Trying to get a home-cooked meal this time of year is hard. We are running in every direction, so any shortcut to a well-loved recipe is one to embrace. Which brings me to the crock pot. Yes, this time-honored, time-saving gift from the cooking gods! Whip yours out for this recipe, which is easy to prepare and is high on flavor.
One of my favorite tips, no matter the time of year, is to grab pre-marinated meats from the grocery store when pressed for time and cooking seems too daunting a challenge. My personal favorites happen to be Kroger brand Black Pepper Marinated Pork Tenderloin (used in this Italian Pork Tenderloin recipe), Sweet Thai Chicken Thighs (used in this recipe highlighted here on our Instagram page) and today’s recipe, made with Cajun Marinated Chicken Breast with Rib Meat. These each simplify the cooking process and are delicious.
Red beans and rice is a crowd-pleaser, but it’s also great for your own mid-week meal. And, yes, this is not my first recipe celebrating red beans and rice on StyleBlueprint, but it is my first one in the crock pot, and this is seriously divine. Because I started with a package of Cajun Marinated Chicken Breast with Rib Meat, there are almost no other spices needed as these have enough for this entire recipe just in that chicken package! If you like extra cajun, yes, add up to two tablespoons of cajun seasoning. You should be able to prep this recipe in less than 10 minutes, cook it for eight hours on low and have a delicious meal ready — and your house will smell great when you get home, too!
- 24 oz Kroger Cajun Style Chicken Breast with Rib Meat (if you don't have this, use plain chicken and then add 3 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning).
- 8 oz cubed ham
- 12 oz Aidells Cajun Style Andouille, sliced into small crescent-shaped pieces
- 16 oz dried small red beans (I use Kroger brand)
- 2 cups diced sweet onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced bell pepper (I use red, green and yellow)
- 4 cups Simple Truth chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- Optional: 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning (if you prefer a more seasoned taste), 4 cups basmati rice, butter for rice
- Place all items (EXCEPT RICE) in a large crock pot to cook on low for 8 hours. (Yes, pour the dried red beans in without soaking them overnight. They will cook just fine — promise!).
- After 8 hours, the chicken will shred easily, and just mix it all up. If you prefer yours a little mushy (I do), then use an immersion blender for a just a couple seconds to blend some of it up. Be careful as it's easy to blend the entire thing — only use it for 2 seconds!).
- Cook the basmati rice according to the directions. (Usually takes 15-20 minutes). Feel free to add butter to the rice, once cooked. (if you are pressed for time, fill your freezer with some microwavable rice for just such moments).
- Ladle the red beans over the rice and serve!
For more StyleBlueprint recipes, see our entire collection HERE.