Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner
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Pressure Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Pressure Cooker Red Beans and Rice
Pressure Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Pressure Cooker Red Beans and Rice. The Cajun classic, ready in about an hour thanks to pressure cooker beans.

Everything I know about New Orleans comes from television. The mystery of the week set in the French Quarter, Justin Wilson on PBS, and pregame shots of the Superdome parking lot, with tailgaters chanting “Who dat!” while stirring kettles of red beans. 3

I don’t let that stop me from celebrating New Orleans every Fat Tuesday. Why would I pass up the chance to cook from one of America’s great regional cuisines? But, there is one creole recipe I make year round, not just on Mardi Gras – pressure cooker red beans and rice. 4

Under pressure, red beans and rice are done in about an hour, perfect for both Fat Tuesday and a regular Tuesday after work. All I have to do is sort and soak the beans before I go to bed the night before. (If I forget, I can cook the beans without soaking, but it will take a little more than an hour to get dinner on the table.)

No pressure cooker? No worries. See the Notes section for stovetop instructions.


Recipe: Pressure Cooker Red Beans and Rice

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Pressure Cooker Red Beans and Rice

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 68 1x


Pressure Cooker Red Beans and Rice. The Cajun classic, ready in about an hour thanks to pressure cooker beans.



Beans and soaking

  • 1 pound red kidney beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 quarts water


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound smoked sausage (preferably andouille), quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch wedges
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or dried thyme)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or fine sea salt)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or fine sea salt)
  • 5 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste

For serving

  • Cooked long grain white rice
  • Minced parsley
  • Minced green onions
  • Hot sauce (Tabasco)


  1. Soak the beans: Soak the beans overnight: Sort the kidney beans, removing broken beans, stones, and dirt clods. Rinse the beans, put them in a large container with the tablespoon of salt, and cover with 2 quarts water. Let the beans soak overnight (at least 8 hours).
  2. Sauté the aromatics and sausage: Heat the oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the smoked sausage, onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, and sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute, stirring often, until the onions and sausage are brown around the edges, about 8 minutes.
  3. Pressure cook the beans: Drain and rinse the beans. Pour the 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 15 minutes in an electric PC or 12 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure release naturally, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid carefully, opening away from you – even when it’s not under pressure, the steam in the cooker is very hot.
  4. Thicken and serve: Discard the bay leaves. Ladle out 2 cups of the beans and bean liquid, puree, and pour back into the pot. (I do this in a quart measuring cup with my stick blender.) If you have time, simmer uncovered for another fifteen minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve.


Forgot to soak? Increase the water to 6 cups and cook the beans at high pressure for 35 minutes (45 minutes electric PC).

The downside to the pressure cooker is the sealed environment – there is no evaporation, so the bean liquid comes out kind of thin. That’s why I puree a copule cups of beans and liquid; stirring them back into the pot thickens up the bean broth nicely.

No pressure cooker? No worries. Increase the water to 8 cups, and follow the directions, cooking everything in a 6 quart or larger heavy dutch oven. Instead of locking the lid and pressure cooking, bring the pot of beans to a boil, then reduce the heat, partially cover the pot, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 2 hours. Continue with the thicken and serve step.

  • Category: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Cajun

Keywords: Pressure Cooker Red Beans and Rice, Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice


What do you think?

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

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Pressure Cooker Shrimp Etouffee
My other Pressure Cooker Recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, 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. Lorraine says

    I just made this in the Instant Pot – 5 stars! Perfect flavors, really true to how this dish is supposed to taste. My Dad is from NOLA and would definitely approve! My only change was I mixed some Polska Kielbasa in with the Andoille sausage and also just smashed up about 3/4 of a cup of the beans to thicken a little bit. Added some hot sauce and served over hot rice. Perfection!

  2. Connie Cleveland Lenneman says

    So glad to see your recipe for the pressure cooker! I’m from New Orleans and I love my red beans and rice! Great recipe. Thanks!

  3. Susan Huffman says

    Oh this is so good!!!! Made this on a cold winter day in northern Minnesota. Just enough heat to really warm you up with the spicy sausage. As good as it gets!

  4. Tory says

    Thank you!!! This was delicious and I will be making it again! I skipped the blending and used corn starch to thicken instead – less things to clean up 🙂

  5. Made this today, loved it. I doubled the celery and onion and added a diced jalapeno to give the dish a kick, This is going to be a regular in my dinner rotation, many thanks for the recipe.

  6. Addie Harper+Calvitt says

    Mike, I love your recipes! I am going through and adding to my collection. I can’t wait to try this one!

    One question: Under Aromatics, you have salt listed twice–first as 1 teaspoon and then as 1/2 teaspoon. Do I include both?

    Thank you!

  7. Heather B says

    Made this tonight! Made as stated except I added 1 tsp of Cajun seasoning. Delicious! Even the toddler asked for seconds!

  8. Lisa says

    I forgot to soak and see your “no soak” information. Is the end quality the same either way?

    • Not with red beans – they come out better with soaking. But if you’re stuck with un-soaked beans, it works OK. (I forget to soak from time to time myself. )

  9. Marjy says

    This was terrific! We made it for my friend who’s a vegetarian, so the sausage went on the side and I added about a tablespoon of smoked paprika to give it a nice smokey flavor, with a little applewood smoked salt to finish.

  10. Wow! This sounds so amazing! I love your blog!! I can’t wait to try this. Also want to try the rotisserie recipes – we just bought a Weber attachment. yum!

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