Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

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Red beans and rice is a simple, delicious comfort food. This instant pot version was inspired by my recent trip to New Orleans.

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

I had big plans for Healthy Delicious this September, with an editorial calendar packed full of delicious early-fall recipes. I was finally going to get back into my groove and start posting twice a week again. For the first week, all went according to plan. But here it is September 27 and I’ve managed to share a whopping 4 new recipes this month. Womp womp.

Managing this site, plus my day job, plus trying to have an actual life occasionally is difficult and sometimes things just get derailed. This month an impromptu trip to New Orleans (more about that later), a long-planned (but poorly planned for) trip to NYC, a few recipes flops, and  a super obnoxious bout of bronchitis got the best of me. Hopefully I can get back into a good groove for October.

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

For the last few years, people have expressed surprise that I’d never been to New Orleans. They all told me that I’d love the city and that it’s full of great food, but it had never been at the top of my list. To be honest, I thought it was just a party town and I wasn’t really interested. But a few weeks ago we wanted to get out of town and tickets were cheap so we figured we’d check it out for ourselves. I have to admit, everyone was right. I came home so full that I was actually tired of eating, and I wonder why every town isn’t filled with jazz clubs and bars that sell daiquiris to go. It would make the world a happier place, for sure.

We ate char-grilled oysters (yum), enjoyed a tasting menu at Cocquette, and had some of the best seafood of our lives at Peche (we went for dinner on Monday and I seriously considered trying to go back before we left Tuesday). Next time, I’ll bring an empty duffel bag with me for the sole purpose of bringing home muffulettas from Central Market and I’ll plan time for daily affogatos at Drip, which is basically the cutest coffee shop I’ve ever seen.

Out of everything we ate over our five days there, the thing that was the most memorable was a simple side of beans and rice at Napoleon House. I ordered it on a whim and didn’t have high expectations, but it was love at first bite. Halfway through the bowl, I knew I’d have to learn how to make them at home.

This recipe for instant pot red beans and rice wasn’t on my the original plan for September, and it doesn’t hold a candle to the bowl I had there, but it’s well worth the detour. They’re warm, cozy, and comforting and I already know they’ll be a staple on my dinner table this fall and winter.

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

I did a ton of research on how to make red beans and rice, and found that while the recipes all call for more or less the same handful of simple ingredients, they also vary tremendously in how they use those ingredients. Some are mostly beans with a little bit of seasoning, while others call for a metric ton of onions and enough garlic to keep the most persistent vampire far, far away.

I split the difference and used enough seasoning to give these beans flavor without being completely overpowering. I also adapted the recipe for the instant pot because creamy beans are key to this dish, and the best way to get those is to start with dry beans. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to cook dried beans on the stovetop. With the instant pot, these red beans can be ready in about an hour and a half. You can eat them right away, but I do find that they taste better the next day. Like a good pot of chili, the flavors seem to get simultaneously more complex and more mellow after a night in the refrigerator. Make them Sunday night, and they’ll be perfect for a simple heat-and-serve dinner on Monday.

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 links Andouille sausage diced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 rib celery chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 green bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 pound dry red kidney beans
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • Cooked white rice for serving
  • Hot sauce for serving


  • Add the oil to the insert and turn to sauté. Add the sausage and cook 7-8 minutes, or until browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  • Add the onions to the pot insert and cook 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the garlic, celery, and green pepper. Season with cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook 5-6 minutes, or until the vegetables soften.
  • Add the beans, sage, and bay leaves. Add enough stock to cover the beans; stir to combine.
  • Place the lid on the pot and seal. Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to release naturally. Stir in the browned sausage, using the back of your spoon to gently mash some of the beans until they look creamy. Stir in the vinegar and green onions.
  • Serve the red beans with rice and top with hot sauce, as desired.
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Hi, I'm Lauren!

I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie. Read more...


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7 thoughts on “Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice”

  1. A little disappointed with at least the amounts recommended in the recipe. I used 4 cups of vegetable stick and beans are under cooked, I had to add water after the fact to complete cooking process.

  2. As a lifelong New Orleanian and regular red bean cooker, part of the reason your beans didn’t taste ‘right’ is your main ingredients. Goya is a fine product but it is a slightly different bean with a different taste. Aidell is a mispronunciation of a local name and not a local product. I’m sure it also tastes fine, just probably not like andouille. Many people use pickled pork (me) or ham hocks or a ham bone or smoked sausage instead of andouille. I have never put sage in red beans and know no one who ever has. We do use thyme almost always in red beans. The rest of your list is fine (I think you are using too much green pepper, but that’s me.)
    I was given an IP and will use it for the first time tonight to make red beans which is why I was reading your blog. Wish me luck!

  3. The typical ratio of red beans to liquid is 6-8 cups per pound (bag) of soaked red beans… so even more for non-soaked beans. I’ve made beans in the Instant Pot, and that held true. You really need to surpass the beans with liquid by 1.5 to 2 inches.

    I’ve had a few internet-recipes that didn’t turn out so great, and that’s always so deeply disappointing… so I want to spare others any sadness!

    Your photos look lovely, and I’m happy you enjoyed New Orleans 🙂

    • Interesting. The first time I tested my recipe I used 4 cups of liquid and it basically came out like soup – it was way too much. For me, 3 cups were perfect (and still more liquidly than these photos show – I drained them a little).

    • When you made your beans, did you also include onion/vegetables? Because those release more water as they cook. If you’re just making plain beans, you’re right that it would need more water.

    • Yup, I use vegetables! I also cook 55 mins in the instant pot, then take some of the beans out and either mash and puree them. I think Louisianians tend to like beans that have bloomed open into a thick soup versus whole/intact beans.

5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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