Charleston Red Rice

The Ultimate Charleston Red Rice

  • Author: Maury Crespo
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 1x


Charleston Red Rice is the ultimate rice comfort food! Its sweet, has tons of meat! And the aromas from tomatoes and celery can’t be beat! Especially when you add candied bacon!



  • 8 oz Bacon chopped
  • 2 Onions small diced or shallots (optional)
  • 1 cup Celery
  • 14.5 oz can of Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • Kielbasa cut 1 cm thick
  • Fresh Parsley (chopped optional)
  • 2 Bell peppers small diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh Thyme
  • 2 Cup Chicken Stock
  • 2 Cups Rice
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika (smoked is best)
  • 1 Tbsp Butter


  1. In a hot pan, add butter and saute the chopped bacon until the fat is rendered.
  2. Add sausage, onions, bell peppers, and celery and saute until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add rice and coat with the bacon oil and butter. Toasting the rice until a nutty aroma is released.
  4. Add the thyme, Paprika, and the crushed tomatoes.
  5. Add chicken stock to cover the rice. Bring to a boil, and then simmer on low until liquid is almost gone. Keep adding chicken stock as needed.
  6. Top with parsley


It’s also common for people to use ketchup or tomato sauce and sugar in this recipe, for my taste it’s too tangy with the ketchup and it feels somewhat processed (artificial). This version feels more connected to the roots of where Red Rice came from and Low Country Cuisine. For best results, use a can of crushed tomatoes

  • Category: Main
  • Method: Rice
  • Cuisine: Southern Cuisine

Keywords: Red Rice, Gullah, Charleston Red Rice, Rice Recipes, Rice Ideas,