This Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice recipe with authentic New Orleans flavor is made with red beans, spicy andouille sausage, and leftover ham bone or ham hock, and is served over white rice. An easy red beans recipe with simple ingredients, it has great flavor! [Stovetop and Instant Pot Instructions]
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Table of Contents
Introduction – A History of Red Beans and Rice
If you’re a fan of any of those recipes I think you’re going to love this Instant Pot red beans and rice recipe. It’s such a good recipe!
Red beans and rice was originally introduced to New Orleans by Haitians who arrived in Louisiana in the late 1700s. 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!
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 leftover 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.
Learn more about your Instant Pot…
- Start Cooking Later: If you want to have dinner piping hot, set your Instant Pot to Delay Start.
- Deglaze after Sauteing: Avoid the burn message and keep the Instant Pot clean by deglazing the pot.
- Symbols on Display: What do all those icons and symbols mean on your Instant Pot display panel?
- Elevate Your Food: What is a trivet and why should you use it?
- Cook Two Dishes at Once: The Pot in Pot method allows you to cook multiple dishes at once, make cheesecakes, casseroles, lasagna, and hard boiled eggs in your Instant Pot.
- Quick Soak Beans: If you forget to soak beans ahead of time, this Instant Pot hack allows you to soak dry beans in no time!
This easy pressure cooker red beans and rice recipe tastes as though you’ve cooked it for hours on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. The individual ingredients are nothing special or exotic, but put together they make such a simple yet flavorful and comforting one pot dish.
I feel that the Instant Pot is the best way to cook red beans and rice! Although this red beans and rice Instant Pot recipe tastes great the day you make it, it tastes even better the next day. I prefer to make it a day ahead.
The recipe calls for soaked dry beans. You can presoak the uncooked beans the traditional way but I’ve included instructions for quick soaking dried beans in the Instant Pot if you don’t have the time to do presoak the beans before cooking.
More Instant Pot Cajun and Creole recipes…
- Gumbo is a hearty Creole dish filled with a variety of meats, vegetables, and spices, all simmered to perfection in a thick, savory broth.
- Instant Pot Shrimp Etouffee is a mouthwatering dish of tender shrimp smothered in a rich and creamy roux-based sauce, served over a bed of fluffy rice.
- Instant Pot Jambalaya is a spicy and satisfying combination of shrimp, spicy sausage, and chicken in a hearty rice dish, perfectly seasoned with a blend of Cajun spices and served steaming hot.
TIPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Quick-soaking Dried Beans
If you’re like me and you often forget to pre-soak the 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.
Ham Hock or Ham Bone
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.
This recipe is also made with a leftover ham bone. I always use ham bone left over from Easter or Christmas dinner to make Instant Pot red beans and rice. Such a great way to get every last bit of the ham dinner!
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 such as Spanish chorizo or Polish kielbasa.
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.
The beans you use in this ham hock and beans recipe are small red beans, preferably Camellia brand. These are different from red kidney beans. If you can’t find them in the dry red beans aisle of your grocery store, try the Hispanic food section e.g. Goya small red beans.
I find that this beans and rice recipe cooks perfectly with the given pressure cooking time. If you want the beans cooked really soft, add an extra 5-10 minutes to the cook time. If you prefer firm beans, reduce the cook time by about 5-10 minutes.
They add amazing flavor to the red beans and rice. You can omit or substitute cubed smoked ham, salt pork, or pickled pork.
You can do a few things to make the recipe healthier.
– Omit the ham hock
– Sauté the sausage and drain the fat completely
– Use turkey sausage or smoked turkey
– Omit the meat entirely and add more vegetables.
Yes, you can slow cook in a traditional slow cooker for 10 hours on low heat or 6 hours on high heat. Make sure there’s enough liquid.
Yes, you can double the recipe with no changes to cooking time.
Yes, you can use canned beans. You won’t need to pressure cook the recipe for as long. 10 to 15 minutes at high pressure should be fine.
Yes, you can substitute kidney beans. Pressure cooking time remains the same.
Yes, you can put in the (rinsed) dried beans directly and pressure cook the beans for an additional 15 to 20 minutes (more if you like the beans to be very soft).
If the beans are not soft enough, close the Instant Pot lid again and pressure cook for another 15 minutes. If there’s too little liquid, you could get the burn message. Add more water or chicken stock and finish cooking it on the stovetop.
Next time, make sure that the beans are soaked before adding them and increase pressure cook time by 10 to 15 minutes for the beans to cook through, just to be safe.
I use a 6 quart Instant Pot but this recipe should work for 8 quart models as written.
This recipe can be frozen successfully. You can freeze cooked white rice and beans separately in airtight containers.
Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice – Ingredients
- Dry red beans
- Chicken broth or vegetable broth
- Green onion
- Bay leaves
- Ham hock (or leftover ham bone)
- Green pepper or red bell peppers
- Spicy smoked sausage
- Cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- Olive oil or vegetable oil
More details in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post
How to Make Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice (Step by Step Instructions)
- Soak Beans
- Turn on Saute setting
- Saute sausage
- Add vegetables
- Add spices
- Add the beans and ham
- Pressure cook the beans
- Natural release of pressure
- Shred ham hock and mash beans
- Stir ham and beans back in
- Heat through
Soak the Beans
- Soak the beans overnight or use the Instant Pot Quick Soak Beans Method.
- Turn on Saute mode. Once the inner pot has preheated, add oil to the inner pot and let it heat up.
- Saute sausage until browned (about 5 to 8 minutes).
- If the sausage browns too quickly, deglaze the bottom of the pot as needed.
- Transfer sausage to a medium bowl using a slotted spoon, and set aside.
- Add onion, bell pepper (green or red) celery, and garlic to the inner pot.
- Saute the onion, celery, bell pepper (referred to as the holy trinity in Cajun and Creole cooking), and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. The liquid released from the vegetables should be enough to deglaze the pan. If it’s not, add a few tablespoons of broth to deglaze.
- Add thyme, cayenne, salt, and black pepper and stir to coat for about 30 seconds.
- Add ¼ cup of broth to deglaze, scraping up all brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
Add Beans and Ham Hock
- Drain the beans.
- Add remaining broth, bay leaf, beans and ham.
- Stir to combine.
Program the Instant Pot and release pressure
- Close the lid.
- Program the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
- The display will go from On to 30:00. The float valve will go up after a few minutes. The display will count down to 00:00.
- Do a quick release of pressure. Once the float valve goes down, the lid can be opened.
Shred Ham and Mash Beans
- Remove the ham hock and chop it into bite-size pieces. If using a ham bone, get as much meat as possible from the bone and chop it. Discard bone.
- Remove about 1 cup of beans to a small bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher.
Stir Ham and Beans Back in
- Return ham, beans, and sausage back to the pot.
- Stir everything and cook in Saute mode.
- Allow the Instant Pot Red Beans to thicken to desired consistency, about 5 minutes.
- Cook the rice separately and serve the beans over the hot cooked rice and garnish with chopped green onions and parsley.
Stovetop Directions for Red Beans and Rice
To make this red beans and rice recipe on the stovetop:
- Soak rinsed beans overnight in a large pot of water.
- Sauté sausage and reserve.
- Sauté onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in oil.
- Rinse the beans. Combine beans, vegetables, seasonings, ham, and broth and simmer for 2 ½ hours
- Shred the ham and return to the pot.
- Remove a cup of beans, mash, and return to the pot.
- Stir sausage into beans, and continue to simmer for 20 to 30 more minutes.
- Serve over rice and garnish.
See the recipe card below for detailed instructions.
Authentic Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice Recipe
- 2 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 lb Andouille sausage cut into slices
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 cup bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper powder or to taste
- 4 cups chicken broth or water (more for stovetop version)
- 2 bay leaves (large) or 3 small
- 1 lb small red beans soaked overnight or quick-soaked, drained
- 1 leftover ham bone or smoked ham hock
- 4 green onions chopped
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- Cooked rice to serve (about 4 cups)
- hot sauce to serve on the side
Instant Pot Instructions
- 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 to a medium bowl 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 on High Pressure for 30 minutes.
- Allow for a natural pressure release (NPR) and open the Instant Pot. [Read More: The Different Pressure Release Methods]
- Remove the ham, chop the meat into bite-size pieces and set aside.
- Remove 1 cup of beans, and mash with a fork.
- Return ham pieces, mashed beans and reserved sausage to the inner pot, and stir well.
- Select Saute mode and allow the Instant Pot Red Beans to thicken, about 5 minutes.
- Make the rice while the red beans are cooking. Serve red beans over rice and garnish with green onions and parsley.
- Serve hot sauce on the side (optional).
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Saute sausage until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon and reserve.
- Saute onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in oil, till the onion is translucent.
- Add thyme, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, and stir to coat for about 30 seconds.
- Add beans and enough water or broth to cover the beans (about 6 to 8 cups). Stir in bay leaves and ham.
- Cover the pot, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the beans are tender, about 2 hours. (Old beans can take longer to cook.)
- Remove ham, chop the meat into small pieces and return to the pot.
- Remove a cup of beans, mash with a fork and return to the pot.
- Continue to cook with the cover off, stirring occasionally, until the red beans appear thick and creamy, about 20 to 30 minutes. At any point, if the pot appears to be too dry, add some more water and continue to cook.
- Serve over rice, with hot sauce on the side. Garnish with green onions and parsley.
- 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 smoked sausage and add some extra spice to compensate.
- See the blog post for more detailed recipe tips
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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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