Recipe: Red Rice from Maya Angelou

I love cookbooks with stories in them more than just collections of recipes. So I loved Hallelujah! The Welcome Table. I’ve made several good recipes from it, including her buttermilk biscuits and smothered pork chops. But the recipes wouldn’t be the same without the stories.

The other night I made her mama’s “Red Rice” and it was good. My youngest loved it. I halved the original recipe as I was only feeding 3, plus leftovers. She ate the leftovers for lunch one day and a mid-afternoon snack after life-guarding another day.

  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 1 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes (reserve the juice)
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 cup water and tomato juice

Fry the bacon up and then chop up the cooked bacon, leaving about 1 Tbs of grease in the pan.

Cook the onion and peppers a few minutes, stirring, then add everything else. (Drain the can of tomatoes into a 1 cup measuring cup then top off with water.)

Bring to a boil and cook 3-4 minutes.

Stir, turn down the heat, cover and cook another 15 minutes or so.




  1. Yum! That sounds really good. My husband loves rice with tomatoes — his mom used to mix cooked rice with stewed ones. Can’t wait to try this. The addition of bacon really does it for me.


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