Simple Red Beans And Rice Recipe

Some occasions call for the richest of foods, dishes not exactly suited to every day dining. Potatoes au gratin and a great cut of meat like expensive filet mignon are right at home on a holiday table alongside a fine soufflé, roasted veggies, and a pie to top it all off. But you probably don't relish the idea of such hefty fare on a daily basis. On the other hand, you might not think of red beans and rice as a particularly special dish, but could eat it for lunch or dinner two or three times a week without ever getting tired of this perfectly satisfying meal that can also boost your iron. And that's actually pretty special.

Chef, food writer, and registered dietician Kristen Carli of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness says: "I love serving this as a complete meal on its own but it could pair nicely with some roasted veggies or a simple salad," adding that "this dish is an easy weeknight meal. The fact that I can make rice in the [Instant Pot] in 3 minutes is a huge benefit for me."

This dish is also pretty versatile, as you could switch out ingredients. Carli recommends omitting the sausage if you're interested in a meatless vegetarian meal. But, if you make this dish exactly according to her recipe, you'll surely have a meal that you'll be happy to have all the time.

Gather your ingredients for red beans and rice

There are a fair amount of ingredients here, but thanks to your Instant Pot, there's really not much work beyond the initial slicing and dicing needed to make your mise en place. You'll need 2 cups of dry white rice, 2 cups of water, 1 pound of dry kidney beans, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 pound of andouille sausage, 1 yellow onion, 1 green bell pepper, 4 celery stalks, 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, and 4 cups of veggie broth. For seasonings, get 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, a 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes, 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning, and some thinly sliced green onions for serving.

Take a few minutes to prep your ingredients. Slice the sausage into round "coins", about half an inch thick. Then, dice the onion, bell pepper, and celery. And don't be afraid to change up some of the ingredients if you see fit. "This recipe calls for andouille sausage," says Carli, "but Italian sausage would work too." You can also try some vegetarian varieties if you're on the hunt for a meatless dish.

Cook the rice

Usually, there are some decent workarounds available if you don't have specific pieces of kitchen gear. In this case, you really do need a multi-function pressure cooker, and ideally an Instant Pot at that. This recipe is a fine excuse to finally get one! Your cooking life will be all the easier if you can secure and Instant Pot and start learning how to use it and some handy Instant Pot hacks.

To start off, place the white rice and the water in the Instant Pot. Turn to the pressure cook setting and cook on high for 3 minutes. Then release the steam valve, remove the cooked rice, and set it aside in a bowl for later.

Cook the sausage for red beans and rice

From rice cooked in mere minutes to sausage sautéed immediately after, that Instant Pot will now really start proving its worth. Now, to cook the sausage, turn the Instant Pot to the sauté setting and add the oil. Now toss in the sliced sausage and cook the meat until it is browned all over. Then remove the sausage and place it in another bowl and set it aside as well.

And for the record, if you want to be super safe, use a meat thermometer and check to see the internal temperature has reached 160 degrees Fahrenheit. That's the minimum safe temperature for ground meat, according to the USDA.

Cook the red beans and rice veggies

Keeping the Instant Pot on the sauté setting and then add the onion, celery, garlic, and bell pepper. Allow the veggies to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. The onions should start to turn translucent and get delightfully fragrant, while the other vegetables will start to soften.

There's now just one step left, along with a decent amount of time to wait. In fact, now is a good time to decide at what time you want to serve dinner or lunch or what the accompaniments will be for your delicious red beans and rice meal.

Get the red beans and rice ready for a slow cook

Now add in the red beans, the browned sausage, the broth, and the spices. Stir everything a few times, then close the lid and pressure cook on high for 75 minutes. Yes, this is a lot of time, but remember that the Instant Pot will do practically all the work. Allow the pressure valve to release naturally and the end of this process.

To plate this delectable dish, place a single serving of white rice in a small bowl and spoon a ladleful of red beans, veggies, and sausage on top. For a touch of bright color and additional flavor, top it all off with those thinly sliced green onions.

Simple Red Beans And Rice Recipe
5 from 50 ratings
Red beans and rice is a flavorful, nutritious dish that's easy to customize and, if you make it, you'll surely have a meal that you'll want to have all the time
Prep Time
Cook Time
red beans and rice
Total time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
  • 2 cups white rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pound dry kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • green onions, thinly sliced for serving
  1. Place white rice and water in the Instant Pot, then turn to pressure cook setting and cook on high for 3 minutes. Quickly release steam valve, then remove cooked rice to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Turn the Instant Pot to the sauté setting. Add oil and cook sliced sausage until brown, then remove sausage and set aside.
  3. Keeping the Instant Pot on sauté setting, add onion, celery, garlic, and bell pepper. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add beans, cooked sausage, broth, and spices. Close lid and pressure cook on high for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow the pressure valve to release naturally.
  5. To serve, place white rice in a small bowl and serve a ladleful of beans, sausage, and veggies on top and then top off with green onions.
Calories per Serving 773
Total Fat 25.2 g
Saturated Fat 8.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 43.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 104.4 g
Dietary Fiber 20.3 g
Total Sugars 3.6 g
Sodium 1,147.1 mg
Protein 32.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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