Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice features red beans cooked from scratch with veggies, flavorful cajun spices, vegan sausage, and served with rice for a healthy & hearty lunch, dinner or meal prep!
Pressure cookers are simply wonderful. If you already have one, know what I mean. Similar to a slow cooker, you simply dump it and forget it, but a pressure cooker works much faster (plus the Instant Pot has a slow cooker mode too!).
I’ve been making beans like crazy in my pressure cooker over the last month, like these Instant Pot Black Beans and Instant Pot Refried Beans. I’m thrilled to have this Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice recipe to add to the collection!
This red beans and rice is a new family favorite recipe that’s easy to make and on the table in a little over an hour. It’s a hearty vegan dinner that’s full of flavor and delicious!
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Ingredients You’ll Need
Here are some of my favorite ingredients for making the best vegan red beans and rice. Plus, you’ll find tips and substitutions for ways to customize the recipe to your needs.
- Red Beans: You’ll need 1 lb. dried small red beans or red kidney beans in this recipe. It’s traditional to use small red beans, but if you can’t find them red kidney beans are just as good and easily accessible. There is no need to soak or drain the beans – YAY! (see below)
- Veggies: Aromatics include a yellow onion and a few garlic cloves. For extra heartiness we’ll be adding a couple stalks of celery and green bell pepper. Feel free to add an extra bell pepper for more heartiness and fiber.
- Spices: We’ll be using a few essential spices and herbs used in cajun cooking, such as dried oregano & thyme, smoked paprika, cayenne (or hot sauce) and bay leaves, as well as a good dose of cajun seasoning blend. If you don’t have cajun or creole spice blends on hand, add 1 extra teaspoon of oregano, thyme and smoked paprika.
- Liquids: Use water or vegetable broth. For maximum flavor, use vegetable broth. The beans will soak it up adding another layer of flavor when cooking. To cut down on cost and sodium I use 1 teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base to the 4 cups of water called for. It adds just the right amount of flavor.
- Vegan Sausage: Sausage will add more protein and heartiness, and is optional. Tofurky’s Andouille is great, but any of Tofurky’s or Field Roast sausages will be great. I don’t care to cook the sausage with the beans, and prefer to add it at the end, letting it warm up with the hot bean mixture. I find the pressure cooker gives it a weird texture.
- Rice: Use your favorite rice – white, brown, even forbidden black rice is fine. And if you prefer using quinoa as your grain, that works too.
- Garnish: Fresh chopped parsley, green onions and a squeeze of lime add a nice finishing touch. A dollop of Vegan Sour Cream would also be great!
How To Make Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice
Making homemade vegan red beans and rice in the instant pot only requires a few simple steps:
- Start by washing the beans. Rinse the beans under cool running water using a colander. Pick out and remove any odd shaped beans.
- Add ingredients to the instant pot. Place the red beans in the bowl of the instant pot, along with the remaining ingredients (except the sausage and parsley), finishing with the liquids.
- Pressure cook the beans. Manually set the Instant Pot to HIGH pressure for 50 minutes, close the vent to SEAL. Once done, let the pressure cooker steam vent naturally for about 20 – 25 minutes.
- Add vegan sausage and taste for flavor. Add vegan sausage (if using) and parsley, and taste for flavor. Some recipes call for mashing some of the beans against the wall of the pot with the back of a fork, this will help thicken the liquids making a gravy of sorts. For myself, I love it just as it is.
- Cook the rice. While the beans are pressure cooking, make the rice according to package directions using at least 1 cup of rice.
Now all you have to do is enjoy the best red beans and rice ever!
How Long Will Leftovers Keep?
Leftovers will keep for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator, stored in a covered container. Re-warm on the stovetop or the microwave. It makes a great meal prep for the week with a grain like rice or quinoa on the side.
Can You Freeze Red Beans and Rice?
Yes, it freezes wonderfully for up to 2 months! My favorite ways to freeze cooked red beans & rice is to individually store them in serving size portions using freezer safe containers. You can also freeze larger portions in large ziplock bags or containers.
More Instant Pot Recipes
- Cuban Black Beans + Mango Bowl
- The Best Ever Baked Beans
- Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Instant Pot Applesauce
- See all pressure cooker recipes on TSV!
If you try this red beans and rice recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
INSTANT POT RED BEAN AND RICE
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 50 min
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: Serves 4 - 6 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Vegan, Cajun
- 1 lb. dried red beans or kidney beans (about 2 cups), rinsed and odd beans removed
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large green bell pepper, cored and diced
- 3 – 4 stalks of celery, sliced
- 1 tablespoon cajun or creole seasoning
- 1 teaspoon EACH oregano, thyme and smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce, tabasco or sriracha or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne
- generous pinch of mineral salt & pepper
- 2 – 3 bay leaves
- 4 cups water or low sodium vegetable broth
- vegan sausage, optional
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cups of cooked rice (use your favorite rice or quinoa)
- chopped parsley
- green onions
- lime wedges
Start by washing the beans. Rinse the beans under cool running water using a colander. Pick out and remove any odd shaped beans (no soaking required).
Add ingredients to the instant pot. Place the red beans in the bowl of the instant pot, add the onions, bell pepper, bell pepper, garlic, oregano, cajun seasoning, bay leaves, salt, pepper and finish with the liquids.
Pressure cook the beans. Manually set the Instant Pot to HIGH pressure for 50 minutes, close the vent to SEAL. Once done, let the pressure cooker steam vent naturally for about 20 – 25 minutes.
Add sausage and taste for flavor. Remove the bay leaves. Add the optional sausage and parsley. Taste for flavor, adding as much salt and pepper as you like. Beans will soak up the remaining liquids as they cool. For a thicker sauce like gravy, mash some of the beans against the wall of the instant pot bowl with the back of a fork.
Cook the rice. While the beans are pressure cooking, make the rice according to package directions using at least 1 cup of rice.
Serves 4 – 6
Store: Leftovers will keep for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator, stored in a covered container. To keep longer, store in the freezer using freezer safe containers for 2 – 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator. Re-warm on the stovetop or the microwave.
If you don’t have cajun or creole seasoning on hand, use an extra 1 teaspoon of oregano, thyme and smoked paprika.
RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: I use this Instant Pot, and for storing and keeping warm this glass instant pot lid is perfect (affiliate links). For more of my favorite cooking tools, shop my kitchen essentials.