Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice is a great meal when you want something easy, flavorful, hearty, and warm. The Instant Pot makes it a quick meal for busy weeknights. 

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Making Instant Pot recipes can save so much time and energy. While the cooking time for red beans and rice typically can be a bit long, the instant pot makes it much quicker than cooking it on the stovetop. 

Red beans and rice is a staple of New Orleans cuisine. It started as far back as the 1800s and is still a common dish served both in homes and in restaurants. Originally, it was made on Mondays. Sunday was the day for a big meal, including the Sunday ham. The next day was washing day, so the ham bone was used for a large pot of beans and rice. It could sit and simmer all day while the men were working and the women were doing the house chores. It’s still served on Mondays in public schools in many places in New Orleans. 

Simple Ingredients

Bacon

Even as a person who doesn’t like bacon (yes, I know: Gasp. Horror. Shock!), the bacon added a lot of flavor to this meal. If you don’t want bacon in there, you could also substitute it for chopped pieces of andouille sausage, or use both! They both have a strong flavor, so will add the necessary taste to the meal. 

Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the best oils for sauteing foods. It is mild in flavor and gets the job done. If you don’t have olive oil, try using coconut oil or some butter. This is just to help keep things from sticking to the bottom of the pot. 

Onion

I use a white onion for this recipe. One onion, chopped, is about 1 1/2 cups of onion. We all like onions, so have no problem with this much. If you aren’t a fan of onions, you could use half of the onion or go for something milder like a yellow onion. 

Garlic

Fresh garlic usually tastes the best, but I have also had great results with the jarred minced garlic lately. We can find this in the produce section in our grocery store. Otherwise, it may be with the canned vegetables. 

Ham Bone

I used a ham bone from a spiral ham that we made for dinner and then saved it specifically for this recipe. You can also purchase a ham hock if you can find it. Our grocery stores didn’t have it, so we used the ham bone. 

Red Beans

Make sure to get dried beans for this easy red beans recipe. You don’t want to use canned beans as they will get too soft and mushy. We used small red beans which were perfect. You could also use pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, or cannellini beans. No matter which you use, make sure to purchase dry uncooked beans. One pound of dry beans equals about 2 cups. 

Chicken Broth

Having fresh chicken broth or chicken stock is best for this meal. You could also use vegetable broth for a milder flavor or beef broth for a bolder flavor. We go through so much chicken broth that I bought a large jar of chicken bullion and mix that into water when we need chicken broth. 

Red Bell Pepper

Red bell peppers are the sweetest of the regular bell peppers. While that may not sound right for a beans and rice recipe, it is just the right amount without being overpowering. Another option would be a diced green pepper. 

Tomato Puree

Tomato puree is just a mixture of tomato paste and water. You need this in the recipe to give it flavor and texture. But if you can’t find tomato puree, mix equal amounts of tomato paste and water. So, for this recipe, you would want 3 oz of water plus 3 oz of tomato puree. Whisk that together before adding it to the instant pot. 

Cilantro

Cilantro is something most people either love or hate. If you don’t like cilantro, you can leave it out. Or you can substitute it with parsley or oregano. 

Rice

The type of rice you use can make or break this dish. We made it with long-grain white rice but you could also use brown rice, Spanish rice, Mexican rice, Jasmine rice, Jamaican rice, or any other long grain rice. 

Red Beans and Rice Add-Ins and Garnish Ideas

There are a lot of ways you could spice up the flavor of your red beans and rice by adding a few things into the Instant Pot before it cooks, or garnishing at the end. 

Add-Ins:

  • Cajun seasoning or Creole seasoning
  • Bay leaves (just make sure to remove them before serving)
  • Andouille sausage
  • Taco seasoning
  • Coconut milk

Garnish:

  • Hot sauce
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Green onion
  • A dollop of sour cream
  • Tortilla chips

Red Beans and Rice Recipe Step by Step

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups long-grain white rice, cooked
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 ham bone
  • 1 lb red beans, dried (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 6 oz tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Preparation

Set the Instant Pot to saute and add the chopped bacon and olive oil, stirring until cooked.

Meanwhile, prepare the rice according to the package directions.

Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes.

Place the ham bone at the bottom then add the remaining ingredients around it in the Instant Pot.

Stir then cover.

Set the Instant Pot to Stew Mode for 30 minutes (see note).

Once finished, manually do a quick release of the pressure and then remove the ham bone from the pot and discard.

Serve the beans on top of the rice.

Note: If your Instant Pot doesn’t have a Stew Mode, you can cook this on high pressure for 25 minutes. Stew mode puts it to 80% pressure. 

Red Beans and Rice Leftovers

Storage: Store leftover rice separate from the bean mixture. The rice will absorb too much of the liquid if stored together. Put both in an airtight container that’s not made of metal and refrigerate for 2-3 days. 

Reheating: For the best results, reheat both the rice and beans in a saucepan over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes. You can mix them together to heat or heat them separately. 

Freezing: Most types of rice do not hold their shape well when being frozen. I suggest freezing only the red bean mixture and making fresh rice when you eat the meal. Store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator the night before. 

Recipe

Originally Published On: February 19, 2024

Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice is a great meal when you want something easy, flavorful, hearty, and warm. The Instant Pot makes it a quick meal for busy weeknights.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Pressure Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course:
Main Dish
Cuisine:
American
Keyword:
bacon
|
beans
|
cajun
|
creole
|
instant pot
|
red beans
|
rice
Dietary Needs:
Dairy-Free
|
Egg-Free
|
Nut-Free
Meat:
Pork
Cooking Method:
Instant Pot
Servings: 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups long-grain white rice (cooked)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 tbsp garlic (minced)
  • 1 ham bone
  • 1 lb red beans (dried (about 2 cups))
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 6 oz tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp cilantro (chopped)

Recommended Equipment

Instructions

  • Set the Instant Pot to saute and add the chopped bacon and olive oil, stirring until cooked
  • Meanwhile, prepare the rice according to the package directions
  • Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes
  • Place the ham bone at the bottom then add the remaining ingredients around it in the Instant Pot
  • Stir then cover
  • Set the Instant Pot to Stew Mode for 30 minutes (see note)
  • Once finished, manually do a quick release of the pressure and then remove the ham bone from the pot and discard
  • Serve the beans on top of the rice

Notes

If your Instant Pot doesn’t have a Stew Mode, you can cook this on high pressure for 25 minutes. Stew mode puts it to 80% pressure.
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Nutrition Facts
Red Beans and Rice
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 455 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Trans Fat 0.02g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 13mg4%
Sodium 558mg23%
Potassium 522mg15%
Carbohydrates 74g25%
Fiber 6g24%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 587IU12%
Vitamin C 24mg29%
Calcium 56mg6%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.

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1 thought on “Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice”

  1. Stephanie, your Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice recipe is a lifesaver for busy weeknights! The detailed instructions and ingredient suggestions make it so easy to follow. Can’t wait to try this comforting and flavorful dish. Thanks for sharing your culinary expertise!

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