Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice is a delicious weeknight dinner made healthier thanks to turkey sausage – you’ll love the smoky sauce!
How to make red beans and rice in the Instant Pot
- With the Instant Pot on saute mode, add olive oil and sausages. Cook the sausages until browned and let cool before slicing.
- Turn off saute mode and add the remaining ingredients (except rice ingredients) to the Instant Pot. Pressure cook for 2 minutes.
- While the dish is pressure cooking, cook the rice in a rice cooker or in a pot. When the Instant Pot is done, turn it off carefully and open the lid when safe to do so.
- Serve the red beans and sausage on a plate with cooked rice and enjoy!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – any neutral oil can be used in place of olive oil. Neutral oils that can be used in place of olive oil are grapeseed oil, avocado oil or vegetable oil.
- Turkey sausages – turkey sausages will be the leaner option but feel free to use any other sausage type that you prefer.
- Yellow onion – red onion or shallots can replace the yellow onion.
- Celery – substitute this vegetable with one of your choice.
- Green pepper – substitute this vegetable with one of your choice.
- Garlic – fresh or jarred minced garlic will work well in this recipe. If you’re in a pinch, you can use garlic salt or garlic powder.
- Oregano – Italian seasoning, marjoram, basil or thyme can also be used.
- Smoked paprika – cayenne pepper or chili pepper are great alternatives to smoked paprika.
- Chili powder – paprika, cayenne pepper or crushed chili flakes can also be used.
- Onion powder – garlic powder, jarred minced onion, onion flakes or onion salt can also be used.
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- Red beans – kidney beans, pinto beans, pink beans or black beans can be used in place of red beans if you’re in a pinch.
- Fire roasted tomatoes – crushed canned tomatoes with extra paprika will replace fire roasted tomatoes if you aren’t able to find any.
- Chicken broth – vegetable broth is a great alternative to chicken broth in this recipe.
- White rice – basmati rice or jasmine rice is preferred. If you’d prefer not to have white rice, sub in brown rice or another grain like couscous or quinoa.
- Butter (optional)
Are red beans and kidney beans the same?
While red beans and kidney beans may look alike, they are not the same. Red beans are typically smaller and come in a round shape that’s similar to pinto beans. In comparison to red beans, kidney beans are larger and they are a more crescent shape. Shape isn’t the only way in which these beans are different. Red beans and kidney beans also taste differently from one another. Red beans have a hearty bean taste that stands alone in dishes and kidney beans absorb the flavours of the ingredients that are used in a dish.
If you’re in a pinch, you can use them interchangeably in most recipes but keep in mind that they are different legumes!
Making the rice
Unfortunately, this meal isn’t a “dump and go” dish, which would let you essentially dump all the ingredients into the Instant Pot to cook together. Because this dish isn’t a “dump and go” recipe, you will be required to cook the rice separately. To minimize on the dish’s cook time, you can prepare the rice while the Instant Pot is pressure cooking the beans and sausage.
To cook the rice, you can either use a rice cooker or cook the rice on the stove top until the water has fully absorbed. In the recipe, I include butter in the ingredients for cooking the rice. This is optional, but the purpose of the butter is to create fluffier rice.
The benefit of not cooking the rice in the Instant Pot is that you will have more leniency in what type of rice you choose to include with your beans.
Storing and reheating
Cooked red beans will last around 3 to 5 days in the fridge. To store the dish, transfer the red beans from the Instant Pot and the cooked rice from the stove or rice cooker into a meal prep container. Once in the meal prep container, let them cool down completely then store the containers in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to enjoy your dish, pop it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle some water over the rice to ensure it doesn’t dry out in the microwave.
Freezing leftover red beans and rice
Whether you’re looking to extend the life of your leftovers or meal prep far in advance, you’re in luck with this recipe! Red beans and rice are freezer friendly and actually freeze quite perfectly for future meals. Store the red beans and rice separately or together in the freezer for up to 3 months in a freezer safe container or in freezer bags. To enjoy this dish later, sprinkle some water over the dish to keep the rice from drying and put it directly into the microwave. If you decide to store the red beans and rice separately, heat the rice following the instructions mentioned and warm the red beans directly from frozen in the microwave or in a pot on the stove after letting it thaw.
More Instant Pot bean recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you want to store these delicious beans or meal prep the black bean bowls
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months
Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb turkey sausages
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
- 1 (540mL) can red beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (796mL) can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp butter
- Heat Instant Pot on saute mode. Add olive oil, then sausages, browning for 3-4 minutes. Remove sausages and let cool 5 min before slicing. Turn off saute mode and add remaining ingredients except for ingredients under the rice heading, adding in the order in which they are listed. Do not stir.
- Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal. Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 2 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 5-10 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook for 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the ingredients under the rice heading in a rice cooker or in a pot on the stove until liquid is absorbed.
- Do a quick release of the pressure on the Instant Pot by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily. Serve alongside rice and enjoy!