Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice

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!

I make all kinds of beans in the instant pot now – black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas and even refried beans! Another game changer? Making rice in the instant pot!

Overhead shot of red beans and sausage in red bowl topped with scoop of rice.

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.

Overhead close up of red beans & rice in serving bowl.

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.

Reheating leftovers:

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.

Spice level:

  • 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.
Hands holding bowl of cooked red beans & rice.

More Instant Pot recipes

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.

For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

What to serve with red beans & rice:

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

Overhead shot of red beans and sausage in red bowl topped with scoop of rice.

Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice

Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice is a traditional New Orleans recipe made with smoked sausage, red beans and cajun seasoning. Plus, with the help of your pressure cooker there’s no need to soak the beans, meaning that this delicious dinner can be on your table in under an hour! 
3.96 from 46 votes
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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings


  • 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

To serve:

  • 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!
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Calories: 788kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 1943mg | Potassium: 1954mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 785IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 144mg | Iron: 10.4mg

This post was originally published in 2017. It was updated in 2022 to add new photos. The red beans recipe remains the same. Enjoy!

50 thoughts on “Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice”

    • The Instant Pot is amazing – I promise that you’re going to see more and more Instant Pot recipes of my site too… I’ll be testing one out tonight!

  1. Does this ever look like a comfort food dinner for the win! I can see why this recipe has been on your dinner rotation regularly! I can’t wait to try this for my family! Great tip for leftovers! I haven’t ever tried reheating in my Instant Pot, but I will now!

  2. 4 stars
    I add a flour to my vegetable saute to create a roux and once the beans are finished I blend a cup or so in my Blendtec blender (Vitamix competitor) and return the blended mix to the pot and stir to combine. These little additions create a gravy that thickens the recipe that makes for a more traditional, thicker outcome.

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! And it’s hard to please us Louisiana natives with new recipes for our traditional food. It will be on my regular rotation as well. I “veganized” it by omitting the sausage and sautéing in veggie broth instead of oil. I also cooked my beans in veggie broth instead of water. And cooked them longer since we like our beans softer. Your seasoning is really, really good. The allspice is a brilliant addition. My carnivorous husband said he could eat this veganized version every week!

  4. 4 stars
    This was a delicious recipe, but I ended up having to do two rounds of 35 mins under high pressure with NPR and then 20 mins on saute to get the beans tender. My only change was to add a cup of diced green pepper and I added a lot more cayenne and tabasco. I’m not sure what went wrong..? I used Camillia brand beans..maybe they were just being stubborn. 😛 Having to wait for it to cook gave me time to get the kitchen super clean and do some other chores so I guess it’s a win-win? It was very tasty once done. 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Erin, thanks for the recipe! I made it tonight, and while the beans I had could have gone another five minutes to be absolutely perfect, they were delicious!

    I substituted a Chipotle chicken sausage, because it’s friendlier on the Weight Watchers point system. Using your estimate of four cups of water, there was just enough juice for the rice to soak it up. Also, with the amount of thyme in the recipe, it had a more “herby” taste than I’m used to, but the more I tasted it, the more I really liked that change. The recipe is definitely a keeper in our house.

  6. 5 stars
    Wonderful recipe. It definitely took me more than an hour. After all the chopping (and I am pretty fast), I still pressure cooked for 40 minutes, checked and had to cook for 3 more minutes. The natural release took about 30. I did cut back on the Thyme bc I am not crazy about an earthy flavor. I didn’t even have to add more salt..definitely check beforehand. It probably depends on the type of creole seasoning. Very, very good!

  7. 5 stars
    Did these for 40 minutes and natural release. Turned out wonderful with all the flavor and not all the salt that packaged mixes have in about the same amount of time. Has a much better texture too.

  8. 5 stars
    LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe. Thanks for posting it. I thought everything was spot on. I used chicken andouilli sausage from Costco. Trying to keep in Weight Watchers!!

    • Love those healthy swaps that you make Jeni – I’m going to have to give that a try this week. Trying to eat extra healthy before our wedding in July!

  9. 4 stars
    This was delicious, but next time, I am going to cut down on the salt. I added 1 tsp of salt before cooking the beans. Next time, I will season to taste AFTER cooking the beans, like your recipe says to do. I’m glad I only added 1 tsp of salt, and not 2 like the recipes states.

  10. 4 stars
    We did a few things different: I used frozen seasoning mix (onion, celery, bell pepper, parsley) and was afraid it’d come out mushy, but not at all! And went with turkey smoked sausage since it’s the only AHA certified-humane sausage we can find nearby. Also loved the seasoning ingredients, but definitely needed to pressure cook longer than you said to. It might be my fault since I used pinto beans (only way my mom and Grandma ever made red beans & rice), but that’s just something to note if anyone else uses them. Other than that, though, this was definitely a hit for my husband and son!

  11. 2 stars
    This has been cooking in my instant pot and after 35 min the beans are no where near done. Not sure where I messed up but this is not quick. Ugh.

  12. Older beans will take longer to soften, so that might be the issue with some who say it takes much longer than recipe states. Even if just purchased, they may be old.

  13. 3 stars
    Is all the water supposed to be gone when this recipe is done? The beans were underdone when I followed your directions and there was still water in the pot.

  14. 4 stars
    This was a tasty recipe but the beans were still crunchy after adding on two more rounds of pressure cooking. Also it was so super spicy!!! I will definitely cut down on the creole seasoning. It may be helpful to your readers to specify the amount of creole to add to the onions.

    • Thanks Noelle – I just updated the instructions to hopefully clarify that more. I also noted in the post, that if your beans need more time, to give them another 3 minutes of high pressure.

    • Hi Sobi – Natural pressure release means that you will hit CANCEL and let the pot rest for a bit to allow the pressure to release BEFORE turning the knob. Hope that helps!

  15. 5 stars
    My husband’s favorite recipe for red beans. I also add two cans of Blue Runner (a.k.a. “cheater beans”) to thicken it up a bit. Just made it for my sister for the first time, and as we are regular visitors of New Orleans, she said it was “restaurant quality straight from NOLA.”

  16. 5 stars
    Great recipe and will certainly try it. Will try others as well. Can you make this recipe with black beans and if so how would you deviate it? Thanks James

  17. Hey, great recipe! I wanted to let you know though that in the recipe ingredient list, you have celery listed as “2 stalks stalks” in case you wanted to fix that.


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