Pressure cooker, Side dish, Sunday dinner
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Instant Pot Cajun Pinto Beans

A bowl of Cajun pinto beans and rice, with a smaller bowl of spices behind them
Instant Pot Cajun Pinto Beans

Instant Pot Cajun Pinto Beans. Pinto beans, cooked New Orleans style, with smoked sausage and Cajun spices.

I’m from Ohio. When I think of Cajun beans, I think of Red Beans and Rice. But Google said that people were finding my Instant Pot pinto beans recipe by searching for Cajun pinto beans.

Cajun pinto beans? What a great idea. Let’s try it!

My version is similar to my Red Beans and Rice recipe – smoked sausage, the Cajun trinity of onion, celery, and bell pepper, and a lot of garlic. (BAM!) The only difference is I don’t soak the pinto beans. Kidney beans work better for me when they’re soaked, but pinto beans are fine going dry into the cooker – they just take a little longer to cook under pressure. (That said, if you really want to soak your beans, check out the Notes section of the recipe for cooking times.)

And, I was impressed with the results. Creamy pinto beans make a great Cajun bean alternative. Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.

[UPDATE: Turns out, Cajun Pinto Beans are a popular side dish at Bojangles restaurant, a fried chicken chain founded in Charlotte, NC, that has spread throughout the southeastern US. I’ll have to stop in and try some the next time I make it to Charlotte.]

Recipe: Instant Pot Cajun Pinto Beans

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A bowl of Cajun pinto beans and rice, with a smaller bowl of spices behind them

Instant Pot Cajun Pinto Beans

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 75 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups of pinto beans 1x


Pinto beans, cooked New Orleans style, with smoked sausage and Cajun spices.


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ½ pound smoked sausage (preferably andouille), quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into ¼ inch wedges
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning (store bought or homemade)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 cups water (or homemade chicken broth)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • For serving
  • Cooked long grain white rice
  • Minced parsley
  • Minced green onions
  • Hot sauce (Tabasco is traditional)


  1. Sort and rinse the beans: Sort the pinto beans, removing broken beans, stones, and dirt clods. Rinse the beans in a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Sauté the aromatics, sausage, and spices: Heat the oil in an Instant Pot set to Sauté mode adjusted to high (or a stovetop pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat) until the oil starts shimmering. Add the smoked sausage, onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic, and sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté, stirring often, until the onions and sausage start to brown around the edges, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the onions and sausage with the Cajun seasoning. Cook, stirring often, for 1 minute to bloom the spices in the seasoning.
  3. Pressure cook the beans for 40 minutes with a Natural Release: Pour the sorted and rinsed pinto beans into the pressure cooker, add the bay leaves and 1 teaspoon of salt, and then stir in the water. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 40 minutes in an electric PC or 35 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure release naturally, about 20 minutes. (If you’re in a hurry, you can quick release the pressure after 15 minutes of natural release). Remove the lid carefully, opening away from you – even when it’s not under pressure, the steam in the cooker is very hot. Discard the bay leaves.
  4. Thickening option 1: Ladle out 2 cups of the beans and bean liquid, purée, and pour back into the pot. (I do this in a quart measuring cup with my stick blender.)
  5. Thickening option 2: Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode adjusted to low (or low heat for a stovetop PC), and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  6. Serve: Serve and enjoy!


Have to soak your beans? Sort and rinse them the night before, soak them overnight, and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes (with a Natural Release)


6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot 6-Quart Pressure Cooker)

Flat edged wooden spoon

Fine Mesh Strainer

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Cajun

Keywords: Instant Pot Cajun Pinto Beans, Pressure Cooker Cajun Pinto Beans

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Instant Pot Pinto Beans
Pressure Cooker Red Beans and Rice
Pressure Cooker Jambalaya with Chicken and Sausage
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Side dish, Sunday dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Spot on recipe, will be how I make beans from now on. Your spice blend is terrific too

  2. Pearl says

    I’m from Louisiana and I approve this message. I used to make red beans and rice all the time (cheap meal). Some times I used pintos or black beans. Camilla beans really are the best. If Tabasco is too hot, try Crystal hot sauce.

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