Pressure Cooker Red Beans

$6.70 recipe / $1.12 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.45 from 25 votes
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I had a very “Louisiana” day yesterday. I made a big pot of red beans during the day and then went to a crawfish boil at night. :P  I was craving red beans, so I thought it was a good opportunity to try making them in my pressure cooker. Red beans are a super simple, flavorful, filling, and cheap meal, which is why they’ve been a staple food across the souther U.S. for generations. Beans are notorious for taking forever to cook, but with pressure cooker technology, these Pressure Cooker Red Beans can be finished in just about an hour! So, that pretty much makes them the perfect food, IMHO.

A big bowl of Pressure Cooker Red Beans with a scoop of white rice on top, garnished with parsley and green onions

What Kind of Pressure Cooker Should I Use?

I used my 7-1 Multi-Functional Instant Pot pressure cooker so that I could do the sauté steps all right in the same pot, but you can use any electric or stove top pressure cooker.

There are several other brands of multi-function pressure cookers on the market as well, such as this Cosori model that is a little less expensive and comes with a glass lid for when you’re using the slow cooker function.

If you’re using an old-school single-functin pressure cooker, just do the first couple of sauté steps in a skillet and then transfer everything to the pressure cooker when you add the beans, spices, and broth.

What is The Secret to Good Red Beans?

The secret to good red beans is to use some sort of smoked meat, like sausage or a smoked ham hock, and to cook the beans down until they’re so soft that they begin to break down. When the beans break down they turn the cooking liquid into a deliciously thick and creamy mixture that is absolutely delightful with rice. It’s a match made in heaven.

What Type of Sausage is Best for Pressure Cooker Red Beans?

If possible, use andouille sausage, but if you can’t find it in your area just use another variety of smoked sausage. Make sure it’s a smoked sausage, not something like Italian sausage. And if you don’t want to use meat at all, I made a pretty delicious (if I do say so myself) Vegan Red Beans and Rice a few years back. No pressure cooker? No problem. Here is my recipe for regular stove-top Louisiana Red Beans and Rice.

What to Serve with Red Beans

Rice, of course! But no, there are other options, too. Want a real comfort food experience? Serve up your red beans with some Mac and Cheese or Cornbread. Yummmmmmm.

Close up side view of a bowl of Pressure Cooker Red Beans with a black spoon lifting a scoop
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Pressure Cooker Red Beans

4.45 from 25 votes
Pressure Cooker Red Beans are a fast, inexpensive, filling, and flavorful staple meal. It’s a Louisiana tradition, but FASTER!
Pressure Cooker Red Beans are a fast, inexpensive, filling, and flavorful staple meal. It's a Louisiana tradition, but FASTER!
Servings 6
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 1 hour 15 minutes
Total 1 hour 25 minutes


  • 1/2 lb smoked sausage (like andouille)* ($1.60)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.13)
  • 1 onion ($0.37)
  • 1 bell pepper ($0.98)
  • 3 stalks celery ($0.24)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
  • 1 lb dry uncooked red beans ($0.97)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme ($0.10)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.10)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika ($0.10)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne ($0.02)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper ($0.05)
  • 3 cups chicken broth ($0.39)
  • 2 cups water ($0.00)
  • 3 green onions, sliced ($0.20)
  • 6 cups cooked rice ($1.13)


  • Slice the smoked sausage into medallions. Add the olive oil and sliced sausage to the multi-function pressure cooker or a skillet and sauté the sausage until it is brown on both sides (about 5 minutes). Once the sausage is well browned, remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon.
  • While the sausage is browning, finely dice the onion, bell pepper, and celery, and mince the garlic. After removing the sausage, add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic to the pot and continue to sauté for another five minutes, or until the onions are soft and transparent. The moisture from the vegetables should dissolve the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
  • Rinse and sort through the beans to remove any bad beans or debris. Add the beans to the pot along with the cooked sausage, thyme, oregano, paprika, cayenne, some freshly cracked pepper (about 20 cranks of a pepper mill), chicken broth, and water. Stir to combine.
  • Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and close the vent. Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes (either use the manual button or bean/chili button on the Instant Pot and increase time to 35 minutes), then let the pot naturally release pressure as it cools. Test the beans to make sure they’re extremely soft. If they’re not soft yet, re-secure the lid, close the vent, and cook for an additional 20 minutes on high power.
  • Once the beans are very soft, stir and smash the beans agains the side of the pot with the back of a large spoon until the liquid thickens. Taste and add salt as needed (start with a teaspoon and add more until the flavors pop).
  • Add about 1.5 cups of red beans to a bowl, top with 1 cup rice and a sprinkle of sliced green onions.

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*Feel free to use a whole pound of smoked sausage. I had 1/2 pound left over from another recipe and made it work with what I had.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 520.48kcalCarbohydrates: 97.42gProtein: 29.77gFat: 11.1gSodium: 1321.67mgFiber: 26.65g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Want more Instant Pot recipes? Check out my Pressure Cooker Chicken and Rice!

A ladle lifting a scoop of Pressure Cooker Red Beans out of the Instant Pot

How to Make Red Beans in an Instant Pot – Step by Step Photos

Brown Sausage slices in the bottom of the Instant Pot

Start by slicing 1/2 lb. smoked sausage into medallions. Use andouille sausage, if possible, but if you can’t find it in your area, use another type of smoked sausage. Add the smoked sausage to the pot with 1 Tbps olive oil and sauté until the sausage is browned. If your pressure cooker does not have a sauté function, you can do this part in a skillet.

Add Onion, Celery, and Bell Pepper to Instant Pot

While the sausage is browning, finely dice one onion, one green bell pepper, and 3 stalks of celery. Mince four cloves of garlic. Remove the browned sausage from the pot and add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic.

Sautéed Vegetables in Instant Pot

Continue to sauté until the onions are soft and transparent. The moisture from the vegetables should dissolve all the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.

Add Beans, Spices, and Sausage to Instant Pot

Rinse 1 lb. red beans and sort through them to remove any bad beans. Add them to the pot along with the cooked sausage, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp cayenne, and some freshly cracked pepper.

Add Broth and Water to Instant Pot

Finally, add 3 cups chicken broth and 2 cups water. Stir to combine. Secure the lid on the pot and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes (you can either use the manual or bean/chili buttons on the Instant Pot, then increase the time to 35 minutes).

Pressure Cooked Beans in Instant Pot

After cooking at high pressure for 35 minutes, let the pot cool and release pressure naturally. Open the pot and test the beans for tenderness. You want them to be extremely tender and breaking down so that they make the liquid thick and creamy once you start stirring. If they’re not soft just yet, simply put the lid back on, close the vent, and set to high pressure again for another 20 minutes. If your beans are having a hard time softening, it’s most likely due to hard water or old beans. 

Close up ladle full of Pressure Cooker Red Beans overhead.

Once the beans are very soft, stir the pot and smash the beans against the side of the pot as you stir. The starches from the beans will begin to turn the liquid into a nice thick sauce. Finally, taste the beans and add salt as needed. With dishes like this you absolutely will not taste all the flavor notes until it is seasoned well with salt. The chicken broth will add some salt, but you’ll most likely need to salt it at the end as well. Start with a teaspoon and add more as needed (the total amount will depend on the type of broth you used and your individual taste buds).

A big bowl of Pressure Cooker Red Beans topped with white rice, green onion, and parsley

To serve the red beans, place about 1.5 cups in a bowl and top with a cup of cooked rice. Sprinkle sliced green onions over top. Don’t skip the green onions, either! They give the dish a blast of freshness that really brings it all together. :)

Close up of a spoonful of Pressure Cooker Red Beans and rice

The way that rich sauce coats the rice is just so MMMM-mmmm!

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  1. I doubled this recipe, which forced me to change the method a little. I pre-soaked 2lbs of beans with 1 tsp baking soda to ensure they got soft. I followed everything according to instructions until it came time to cook the beans. I only cooked them with about 1/3 the veggies and none of the sausage. I put the leftover veggies and sausage into a large pot on the stove to simmer and only cooked the beans 20 minutes. They turned out buttery soft. I also added filé powder because I was just taught not to leave that out of red beans and rice. It was amazing! Will definitely be making it again. Thanks!

  2. This is incredible. Only changes I would make would be to do a full pound of sausage, and I added a few shakes of very hot chili flakes for extra spice because we like it. 
    Flavor profile is so nice, sausage browned ahead is great too. 

  3. Can I double this recipe for a huge group dinner? I have the largest instant pot.

    1. Probably! I bet it will take longer to come up to pressure and come back down, though, since there is a larger volume of food to heat.

  4. Delicious and simple red beans and rice every time. To reduce the chance of firm beans, I soak the beans in warm water while preparing everything else and pressure cook for 40 minutes. It’s easy to get impatient and not let the cooker naturally release pressure but it’s worth it.

    1. A quick soak for the beans is a great idea. The first few times I made this, I poured them in straight from the bag and always ended up with a few crunchy beans at the end – floaters, I guess. Now I soak them for as long as I have (sometimes just the time for prepping and cooking everything else, like you) and they come out creamy and perfect every time.

  5. This came out great! I have the big instant pot and out of paranoia I added too much water due to the comments. In 35 minutes the beans were soft and delicious, but I had all that extra liquid and it was a little diluted tasting so I transferred the beans to the stove top to reduce the liquid for about 25 more minutes, they are now perfect!! Next time I will just follow the recipe :) 

  6. Hello! I tried this recipe twice already and for some reason I think I like the stovetop version more even though it’s a little more work, and I always have to cook them the extra 20 mins… but I’m not giving up! Just wanted to ask, is there a reason why we’re using half of the andouille sausage and no parsley compared to the stovetop one? Would if be ok if I used the whole 12-14oz? I have a bigger pressure cooker and room wouldn’t be a problem I think… Please let me know your thoughts. I love your recipes!!

    1. Yes, you can definitely use more sausage and add parsley, if you prefer. :)

  7. For vegetarians who might be wondering, I tried this with a package of Field Roast Italian Sausage (I wanted to get the Mexican Chipotle version, but they were out of stock). Despite that, I made it as the recipe instructed and it is soooo delicious.

    I’d say that it’s quite salty (without adding salt), I’d imagine due to my choice of fake meat and using Better than Bouillon Vegetable. In the future I’ll probably slightly lessen the amount of broth and/or “sausage”, and that’ll probably take care of it (I like salty, so it wasn’t ruined).

    Another Budget Bytes recipes in my regular rotation! I practically only cook from here these days, thanks for all the great recipes.

    1. Hi can a father just add uncooked rice and extra water, to this recipe at some point to have it all mixed together, using the 1 pot? Kids love rice and I would like to make a lot of food for the family all at once. Using a 8 quart instant pot

  8. This is easy to make, with ingredients that I had on hand (had a different type of smoked sausage and a yellow bell pepper that I used). Thank you so much!! Loved reading through the details and looking at the step by step pictures. Loved the fact that you included links to the other recipes you made, like the cornbread and vegetarian version, and I’m looking forward to exploring your other recipes and trying some out. Ah, and not to forget, the price info is cool 😎 thanks so much for all these details!!

  9. This simply didn’t work for me and I’m sure it’s pilot error. I used a Presto pressure cooker (the old manual kind). I followed the directions exactly. Once in the crockpot, I let it cook under pressure for 35 minutes. Sure enough, beans weren’t done. So, per the directions, I put it back on for 20 more. Result? Burned. Badly. Half of it so burned, it was caked together. The beans…were still…not done….despite everything being burned…after 55 minutes of cooking under pressure.

    Suggestions? It’s so frustrating trying to find recipes made for Insta Pots and using a classic pressure cooker and making them work.

    1. How much liquid was in the pot when you opened it after the first 35 minutes? I’m wondering if it needed more added. Also, were your beans new? I’ve heard that if beans are old they won’t soften no matter how long they are cooked. A really great resource to check out for pressure cooking (both manual and Instant Pot) is Hip Pressure Cooking. They have all sorts of troubleshooting articles, and articles about converting recipes, so you might find some more nuggets of helpful info there.

  10. Love red beans and rice and love my pressure cooker! I have a 1954 Presto pressure cooker and it’s my best pot! This recipe is delicious. I added 2 bay leaves ’cause that’s the way Mama did it and I love bay. Love Beth’s website and recipes; I’ve never tasted a bad one!

  11. This was SO GOOD. Plus, I calculated only 2 Weight Watchers SmartPoints (not including the rice) when using 6.5 ounces of Butterball Everyday Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausage, and all other ingredients as listed. I had it for dinner, and I’m taking it tomorrow for lunch!

    I did use kidney beans because I like them better, and it took the full 55 minutes. Thanks for a(nother) great recipe, Beth.

  12. Love this! Made if once and froze leftovers which lasted for months. Making more today! A forever favorite.

  13. I made this last night! It came out so good. My first time using my instapot and this is super easy to use and great for making batches to freeze later.