Make This Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice Recipe!

instant pot red beans and rice
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Hey all! I have a question for you: What makes red beans and rice even better? Answer: Making it in an instant pot! It’s so much faster and less maintenance. This instant pot red beans and rice recipe is very similar to my stove top version (find the recipe here). The difference is that it takes about 1/3 of the time to make and less stirring required.

This is a vegan recipe, and I love filling my recipes full of vegetables. It’s so much better for me to hide my vegetables in a recipe, where it adds flavor, than trying to eat plain vegetables on the side.

I’ll talk about what vegetables I use, and alternatives/what is normally added. As usual, my recipe does not call for vegetable broth, but you can use it! It just uses water and spices. I do this because of a corn intolerance among other food sensitivities, so I have to make my own vegetable broth.

So let’s head to the ingredients for this instant pot red beans and rice recipe.


  • 1 to 2 pounds of red kidney beans
  • 1 to 2 cups of water (or vegetable broth) (up to 5 cups if you’re not presoaking) (or vegetable broth)
  • Rice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Vegetables
  • Spices/Herbs

That’s a pretty basic list of the ingredients, now I’ll get into what I mean by vegetables and spices.


instant pot red beans and rice vegetables

Cauliflower: I use half a cauliflower in my instant pot red beans and rice. It bulks up the recipe and ends up hidden among the rice. Adding no major flavors, but a lot of nutrients.

Peppers: Bell pepper adds a nice flavor and color to the dish. Feel free to also add in a spicy pepper if you’d like more heat to the dish.

Zucchini: I like zucchini for the flavor addition, especially since I’m not using vegetable stock.

Carrot: Similar to above, I add it in because of the additional flavors added and the color addition.

Mushrooms: I forgot to buy mushrooms for my latest making of these red beans and rice, and I could tell. Mushrooms add a nice umami flavor, as well as sort of a meaty texture.

Optional that I don’t use: Celery adds a great addition to flavor, I just am not a fan of the texture so I don’t add it in. Onion and garlic are typical additions as well. They do add a flavor to the dish, my body just doesn’t really like digesting them, so I skip them.


These are the spices I add to my red beans and rice; minimize the quantity on all of them if you’re using a vegetable broth, especially salt

  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Spices you can add if you have them:

  • Bay leaf (to remove before serving)
  • Paprika
  • Celery seed

Make The Instant Pot Red Beans And Rice

My method for making this includes soaking the beans overnight. This is not necessary, but it will change the amount of water and time required for the process. Just keep that in mind when making these for yourself!

1. Soak the beans overnight.

If you’re not soaking the beans overnight, try and soak them for at least 2 hours before cooking – with water and 1 tsp baking soda.

2. About an hour before dinner – cook the rice. While the rice is cooking, start working on the red beans.

3. Cut up the vegetables – try to have them all about the size of the beans or smaller (exception – if you’re using garlic and onion, chop those a lot smaller). Try to maintain the same size for every vegetable.

4. Set the instant pot to saute, add the olive oil, and allow it to heat. If you’re using onion, start by sauteing the onion for a few minutes. Gradually add in the other vegetables, continuing next by adding garlic if using, the pepper, and carrot. Saute for a few minutes. Finally, add in the other vegetables.

5. Drain the beans. (My boyfriend swears by rinsing them after draining; I don’t, so that’s up to you).

6. Add in the spices, beans, and water. *I always add in too much water for this recipe, so about 1 cup should be enough. If you haven’t soaked overnight, you will need to add in more water. Stir to combine.

If you haven’t soaked overnight, for 2 pounds of beans, you’ll need at least 5 cups of water (possibly 6) and pressure cook for 35-40 minutes

7. Put the lid on, set the pressure cooker to manual, high pressure, and for 20 minutes.

8. After the 20 minutes are up, allow to sit for 2 minutes before manually releasing the steam.

9. Taste to see if further seasonings are required, serve over rice, and enjoy!

Instant pot red beans and rice

Let me know what you thought of the recipe in the comments below!