This quick & easy Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice recipe is a traditional New Orleans dish made with smoked sausage, red beans & cajun spices. Plus, with the help of your pressure cooker there’s no soaking the beans, meaning that this delicious dinner can be on your table in under an hour!
In the past, if I wanted to have red beans & rice on the dinner table in a hurry, that meant using canned beans. And, unfortunately, the texture just wasn’t quite the same as starting from scratch using dried beans…
My ideal red beans & rice have a bit of a bite to them – You know that perfect spot, when they’re cooked through, but not mushy? But now, my Instant Pot has changed all that! I can have perfectly cooked red beans & rice on the table in under an hour!
Even though it’s called red beans & rice, let’s not leave out the most important ingredient – the sausage.
Seek out a good quality smoked sausage or Andouille sausage – you’ll find it right in your regular grocery store. That sausage is the first thing that we get going with this recipe. Slice it up and saute it in your Instant Pot, rendering out all the fat and yummy flavors.
Note: The last time I looked for smoked sausage in the store, I couldn’t find any! I used turkey sausage in the video below and it turned out delicious as well.
Once it’s nice and brown, we’ll scoop it out, but leave the yummy drippings behind, using that to saute up our aromatics of onion, celery and garlic. A good sprinkling of cajun seasoning adds great flavor and a hint of heat. Feel free to go as heavy or as light handed with the seasoning as you’d like. Personally, I like a lot. I sprinkle in close to a tablespoon.
We’ll add some other seasonings in to the mix too – tabasco and cayenne. We want to be sure to add lots of flavors in there because they’ll help flavor those beans right from the get go in an inside out kind of way.
Throw those beans into the pot, along with the reserved sausage, and top your Instant Pot off with just enough water to cover everything up. You should make it to this point in about 15 minutes or so. After that, it’s all hands free.
Instant Pot Red Beans Cooking Time
Set your Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 35 minutes and you’re free to go about your other work – For example, opening up a bottle of wine, taking off your work heels, and catching the first half of Real Housewives.
Once the 35 minutes is up, let the pressure of the Instant Pot release naturally. This should take about 20-25 minutes. This is also a great time to get your rice started and to chop up the parsley and scallions that we’ll be adding in later. Once the pressure releases, check your beans for doneness. They should smash easily against the side of the pot.
If they’re not yet cooked fully, return the pot to high pressure for 3 minutes and repeat the natural release process.
Finishing off our pot of rice and beans (and sausage) with a good big palmful of scallions brightens everything up at the end. I’m pretty sure you’re going to want a bit more salt in there at the end too – I’m a “salt person” and I add in at least a heaping teaspoon or more…
And, be sure to serve your bowls of red beans and rice with some extra Tabasco on the side, maybe even with some additional cajun seasoning too.
This recipe for Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice with Sausage has been on regular rotation at our house during the past month. The leftovers are fantastic too.
Let me share a lazy tip with you – I just leave the leftovers in the Instant Pot liner, cover it and store it in the fridge. To reheat the red beans and rice the next day, I put the liner back into the Instant Pot, seal the pot and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Quick release the pressure and presto – You’re ready to eat (again)! Sometimes I add in a bit more water before the reheating process too – if things are looking a little dry.
Have you jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon yet? I honestly can say that I use mine at least a few times a week. And, if I wasn’t such a minimalist, neat freak, it would even have a dedicated spot on my countertop.
Can you freeze red beans & rice?
You can freeze this recipe! I like to freeze it without the rice (just the beans). When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the fridge. Then reheat in the microwave or on the stove.
Can I double this recipe?
Yes, you can double this recipe if you have a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot. Double all of the ingredients in the recipe, including the liquids. The cook time will remain the same but it will take longer for the pressure to build and release.
- For more heat: In addition to the tabasco and cayenne, you can add in a diced jalapeño in with the celery for spicier red beans and rice. Or, add in more tabasco and cayenne.
- For less heat: Feel free to omit the tabasco sauce and cayenne. You may also want to cut back on the amount of cajun seasoning used.
More Instant Pot recipes:
- Instant Pot Split Pea Dal
- Instant Pot Steamed Artichokes
- Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew
- Instant Pot Authentic Italian Sunday Gravy
- Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
Wine Pairings for Red Beans & Rice:
- Try a Gewurztraminer. Its hint of sweetness pairs nicely with the heat and bountiful spices in this dish.
- Looking for a red wine? Try a Zinfandel. It’s got a bit of smokiness to it that pairs well with the sausage and a hint of acidity that ensures it won’t overpower the red beans & rice.
If you loved this recipe for Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice with Sausage I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your “plating and pairing” and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
What to serve with red beans & rice:
- Arugula Salad
- Apple Slaw with Celery Root
- Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad with Mustard & Parmesan
- Kale Caesar Salad
PS – Be sure to try my Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas too!
Watch the web story of me making these Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice.
Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice Recipe
Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 1 pound dried red beans
- 1 pound smoked link sausage (cut crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 5 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 stalks celery (chopped)
- 2 Tablespoons cajun seasoning
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 bunch scallions (thinly sliced (greens only))
- 2 teaspoons salt
- White rice
- Place the oil in the insert and turn Instant Pot to the sautee setting. When oil is shimmering, add sausage and brown. When fully cooked, remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Leave the grease in the Instant Pot.
- Add onions to Instant Pot and season with cajun seasoning. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and celery and cook until translucent.
- Add the beans to the Instant Pot along with the reserved sausage and enough water to cover, about 4 cups. Add bay leaves, Tabasco, black pepper and cayenne. Seal the Instant Pot and set to HIGH pressure for 35 minutes. (Now is a good time to prepare the rice)
- Allow the Instant Pot to release naturally. This should take 20-25 minutes. Uncover and test beans for doneness; they should smash easily when pressed against the side of the pot. If the beans are not quite done, return to high pressure for 3 minutes and repeat natural release process.
- Stir in salt and half of the scallions, reserving the rest for garnish. Taste and season with additional salt, Tabasco or cajun seasoning.
- Serve over cooked white rice sprinkled with additional scallions. Enjoy!
This post was originally published in 2017. It was updated in 2022 to add new photos. The red beans recipe remains the same. Enjoy!