Low Sodium Southern Red Beans and Rice Recipe

My mother made a few southern dishes that were family favorites. It’s been years since I made my mom’s red beans and rice recipe, but this time I changed things around, making it lower in sodium and by adding a little kick to heat it up a little. With or without heat, these beans are very flavorful. My mother use to always make them using a ham bone with lots of meat left on it. When not available she would use a ham hock, but didn’t like the additional fat, and I agree. To lessen the sodium content, I used very lean, very thin pork chops cut into bite sized pieces. When I tasted it, I could have sworn it was ham without all the salt! If you on a low sodium diet use the chops; if not use a ham bone if you can find one. Enjoy this southern dish, as I have for many decades.

Low Sodium Southern Red Beans Recipe

Yield: Makes appx. 8-10 servings

Low Sodium Southern Red Beans Recipe

A red beans and rice recipe, southern style, with ham hocks, ham bone or even pork chops. Very tasty!


  • 1 lb. soaked red beans (or kidney beans)
  • 1 ham bone from gluten free ham, (or 2 ham hocks) (or gluten free pork sausages, cooked and sliced)
  • 5 dried bay leaves
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic,minced or crushed
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 - 3 Tablespoons gluten free chilpotle sauce or hot sauce (optional) (I use 2 and it makes a medium temp) (optional)
  • Fine sea salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Rinse and soak beans over night in cold water in the pot you plan on using for cooking.
  2. The next day, drain the soaked water and fill with fresh water, just above the beans.
  3. Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the salt and pepper. Include the uncooked ham hocks, cooked or uncooked ham bone or cooked sausages. Stir, cover; and simmer for 2 - 3 hours.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste once cooked.
  5. Remove about one-quarter or less of the beans and run it through the food processor and return to the pot. Alternatively, you can smash some of the beans with the back of a wooden spoon, against the side of the pot. This creates a creamy texture and is optional.
  6. If your sauce is too thin cook it on medium high, and stir often to prevent from sticking on the bottom, until your desired consistency is reached. If the sauce is too thick add more water.
  7. If you are using a ham bone, scrape the meat from the bone into the beans and remove the bone and
  8. Serve with white rice or serve thicker beans as a side dish. Garnish with jalapeno peppers, if desired. Set a bottle of Tabasco sauce out as an alternative.



You can use tabasco sauce to spice up this recipe, as well. Mc Ilhenny Co.'s tabasco sauce is gluten free, made with distilled vinegar. If you have different types of eaters you can leave out the hot sauce and let each person add their own at the time of serving.

If you wish to use a ham bone, ask your butcher for one. If they are not available ask them when they will have one. They are there to help.

I leave just a little fat on the ends of the pork chop for flavor, but not a lot. Do whatever fits your diet.

Please note that any hot sauce contains salt and should be used sparingly if on a low sodium diet.

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