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Best Cajun 15 Bean Soup with Sausage, Shrimp, and Okra

Ready to spice up your traditional 15 bean soup? You will love the Cajun seasoning, sausage, shrimp, and okra in this mouthwatering Cajun 15 bean soup.

This is not your ordinary Cajun soup. It pulls ingredients from iconic Cajun dishes into a one-pot soup. Make Cajun 15 Bean Soup in the Instant Pot, slow cooker, or on the stove.

Any time of the year is perfect for Cajun bean soup. It’s the best soup for chilly days with a side of hot water cornbread. Or serve it over white rice for a hearty meal. Tempt your taste buds by drawing flavors from the whole Cajun culture.

Cajun Soup Ingredients

Pull the best Cajun ingredients out of your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. You are gonna need them.

• 15 Bean Soup Mix

Hurst beans brand makes a Cajun 15 bean soup mix. But toss out the flavor packet. This soup recipe will be more flavorful than that little ‘ol packet can provide.

Don’t forget to soak the beans overnight with a whole tablespoon of salt in 8 to 10 cups of water.

There are two reasons to add salt to the soak water. First, the saltwater soak adds flavor to the beans in a unique way. No amount of salt added after the soak will make up for skipping salt in the soaking water.

Second, soaking the dry beans with salt helps keep the beans from bursting during cooking. For more information, see my article on cooking garbanzo beans. It shows the results of soaking dried beans in various ways.

What are bean varieties in a typical 15 bean mix? You will find different beans in each bag, including smaller and larger beans. Hurst’s Cajun beans have:

  1. black beans
  2. small white beans
  3. red beans
  4. garbanzo beans
  5. green lentils (brown lentils)
  6. green split peas
  7. yellow split peas
  8. pinto beans
  9. kidney beans
  10. white kidney beans
  11. large lima beans
  12. baby lima beans
  13. cranberry beans
  14. navy beans
  15. yellow eye beans

The different kinds of beans add color and variety to the soup.

• Andouille Sausage

Andouille sausage is the sausage associated with Louisiana Cajun cuisine. The sausage is made with pork, garlic, pepper, onions, and seasonings.

It is a double-smoked sausage. First, the meat in the filling is smoked. Then the whole sausage in the casing is smoked again.

You can add a leftover ham bone or ham hock to the soup too. Or substitute leftover ham if you do not have sausage.

• Shrimp

Iconic Cajun dishes always have shrimp, and this soup is no exception. Use small, deveined shrimp with their tails removed in this Cajun 15 bean soup recipe.

Add the raw shrimp during the last 10 to 15 minutes of cook time. Then they won’t get overdone.

• Green Bell Pepper, Sweet onion, and Celery

Make a piment doux by cooking the diced green pepper, onion, and celery in a couple of tablespoons of oil until they soften.

A piment doux is similar to mirepoix. But instead of using carrots, use green bell pepper.

• Collard Greens

Collard greens are a common sight in Southern and Cajun cooking. Shred them for this recipe. They aren’t the star, but they will make you feel like you are in the South.

Want a substitute for collard greens? Any hearty leafy greens can take their place, including kale and mustard greens.

What do collard greens taste like? Raw collard greens with hearty and mature leaves can be slightly bitter with a substantial chew. Collard greens taste better when they are harvested in colder months, just like kale.

Cook them in a soup to soften the tough leaves and mellow the flavor. In the soup, they taste like mild greens. But more significantly, they add a softer texture and counter the spiciness of the sausage and Cajun seasoning.

• Okra

Now you are really feeling Southern. Okra is one of the main ingredients for perfectly Cajun 15-bean soup. Slice fresh okra into thick coins, and you will feel like you are in Louisiana.

Feeling ambitious? Reserve a few, fry them up, and garnish the soup with them.

Fresh or frozen? You can use either. If you want to save some time, buy them frozen and sliced. Then just dump the bag in. The characteristic okra slime thickens the soup.

What does okra taste like? Okra is sweet and grassy with a slimy texture. The sliminess is obvious when cutting them but not noticed when the okra is fried in batter.

In the soup, the okra sliminess is minimal, and the taste blends with the collard greens. Okra has a more robust flavor than cooked celery but is not as strong as eggplant.

• Crushed or Diced Tomatoes

Use canned tomatoes which have already been peeled. Tomatoes add a complementary flavor and a hint of acid.

• Broth

Choose vegetable or chicken broth.

This soup is ideal if you have made homemade chicken stock, but any favorite broth is fine. I use Better than Bouillon chicken or vegetable flavoring to make broth.

• Lemon Juice

Acidic lemon juice adds a spark of brightness to the soup. Add the lemon juice early and cook it with the soup.

• Cajun Seasoning

Cajun seasoning is a spicy blend of herbs. Cayenne pepper adds the most heat, but garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper contribute too. Find your favorite Cajun seasoning blend at your local grocery store or online.

Combine the Cajun seasoning with thyme and bay leaves for even more flavor.

• Fresh Parsley

The addition of fresh parsley near the end of cooking refreshes and cools the spiciness of the soup.

How to Make Cajun 15-Bean Soup

The first three steps are the beginning to each cooking method. More specific directions for pressure cooker, stove, and slow cooker instructions follow.

Step 1. Sort and soak the 15-bean soup mix.

  • SORT the beans. Remove any debris.

  • SOAK 2 cups of the bean mix in 10 cups of water or at least enough water to cover the beans 3 or 4 inches. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. Soak for at least 8 hours, but preferably overnight.

  • After soaking, DRAIN beans and rinse with cold water.

If you forget to soak the beans, you can still cook them with the quick soak method.

Quick Soak Method

  1. ADD beans to a large pot. Pour in enough water to cover beans about 4 inches and add 1 teaspoon of salt.
  2. BRING WATER TO BOIL over medium high heat. Cover with lid.
  3. TURN OFF HEAT. Remove the covered pan from the burner.
  4. LET BEANS SIT COVERED for 1 hour.
  5. DRAIN beans. Rinse them under running water. Now they are ready to cook.

Step 2. Prep your ingredients.

Produce

  • WASH the pepper, celery, collard greens, parsley, and okra (if using fresh).

  • DICE the green bell pepper, onion, and celery.

  • SLICE the collard greens into ribbons and chop the okra (if necessary).

  • MINCE the parsley.

  • PEEL AND SMASH the garlic cloves.

  • SQUEEZE the lemon juice.

Meat

  • CHOP the hot sausage links into ¼ inch rounds.

Step 3. Make a piment doux with green bell pepper, onion, and celery.

  • HEAT 2 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil in a large pot or skillet over medium heat.

  • When the oil is hot, ADD the peppers, onions, and celery. Stir.

  • COOK for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.

  • STIR in the Cajun seasoning, thyme, and smashed garlic.

  • COOK for 3 to 4 minutes.

Step 4. Cook the Soup

Electric Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Directions

  1. POUR the chicken broth and crushed tomatoes into the inner container first. Then add the rest of the ingredients except for the shrimp and parsley.

  2. PRESSURE COOK on high pressure for 15 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, do a quick pressure release.

  3. ADD the raw shrimp and parsley.

  4. PRESSURE COOK for 3 more minutes. Do a quick release and check that the shrimp is done.

  5. SERVE.

Stove Top Directions

When you cook the soup on the stove, start the piment doux in a stockpot. Then add the rest of the ingredients.

  1. POUR the rest of the ingredients (except the shrimp and parsley) into the piment doux mixture. Heat over medium-high heat until the soup begins to boil.

  2. REDUCE HEAT to low and simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the beans are soft.

  3. ADD the shrimp and parsley and cook for 15 minutes longer, or until the shrimp is cooked through.

  4. SERVE.

Slow Cooker Cajun 15-Bean Soup Directions

If you want to take the time (and I recommend it), follow steps 1 to 3 under the general directions. Then add all the ingredients to the slow cooker.

  1. STIR to combine.

  2. COOK the soup on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours. The beans will be soft when they are finished cooking.

  3. ADD the shrimp and parsley during the last 15 minutes of cook time.

  4. SERVE.

How to Serve Cajun 15 Bean Soup

  • Eat as a regular soup or serve it over white rice like they do in Louisiana.
  • Garnish with shrimp, fried okra, or fresh parsley.

Best Side Dishes for Cajun 15 Bean Soup

You have your hearty, delicious soup. Now you need some side dish ideas. Here are a few to get you going.

How to Store Leftovers

Store leftover Cajun 15 bean soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To reheat, heat in the microwave for 1 to 1½ minutes. Or heat over medium-low heat on the stove for 10 to 15 minutes.

Can you freeze Cajun 15-bean soup? If you need more extended storage than 3 days, freeze the soup in a freezer container or a freezer zip-top bag.

To reheat, thaw the soup overnight. Then heat in the microwave or on the stove.

Well, that is it – everything you need to make the perfect 15 Bean Cajun Soup with ingredients straight from the South. Enjoy the recipe and share it with a friend.

More Soups You Will Love

bowl of 15 bean soup mix

Vegetable Soup with Ground Beef: Combine tender vegetables and savory ground beef in a flavorful broth. This hearty soup is packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein.

Black Bean Soup: Mouthwatering vegan black bean soup made with roasted poblanos and tomatillos, corn, red onions, carrots, celery, and cilantro.

Butternut Squash Soup: Rich, creamy soup with butternut squash, cream cheese, white beans, diced tomatoes, and flavorful herbs. A great soup for autumn. Plus get tons of ideas for butternut squash soup side dishes.

Pumpkin Soup: Blend fresh herbs and spices with pumpkin puree, coconut milk, red lentils, and apples in this seasonal soup. This delicious soup is ready in 30 minutes.

Turkey Soup: Use leftover turkey, along with potatoes, onions, leeks, celery, and fresh seasonal herbs for a true comfort food experience. Don’t have turkey? Substitute chicken instead.

Split Pea Soup: Hearty, healthy crock pot split pea soup with ham, carrots, onions, celery, and dried herbs, partially pureed for an easy dinner soup recipe.

15-Bean Soup: Craving a hearty protein-stuffed soup? I’m talking wholesome beans and savory meat crammed into one soup bowl. That is what you get with this colorful, scrumptious 15 bean soup recipe.


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Yield: 12 servings

Best Cajun 15 Bean Soup with Sausage, Shrimp, and Okra

bowl of spicy Cajun bean soup with sausage, shrimp, and okra

Ready to spice up your traditional 15 bean soup? You will love the Cajun seasoning, sausage, shrimp, and okra in this mouthwatering Cajun 15 bean soup.

Cook it in the Instant Pot, Stove Top, or Slow Cooker.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups 15-bean soup mix
  • 10 cups water with 1 tablespoon of salt (to soak dry beans)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet or yellow onion, diced (about 1 medium onion)
  • 1 heaping cup green bell pepper, diced (1 medium pepper)
  • ¾ cup celery, diced (2 celery stalks)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2 to 2½ tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (14.5) can crushed tomatoes (or diced tomatoes)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice (1 medium lemon)
  • 1 pound andouille sausage links (or substitute your favorite hot sausage)
  • 2 cups medium shrimp, deveined with tails removed
  • 2 cups okra, chopped (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup collard greens, sliced in ribbons
  • ½ cup fresh Italian parsley, minced

Instructions

Prep the Beans

  1. SORT the beans. Remove any debris.
  2. POUR 2 cups of the bean mix into 10 cups of water or at least enough water to cover the beans 3 or 4 inches. Add 1 tablespoon of salt.
  3. SOAK for at least 8 hours, but preferably overnight.
  4. DRAIN AND RINSE the beans with cold water.

Prep the Veggies and Meat

  1. WASH the pepper, celery, collard greens, parsley, and okra (if using fresh).
  2. DICE the green bell pepper, onion, and celery.
  3. SLICE the collard greens into ribbons and chop the okra (if using fresh).
  4. MINCE the parsley.
  5. PEEL AND SMASH the garlic cloves.
  6. SQUEEZE the lemon juice.
  7. CHOP the hot sausage links into ¼ inch rounds.

Cook the Soup (Pressure Cooker Directions)

  1. HEAT 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. (This can also be done in the Instant Pot with the saute feature.)
  2. ADD the peppers, onions, and celery when the oil is hot.
  3. STIR AND COOK for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  4. STIR IN the Cajun seasoning, thyme, and smashed garlic.
  5. COOK for 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. POUR the chicken broth and crushed tomatoes into the inner container first. Then add the rest of the ingredients (except for the shrimp and parsley).
  7. PRESSURE COOK on high pressure for 15 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, do a quick pressure release.
  8. ADD the raw shrimp and parsley.
  9. PRESSURE COOK for 3 more minutes. Do a quick release and check that the shrimp is done.
  10. GARNISH AND SERVE.

Stove Top Directions

  1. FOLLOW Steps 1 to 5 (above) using a stock pot or large soup pan on the stove.
  2. POUR the rest of the ingredients (except the shrimp and parsley) into the stock pot. Heat over medium-high heat until the soup begins to boil.
  3. REDUCE HEAT to low and simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the beans are soft.
  4. ADD the shrimp and parsley and cook for 15 minutes longer, or until the shrimp is cooked through.
  5. GARNISH AND SERVE.

Slow Cooker Directions

  1. POUR all of the ingredients (except the shrimp and parsley) into the slow cooker.
  2. STIR to combine.
  3. COOK the soup on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours. The beans will be soft when they are finished cooking.
  4. ADD the shrimp and parsley during the last 15 minutes of cook time.
  5. GARNISH AND SERVE.

Notes

*Note: The cook time is based on the pressure cooker method.

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Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1/2 cup

Amount Per Serving Calories 349Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 82mgSodium 3480mgCarbohydrates 32gFiber 13gSugar 7gProtein 19g

Nutrition information is an estimate only and may vary based on individual ingredients added and cooking methods used.


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