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Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice are a Louisiana classic that are hearty, comforting, and couldn’t be easier with the help of an electric pressure cooker! Prep takes just 15 minutes, then the pressure cooker does the rest. This healthy comfort food recipe is perfect for a relaxed weeknight meal!
Using the Instant Pot makes life so much easier, and cooking much quicker! Be sure to check out my Instant Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes for dinner, Instant Pot Applesauce as a side or snack, and for dessert, Classic Instant Pot Cheesecake is always a winner!
Red Beans and Rice
It's Louisiana Week on House of Nash Eats and we are making some of the best foods and flavors that the Big Easy is known for, starting with one of my all-time favorites: Red Beans and Rice!
If you are new here, I have an ongoing series that I like to call "American Eats" where I'm exploring the best known foods of each state, one state at a time. Be sure to follow along and check out the recipes I have made from YOUR state! Or leave me a comment and let me know what I should cover when I get there.
Red Beans and Rice is a Creole dish originating in Louisiana. It’s really pretty simple ingredients-wise, using mostly pantry staples like beans, rice, stock, herbs, and seasoning, with the addition of Andouille sausage as well as some hot sauce. It has all of the creole flavor you could ask for!
The Instant Pot is a next level time-saving kitchen tool, especially when it comes to hearty pulses like beans and lentils. Usually, you would have to pre-soak them for hours or even overnight before cooking to make sure that they are soft and tender, but for Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice, you can skip that step. This means you can make this easy Instant Pot dinner recipe on a whim if you have all of the ingredients!
This Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice recipe is extremely filling and packed full of protein from the Andouille sausage and beans. Plus, it has plenty of vegetables including the Holy Trinity of cajun & creole cooking: celery, bell peppers, and onion. Plus there is the chicken stock, ham hock, seasonings, and hot sauce. The depth and richness of the flavor just can't be beat.
- Andouille sausage: Andouille is a strong-flavored sausage found across the board in cajun and creole dishes. If you can’t find any locally, chorizo, kielbasa or spicy Italian sausage will work too.
- Red beans: Small red beans are traditional in red beans and rice, however, you could substitute kidney beans or pinto beans if needed.
- Ham hock: This is optional but adds so much flavor! I love adding ham hock to stews and soups. It gives an extra smokey and salty flavor. The meat has to be well cooked in order for it to be edible, which the instant pot achieves perfectly.
- Chicken broth and water: Along with water, broth adds flavor as well as adding the necessary moisture for the red beans to absorb.
- Seasoning: For Red beans and rice, you will need cajun or creole seasoning, as well as salt and pepper. Creole seasoning is a blend of (usually) onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, thyme, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt. You can buy store-bought, or try making your own!
- Herbs: Bay leaves, dried thyme, and oregano as well as fresh garlic and parsley gives a nod to creole’s Italian influences.
- Smoked paprika: A hint of smokiness really helps to bring out the flavors of the sausage.
- Hot sauce: Just a little for some warmth.
- The Holy Trinity: Onion - I used a yellow onion, a green bell pepper, and of course celery. I also added chopped green onions to really boost the onion flavor.
- Rise, don’t soak. Rinse the red beans and set aside. No need to soak.
- Sauté sausages. Sauté sausages in 1 tablespoon of the oil until browned on both sides, about 5-7 minutes. Remove and set aside.
2. Sauté vegetables. Add remaining oil. Saute onions until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic for the last 30 seconds. Add celery, bell pepper, and half of the green onions. Saute another 5 minutes. Deglaze with about ½ cup of the broth.
3. Add everything else. Add dried beans, pepper, cajun seasoning, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. And ham hock. Add chicken broth and water, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
4. Cook on high and release. Cook on HIGH pressure for 55 minutes. Do a 15-minute natural pressure release, then quick-release any remaining pressure.
5. Remove, chop, mash, and return. Take out the bay leaves and then the ham hock and chop meat into bite-size pieces. Remove 1 ½ cups of the red beans and mash in a bowl or process in a food processor . Return to the pot along with the cooked sausages, hot sauce, and parsley. Cook on sauté for another 5-15 minutes.
6. Stir and season. Stir the butter into the red beans until melted. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add 1 cup broth or water if the beans seem too thick. Beans should be slightly soupy and soft.
7. Serve. To complete this red beans and rice dish, serve over rice. Top with remaining chopped green onion. Serve with hot sauce on the side.
What kind of sausage can I use in this Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice?
I recommend andouille sausage, which is unique to Louisiana cooking. It’s a spicy red sausage, loaded with flavor and seasoning, and adds so much to creole and cajun dishes like red beans and rice. However, it can sometimes be tricky to track down andouille sausage at the local grocery stores, so I’d suggest substituting a strong flavored sausage like Mexican or Spanish chorizo, a German or Polish sausage like kielbasa, and in a pinch, a spicy Italian sausage would probably even work!
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try to make your own andouille sausage. If you don’t want to mess with the casings, just make them into small meatballs before cooking.
What kind of beans should I use?
Small red beans are traditional in red beans and rice, however, you could substitute kidney beans or pinto beans if needed.
What is ham hock?
Ham hock is the joint that attaches the pig’s foot to its leg. It is also known as pork knuckle. Ham hock is salty, smoky, and has to be cooked very well in order for it to be edible. It cooks really well in a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot or in a slow cooker, adding amazing flavor to simple soups like lentil soup and dishes like red beans & rice.
How long can red beans and rice last?
When you store your leftover red beans and rice in the fridge, it will last up to about 4 days. Don’t store it with the rice, and make sure to keep it in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
It reheats beautifully on the stove (the easiest approach if you are reheating more than one serving) or in a serving bowl in the microwave, if you are just fixing leftovers for yourself for lunch the next day.
Can I freeze instant pot red beans and rice?
Yes! To freeze it, cool completely, then place it in a large Ziploc bag (without the rice), remove the air and freeze it flat.
When you’re ready for round two, thaw the red beans in the fridge overnight or in the sink for a few hours. Reheat as per the instructions above, and serve with fresh rice.
More bean recipes to fill you up:
- Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Best Baked Beans Recipe
- Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean Soup
- Instant Pot Pork and Beans
- Charro Beans Recipe (Frijoles Charros)
- Classic Chili Recipe
- Easy Bean Dip Recipe
Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice
- 1 pound Andouille sausage sliced into ½-inch discs
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 5-6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 celery stalks chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 green bell pepper diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 bunch green onions chopped, divided
- 1 pound dried small red beans
- 1 ham hock optional but adds so much flavor
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- ½ to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons cajun or creole seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- Cooked long-grain white rice for serving (about 4-6 cups)
- Hot sauce for serving
- Rinse beans and set aside. No need to soak.
- Saute sausages in 1 tablespoon of the oil until browned on both sides, about 5-7 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add remaining oil. Saute onions until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic for last 30 seconds. Add celery, bell pepper, and half of the green onions. Saute another 5 minutes. Deglaze with about ½ cup of the broth.
- Add dried beans, pepper, cajun seasoning, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. And ham hock. Add chicken broth and water, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Cook on HIGH pressure for 55 minutes. Do a 15 minute natural pressure release, then quick release any remaining pressure.
- Remove bay leaves. Remove ham hock and chop meat into bite-size pieces. Remove 1 ½ cups of the beans and mash in a bowl or process in a food processor. Return to the pot along with the cooked sausages, hot sauce, and parsley. Cook on saute for another 5-15 minutes.
- Stir in butter until melted. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add 1 cup broth or water if the beans seem too thick. Beans should be slightly soupy and soft.
- Serve over rice. Top with remaining chopped green onion. Serve with hot sauce on the side.
More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series
Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Montana • New York • Oregon • Puerto Rico • South Carolina • South Dakota • Texas • Utah • Wisconsin