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12 Kinds of Meat that Go with Red Beans and Rice

Are you wondering what meats to use when making red beans and rice?

I know I was.

I mean, who doesn’t love a good bowl of jambalaya?

Or gumbo?

See Also: What Vegetables Go in Gumbo

what meat goes with red beans and rice

And there are so many options for spicy, smoky flavor combinations—but it can be hard to know which meats will go best with your favorite red bean and rice recipes.

So, what meat goes with red beans and rice?

The best kinds of meat to go with red beans and rice are pork and chicken. They’re the most popular, but there are other options, too.

Pork is a traditional choice because it’s available in many varieties and can be prepared in different ways, so you can get exactly what you want.

Chicken is another great option because it’s versatile, easy to cook, and flavorful.

Red beans and rice are often served as a side dish at parties or gatherings, so it’s important to have a variety of meats on hand that will work well with different types of rice dishes.

So, if you’re looking for more options, then keep scrolling!

12 Kinds of Meat that Go with Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice

Below I’ve put together a list of 12 delicious kinds of meat that work well with red beans and rice, whether you’re cooking up a big batch or just preparing a side dish for one.

Now you’ll never have to worry about what goes with your favorite Cajun dish again!

1. Chicken

Grilled chicken breast

Chicken is a popular choice for this dish because it’s so versatile.

You can use boneless chicken breasts, thighs, or even ground chicken if you prefer.

The best thing about using chicken is that it will cook up quickly and easily in the same pot as your rice and beans, allowing you to get dinner on the table quicker than ever!

2. Pork

Pork Slices

Pork is another classic ingredient in red beans and rice—and for good reason!

It adds a rich flavor to this dish that makes it taste like home.

Pork shoulder can be used instead of pork chops if you want something heartier (and cheaper).

You can also add some pulled pork into your red beans and rice if you don’t have time to cook up anything fresh!

3. Beef


Beef is an excellent choice for red beans and rice, whether you choose to use it as your main protein or in addition to a second meat component.

It’s also affordable and easy to prepare, making it perfect for any occasion.

4. Turkey


This bird is an excellent choice for red beans and rice because it’s relatively inexpensive and has a mild flavor that won’t overpower the other ingredients in the dish.

5. Lamb meat

Lamb Chops

This can be a great option if you’re looking to make an easy meal that’s both tasty and filling.

Lamb has a strong, distinctive flavor that works well with other spices that are typically used in Cajun cuisine, like garlic and cayenne pepper.

6. Duck

Duck Breast

If you’re feeling adventurous, duck is another great option for spicing up your red beans and rice.

It has a more subtle flavor than lamb, making it easier to pair with other flavors without overpowering them—but it still packs quite a punch!

7. Fish

White Fish

Salmon, tuna, mackerel—you name it!

Fish is great because it’s not too heavy on its own, but it also has a ton of protein built into it.

You can even use canned salmon if you don’t want to spend time cooking up fresh fish from scratch (though we recommend trying your hand at fish recipes).

8. Goat meat

Goat meat

Goat is a great choice because it has a tender texture that cooks quickly and comes in tons of different cuts (like steaks or ribs).

It’s also leaner than other meats like beef or pork—so you won’t have to worry about going overboard on calories here!

9. Veal


Veal works well with this recipe because it’s so tender and juicy when cooked properly, which makes for an incredibly satisfying meal that won’t leave you feeling heavy afterward!

Just make sure to trim away any excess fat from the cut before cooking it up!

10. Venison


Venison has long been considered “the other red meat” because it’s leaner than beef or pork.

Venison is also lower in calories per serving than either of those options!

So if you’re looking to eat healthier but still enjoy your favorite comfort foods, venison is definitely the way to go!

11. Steak


Steak is another popular choice for this recipe because it’s delicious and pairs well with many different flavors.

You can go with a rib eye or filet mignon (See Also: 8 Best Spices and Herbs for Filet Mignon) if you prefer something more tender; however, if you like more flavor from your meat then try using flank steak instead!

It’s super flavorful and has loads of marbling so it’ll be sure to taste great when cooked properly (make sure not to overcook!).

12. Sausage Links


Sausages are another great option for red beans and rice because they’re already cooked when you buy them—therefore making it even easier to get this meal on the table!

If you want to give your sausage links an extra kick of flavor, you can try adding some chopped garlic cloves or some chopped bell peppers before cooking them in your pot.

How to Pick Meats that Go Well with Red Beans and Rice


When it comes to picking meats for your red beans and rice, you have a lot of options.

If you’ve got time and are looking for an extra special treat, I recommend using smoked sausage or Andouille.

These types of sausages add a ton of flavor and really make this dish something special.

If you want something quick, easy, and delicious, my personal favorite is ham hocks.

Ham hocks are basically just pork shanks (See also these pork shank recipes) that have been smoked and cured, so they’re already seasoned and ready to go!

And if you’re in a rush but don’t want to compromise flavor?

Grab yourself some bacon or pancetta!

Both of these meats will add incredible flavor while also giving your dish a little extra fat—which is exactly what red beans need in order to stick together properly when cooked.

Red Beans and Rice

12 Kinds of Meat that Go with Red Beans and Rice

You know, it's funny. Not a lot of people talk about the benefits of serving meat with your red beans and rice dish. But, it's pretty important.
So, let's chat about why you should always serve meat with your red beans and rice dish.
For starters, meat is a great source of protein. Protein is essential for maintaining good health—it helps build muscle, repair tissue, and more. Plus, it just tastes delicious!
Also, when you serve meat with your red beans and rice dish, you get to enjoy the delicious combination of meats and carbs in one bite! It's like eating two meals at once (or three if you count dessert).
And don't forget that when you add meat to your meal, it can help add flavor to something that might be bland on its own. For example: if someone eats just plain white rice without any sauce or spices, that usually isn't going to be very tasty—but what if they added some chicken or steak? Suddenly their meal becomes much more enjoyable!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course, Meat
Cuisine American, Asian
Servings 4 people
Calories 365 kcal


  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Lamb meat
  • Duck
  • Fish
  • Goat meat
  • Veal
  • Venison
  • Steak
  • Sausage Links


  • Pick your favorite piece of meat from this list to use in your meal.
  • Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
  • Be ready to munch in no time!
Keyword meats that go in red beans and rice, what meat goes with red beans and rice