Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice – Enjoy this ultimate Southern favorite Red Beans and Rice cooked in an instant pot for a quick comfort food fix. Featuring meaty goodness from Andouille sausage, ham hock, and smoked turkey, it’s loaded with amazing flavors from Creole Seasoning, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Extremely tasty and savory and without a doubt a winner dish!
Red Beans and Rice is one of my favorite rice dishes of all time because it’s deliciously comforting and so easy to make. However, it takes too long to cook.
In fact, the average cooking time is more than two grueling hours of waiting. And we usually don’t have enough time and patience for that, especially on busy days.
So, am I just going to give up on my favorite red bean recipe? Of course not! Certainly, that’s not ever gonna happen in my lifetime.
Let me introduce you to my ever-reliable kitchen buddy, Instant Pot! Woohooo! Such a life-saver!
With the instant pot, you can now enjoy smoky, spicy, and meaty red beans and rice in less than an hour.
To soak or not to soak?
Well, I did soak the beans in this easy red bean and rice recipe. That is to get rid of the gas-causing sugars in the beans.
But you can totally skip the soaking part. And I guarantee you that it will still come out as amazingly delicious as the traditional red beans and rice. Just easier and faster. Double yaaay!
Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice Recipe Ingredients
Basically, we’re going to use the same ingredients as the original Red Beans and Rice Recipe; but with a shorter cooker time because of the instant pot. Yaay!
Although the list is quite long, you don’t have to worry because everything is easily accessible, and you probably already have them in stock.
- Red Beans – Not only are these beans are extremely nutritious but also rich in carbohydrates, enough to keep you feeling full for a long time. Furthermore, they are also known to be rich in an excellent source of fiber and protein too. Yay for beans!
- Andouille Sausage – The strong, smoky, and sharp taste of this sausage perfectly complements our red beans instant pot dish. The sausage slices also render a more savory flavor as you saute them, and, as a result, it adds more amazing flavors to our easy red beans and rice recipe.
- Ham Hock or Smoked Turkey – you can’t go wrong with adding more meat and protein to these instant pot red beans. Because their rich meaty taste makes this dish more delectable and filling.
- Vegetable Oil – You can use any cooking oil you prefer for this recipe, such as canola oil or olive oil. And if you have more time, please check out How to Dispose of Cooking Oil here.
- Garlic – Don’t you just love the taste and the aroma of fresh garlic? In fact, I sometimes go crazy and add more than what the recipe calls for. I just can’t help it! 😉 Make mincing garlic easier with my simple instructions on How to Mince Garlic.
- Onion – This pungent vegetable is naturally rich in antioxidants and a great immune booster. Moreover, it makes this easy red beans and rice even more savory and flavorful. Make cutting onions less tearful with my easy instructions on How to Cut Onions.
- Celery – Undoubtedly, this veggie adds fresh and minty flavors to our amazing red beans recipe.
- Bell Pepper – Although it’s technically a member of chili family, it’s really not spicy. But the peppery notes are still there.
- Cooked Rice – The perfect accompaniment to these delectably cooked red beans and sausage. Truly a match made in heaven! ❤
- Bay Leaves – The tea-like aroma adds a hint of minty flavor to this classic comfort food instant pot red beans, taking it to a whole new level of deliciousness.
- Paprika – Despite its pungent taste because of its pepper origins, you’ll still love its added rich flavor with a hint of sweetness to your instant pot red beans and rice.
- Creole Seasoning – When your red beans feel like they’re missing a flavor, leave it to this wonder seasoning and let it do its magic. 😉 And making your own Immaculatebites Creole Seasoning is super easy.
- Cayenne – Want your red beans and rice to be a little spicier? Feel free to add more cayenne to your heart’s desire. Or skip this to make your dish a kid-friendly one.
- Fresh Thyme – You’ll love this herb, too. Fresh thyme gives fresh, herby flavors to any dish and gives more character to it. If you don’t have thyme, no sweat, just check this out for the Best Substitutes for Thyme.
- Chicken Stock – This gives concentrated chicken flavor to our soup stock. Thus, giving savory and amazing flavors that are then absorbed by the rice and beans as they cook. And as a result, we get to enjoy the best-tasting red beans and rice recipe ever. 😉
- Salt and Pepper –They are the most affordable and accessible seasonings, yet they give full flavor to every dish.
- Green Onion – Lastly, this veggie here is often used as a garnish but is actually a delicious addition to any dish. And they are amazingly easy to prepare, check out How to Cut Green Onions.
Andouille Sausage Substitutes
- Kielbasa Sausage – is a smoked sausage with garlicky and spicy flavor and often made with pork. You’ll love this one, too. 😉
- Smoke Beef Sausage – this one closely resembles the taste of the Andouille Sausage because it’s lightly spiced and less garlicky compared to Kielbasa Sausage.
- Chinese Sausage or Chinese Chorizo – Is a type of sausage often used in Asian-inspired dishes like stir-fries and stews. It is usually sweet and salty but renders wonderful flavor notes to any dish.
- Vegan Sausage – Yay for this alternative! You can now enjoy this instant pot red beans and rice in a completely vegan version. 😉 These sausages are often made from buckwheat flour, white beans, or tofu. You can also make them from scratch with this homemade vegan sausage recipe.
Ham Hock Or Smoked Turkey Substitutes
- Leftover Ham – You can actually use any leftover ham, like Brown Sugar Glazed Ham, Slow Cooker Ham, or Pineapple Honey Baked Ham, for this instant pot red beans and rice recipe. They are loaded with great flavors and can make this dish more scrumptious and enticing.
- Chicken – A very versatile meat and the most affordable, too. Kids love it because the taste is not too strong, and it’s much easier to chew.
- Seafood – Seafood lover? Sure! Just replace the meat with shrimp, scallop, mussel, or lobster, and you’re in for a seafood fiesta. They are an equally delightful addition to this easy red beans and rice recipe. 👌
- Spicy Addition – Just add hot chili peppers like habanero, serrano, jalapeno, or Scotch bonnet peppers for an extra kick of heat. Don’t forget to cook more rice as well! Coz’ I’m pretty sure you’ll be eating a loooot more. Don’t say I didn’t warn ‘ya! 😜
- Seasoning Swap – Add a touch of Mexican flavor by adding Taco Seasoning to the mix. A dash of cumin, chili powder, and oregano will do the trick as well. 😉
- Enriched with Lycopene – Make your red beans stew richer and tastier with a can of diced tomatoes or tomato sauce. The perfect blend of sweetness and tang will surely take this delightful comfort food to the next level.
- Cheesy Goodness – Cheese please! Sure! Colby Jack, sharp cheddar, mozzarella, or any of your favorite cheeses can be a great addition to this easy red beans and rice recipe.
- Red Beans and Rice Crockpot – Using the same ingredients, you can also make slow cooker red beans and rice. Just cook it on a high setting for 6-8 hours, and you’re good to go!
- Completely Vegan – Just omit the sausage and chunky meat or replace them with vegan sausages, and use water or vegetable stock to enjoy a vegan version of this easy red beans and rice recipe.
Serving and Storing Suggestions
I highly recommend storing your leftover red beans and rice separately because the cooked rice has a shorter storage life. To be safer, it is best to consume the rice within the day because it can spoil easily.
- Store – Let the red beans and rice cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.
- Refrigerate – You can store the leftover beans and rice in the fridge for up to a week.
- Freeze – Or store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
TIP: You can make a big batch and just freeze them individually in small portions using freezer-safe resealable bags. Do this for easier thawing and reheating.
- Stovetop – On medium heat, reheat the leftover beans in a saucepan until heated through. Just add a splash of water or stock if it gets too dry.
- Microwave – Just add a little amount of water or stock to the leftover beans and cover lightly. Set the microwave on medium power and reheat for a minute or more, or until warmed through. Don’t forget to stir at 30 seconds intervals.
Tip: You can also reheat frozen beans directly, without thawing, so the beans won’t get mushy.
Generally, red beans and kidney beans can be used interchangeably, but these two are actually NOT the same. Both types of beans have similar deep red color, but Red Beans are actually smaller and rounder compared to Kidney Beans. But you can always replace red beans with kidney beans if that’s what you have in stock.
Well, the best thing about using the instant pot is that you can totally skip the soaking part. Yes! I know! It’s a real game changer! Tho’ I still soaked my red beans for this recipe to get rid of the gas-causing sugars in the beans.
I prefer using dry beans over canned cooked beans because they cost much less, and there are no preservatives added. But of course, cooked beans are more practical and convenient to use if you want to save on cooking time.
What Goes with this Red Beans and Rice Recipe?
This rice and beans is already a complete meal and filling on its own but also enjoyed best served along with Skillet Cornbread and any of these recipes below.
- Air Fryer Southern Fried Chicken
- Collard Greens
- Chicken Plantains and Vegetables
- Marinated Pork Chop with Rosemary and Garlic
More Instant Pot Recipes
How to Cook Red Beans and Rice in an Instant Pot?
Soaking the Beans
- Wash the dry beans – Rinse dry beans and pick through and discard any foreign object. (Photo 1)
- Soak the beans in water overnight – Place the beans in a large bowl covering with 3-4 inches of cold water. Let it sit overnight. (Photo 2)
Saute the Sausage and Veggies
- Set the Instant Pot to High Saute Setting – and add oil. As soon as it starts to sizzle, add the sausage and cook while frequently stirring, until the sausage is lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add Veggies – Then add the onion, garlic, thyme, celery, bell pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Turn off Saute Setting – Return sausage back to the pot together with soaked red beans, smoked turkey, creole seasoning, paprika, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, and broth or water; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Turn off saute setting. (Photos 3-4)
Cook the Meat, Red Beans, and Veggies in Pressure Cook Setting
- Close the Instant Pot and Shift Valve to ” Sealing”. – Press the “Pressure Cook” button, making sure the “High Pressure” setting is selected, and set the time for 35 minutes. Note: It takes about 10 minutes for the pot to “preheat” and come up to pressure before it starts cooking. Note: During cooking, avoid touching the metal part of the lid. (Photo 5)
- Manual Release – When the timer runs out, let the pot sit untouched for 20 minutes (20 minutes natural release). Then manually release the remaining pressure by turning the steam release knob to venting.
- As soon as the pin drops down, you can open the lid. (Photo 6)
- Check Beans – to make sure the beans are cooked to desired doneness. If not, close the lid and cook for an additional 5 minutes (with a 10-minute natural release). Discard bay leaves.
- Serve – with rice and garnish with green onions.
Watch How To Make It
Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice
- 12 ounces (336 g) Andouille Sausage, sliced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) minced garlic, about 6 medium garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons (2 g) fresh thyme, minced
- ½ – ¾ cup (50-75 g) celery, diced (about 1 medium rib celery)
- 1 large bell pepper, diced
- 1 pound (450 g) red kidney beans, soaked overnight
- ½ pound (225 g) ham hock or smoked turkey, chopped
- 1 tablespoon (12 g) Creole Seasoning
- 2 teaspoons (4 g) paprika
- ½ – 1 teaspoon (1-2 g) cayenne pepper, optional
- 2 – 3 bay leaves
- 4 cups (960 mL) chicken stock or water
- salt, to taste
- pepper, freshly ground, to taste
- 3-4 cups cooked white rice
- 2 green onion, diced
- Rinse dry beans and pick through and discard any foreign object.
- Place the beans in a large bowl, covering them with 3-4 inches of cold water. Let it sit overnight.
- Set the instant pot to the high saute setting and add oil. As soon as it starts to sizzle, add the sausage and cook while frequently stirring until the sausage is lightly browned- about 3-4 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Then add the onion, garlic, thyme, celery, bell pepper, and cook, occasionally stirring until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Return sausage to the pot together with soaked red beans, smoked turkey, creole seasoning, paprika, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, and broth or water; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Turn off saute setting.
- Close the instant pot and shift your valve to " Sealing." Press the "Pressure Cook" button, ensuring the “High Pressure” setting is selected, and set the time for 35 minutes. Note: It takes about 10 minutes for the pot to “preheat” and come up to pressure before it starts cooking. (During cooking, avoid touching the metal part of the lid.)
- When the timer runs out, let the pot sit untouched for 20 minutes (20 minutes natural release). Then manually release the remaining pressure by turning the steam release knob to venting.
- As soon as the pin drops down, you can open the lid.
- Check beans to make sure the beans are cooked to desired doneness. If not, close the lid and cook for an additional 5 minutes (with a 10-minute natural release). Discard bay leaves.
- Serve with rice and garnish with green onions.
Tips & Notes:
- Soak your beans in water overnight to help them cook up more tender and evenly. Or skip the soaking part and cook the dry beans directly to the instant pot.
- You can also use kidney beans, white cannellini beans, and black beans while following the same cooking preparation. But for the authentic red bean flavor, stick with dried red beans.
- To prepare smoked ham hocks for cooking, you can remove the meat and skin from the bones (you can also use the bones to make a flavorful broth, so don’t throw it out) and cut it into small pieces.
- I use chicken stock most of the time to cook beans instead of just water to add more flavor. But on this recipe, plain water works fine since the dish makes its own stock from bits of added pork.
- I prefer adding fresh thyme to my stews, but you may opt for dried thyme, too. Since I’m also a heat seeker, adding cayenne is the way to go, but you may leave it out.
- Andouille sausage is the best option for this recipe since it yields that spicy and cured flavor that adds depth to the flavor.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used in each recipe.