This Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice could not be easier! Delicious, spicy andouille sausage is cooked in the Instant Pot with a few veggies, spices and kidney beans. The result is a rich, flavorful dish that’s ready in about 30 minutes!
We took a little trip to Nashville this past summer and when I came back my husband and I both had this incredible hankerin’ for southern red beans and rice! Because…it was SO GOOD, YA’LL!! (How’s that for my California Girl southern accent??!)
One thing I knew about red beans and rice is that is takes TIME….low and slow is what they say. Well, one thing I don’t have is TIME, friends! So I went on a mission to make a red beans and rice recipe that was QUICK and EASY! Enter….the INSTANT POT!
This red beans and rice recipe cooks up so quickly, but the magical Instant Pot gives it the all day, low and slow taste of the southern food we know and love!
One shocking thing about this recipe — when I finally perfected it — the kids LOVED IT! They take it for lunch in a Thermos! You can adjust the amount of heat to make it kid or adult friendly 🙂 You have to try this one—it will be a hit!!!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Flavor, flavor flavor! This dish has such deep flavors even though it cooks in a short time!
- Quick cooking time! You can make this in about 30 minutes start to finish!
- You can adjust the heat level to make it super kid-friendly.
- Simple for Instant Pot beginners!
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this delicious, easy Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice:
Andouille Sausage: You’ll need precooked andouille or smoked sausage for this dish. I love Trader Joe’s Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage, Adelle’s Cajun Style Andouille Sausage or Hillshire Farm Cajun Style Smoked Sausage. If you want to reduce the heat, just used regular smoked sausage (not Cajun style).
“Red” Beans: Ok, full disclosure. This recipe calls for kidney beans and technically kidney beans are NOT the same as true red beans! However, it’s very hard to find canned (cooked) red beans. I wanted this recipe to be quick and easy, so I took the liberty of using canned kidney beans as a shortcut. It works just fine and has the nearly the same flavor profile as red beans!
Garlic: Yep, 6 cloves!! It’s a Southern Thing!! I love garlic and could not survive without this garlic chopper thingy!!
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT RED BEANS AND RICE: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
Step 1: With Instant Pot on Sauté setting, brown sausage for a couple of minutes.
Step 2: Add garlic, onions, celery, green pepper and Cajun seasoning. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
Step 3: Add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, beans, chicken stock and bay leaf (if using). Give everything a big stir!
Step 4: Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes, then do a quick release. Serve immediately over hot cooked rice.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Kidney beans and red beans are not the same. Red beans are more, well, RED and smaller than kidney beans. Kidney beans have a slightly darker color. They have a very similar texture although red beans have a slightly more “concentrated” bean flavor.
In terms of nutrition, red beans and kidney beans are both packed with antioxidants, potassium, protein and fiber. They are virtually identical in terms of nutritional value and can be used interchangeably in most recipes.
In this recipe, canned kidney beans are used because they are widely available. Canned red beans are much harder to find and you typically have to cook them from their “raw” form.
Yes! This dish freezes wonderfully! Cool and store in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to 4 months. Thaw, then reheat in a pan for a few minutes with a splash of chicken stock if needed.
RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS
- PRO TIP: To get the “real” texture of red beans and rice, blend 2 cans of the kidney beans in a blender, Nutri bullet or food processor before adding them to the Instant Pot. It will give you are more “soupy” like texture which is typical with red beans and rice. I wanted to make this recipe SIMPLE and QUICK so I usually choose not to do this since I feel like the taste is the same regardless. However, blending does make it a bit more authentic 🙂
- For maximum flavor, when browning the sausage in the Instant Pot, don’t move it around toooo much. Let it get a good brown seer on one side before stirring it around.
- If you open the Instant Pot and think the red beans and rice have too much liquid, don’t panic! Give it a good stir and it will thicken upon standing a few minutes. You can also turn the Pot to sauté and cook it for 3-4 minutes longer.
- This recipe is a lot like chili…it gets better and better the longer it sits, making it great for weekly meal preps!
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OTHER INSTANT POT RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Easy Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 12 oz package andouille sausage, sliced into 1/4" rounds about 4-5 links (See Note 1)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced (best garlic chopper ever)
- 1 medium onion, diced about 1 cup
- 1 green pepper, diced about 1 cup
- 3-4 ribs celery, diced about 1 cup
- 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 15 oz cans, kidney beans drained and rinsed (See Note 2)
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf optional
- cooked rice
- green onions, hot sauce for serving optional
- Set Instant Pot to "Sauté" setting (high) and add olive oil. Allow about 2 minutes to come to temperature, then add sausage.
- Sauté sausage for 2-3 minutes until slightly browned, then add garlic, onions, celery, green pepper and Cajun seasoning. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, beans, chicken stock and bay leaf (if using). Give everything a big stir!
- Place lid on Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. When timer goes off, do. quick release. Open pot carefully and give it a few big stirs. Serve over hot cooked rice (See Note 3).