Soft and tender beans get cooked up with spicy andouille sausage and TONS of Cajun flavor in this Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice recipe. Thanks to the pressure cooker you can have this authentic Louisiana recipe ready to enjoy in less than an hour AND without having to soak any beans. This easy beans and rice recipe can be meal prepped ahead of time, served up for busy weeknight dinners, or made as the main dish for a Mardi Gras celebration!
Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice Recipe
For a few years I attended a weekly running group called RAW here in Austin. We would run 4-6 miles then meet up at a local spot and hang out for hours afterwards.
And every Tuesday night we did this one of the sweetest ladies at the spot made us a big batch of red beans and rice – completely free of charge to the 50+ runners!
Since then our group has switched locations to something a little more central. And the thing I miss the most about that spot? That flavor-packed Cajun-style red beans and rice.
On one cold and dreary night here recently I found myself craving a big bowl of those beans.
And the craving needed to be cured somewhat immediately, so I knew the traditional soaking beans – waiting forever method simply would not do.
Nope, I plopped it all into my Instant Pot and watched as the magic happened. In less than an hour I was sitting down a steaming bowl of cozy and comforting red beans and rice.
You’ll find the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe are very similar to other Cajun and Creole recipe. (Like this Shrimp Sausage Gumbo, Cajun Chicken Jambalaya, and Shrimp Creole). So once you’ve got most of these items on hand you can make any of these recipes with ease!
Red Beans – These petite legumes are the star of this show. Read more below about the difference between red beans and kidney beans so you don’t get them confused!
Sausage – Andouille sausage links give this recipe a ton of spicy flavor. Feel free to use regular link sausage if you’re scared of it coming out too spicy!
Holy Trinity – Much like in other Cajun recipes, you’ll start by sautéing up a combination of bell pepper, onion, and celery to make the base of flavor.
Broth – Either vegetable or chicken broth may be used.
Seasonings – A combination of dried herbs (oregano, basil) and ground spices (paprika, cayenne pepper) give this dish a ton of flavor. Feeling a little lazy? You can always swap out the spices and herbs for an equal amount of a store bought Cajun mix or a Homemade Blackened Seasoning.
Bay Leaf – Two bay leaves are added in before cooking and then removed before serving.
Rice – Long grain white rice is typically served with this red beans dish.
Red Beans vs. Kidney Beans
Are red beans and kidney beans the same thing? No, they are not. They differ in their size, shape, and color.
Red beans are much smaller, darker in color, and are the ones typically used in most red beans and rice recipes. Kidney beans are larger, a lighter red color, and can be found in a lot of chili recipes.
You can substitute one for the other but just know that you will need to adjust the cook time accordingly. In order to fully cook kidney beans you will need to add another 5-10 minutes to your cook time since they are a larger bean. The recipe you’ll find below is written using the smaller red beans.
No matter which bean you use, do make sure you sort, rinse, and drain the beans before cooking.
How to Make
One you have all of your ingredients prepped and ready, it’s time to make those red beans in your Instant Pot! Here are the general instructions to follow. (Read the recipe card below for more detailed information.)
- Set a 6-quart Instant Pot to the sauté function. Add oil and the cut sausage. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until sausage begins to brown. (step 1 above)
- Add additional tablespoon of oil along with diced onion, celery, and bell pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add crushed garlic and continue sautéing for an additional minute. (step 2 above)
- Pour in broth and scrape the bottom of the pot to ensure no bits or pieces are sticking. Add red beans and sausage along with the paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, basil, thyme, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. (step 3 above)
- Set the Instant Pot to High pressure and cook for 40-45 minutes. (40 minutes for firm beans and 45 minutes for softer beans.). Allow a 10-minute natural pressure release. Find and remove the bay leaves. (step 4 above)
You can cook Instant Pot white rice before making the beans, or cook it on the stovetop according to the package directions.
Brown rice or basmati rice may also be substituted if you prefer.
On a low-carb diet? Try serving up these red beans and sausage over a bed of cauliflower rice instead.
This recipe is about a 4 on a spicy scale of 10.
If you want to add a little extra heat to the red beans, simply sprinkle on additional cayenne pepper or drizzle on your favorite hot sauce such as Tabasco.
A sprinkle of finely chopped fresh parsley also gives the dish a beautiful pop of color and fresh herbal notes.
Other Beans and Rice Recipes
If you want a few more recipes with beans and rice, you might also enjoy:
Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice Recipe
Soft and tender beans get cooked up with spicy andouille sausage and TONS of Cajun flavor in this Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice recipe. Thanks to the pressure cooker you can have this authentic Louisiana recipe ready to enjoy in less than an hour AND without having to soak any beans.
- 2 Tbsp. oil divided
- 12 oz. andouille sausage cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 small sweet onion diced
- 3 stalks celery diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 4 cups vegetable broth regular sodium
- 1 lb. red beans rinsed and drained
- 1 ½ tsp. paprika
- ⅛ - ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. oregano dried
- ½ tsp. basil dried
- ½ tsp. thyme dried
- 2 tsp. salt to taste
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup long grain white rice rinsed for 1 minute
- 2 cups water
- Hot sauce optional
- Parsley finely chopped, optional
Set a 6-quart Instant Pot to the sauté function. Add 1 tablespoon of oil along with the cut sausage. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until sausage begins to brown. Remove from the pot and let drain on a paper towel plate.
Add additional tablespoon of oil along with diced onion, celery, and bell pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add crushed garlic and continue sautéing for an additional minute.
Pour in broth and scrape the bottom of the pot to ensure no bits or pieces are sticking.
Add red beans and sausage along with the paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, basil, thyme, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Stir to combine.
Set the Instant Pot to High pressure and cook for 40-45 minutes. (40 minutes for firm beans and 45 minutes for softer beans.). Allow a 10-minute natural pressure release.
While the beans are cooking, cook rice and water on the stovetop according to package directions.
Turn the pressure release valve to the venting position. Remove the lid once all of the steam has been released.
Find and remove the bay leaves.
Serve beans over cooked white rice with additional hot sauce and fresh parsley. Enjoy!
- If using kidney beans instead of red beans, increase cook time by 5-10 minutes.