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Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice


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Once you’ve made Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice, you’ll never go back to the stove top version.

The pressure cooker does all the hard work of converting dried beans to delicious, tender morsels so you don’t have to compromise taste and value by using canned beans.

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice in a white bowl with another bowl in the background next to an instant pot

Are Dry Beans Better Than Canned Beans?

In a word, yes. Don’t get me wrong, canned beans are a great staple to keep on hand for quick, nutrient-dense meals.

But if you have the time to plan ahead, or if you’re feeding a large crowd, dried beans are the way to go. Here’s why:

  • They’re REALLY inexpensive
  • They taste better
  • Unless you add a ton of salt to them, they have lower sodium

Why I Love Red Beans and Rice

Having raised three boys through their teen years, I have to say my favorite thing about this meal is that it’s one of the cheapest and easiest ways to feed a hungry crowd.

Rice and beans are both really inexpensive, easy to make in bulk, and together, are very filling.

Loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, rice and beans combine to make a complete protein to provide you with all the essential amino acids your body needs.

close up of Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice in a white bowl

Ingredients / Shopping List

  • 1 pound andouille sausage cut into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic-minced
  • 1 pound dried red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning 
  • 4 sprigs dried thyme, remove leaves from stem
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • cooked rice (1 cup per serving)
ingredients needed to make Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

Substitutions and Additions

Sausage: Andouille sausage will give you the most authentic Cajun flavor, but you can also use smoked sausage, kielbasa or turkey sausage if you prefer.

Bell Pepper: I like red bell pepper in this recipe because the color matches nicely and the subtle sweetness adds a nice dimension, but you can substitute any type of bell pepper here.

Equipment Needed / Helpful Tools

  • Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Potato masher

How to Make Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

While your pressure cooker will do most of the work, there are a few steps you’ll have to handle before letting it take over. Trust me, this little bit of effort will make a big difference in delivering amazing flavor.

overhead view of Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice in a white bowl with another bowl in the background next to an instant pot

Step 1: Brown Sausage

To begin, turn your Instant Pot on and set to sauté mode. Once the display reads “Hot,” add the oil followed by the sliced Andouille sausage (I used turkey sausage so yours might look different).

sausage cooking in an instant pot

Once the sausage is lightly browned, remove the pieces from the Instant Pot to a plate and set aside.

Step 2: Soften Vegetables

With the Instant Pot still on sauté mode, add another tablespoon of oil followed by the diced onions and bell pepper.

Cook, while stirring, for two to three minutes, until the onions and pepper are softened.

onions and bell pepper cooking in an instant pot

Once the vegetables are softened, add the minced garlic to the pot and stir. Cook for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot to remove any residue.

Step 3: Add Broth

Next, pour in six cups of chicken broth.

broth cooking in an instant pot

Step 4: Add Beans and Seasoning

It’s almost time to let the pressure cooker take over. We just need to add the beans and seasoning.

Make sure you’ve rinsed the beans well before adding them to the pot. Then, add the Cajun seasoning, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.

Return the sausage to the pot. Stir to combine. Cancel the sauté function.

Step 5: Pressure Cook

Secure the lid of the Instant Pot and set the valve to sealing. Set the pot to high pressure for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Once the timer beeps to indicate the cook time has ended, move the valve to venting to quick release the pressure. When the pressure has fully released, carefully remove the lid.

beans cooking in an instant pot

Step 6: Finish and Serve

To finish the dish, remove the bay leaves from the pot, then use a potato masher to smash the beans and release their flavor. We’re not trying to turn them into mush, just break them open.

Spoon the red bean concoction over cooked rice for a hearty, and heart-healthy meal!

close up of Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice in a white bowl with another bowl in the background next to an instant pot

Variations

Healthy Version: Use a smoked turkey sausage instead of andouille sausage and brown rice or cauliflower rice instead of white rice. You can add some fresh spinach leaves at the end, just before mashing the beans for added nutrients too.

Mexican Version: Use chorizo in place of the andouille sausage. And instead of the Cajun seasoning, thyme and bay leaves, use two teaspoons of paprika and one teaspoon each of cumin and oregano. Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste too.

FAQs

Do I need to pre-soak the beans?

No! That’s one of the great things about cooking dried beans in the pressure cooker — you can skip that step.

Can I omit the sausage?

Absolutely. Whether you want to keep the dish vegetarian or simply want to save some money, the dish is full of flavor and protein without the sausage.

Can I make the rice in the Instant Pot too?

Yes! You’ll just need to make it separate so it doesn’t get mushy. Check out my Instant Pot White Rice recipe for instructions.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Cajun
Servings 6
Calories 681 kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot
  • Potato Masher

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb Andouille sausage sliced and quartered
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper diced
  • 1 Tbs garlic minced
  • 1 lb dried red kidney beans rinsed
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups cooked rice

Instructions
 

  • Turn your instant pot on sauté mode. Add one tablespoon of oil to the bottom of the pan once hot. Add sausage. Stir and cook until sausage is browned on all sides. Remove from instant pot and transfer to a plate. Set aside.
  • Add remaining oil to the pot. Add onions and red bell peppers. Cook, while stirring, until vegetables have softened (about three minutes). Then, add garlic and stir.
  • Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any bits that are stuck. Pour in chicken broth.
  • Add beans, sausage, thyme, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, and salt and pepper. Stir.
  • Put the lid on the Instant Pot and twist to seal. Close sealing valve. Set Instant Pot to high-pressure for 1 hour and 20 minutes. When the cook time ends, quick release the pressure by turning the sealing valve to venting.
  • Carefully remove the lid of the Instant Pot. Then, remove the bay leaves.
  • Use a potato masher to smash the beans a few times in order to release the flavors of the beans.
  • Serve over rice and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 681kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 35gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 1645mgPotassium: 1534mgFiber: 13gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 762IUVitamin C: 38mgCalcium: 106mgIron: 7mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Need to run to the store for a few ingredients first? Don’t forget to pin this recipe so you can find it when you’re ready to cook!

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice in a white bowl with another bowl in the background next to an instant pot with title text reading Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice

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