Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

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This Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice is a quick way to get a healthy dinner on the go without any presoaking dried beans! This is a complete protein with a ton of flavor, so everyone will leave the table full and satisfied!

bowl of instant pot red beans and rice.

Instant Pot red beans and rice is a pressure cooker recipe that turns red beans, sausage, and veggies into a rich, flavorful dish that allows the sweet and smoky pork flavors to shine through. There’s no need to use canned beans or presoak them for hours. The Instant Pot cooks dried beans to a soft and tender bite in a fraction of the time.

This healthy and wholesome dish is a definite nod to our Southern states and I couldn’t be prouder at just how authentic it tastes! Simple ingredients, loads of flavor, and a budget-friendly way to serve your family. You’re going to love it!

What is Red Beans and Rice?

Red beans and rice is a traditional Cajun dish originating in New Orleans, Louisiana, and despite its robust and complex flavors, it couldn’t be easier to make!

This one-pot comfort dish consists of 2 main components, the flavorful red beans made with smoked sausage, veggies, and Cajun seasoning, and the bed of rice it’s traditionally served with!

Why This Recipe Works

  • It’s a dump-and-set recipe. As a busy mom, I’m always on the hunt for easy recipes that my kids will love. Minimal cleanup is a bonus!
  • Loaded with flavor. The Instant Pot does a great job of infusing what’s inside of it with even more flavor as it cooks.
  • It’s customizable. You can make it as spicy or as mild as you like. You can swap the sausage for a different meat or skip it altogether. Use whatever rice you have on hand, and you can even adjust the seasonings!

All the Ingredients You’ll Need

ingredients needed for instant pot red beans and rice.
  • Olive oil to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the pot.
  • Smoked andouille sausage: You want to use a really good quality smoked andouille sausage, as this is what gives the dish most of its flavor.
  • Aromatics & veggies: You’ll need onion, green bell pepper, celery, and garlic.
  • Chicken or vegetable broth: use either one.
  • Dried red beans: Not to be confused with kidney beans! The Camellia brand is what we use.
  • Seasoning: Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, thyme (fresh or dried), and bay leaves.
  • Cooked white long-grain rice, for serving: Make this dish even faster and use leftover cooked rice!

Please scroll ⬇️ to the recipe card to see the full ingredient amounts and instructions.

Let’s Make Some Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice!

  1. Rinse the beans to remove debris and set them aside. Press [Sauté] on the Instant Pot and wait for the screen to display “HOT.” Drizzle in the olive oil to coat and cook the sausage until lightly brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate, leaving the grease in the pot.
  1. Add more oil if needed, then sauté the onion, green bell pepper, and celery, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  1. Pour in the broth and deglaze the pot with a wooden spoon. Scraping up the bottom bits will help to avoid burning as well as add flavor to the dish.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients in the following order, red beans, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, and thyme. DO NOT STIR.
  3. Close the let, set the valve to sealing, and [Pressure Cook] on high for 35 minutes. Once it beeps, do a Natural Release of the pressure, which means you leave it alone!
  4. Once all the pressure is gone, open the lid, and discard the bay leaves and thyme. Add the sausages back in and serve immediately over a bed of rice. Drizzle with a little hot sauce, if desired.
bowl of instant pot red beans and rice.

How to Thicken this Dish

If you prefer a thicker consistency, remove some beans, mash them, and stir them back into the pot.

Substitutions and Variations

  • A different meat. Instead of chorizo or kielbasa, you could use ham hock, diced ham, or bacon.
  • Type of rice. You can use Jasmine rice, long grain, or basmati rice. If you use brown rice, the cooking time will be a little longer.
  • Adjust the spice level. Depending on how you like your sausage, use spicy or mild. Add extra cayenne or hot sauce when serving!
  • A different grain: If preferred, use barley or quinoa in place of rice. I’ve never tried cauliflower rice, but it might be an interesting low-carb option.

Tips for Success

Avoid the “burn” notice by making sure it says “HOT” before adding the oil. Also, be sure to deglaze the pot and loosen the bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Follow the “DO NOT STIR” instructions. The way the ingredients are layered ensures there is enough liquid at the bottom of the pot.
Do not pressure cook the sausage. I’ve tested this recipe several times by pressure cooking the sausage and it turned out overcooked each time. Leave the sausage out and stir it back in after the beans are done cooking.
Are your beans not cooked? Add a bit more liquid, close back the lid, and pressure cook for another 5-10 minutes.
If making a vegetarian version but would like the smoky flavors, you can add a bit of liquid smoke or smoked paprika to your recipe and use vegan sausages.

What to Serve with Red Beans and Rice

Rice and beans (or beans and rice, depending on where you’re from, are a complete protein. It includes veggies so it is a satisfying and wholesome meal all on its own.

If you’re looking to complement it with a couple of sides, here are a few ideas for you:

  • A slice of cornbread
  • Instant Pot Asparagus
  • Simple tossed salad
  • Biscuits
  • Fried green tomatoes, another southern classic!

FAQs

Can I substitute red beans with kidney beans?

You can! You can also choose to use black beans or pinto beans, too. Red beans are authentic, but other beans are convenient, so use them up!

Do I need to soak the beans before?

Nope! The presser from the Instant Pot will tenderize them to the point you’d never know they weren’t presoaked or simmered for hours on the stove!

Can I double the recipe?

Easily double the recipe if you’re using an 8-quart pot.

How to Store Leftover Red Beans and Rice

Keep any leftovers stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also portion them out into smaller containers and freeze them for up to 2 months. That way you can just thaw what you need when you need it!

RECIPE

bowl of instant pot red beans and rice.

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

Quynh Nguyen
Instant Pot red beans and rice is a quick way to get a healthy dinner on the go without presoaking dried beans! This pressure cooker meal turns red beans, sausage, and veggies into a rich, flavorful dish that allows the sweet and smoky pork flavors to shine through.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 392 kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (12.8 ounce) package smoked andouille sausage, cut into thin slices
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 pound dry red beans (Preferably Camellia brand)
  • salt, to taste
  • ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • cooked white long-grain rice, for serving
  • hot sauce, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the beans and side aside.
  • To the instant pot, press [Saute]. Wait until the display reads "Hot". Add olive oil and andouille sausage. Lightly brown both sides and transfer to a plate.
  • Add more oil, if needed, then add onion, green bell peppers, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes until tender. Add garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.
  • Deglaze the pot with chicken broth. Add the remaining ingredients: red beans, salt, ground pepper, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, and thyme. Do not stir.
  • Close the lid and set the pressure release valve to the "sealing" position. Select [Pressure Cook/Manual] on High Pressure for 35 minutes. When the cooking program ends, let it release pressure naturally. Discard the bay leaves and thyme. Stir the sausages back in.
  • Serve immediately with rice and hot sauce.

Notes

  • Avoid the “burn” notice by making sure it says “HOT” before adding the oil. Also, be sure to deglaze the pot and loosen the bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Follow the “DO NOT STIR” instructions. The way the ingredients are layered ensures there is enough liquid at the bottom of the pot.
  • Do not pressure cook the sausage. I’ve tested this recipe several times by pressure cooking the sausage and it turned out overcooked each time. Leave the sausage out and stir it back in after the beans are done cooking.
  • Are your beans not cooked? Add a bit more liquid, close back the lid, and pressure cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 392kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 23gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 972mgPotassium: 1066mgFiber: 10gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 297IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 74mgIron: 5mg
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