Red Beans and Ham

When I was young, my mother used to make red beans and ham (known as red beans and rice), which is naturally gluten-free. It must have been the southerner in her. I have finally succeeded in recreating her original recipe, with the addition of a bit of ground thyme. Compared to my earlier attempts, this time I added more onion and garlic. It turned out very flavorful – just perfect for my taste buds! Serve your red beans and ham over white rice, or brown rice, for a healthier choice.

Gluten Free Red Beans and Ham

Yield: Serves appx. 10

Gluten Free Red Beans and Ham

A traditional southern dish, red beans and ham, made gluten free by using a gluten free ham hock or ham bone.


  • 1 pound dry red beans or kidney beans (preferably dark red)
  • Filtered water, as needed
  • 1 1/4 cups celery, chopped
  • 12 ounces yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red or green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 3 large bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • Meaty gluten free ham bone or 2 ham hocks
  • Fine sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cooking oil, olive (or bacon grease)
  • Hot sauce (or ground red chili powder of choice) (optional)


  1. Soak beans overnight in a large pot filled with enough water to double or tripe the depth of the beans.
  2. Rinse beans several times; add ham bone/ham hock.
  3. (Or cooked bacon pieces). Add celery, onion, bay leaves, and thyme (you can added sautéed Veggies for additional flavor and sweetness); cover beans with clean water.
  4. Cook for 2-1/2 hours; remove ham bone/hocks and bay leaves; add oil; bring to a boil; stir until creamy; lower heat to medium; mash some of the beans on the side (inside) of the pot; continue to stir. If too watery boil, while stirring until some of the water evaporates.
  5. Remove pieces of ham from the bone and add back to pot; stir; and enjoy!


I have made this recipe substituting the ham bone with 1-1/4 pounds cooked gluten free uncured bacon broken into pieces and it turned out even better. Use whatever pork products you have on hand including the classic andouille sausage used in New Orleans.

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