Baked Red Rice with Bacon

This post contains links to affiliate websites, such as Amazon, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you using these links. We appreciate your support!

Charleston red rice or Savannah red rice, whatever you call this easy baked rice with bacon, is one of my favorite recipes on the local beach restaurant menus! Serve it as a side dish for chicken, fish, or your favorite seafood dish.

The finished baked rice dish with tomato and bacon has a spoon ready to serve.

One of my very favorite things to do during our annual family beach vacation is to dine at local seafood restaurants and fill up on crab, shrimp, and all the grilled fish I can handle.

I get downright giddy when I spot "Savannah red rice" or "Charleston red rice" on the menu for a side dish.

This savory tomato-based red rice dish features a spicy sauce and crispy bacon.

It is often served in individual baking dishes at the crab shacks we visit, but you can bake a 9 x 13 pan of it so easily at home for a family dinner.

Jump to:

Why This is the Best Recipe

When you're enjoying a seafood dinner, rice is such an excellent side dish choice. I think this is the best baked red rice recipe because:

  1. Savory and Flavorful: With a tomato base and salty bacon, this is the perfect accent for a lighter fish dinner.
  2. Easy to Prep: Just mix everything together and pop it in the oven, such an easy side dish to make.
  3. Classic Southern Recipe: This is one of my favorite southern recipes since it tastes just like the beach side restaurants we frequent every summer.


The ingredients to make baked red rice are on the counter.

The ingredients to make homemade red rice are so easy. All you need is:

  • Long-Grain White Rice: I often use jasmine, too.
  • Bacon
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Canned tomato sauce
  • Chicken Broth or Stock
  • Hot Pepper Sauce: Read why we prefer Texas Pete here.
  • Cayenne Pepper

How to Prep the Rice

The first step to making red rice is to fry up your bacon. I prepped it in a skillet but you could make my peppered bacon in the oven if you prefer.

Transfer the crispy bacon to a plate with paper towels to drain while you prep the veggies. You'll reserve the bacon for sprinkling over the top of the dish to keep it crispy.

Saute the onion and celery in the skillet until tender.

Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, dry seasonings, and hot sauce and stir to combine.

Step by step photos show how to make a baked red rice with bacon.

If your skillet is large enough, you can finish the entire dish right in the skillet. Mine wasn't large enough so I transferred the mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Add the rice and stir it in.

Bake the Red Rice

Cover your baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.

The finished red rice dish has a serving spoon.

Crumble the reserved bacon strips and sprinkle them over the top of the dish before serving.

Prep Ahead Tips

This recipe is best when served right after baking it fresh.

If you want to prep it ahead, you have to choices:

1. Use Pre-Cooked Bacon

To save time preparing this recipe, it helps to have pre-cooked bacon.

You could bake a batch of my peppered bacon recipe in the oven and it will shave at least 10 minutes off your prep time.

If you don't want to reserve some of the bacon fat from the cooking process, simply substitute a bit of olive oil to your skillet for sauteing the vegetables.

2. Prepare the Tomato Sauce

You could prep the recipe right up to the point just before adding the rice. Store the tomato sauce mixture in your fridge in an airtight container and simply heat it up before stirring in the rice and baking.

I recommend storing the bacon separately and heating it up in the microwave before crumbling it over the casserole.

Serving Suggestions

Southern red rice with bacon is an amazing side dish with your favorite seafood recipes. I love it most with my seasoned grilled tilapia.

We love it with oven baked salmon or easy shrimp dinners like my seasoned boiled shrimp or this 5-minute spicy shrimp.

More Southern Recipes

Savannah red rice is one of my favorite southern recipes. Don't miss my list of 30 family favorites here:

📖 Recipe

The finished baked rice dish with tomato and bacon has a spoon ready to serve.

Red Rice with Bacon

5 from 1 vote
This spicy rice recipe is a classic Southern side dish served at our favorite beach restaurants under the name Charleston red rice or Savannah red rice. Filled with savory bacon and veggies, it goes great with grilled fish or chicken and is so easy to make at home.
TOTAL TIME 55 minutes
PREP TIME 20 minutes
COOK TIME 35 minutes
YIELD 6 servings


  • 7 bacon slices
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 stalks of celery diced
  • 1 (15 oz) can of tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 cups long-grain rice


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium until crisp. Drain the bacon on a plate with a few paper towels to remove some of the grease. Pour out the bacon fat from the skillet into a measuring cup. Return just 1/4 cup of the bacon fat back to the skillet.
  • Add the onion and celery to the skillet with the bacon fat. Cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the celery is tender, about 6 minutes.
  • Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, dry seasonings, and hot sauce to the skillet and stir to combine. Stir in the rice and transfer the entire mixture to a 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.
  • Bake the rice for 35 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Crumble the reserved bacon strips and sprinkle over the top before serving.

Recipe Notes

Make-Ahead Tips:

This dish is best served fresh after baking. If you want to save prep time, you can prepare the recipe right up to the point before you add the rice. Store the tomato mixture in the fridge up to one day in advance. Then, simply stir in the rice and add it to the baking dish just before baking.
COURSESide Dishes

Save This Recipe to Your Recipe Box

Find this delicious recipe next time you visit by saving it to your very own recipe box on my site. All your favorites stored in one easy place!

A photo collage shows the finished red rice next to a plate of bacon.

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating