Red Beans & Rice Nachos

By Joy the Baker


  • 1 pound dried red beans, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup diced pancetta
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne or a few dashes of Tony Chachere’s Seasoning
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 pound cooked smoked sausage cut into 1-inch pieces
  • About 10 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups cooked white rice
  • Chopped green onions, for garnish


For the Nachos

  • Corn tortilla chips
  • 1 block of Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese
  • Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons creole or whole grain brown mustard
  • Chopped fresh parsley and green onions


  1. Place rinsed dried beans in a medium pot and cover with room temperature water. Allow to soak overnight before making the beans.
  2. If you don’t have time to soak the beans overnight, don’t fret. Place the rinsed dried beans in a medium pot and cover with room temperature water. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. As soon as the beans boil, cover, remove from heat, and allow to soak for 1 hour. Carry on with the recipe.
  3. In a large soup pot over medium heat, cook pancetta until very well crisped, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper, and cook until vegetables are very well done, about 8 minutes.
  5. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne or Tony Chachere’s Seasoning, and stir to combine.
  6. Stir in the garlic, parsley, thyme and sliced sausage. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until the sausage is well browned, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently.
  7. Add the softened beans, the stock and the bay leaves to the pot. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 2 hours, uncovered, until the beans are well softened.
  8. Taste and season with more salt or pepper.
  9. For a slightly smoother consistency, blend about 1/3 of bean and sausage mixture in a blender or food processor and return to the pot. This way, some of the beans will be ground smooth and some will be kept whole, creating a really lovely consistency. You can also smooth out some of the beans by mashing them against the side of the pan once they’re softened, but I like the bender method best.
  10. To make the nachos, turn the oven broiler on.
  11. Mound tortilla chips onto a sheet pan and sprinkle generously with cheese. Sprinkle with a few dashes of Cajun Seasoning.
  12. In a small bowl stir together equal parts beans and rice. Dollop mixture over the cheese and seasoning. Sprinkle with more cheese.
  13. Cook under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
  14. While mixture melts, in a small bowl stir together sour cream and mustard.
  15. Remove the nachos from the oven, add a bit more warm beans and warm rice and dollop with sour cream mixture and sprinkle with herbs. Enjoy warm!

Ingredients used in this recipe