Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

published Jan 27, 2023
Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice Recipe

With an Instant Pot, the most time-consuming part of making red beans (pre-soaking overnight) can be skipped entirely.

Serves6 to 8

Makes8 to 10 cups

Prep20 minutes

Cook1 hour 40 minutes

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Instant Pot red beans and rice in a white serving bowl.
Credit: Maria Do

Every Monday in New Orleans, without fail, my school served red beans and rice for lunch There are a lot of things we could not predict in NOLA (like hurricanes or school closures), but we were darn sure that if it was a Monday, we would be eating red beans. I was never sure why it was that day, but in New Orleans, tradition sticks. To this day, red beans and rice is my cure for the Monday blues. 

But this Instant Pot red beans and rice recipe goes far beyond simply satisfying my nostalgia. It has an incredible smoky flavor from the andouille and smoked tasso, while the beans lend a natural creaminess. The pressure cooker allows you to use dry beans (no pre-soak needed) and significantly reduces cook time. In other words, I can decide to make this recipe right after work and have finished red beans and rice in two hours. 

How Long Does It Take to Cook Dry Beans in the Instant Pot?

It can take between 30 to 50 minutes to cook dry beans in the Instant Pot, depending on size of the bean. Large red kidney beans will take longer, while small black beans take less time.

General Tips for Making Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

  • Brown the meat first. Sauté andouille and ham first in the Instant Pot to release juices that flavor the rest of the dish. 
  • Skip the pre-soaking. No soaking is needed if the beans are pressure cooked on high for an hour. If you do pre-soak the beans or use canned beans, pressure cook on high for only 25 minutes.
  • Get large red kidney beans. Camellia beans is a beloved New Orleans brand that’s been operating in the city since the 1940s. They can be purchased online at Amazon or most large grocers in the South. 

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice Recipe

With an Instant Pot, the most time-consuming part of making red beans (pre-soaking overnight) can be skipped entirely.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 40 minutes

Makes 8 to 10 cups

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces

    andouille or smoked sausage

  • 6 ounces

    smoked or tasso ham

  • 2 teaspoons

    neutral cooking oil, such as canola

  • 2 medium stalks

    celery

  • 1

    medium green bell pepper

  • 1/2

    medium yellow onion

  • 4 cloves

    garlic

  • 1 pound

    dried red kidney beans (about 2 1/2 cups), preferably Camellia

  • 1 tablespoon

    Cajun seasoning with salt, such as Tony Chachere’s (or 2 1/2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun seasoning plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt), plus more as needed

  • 3

    dried bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon

    dried thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper

  • 1 (32-ounce) carton

    low-sodium chicken broth (4 cups)

  • 2 cups

    water

  • 4

    medium scallions

  • Kosher salt

  • 6 to 8 cups cooked white rice and Louisiana hot sauce, for serving

Instructions

  1. Cut 12 ounces andouille sausage crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Dice 6 ounces smoked or tasso ham (about 1 cup). Place both in an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. Add 2 teaspoons neutral cooking oil, then turn on the highest Sauté setting. Cook, stirring frequently, until and lightly browned and that fat renders out, 6 to 8 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare the following, placing each in the same medium bowl as you complete it: Dice 2 medium celery stalks (about 1 cup), 1 medium green bell pepper (about 1 cup), and 1/2 medium yellow onion (about 1 cup). Mince 4 garlic cloves.

  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meats to a bowl and refrigerate. Add the celery mixture to the pressure cooker. Cook, still on the Sauté setting and stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, rinse 1 pound dried kidney red beans to remove any sediment. Place 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning with salt, 3 dried bay leaves, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

  5. Add the spice mixture, beans, 1 (32-ounce) carton low-sodium chicken broth, and 2 cups water to the pressure cooker. Stir to combine. Turn off the pressure cooker.

  6. Lock the lid on and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set to cook under HIGH pressure for 1 hour. It will take 11 to 12 minutes to come up to pressure.

  7. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, thinly slice 4 medium scallions. Cook white rice if needed.

  8. Quick release any remaining pressure. Uncover, stir, and remove and discard the bay leaves. With a potato masher or immersion blender, smash or purée about 1/3 of the cooked beans directly in the pot, leaving most of the whole beans intact.

  9. Return the meats to the pressure cooker and stir to combine. Simmer on the highest Sauté setting uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly and the beans are creamy, about 10 minutes.

  10. Taste and season with more Cajun seasoning and kosher salt as needed. Serve over cooked white rice and garnish with the scallions, with Louisiana hot sauce on the side.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.