Easy Instant Pot Red Beans and rice is loaded with authentic New Orleans flavor, and filled with amazing seasoning, andouille sausage, softer tender red beans that’ll melt in your mouth. This Instant Pot red beans and rice with sausage get’s done in a jiffy and makes a hearty cajun dinner in a dime.
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Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice with sausage
Pressure cooker Red Beans and Rice with andouille sausage is a classic Southern dish that tastes supreme, so much flavor in a every bite, so easy to make in the instant pot, budget friendly, freezer friendly and uses staple ingredients. A nutritious, wholesome & filling cajun dinner New Orleans style.
This is the Best Instant Pot Red Beans and rice ever! All you need is a heaping bowl of steamed white long grain rice on the side and dashes of hot sauce.
Tips & Tricks
- Soak beans or use dried beans: We would recommend soaking the red beans over night. It’ll reduce the cook time and help break some of the complex sugars in the beans and make them easy to digest. But, you can also make Southern red beans and rice straight from dried red beans. No soaking needed, the instant pot will do the job (option shared below).
- Flavor secret: We used Guinness beer as our secret ingredient to cook today’s recipe. This is a flavor bomb and builds up a ton of earthy, intense flavors. You’ll simply love it! If you do not prefer using alcohol just replace the beer with exact same amounts chicken stock. (Refer recipe notes at the bottom of the post).
- Best Sausage for red beans and rice: Traditionally Louisiana style red beans and rice is made with andouille sausage which is a smoked pork sausage with varied spice level (it can be mild or spicy). If you don’t have andouille sausage you can use any smoked pork or beef sausage to make the dish. Zatarain’s smoked sausages are good options.
- Perfect Southern red beans and rice consistency: The consistency should be creamy and thick, not runny and thin. Imagine a thick stew. The red beans should cook well to attain the creamy, buttery melt-in-the-mouth stage. This is a must, the beans should not be chewy or have a bite in them with tough skins.
- Spicy Level: You can control the heat level by control the amount of cayenne in this recipe. We used 1 tsp cayenne because we prefer spicy red beans and rice. If you are heat intolerant use less cayenne or skip altogether.
- Adjust cook times: The cook times mentioned in this recipe should be your starting point. If you are located at higher altitudes you may need to adjust/increase the cook time. Also, refer your particular instant pot model’s manual and check out the cook times for cooking beans. Today’s recipe is tried & tested in a 6 quart Instant Pot duo using both soaked beans (35 mins HP) and dried beans (60 mins HP).
Ingredients – New Orleans Red Beans and Rice
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements at the bottom of the post. The list below is just a reference.
- Red Beans: You can use soaked or dried beans (cook times mentioned at the bottom of the post). You can also use kidney beans instead of red beans. The recipe and cook times would remain the same.
- Sausage: For best flavor use andouille sausage. You can pick the spicy variety or use the mild ones. If you cannot find andouille sausage in your local grocery store use any good quality smoked beef or pork sausage like Zatarain’s spicy smoked cajun sausage or kielbasa sausage.
- Holy Trinity: Yellow onion, green bell pepper & celery.
- Seasonings: Creole seasoning, cayenne, paprika, ground black pepper, thyme, oregano.
- Worcestershire Sauce: This will add a whole new depth of flavor. Absolutely amazing! If you do not prefer the sauce skip it or use a dash of cider vinegar.
- Liquid: Guinness beer or any good quality beer that you would prefer drinking and Chicken stock. We love using Better than Bouillon paste diluted in warm water instead of using store bought packaged chicken stock. This stuff is crazy good and makes an instant stock that’s packed with awesome good flavors.
How to make instant pot red beans and rice with sausage?
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements + Video at the bottom of the post.
Step #1 Brown sausage, saute aromatics & seasonings
- Soak red beans: Spread beans in a single layer on a large baking sheet and pick through to remove and discard any small stones or debris and then rinse well. Soak in enough water over night.
- Brown sausages: Add oil in the instant pot and set it on SAUTE on HIGH heat. Brown the sliced sausages well on both sides.
- Saute aromatics & seasonings: Throw in the finely chopped, onion, bell pepper & celery and saute for 1 min. Add the minced garlic and saute for another 1 min. Add all the dry seasonings and saute for another 1-2 mins. This will help release a lot of flavor from the seasonings and help blend them with the other ingredients in the pot.
Step #2 Deglaze pot & Pressure Cook
- Deglaze pot: Pour the Guinness beer and the Worcestershire sauce. Deglaze pot very well scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will loosen any stuck food particles and help prevent the burn error. Cancel the SAUTE function.
- Pressure cook: Add the over night soaked red beans. Pour the chicken stock (Water + better than bouillon chicken base mixed together). Throw in the bay leaves. Give everything in the pot a quick stir. Secure the lid and pressure cook on high for 35 mins (high altitude 45-55 mins) and allow a complete natural pressure release.
Step #3 Thicken red beans and sausage
- Thicken the red beans: Fish out and discard the bay leaves. Take out about 1 cup cooked red beans and mash them either with a potato masher or blend them into a thick paste in a blender. Transfer this paste into the instant pot, stir very well until the paste fully incorporates into the gravy. Hit the Saute function and keep it on low heat. Simmer the red beans to thicken the gravy stirring frequently. We prefer a thicker red beans and rice and that’s how we made it. You can totally control the consistency.
- Serve: Once the red beans is thickened according to your personal taste preference, serve it with steamed white long gran rice and garnish with chopped green onion (scallion).
Are red beans and kidney beans the same thing?
Red beans and kidney beans are two different kinds of beans though they might look same to you. Kidney beans are much larger than red beans and are crimson (darker red) in color whereas red beans have a pinkish hue.
Traditionally red beans are used to make New Orleans red beans and rice with sauge. However, if you can’t find them at your local grocery store you may use kidney beans instead. In that case the color of the Cajun red beans and rice would be slightly on the darker side.
How do you thicken red beans and rice?
You can thicken red beans and rice by taking out 1 cup cooked red beans and than mashing them with the back of your ladle or quickly blending them roughly in your blender. Add this back to the pot of cooked beans and stir to mix well. This would beautifully thicken the red beans and make the dish creamier. You’ll love it!
What goes well with red beans and rice?
Easy Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice is complete meal all by itself. However, to make it a perfect New Orleans style menu here’s what you can add as your side:
- Corn Bread: This is the best accompaniment you can ever have with New Orleans red beans and rice.
- Southern Style Biscuits.
- Collard greens cooked with onions and bacon.
- Fried green tomatoes.
- A light salad.
- Sweet Bread Pudding: This will round up the menu and be a perfect dessert to end up the dish on a sweet note.
- A cup of strong coffee.
Fridge Storing Tips
Red and Rice will last for upto 4 days in the fridge. The beans gravy will thicken up. You need to add little liquid while re-heating the dish.
Can you freeze red beans and rice with sausage?
Yes you can freeze red beans and rice for upto 3 months. Cool down the cooked red beans and rice once you are done cooking. Pouring them into individual bowls or containers will help the dish to cool down even faster. Pop the individual servings in freezer safe bags or containers and freeze right away.
Fridge: You can reheat the fridge cold dish in the microwave oven until warm or hot. Add a few splashes water or stock and mix it with the beans before reheating. The beans gravy tends to thicken up in the fridge.
Freezer: Thaw the red beans and rice overnight in the fridge and follow the re-heating instructions shared above.
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Watch Recipe Video
- 1 pound red beans, unsoaked (**Soak overnight in enough water. Yields about 5 cups soaked red beans.)
- 1 pound Cajun Sausage (**or use creole sausage or andouille sausage.)
- 1 cup onion (**yellow onion, finely chopped.)
- 1 cup green bell pepper (**finely chopped.)
- 1 cup celery (**finely chopped.)
- 2 tbsp garlic (**minced.)
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt (**according to your own personal preference.)
- 1 guinness beer (**440 ml. We used 1 full can. Read NOTES below for sub.)
- 2 cups Water
- 1 tbsp Better Than Bouillon (**stirred in the water to make an instant chicken stock. Use Better than Bouillon chicken base.)
- Pick & Soak Red Beans: Place the beans in a large bowl or plate and pick out any debris or stones. Rinse the beans well under running tap water than soak them with enough water (3 inches water above the beans) for 8 hours or over night.
- Brown Sausage: Add oil in the instant pot, hit the SAUTE function & set it on HIGH heat. When the oil becomes moderately hot gently release the sliced sausages and brown them both sides.
- Saute Aromatics: Add the finely chopped onion, bell pepper & celery and saute along with the sausage for 1-2 mins. Than, add the garlic and saute for another 1 min. Thrown in all the dry seasonings mentioned above in the ingredients section “seasonings” and saute again for about 2 mins.
- Deglaze pot: Add the Guinness beer (find sub in the NOTES below) and the Worcestershire sauce and stir to mix well. De-glaze the pot very well by scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will help loosen any stuck food particles and prevent the BURN error. This step is important, do not rush! CANCEL the SAUTE function.
- Pressure cook: Now add the over-night soaked red beans, and pour the chicken stock (water + better than bouillon combined together) , stir to mix well. Add salt according to your own personal taste preference, throw in the bay leaves. Secure the lid and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 35 mins followed by complete natural pressure release (it should take about 10 mins). Than, open the lid carefully and fish out the bay leaves with the help of a pair of tongs and discard them.
- Thicken red beans and sausage: Take out about 1 cup cook red beans and mash them into a paste either with the help of a potato masher, the back of your ladle or in the food processor. Add the mashed red beans paste back into the pot. Stir very well until the paste is completely incorporated into the red beans and sausage gravy, there should not be any lumps. Hit back the SAUTE & set it on LOW heat. Simmer the red beans and sausage stirring often to thicken it. You can thicken the gravy more or less according to your desired consistency. Serve with white long grain rice and enjoy!
- Best Sausages: Andouille, Zatarain’s Cajun or Creole sausage.
- Soaked Beans cook time (high altitude) : I would recommend cooking the soaked red beans for 45 to 55 mins. The recipe would remain the same.
- Dried Beans cook time: 1 hour. For high altitude I would cook them for 1 hr 15 mins and than check for doneness. If they do not mash easily I would few more mins.
- Spicy red beans with sausage: Add chopped jalapenos while sautéing the onion or cayenne pepper along with other seasonings. This will reward you with a spicy red beans and rice with sausage.
- Beer sub: Sub the beer with 1 + 3/4 cups chicken stock or water.