn on the cob, or fried green tomatoes. 

Your red beans and rice meal is sure to be a hit no matter which of these tasty side dishes you choose.