Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice is an authentic New Orleans recipe that will be very popular at your next gathering or family dinner. Made with andouille sausage and ham hock, this red beans and rice recipe is simple yet so flavorful!
At the top of any New Orleans cuisine lover’s list would probably be Gumbo, Jambalaya and Red Beans and Rice. I’ve already posted Instant Pot recipes for the first two, so if you’re a fan of those recipes I think you’re going to love this Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice recipe. And if you haven’t yet checked out those recipes, you need to!
Red beans and rice was originally introduced to New Orleans by Haitians who arrived in Louisiana in the late 1700’s. In those days, not just in New Orleans but all over America, Monday was set aside as laundry day because it took all day to do the laundry! So to feed a hungry household, a large pot of red beans would simmer on the stove all day while the washing was being attended to.
The ham bone left over from Sunday’s ham dinner would be added to the pot for extra flavor. To this day in New Orleans, red beans and rice is a staple on home and restaurant menus any day of the week, but especially on Mondays.
So I’ve mentioned before on my Instant Pot Jambalaya post that I have this little Chez Helene cookbook in my possession that has authentic New Orleans recipes. And I don’t remember where or when I got it! I’ve adapted this recipe from that book and am super pleased with the results.
One of the things I changed from the original recipe is I omitted butter. The recipe calls for 1/2 stick of butter added after cooking – I think it’s really tasty without added butter – but if you wanted to add a small pat of butter over each serving, go right ahead!
This easy Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice tastes as though you’ve cooked it for hours on the stovetop or in a slow cooker or crockpot. The individual ingredients are nothing special or exotic, but put together they make such a simple yet flavorful and comforting one-pot dish.
It tastes great the next day, so feel free to make ahead. I’ve also included instructions for using dried beans if you don’t have the time to do pre-soaked beans.
Tips and substitutions
If you’re like me and you often forget to soak your beans overnight, have no fear! Use the Instant Pot Quick Soak method for dried beans and you’ll have the equivalent of soaked beans in about 30 minutes.
Smoked ham hock or ham shank adds a delicious smoky flavor. It should be available in your grocery store meat case and is really worth seeking out. The original recipe from the cookbook also offers the option of using pickled pork, which I’ve never tried.
Andouille (pronounced ‘ahn-doo-wee’) sausage is a spicy sausage. You can find it raw or smoked – you need to buy the smoked kind. If you can’t find smoked andouille sausage, substitute any smoked sausage and add some extra spice if you want to.
The beans you use in this recipe are small red beans. These are different from red kidney beans. If you can’t find them in the dry beans aisle of your grocery store, try the Hispanic food section. If you still can’t locate them, use red kidney beans preferably Camellia brand red kidney beans. And no canned beans, please!
You have a couple of choices for the spices: the recipe calls for cayenne pepper and salt. But you can substitute a Creole or Cajun seasoning for the cayenne and salt. I like to use Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning. You could also omit the spice and serve hot sauce on the side.
If you’re new to the Instant Pot and aren’t familiar with how to use it, please read the Instant Pot DUO Beginner’s Quick Start Guide or the Instant Pot ULTRA Beginner’s Quick Start Guide first and then come back here to learn how to make this Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice.
Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice Ingredients
How to Make Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice (Step-by-Step Instructions)
- Soak the red beans overnight or use the Instant Pot Quick Soak Beans Method.
- Instant Pot DUO: Select the ‘Saute’ function.
- Instant Pot ULTRA: Select the ‘Saute’ function and press ‘Start’.
- Once the Instant Pot is hot, add vegetable oil to inner pot.
- Saute andouille sausage until browned (about 5 to 8 minutes).
- Remove sausage with a slotted spoon to a medium bowl and set aside.
- Add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic to the inner pot.
- Saute vegetables till onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add thyme, cayenne, salt, black pepper and stir to coat, about 30 seconds.
- Add 1/4 cup of broth to deglaze, scraping up all brown bits.
- Close the lid and make sure steam release handle is in ‘Sealing’ position
- Press ‘Manual’ (or ‘Pressure Cook’) and ‘+’ or ‘-‘ until display reads ‘30′ (30 minutes).
Instant Pot ULTRA Pressure Cook:
- Close the lid.
- Select Pressure Cook mode and adjust time to 30 minutes (00:30).
- Press ‘Start’.
- Instant Pot display will change to ‘On’.
- Once the Instant Pot is pressurized, the float valve will go up.
- The display will count down from 30 to 0; it will then switch to ‘Keep Warm’ mode and display ‘L0:00’ or ’00 00′ and begin to count up.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally (NPR). The float valve will be in the down position. This may take 15 to 30 minutes.
- Press Cancel and Open the Instant Pot.
- Remove the ham hock and chop into bite-size pieces. Discard bone.
- Remove about 1 cup of beans to a small bowl and mash with a fork.
- Stir everything and cook in ‘Saute’ mode.
- Allow the Instant Pot Red Beans to thicken to desired consistency, about 5 minutes.
- Serve over Instant Pot Rice and garnish with chopped green onions and parsley.
Authentic Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice
Yield 8 servings
Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice is an authentic New Orleans recipe that will be very popular at your next gathering. It tastes as though you've cooked it for hours, and tastes even better the next day. Perfect for feeding a crowd, this recipe is so simple. I've given instructions for using dried beans if you don't have time to soak.
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 lb andouille sausage, cut into slices
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper, or to taste
- 4 cups chicken broth or water
- 2 large or 3 small bay leaves
- 1 lb small red beans, soaked overnight or quick-soaked, drained
- 1 smoked ham hock or ham shank
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- Cooked rice, to serve (about 4 cups)
- Select 'Saute' mode and allow the Instant Pot to heat up.
- Add oil to inner pot of Instant Pot.
- Add andouille sausage, and cook until browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Stir until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add thyme, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper and stir to coat, about 30 seconds.
- Add a few tablespoons of broth to deglaze the inner pot, so there's nothing stuck to the bottom.
- Stir in remaining broth, bay leaves, red beans, and ham hock.
- Close the Instant Pot and pressure cook for 30 minutes.
- Allow for a natural pressure release (NPR) and open the Instant Pot.
- Remove the ham hock, chop into bite-size pieces and set aside.
- Remove 1 cup of beans, and mash with a fork.
- Return ham hock, mashed beans and reserved andouille sausage to the inner pot, and stir well.
- Select 'Saute' mode and allow the Instant Pot Red Beans to thicken, about 5 minutes.
- Serve over Instant Pot Rice and garnish with green onions and parsley.
- Serve hot sauce on the side (optional).
- Prep time does not include steps that are already accounted for in the ingredient list, e.g. chopped onions, minced garlic, sliced sausage, etc.
- Substitute cayenne pepper and salt with Creole or Cajun seasoning, to taste.
- Andouille is a spicy smoked Cajun sausage. If you don't have access to it, substitute it with a Spanish chorizo or kielbasa.
- See the blog post for more detailed recipe tips
Courses Main Dish
Serving Size 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 22 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Unsaturated Fat 3 g
Cholesterol 35 mg
Sodium 880 mg
Total Carbohydrates 39 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 18 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
I am not a certified nutritionist. I provide my best estimate of nutritional information merely as a courtesy to my readers. If you depend on nutritional information for dietary or health reasons, I suggest using your favorite online nutrition calculator to confirm the nutritional value of this recipe based on the actual ingredients that you use.
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You might also like to try these Instant Pot Recipes:
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