Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

5 from 4 votes

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Instant Pot red beans and rice is a an easy version of the Louisiana comfort food. Make this recipe for a classic creole meal! Stove top version and recipe video included!

close up of southern Red Beans and Rice

Hailing from New Orleans, and typically served on Mondays using pork bones left over from Sunday’s dinner, this smoky and spicy bean dish always hits the spot.

I’ve been making this red beans and rice recipe for over 20+ years now, from a cookbook a friend gave me when he cooked for Paul Prudhomme, who really popularized blackened cooking. It’s called the Plantation Cookbook by the Junior League of New Orleans. I’ve adapted it for the Instant Pot, and a stovetop version is also included in the recipe card.

What’s the difference between Cajun and Creole food?

Cajun is a word used to describe the French colonists who moved from the Acadia region of Canada down to Louisiana after the British conquest of Acadia. (known as present-day New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia) in the 1700s.

Creole is a term used to describe the people who were born to these new settlers in French colonial Louisiana, especially New Orleans.

Another thing I might add is that typically Creole food uses tomatoes and Cajun food does not.

overhead: spoon in white bowl of instant pot red beans and rice

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice Ingredient Notes

This classic Creole meal has smoky and spicy flavors from a smoked ham bone, cubed ham, andouille sausage and the creole “holy trinity” of vegetables, onion, celery and green bell pepper.

Of course, red beans are the star of this dish, simmered with garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and bay leaves, plus a few simple pantry spices. I use homemade creole seasoning, but feel free to use your favorite.

Shopping Tip:
Red beans and kidney beans are not the same thing. Red beans are smaller, rounder in shape, and they cook up creamier. However, if you can’t find dry red beans, dry kidney beans are a decent substitute.

Recipe Video

Want to watch the process from start to finish? Just scroll down to the recipe card and watch the video!

In the video, you’ll notice that I didn’t saute the vegetables or meat before cooking the red beans. I think the difference in flavor is minimal. Now, that being said, sauteing the veggies does help to soften them, and browning the sausage and ham does give them a nicer color.

So, in the end, the decision is yours to make. Saute or not… it’s your call!

overhead: cubes of ham, andouille sausage and white onion with bay leaves and creole spices in pressure cooker

How long do you cook red beans and rice?

Comfort food dishes like this one usually take several hours to cook on the stove top, but not this recipe! Instant Pot red beans and rice takes 20 minutes to cook, plus 15 minutes for a natural pressure release. Quick Creole dinner, comin’ up!

Soaking the beans overnight means less cook time, but if you don’t have time to presoak, that’s okay. You can either quick soak beans, or skip that step altogether.

This Instant Pot recipe works with or without soaking the beans! If you don’t soak them, just add another 20 minutes to the cook time.

bowl of red beans and rice

Serving Suggestions

Traditionally a side dish of mustard greens or collard greens would do, but a side salad or homemade cornbread would be my first pick!

My recipe for homemade cornbread includes corn kernels and diced pickled jalapeños for a nice little kick. When they’re still warm, drizzle honey on top and give it a minute to soak in.

So, so good.

Red Beans and Rice Recipe Tips:

  1. Optional sauteing. If you’d like, you can sauté the onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic in some butter first before adding the remaining ingredient to the pot. Also, pan fry the ham and sausage slices to give them a nice color.
  2. Creamier consistency. To give the red beans a creamy consistency, use a potato masher to mash them a few times. They’ll thicken up and taste even better!
  3. Stove top method: If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can cook using the stovetop instead. The instructions are in the recipe card.

Whether it’s Mardi Gras, a family gathering, summertime picnic or BBQ, Instant Pot red beans and rice is always a hit. Enjoy!

close up of spicy creole stew
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This post, originally published on May 29, 2019, was last updated with new content on Sept. 22, 2021.

close up of Southern Red Beans and Rice

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice + Video

5 from 4 votes
Instant Pot red beans and rice is a an easy version of the Louisiana comfort food. Make this recipe for a classic creole meal!
Servings: 8
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Natural Pressure Release: 15 minutes
Total: 50 minutes




  • Truth be told, in this IP recipe/video I decided not to sauté the vegetables and meats to see the if I could tell the difference and was quite surprised at how, through the many layers of flavors, I could not even tell if they were or not. It’s just one less step and less butter overall. This is completely optional and I’m sure purists would sauté as I usually do.

Instant Pot Method

  • Soak beans over night in cold water. Drain and rinse prior to cooking (See Note 1).
  • Add all ingredients except rice and parsley to the Instant Pot. Cover with 5 cups of water, stir to mix. Cover with lid, close vent and set to Beans setting or Manual set to High. Set cooking time to 20 minutes if using pre-soaked beans OR 40 minutes if using dry beans.
  • After timer beeps, allow for a natural pressure release (apr. 15-20 minutes). Open vent and remove lid.
  • Discard bay leaves. Remove ham bones, set aside and start rice.
  • Carefully remove any meat from ham bones and discard bones. Chop meat and add back to the beans.
  • Using a potato masher, mash beans until slightly creamy and thickened. Season to taste and serve with rice.

Stovetop Method (Sauté version)

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven add the ham bone, 10 cups of water, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and beans. Cook uncovered on low.
  • In a skillet over medium heat melt 3 tablespoons of butter and add the onions, celery and bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes and add the garlic. Sauté until onion is transparent.
  • In another skillet pan fry the sausage and ham.
  • Add the cooked meat, sautéed vegetables, bay leaves, Creole seasoning, red pepper flakes, kosher salt and black pepper to the beans. Stir and continue to cook uncovered on low: 90 minutes for pre-soaked beans (2 1/2 hours if using dry beans) or until tender.
  • Add more water to beans if necessary so they don’t burn OR continue to cook for additional thickness.
  • Discard bay leaves. Remove ham bones, set aside and start rice.
  • Carefully remove any meat from ham bones and discard bones. Chop meat and add back to the beans.
  • Using a potato masher, mash beans until slightly creamy and thickened. Season to taste and serve with rice.



  1. Red kidney beans may be substituted for the red beans if they are not available. Red beans are rounder and smaller. If not using pre-soaked beans, add an additional 20 minutes to the total Instant Pot cooking time.
Pro Tips:
  1. Sauté the onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic in some butter first before adding to the pot. Also, pan fry the ham and sausage slices too.
  2. After the red beans have cooked, remove the ham bones and pick any meat from them, discard the bones and chop the meat. Add that back to the pot.
  3. To get that creamy consistency, grab a potato masher and mash the beans a few times to thicken.


Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 1097mg | Potassium: 480mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 455IU | Vitamin C: 15.7mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2.9mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Dinners
Cuisine: American, Southern
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image: bowl of louisiana beans and rice


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. Momma never made it like this, I am from LA (lower Arkansas) We we’re rase up poor, Red Beans and rice was our main meal often. This is Good stuff.

  2. I’m from NOLA and I’ve been cooking red beans for many years. Where did you get the idea that overnight soaked beans will cook in 90 minutes – no way.
    Also, never add salt to the beans while they are cooking because it will make them tough.
    Take it from me, it does not work.

    1. Nice of you to stop by and chime in Sarah, but I can assure you you can. Why not give this a try before condemning it? I learn new tricks and things almost everyday.
      As for the salting beans myth, here is a great article from Serious Eats to clear up any misconceptions. In the end though, it’s really everyone’s own choice, I’m just sharing a delicious recipe.
      I rarely respond to comments like these because it seems like your mind is already made up, although this recipe DOES works as written. I hope you stay safe and thanks for stopping by!

  3. I am from South LA and I love to put pickled pork and smoked sausage in my red beans and rice. I had actually never heard of pickled pork until years ago. A friend from the New Orleans area introduced me to it and I now use it all the time in my red beans.

  4. 5 stars
    Comfort food at it’s best Kevin! We’d all enjoy this dish at our house. So hearty and tasty, I bet!

  5. 5 stars
    WOA – this looks wonderfully – comfort food at its finest! A friend from New Orleans makes a mean batch of red beans and rice but he doesn’t ever share his recipe but now, thanks to you, I can try making some myself!

    1. Funny we just had this last night! It’s great as leftovers, too! With fresh cornbread of course! 🙂

  6. Hey Kevin! This is one of absolutely favorite dishes! Gary was skeptical at first, but now he requests this. I quite often use smoked ham hocks and smoked pork chops instead of cut up ham. My Paul Prudhomme cookbooks are worn and splattered! He was the one who hooked me on Cajun and Creole food. I was born and rasied in MI but I was meant to live in the South!

    1. I love to use my smoked ham bones. So, so flavorful! That’s funny you mentioned splattered as that’s exactly how I’d describe my Plantation cookbook, too! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Talk about stick to ya ribs comfort food! Bet this would also be delish for breakfast with an egg on top!