Red Beans and Cauliflower Rice (like Popeye’s)

I’m not much of a fast food person. I probably hit Carl’s Jr or In ‘n Out once a year. But if the opportunity comes my way for some Popeye’s Red Beans and Rice – I am all over it! Fortunately (depending on how you look at it) there isn’t a Popeye’s anywhere close to where we live.

As I’ve started eating a lower carb diet I’ve become a big fan of cauliflower rice. So it seemed logical that I’d want to find a way to indulge my secret food passion for something I could make at home. I found a pretty good “copycat” recipe online and made some tweaks to get the flavor I was looking for. And this is it!


  • 2 16-oz cans red beans
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Emeril’s seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 3 tbsp bacon fat
  • 12 oz package frozen cauliflower rice – thawed

Be sure to get actual red beans. NOT red kidney beans! That is a different taste and not what we are looking for here! Include the liquid in the cans – don’t drain them!

Red beans only!


  1. Combine all ingredients except the cauli-rice in a medium saucepan.
  2. Using a stick blender, mash some of the beans until they’re creamy. Not all though – you still want some good chunks of beans in the mix.
  3. Simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes until it has thickened. Stir frequently so the beans don’t stick!
  4. While your beans are simmering, squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the cauli-rice. I use a large white tea towel.
  5. Put the cauli-rice in a bowl and microwave for a minute or so.
  6. When the beans have cooked down, add the cauli-rice and cook 5 or so minutes more until everything is heated through.
  7. Serve!


Feel free to adjust seasoning to your own liking. We like things a little smokier and spicier. But if that’s not your thing – you can easily reduce the hot sauce, skip the Emeri’s and reduce the liquid smoke.

Of course this is great with chicken but it really makes a terrific side dish for ribs too!


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