This Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice recipe with authentic New Orleans flavor is made with red beans, 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 phenomenal flavor!
Table of Contents
Introduction – A History of Red Beans and Rice
Anyone who’s a fan of New Orleans cuisine would probably have Gumbo, Jambalaya, Etouffee, and Red Beans and Rice at the top of their list. If you’re a fan of any of those recipes I think you’re going to love this Instant Pot ham hock and beans recipe. It is also made with leftover ham bone.
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.
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.
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.
This easy recipe calls for soaked dry beans. You can soak the 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 pre-soaked beans.
TIPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Quick-soaking Dried Beans
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.
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.
I always use ham bone left over from Easter or Christmas dinner to make this red beans and rice. Such a great way to get the goodness of the ham down to the last bit!
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 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 recipe are small red beans, preferably Camellia brand. 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 e.g. Goya small red beans.
If you still can’t locate them, use red kidney beans. I’ve had readers use black beans and pinto beans too.
Towards the end, the instructions tell you to remove a small portion of the beans and mash them up. You also have the option of blending the beans in a blender. I have a set of mini blender bowls that I use. You can also use a mini food processor. The end result will be more creamy.
Ham hocks add amazing flavor to the red beans and rice. You can omit the ham hock but you can also use smoked ham (cubed), salt pork, or pickled pork.
You can do a few things to make the recipe healthier. Omit the ham hock, saute the sausage and drain the fat completely, use turkey sausage or smoked turkey or 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 substitute cajun seasoning. I like to use Tony Chachere’s cajun seasoning.
Yes, you can double the recipe with no changes to cook time.
Yes, you can use canned beans. You won’t need to pressure cook the recipe for as long. 15 to 20 minutes should do.
Yes, you can put in the (rinsed) dried beans directly and increase the pressure cooking time by 15 to 20 minutes (more if you like the beans to be very soft).
I use a 6 quart Instant Pot but this recipe should work for 8 quart models as written.
It might be too thick to pressure cook some more without getting a burn message. Add more water 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 minutes, just to be safe.
This recipe can be frozen successfully. You can freeze cooked white rice and beans separately in airtight containers.
If you’re new to the Instant Pot and aren’t familiar with how to use it, you might find it helpful to first read one of the following guides and then come back here to learn how to make this recipe.
- Instant Pot DUO Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot ULTRA Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot DUO EVO PLUS Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot DUO NOVA Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot DUO GOURMET Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot DUO CRISP Beginner’s Manual
Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice – Ingredients
- Red beans
- Green onion
- Bay leaves
- Ham hock or leftover ham bone
- Bell pepper
- Andouille sausage
- Cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
More details in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post
How to Make Red Beans and Rice in the Instant Pot (Step by Step Instructions)
- Soak Beans
- Turn on Saute Mode
- Saute sausage
- Add vegetables
- Add spices
- Add beans and ham hock or ham bone
- Pressure cook
- Natural pressure release
- Shred ham hock and mash beans
- Stir ham and beans back in
- Heat through
Soak the Beans
- Soak the red beans overnight or use the Instant Pot Quick Soak Beans Method.
How to Turn on Saute Mode
- Instant Pot DUO: Select the Saute function.
- Instant Pot ULTRA: Select the Saute function and press Start.
- Once the inner pot has preheated, add oil to the inner pot and let it heat up.
- Saute andouille 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 vegetables 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, about 30 seconds.
- Add 1/4 cup of broth to deglaze, scraping up all brown bits.
Add Beans and Ham Hock
- Add remaining broth, bay leaf, soaked small red beans and ham hock or ham bone.
- Stir to combine.
Instant Pot Duo Pressure Cook 30 minutes
- Close the lid and make sure steam release handle is in ‘Sealing’ position
- Press ‘Manual’ (or ‘Pressure Cook’) and ‘+’ or ‘-‘ until the display reads ‘30′ (30 minutes).
Instant Pot Ultra Pressure Cook 30 minutes
- Close the lid.
- Select Pressure Cook mode and adjust the time to 30 minutes (00:30).
- Press ‘Start’.
Pressure Cooking Process (Duo and Ultra)
- Instant Pot display will change to ‘On’.
- Once the Instant Pot is pressurized, the float valve will go up.
- The display will count down to 0; it will then switch to ‘Keep Warm’ mode and display ‘L0:00’ or ’00 00′ and begin to count up the number of minutes since pressure cooking completed.
How to Naturally Release Pressure (NPR) on the DUO and ULTRA
- Allow the pressure to release naturally (NPR). The float valve will be in the down position. This may take 15 to 30 minutes. [Find out more about the pressure release methods and how and when to use them. ]
- Press Cancel and open the Instant Pot.
Shred Ham Hock 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 to the inner pot.
- 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.
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.
- Saute sausage and reserve.
- Saute onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in oil.
- Rinse the beans. Combine beans, vegetables, seasonings, ham bone or ham hock, and broth and simmer for 2 1/2 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
- 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 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 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
- 1/4 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 bone or 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 bone or ham hock, 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 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).
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Saute andouille 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 bone or ham hock.
- 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 bone or ham hock, 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 Spanish chorizo or kielbasa.
- 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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