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Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice (SO GOOD!)

Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice – Classic red beans and rice made in a pressure cooker! This easy flavorful dinner tastes amazing, and the leftovers are even better! (Gluten-Free)

Close overhead view of Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice in a bowl garnished with fresh herbs

I love this dinner.

Made from simple ingredients that pack in LOTS of flavor, Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice is a dinner I’ve been coming back to again and again over the last few months since we started our time at home. It’s SUPER cozy when the weather is cooler, but pressure cooking in an Instant Pot also keeps your kitchen from getting heating up, making this Instant Pot beans and rice recipe great even when the weather is hot.

Pressure Cooker Red Beans and Rice comes together with a little less attention needed than the stovetop version (no checking to stir every once in a while) and pressure-cooking makes the beans perfectly tender and easier to digest!

Warm and steaming over a bowlful of fluffy rice, my Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice tastes awesome, but day 2 and 3? Even better! I love that the flavor continues to develop (kind of like it does with soup or chili), which makes this an awesome meal prep meal.

Here’s what you need to make it…

Instant Pot Red Beans in the Instant Pot Front view of Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice in a bowl garnished with fresh herbs

HERE’S WHAT GOES INTO MY INSTANT POT RED BEANS AND RICE RECIPE:

ANDOUILLE OR KIELBASA SAUSAGE. I highly recommend you use andouille sausage for my red beans and rice. It’s a spicy Cajun sausage that adds LOTS of flavor to the beans. Although the sausage is spicy on its own, when it’s put into the beans, I’d put this in the medium category when it’s done. If you’re really spice-sensitive, you can use kielbasa instead or reduce the Cajun seasoning, just know the flavor won’t be quite as punchy.

THE CAJUN TRINITY. This trio of veggies–onion, celery, and green bell pepper–is often nicknamed the Cajun “trinity” because it goes into all kinds of delicious recipes from gumbo and etouffée, to jambalaya, red beans and rice, and more. It creates a delicious, flavorful base that’s gorgeous with everything else going on in this recipe.

SERIOUS FLAVOR BOOSTERS. For even more flavor, I add garlic, Cajun seasoning, and bay leaves, then salt and pepper at the end, to taste.

DRIED RED KIDNEY BEANS. Dried kidney beans get beautifully cooked (and easier to digest) in the pressure cooker. Note: this recipe won’t work the same with cooked canned beans.

BROTH. You can use chicken, beef, or veggie broth for red beans and rice. I usually opt for veggie broth or homemade chicken broth since they have such great flavor.

A FEW FINISHING TOUCHES. Then, to finish off our red beans and rice, I like stirring in a hefty handful of fresh herbs–cilantro or flat-leaf parsley are my two favorites. You can also add sliced green onions for some freshness. For some velvety smoothness (which I love), try stirring in a tablespoon of butter or olive oil. It gives this such silky richness and tastes amazing.

Close up view of Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice in a bowl garnished with fresh herbs

FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST INSTANT POT RED BEANS AND RICE:

PRO TIP: MASH SOME OF THE BEANS AT THE END! For some extra thickness and creaminess, I love using a potato masher (or a large fork) to mash some of the beans at the end of cooking. I don’t recommend puréeing any of the red beans since it can get too thick quickly.

WHAT SIZE INSTANT POT DO YOU USE FOR RED BEANS AND RICE? For my red beans & rice recipe, I use my 6-quart Instant Pot. It’s been the perfect size for everything we’ve made so far. If you plan to use a different size pot, know that your cook times or the time it takes to come to pressure may vary slightly.

CAN I USE CANNED BEANS INSTEAD? This recipe won’t work the same with cooked canned beans, which require MUCH shorter cook time and less liquid. I haven’t tested cooking times for canned beans, so I don’t feel super confident advising you there, yet.

GREAT PLACES TO BUY DRIED BEANS. Thrive Market and Camellia brand beans are two of my favorite resources for high-quality dried beans. Thrive Market is one of my favorites sources for healthy pantry items, kitchen basics, gluten-free snacks, specialty items, and more. (Not sponsored!) GET 25% OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER AT THRIVE MARKET HERE

CAN I MAKE THIS SPICIER? If you’d like more heat, you have a few options:

  • Add more Cajun seasoning
  • Toss in 1/2-1 minced jalapeño pepper along with the bell pepper, celery, and onion.
  • Finish with a little hot sauce (like Tabasco) at the end.

Serving Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice in a bowl garnished with fresh herbs

CRAVING MORE? YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

HELPFUL TOOLS & INGREDIENTS FOR THIS MEAL:

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Serving Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice in a bowl garnished with fresh herbs

Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: About 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: About 10 cups 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice – Classic red beans and rice made in a pressure cooker! This easy flavorful dinner tastes amazing. (The leftovers are even better!)

Note: It will take 12-14 min for the Instant Pot to come to pressure. (I’ve included that in the cook time)


Ingredients

Scale

FOR THE RED BEANS

  • 1 lb. dry red kidney beans, rinsed & sorted*
  • 12 oz. andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 5 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or water)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/41/2 cup minced cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • Optional: 1 Tbsp. butter, ghee, or olive oil

TO SERVE:

  • Cooked rice (I usually use white rice here)
  • Sliced green onions (optional)
  • Hot sauce, like Tabasco

Instructions

  1. Press SAUTE button on your Instant Pot. Drizzle in olive oil and add sausage.
  2. Cook sausage on SAUTE mode for 5-7 minutes, or until it’s browned on the outside.
  3. Remove sausage from Instant Pot and set aside.
  4. With the Instant Pot still on SAUTE mode, add onion, celery, and bell pepper to the Instant Pot.
  5. Cook 3-4 minutes to soften slightly, stirring up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add garlic and Cajun seasoning and stir to combine, cooking 1-2 minutes longer.
  7. Press CANCEL to stop SAUTE mode. Return sausage to the pot, and add rinsed/sorted red beans. Stir to combine veggies, sausage, and beans.
  8. Pour broth over the whole mixture, stirring a few times to work the broth into the beans mixture.
  9. Tuck bay leaves just under the surface of the broth.
  10. Cover with the lid and seal the lid securely.
  11. Double-check that the pressure valve is set to SEALING (not VENTING!).
  12. Press PRESSURE COOK (known as manual pressure) and set timer for 50 minutes.
  13. The mixture will take about 12-14 minutes to come to pressure, then will cook at high pressure for 50 minutes.
  14. After the 50 minute timer beeps, allow the pressure to naturally release for 20-25 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.
  15. Carefully open the lid. Remove and discard bay leaves.
  16. Use the back of a spoon or a potato masher to mash some of the beans (this will thicken the beans). The goal is only to mash some of the beans, so work slowly, then stir so you know when you’ve reached your ideal thickness.
  17. Stir in fresh cilantro or parsley. Taste mixture and add salt and pepper to taste. If you’re using it, stir in butter, ghee, or additional olive oil and serve with rice, sliced green onions, and hot sauce, as desired.

Notes

*”Sorting” beans refers to removing any stones, pebbles, or misshapen, damaged beans.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: About 1 hour and 40 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice, Red Beans and Rice, Pressure cooker red beans and rice, instapot red beans and rice

Overhead view of Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice in a bowl garnished with fresh herbs with text overlay that reads "One Lovely Life Instant Pot Red Beans + Rice. Super Easy + Crazy Delicious! Gluten-free + dairy-free" Close view of Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice in a bowl garnished with fresh herbs with text that reads "gluten-free + dairy-free Instant Pot red beans and rice. Super easy + crazy delicious!" front view of Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice in a bowl garnished with fresh herbs with text that reads "gluten-free + dairy-free Instant Pot red beans and rice. Super easy + crazy delicious!" Collage of images of Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice in a bowl garnished with fresh herbs with text that reads "Gluten-Free + Dairy-free instant pot red beans + rice" Collage of images of Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice in a bowl garnished with fresh herbs with text that reads "Gluten-Free + Dairy-free instant pot red beans + rice" Serving Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice in a bowl garnished with fresh herbs with text overlay that reads "One Lovely Life Instant Pot Red Beans + Rice. Super Easy + Crazy Delicious! Gluten-free + dairy-free"

9 Comments

  1. Very tasty. And no standing over a stove. Easy to make, spicy for those who like it with a kick! I use all andouille sausage.

  2. This was so good!! I never grew up eating.red beans and rice , but I love all types of beans especially on the spicy side. Popeye’s is as close as I’ve come. i made them last weekend and boy was I in for a treat. Delicious and comforting on a cold winter day. Loved them so much i made them again this weekend! Thanks for the great recipe.

  3. Is the 6 qt pot really full with this recipe as written? I’m making this at work and want to double it. Thanks!

    1. I wouldn’t recommend doubling this one. The pot gets quite full and there wouldn’t be enough room for a double batch. (It would also likely throw off the cook time.) I’m sorry!

  4. This was an instant winner when she tried it but I felt the beans could’ve cooked a little longer. How long should I soak them for before cooking? Or Should I put them back on in the IP and for how long? Also we served it over boiled sweet potato and served with coke slaw and steak. It was a perfect combo.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review. It’s SO helpful!

      I’ve made this recipe probably 20+ times in the last year or so, and I’ve had a few bags of beans that despite being freshly purchased didn’t seem to contain the freshest beans. So frustrating!

      If after the suggested cook time your beans still have some bite, you can pop them in for another 5-10 minutes at high pressure, then do quick-release pressure after that. In the few times my beans have been tough after the first cook-time, the additional 5-10 minutes has always resolved it for me!

      I don’t recommend soaking the beans ahead of time for this recipe since the pressure cooker time is written specifically for un-soaked beans. If you do soak your beans, you may need to play with the cook-time to adjust for that since soaked beans cook more quickly.

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