Instant pot red beans 🍽

Forget bland, overcooked beans. We’re taking your pantry staple to new heights with a Vegetarian Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice recipe that’s bursting with flavor and ready in a flash. Ditch the takeout menus and let your trusty Instant Pot become your new best friend – a culinary magician who whips up this hearty, healthy dish in under an hour.

But this isn’t just any red beans and rice. We’re talking creamy Creole-inspired broth with just the right kick of spice, plump, tender beans that practically melt in your mouth, and fluffy brown rice that soaks up every drop of that deliciousness. And the best part? This recipe is totally customizable. Throw in your favorite veggies, play with the heat level, and make it your own.

So, whether you’re a seasoned vegetarian or just dipping your toes into the plant-based world, this Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice recipe is a surefire winner. It’s perfect for a cozy weeknight dinner, a potluck contribution that’ll steal the show, or a meal prep wonder that keeps you fueled all week long.

Ready to unleash the magic of your Instant Pot? Let’s get cookin’!

Remember, soaking those beans ahead of time? Yeah, you can totally skip that with this recipe! We’re talkin’ nine minutes in your Instant Pot and bam, perfectly plump beans. Now, if you’re a bean-soaking pro (like in my Dal Makhani recipe!), you can cook them for even less. But for this NOLA-style fiesta, Camellia says 40 minutes with a natural release is the magic number. I tried it, and the beans came out just right – not mushy, not rock hard, just that sweet spot in between. Of course, if you like ’em a smidge firmer, feel free to bump it up to 42 minutes – your taste buds, your rules!

Ingredients for red beans on a table
Ingredients for red beans

Ingredients for Instant Pot Red Beans

My pantry shelves sing the praises of Camellia red kidney beans! These little ruby wonders, a whole pound’s worth, are about to star in our delicious adventure today. Trust me, Camellia and I have a long history of culinary victories, and this time will be no different!

Bay leaves. Bay leaves, likewise old mentors, offer their wisdom in the form of subtle, earthy notes. They weave a layer of sophistication into the broth, enriching the symphony of spices and aromatics. Think of it as the bass line to your red bean jambalaya, adding that low hum that makes everything groove.

Fresh garlic. Don’t forget the health benefits! Fresh garlic is a powerhouse of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It boosts your immune system, fights inflammation, and even might help keep your heart happy. So, you’re not just feeding your tummy, you’re nourishing your body too!

Granulated Garlic. Fresh garlic rocks, but granulated garlic brings a different kind of magic. It infuses the dish with a deeper, earthier garlic flavor, almost like roasted garlic, adding that extra layer of complexity that sets your red beans apart.

Salt. Salt isn’t just about “making things salty.” It’s a flavor enhancer, highlighting the natural sweetness of the beans, vegetables, and herbs. Imagine a concert orchestra – salt is the conductor, pulling all the individual notes together into a harmonious symphony.

Olive oil. Olive oil is a good source of healthy fats, including monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid. These are linked to various health benefits, like reducing inflammation and promoting heart health. So, while we indulge in deliciousness, we can give our bodies a little boost too. Think guilt-free goodness!

Black pepper. Imagine all the sweet, savory, and slightly smoky notes swirling around in your red beans. Black pepper acts like a conductor, bringing them together in perfect harmony. It cuts through the sweetness of the tomatoes, amplifies the earthy charm of the beans, and even whispers a bit of smoky magic to the fire-roasted bell peppers, if you’ve got them in there.

Cajun Seasoning. Cajun seasoning isn’t just heat, it’s a whole orchestra of taste! Paprika delivers smoky sweetness, cayenne gives a playful tingle, garlic and onion add savory goodness, and herbs like oregano and thyme whisper aromatic magic. All these notes dance together, building a symphony of flavor that wouldn’t be possible with just salt and pepper.

Broth base (bouillon). Plain beans can be a bit shy, but vegetable bullion throws a confetti party in their mouths! It’s packed with umami depth, savory goodness, and sometimes even a hint of earthiness that takes your red beans from “meh” to “Mamma Mia!”.

Onion. Onions caramelize beautifully in the pot, adding a natural sweetness that balances the earthy beans and spicy sauce. This depth of flavor is missing with dried onions, leaving things a bit one-dimensional.

Cooking onions and garlic in the Instant Pot.
Saute the onions and garlic

No need to whip out your Instant Pot manual for this part – it’s easier than a breeze! Simply press the “Sauté” button, like you’re telling your pot to get its dance shoes on. Drizzle in a tablespoon of olive oil, let it get nice and hot (think shimmery sunshine), then toss in the onions and garlic. Give them a quick two-minute shake – just enough to soften up and release their delicious fragrance.

Okay, onion heroes have done their duty! Now, grab all the other colorful suspects—beans, spices, broth, the whole gang—and toss them into the pot. Seal up that lid like a treasure chest overflowing with flavor, and give the venting knob a twist to “sealing.” We’re about to unleash some Instant Pot magic, so buckle up your taste buds!

Ingredients for red beans in the Instant Pot
Add the ingredients to the Instant Pot

Time for your Instant Pot to work its magic! First, give it a gentle tap on the shoulder by pressing “Keep Warm/Cancel.” Then, cue the transformation music and hit “Manual.” Use those + and – buttons to set the timer to 40 minutes – just enough time to catch up on your favorite show or daydream about the deliciousness to come.

Safety first, flavor squad! Once the Instant Pot starts heating up, make sure the vent is sealed tight and not letting off any steam. We want all that goodness trapped inside to work its wonders!

Countdown to deliciousness: The timer will start its tick-tock dance, and when it hits zero, press “Cancel” to let the pot know its job is done. Now, patience is key – let those beans relax and mingle for about 20 minutes while the pressure naturally releases.

Venting time! Gently (and with caution for any escaping steam) turn the vent to “Venting.” Then, with a flourish worthy of a magic show, unveil the lid and bid those bay leaves a fond farewell.

Bean check! Give those beans a little taste test to make sure they’re perfectly tender and ready to party. If they’re still a bit firm, no worries – just pop the lid back on and give them a few extra minutes to soak up the flavor. Remember, beans are like us – they need a little time to unwind and reach their full potential!

A ladle dipping red beans from the Instant Pot
Check to see if they are ready

If they need a little more time cook for two more minutes.

Cooked red beans in a bowl sitting on a towel.
Cooked Red Beans

Cooked red beans are bursting with flavor and versatility, but knowing how to store them is key to keeping them delicious and safe. Here are your options:

Fridge Fantastic:

  • Quick & Easy: For short-term storage (3-4 days), simply transfer your cooled beans to an airtight container and stash them in the fridge. This is perfect for leftovers or meal prep.

Freezing Fiesta:

  • Long-Term Love: Want to savor your beans for months to come? Freeze them! Divide your cooled beans into portion-sized containers (1-2 cup servings) for convenience. Label them with the date and pop them in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you’re ready to use them, simply thaw them overnight in the fridge or throw them frozen into your next simmering pot.

Important Tips:

  • Cool your beans down completely before storing them. Warm food promotes bacterial growth.
  • Drain the cooking liquid if you prefer drier beans, or store them in some of the liquid for extra moisture and flavor.
  • Label your containers with the date to keep track of freshness.
  • When thawing frozen beans, avoid using the microwave, as it can lead to uneven heating and potential food safety issues.

With these tips, you can enjoy your delicious cooked red beans for weeks to come! So get creative, stock up, and savor the flavor!

Let’s talk Bean Bliss! We’ve divided our culinary masterpiece into handy 1.5-cup portions, each one a flavor-packed twin to a classic 15-ounce can of beans. That means this recipe boasts the delicious equivalent of four whole cans of pure bean magic – enough to feed a hungry herd or keep you stocked for days of yummy meals!

Serving ideas

Vegetarian red beans are a symphony of flavor and versatility, ready to be dressed up for any occasion! Here are some serving ideas to make your taste buds sing:

Classic Combo:

  • Steaming Rice: The ultimate matchmaker! Fluffy white rice soaks up that luscious broth, creating a comforting canvas for every spoonful of beans.

Tex-Mex Fiesta:

  • Tortilla Party: Pile your beans onto warm tortillas, add a dollop of guacamole, some crunchy pico de gallo, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. Boom! Instant fiesta in every bite.

Salad Sensation:

  • Salad Powerhouse: Toss cooled beans with mixed greens, chopped avocado, corn, and black olives. Drizzle with a tangy lime vinaigrette for a refreshingly light and healthy lunch.

Souptacular Style:

  • Simmering Surprise: Add a scoop of beans to your favorite vegetable soup for a protein boost and extra flavor dimension. It’s like giving your soup a high five with a spoonful of sunshine!

Bread Bonanza:

  • Toasty Treat: Spread mashed beans on toasted crusty bread or baguette slices. Top with roasted vegetables, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of herbs for a gourmet open-faced masterpiece.

Bonus Tip: Don’t forget the garnishes! Chopped green onions, fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime, or a dollop of hot sauce can take your red beans from delicious to divine in seconds.

So, unleash your inner culinary artist and get creative! These are just a few ideas to get you started. Remember, the possibilities are endless with a pot of perfectly cooked vegetarian red beans. Now go forth and conquer the kitchen! ‍

Cooked red beans in a bowl sitting on a towel.

Hey there, fellow bean enthusiast! If you whipped up this red beans recipe and found yourself doing a jig in your kitchen while devouring it (we’ve all been there!), then do us a favor and spread the love! Share this gem with your friends, family, and anyone who appreciates a good bowl of hearty, flavorful happiness. Think of it as paying good bean karma forward. Just tag us in your culinary adventures, and we’ll be cheering you on every spoonful of the way!

Instant Pot Red Beans 🥣

How to cook red / kidney beans in the Instant Pot.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Instant Pot, red beans
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 64kcal
Author: James Strange


  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Onion diced
  • 1 pound Kidney Beans dry
  • 2 each Bay Leaves Remove after cooking
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Chicken flavored bouillon Vegan
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning No salt type
  • 6 Cups Water


  • On your Instant Pot Press the “Sauté” function key
  • Add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent.
    Cooking onions and garlic in the Instant Pot.
  • After the onions have become translucent add all of the other ingredients and put on the lid. Turn the venting knob to sealing.
    Ingredients for red beans in the Instant Pot
  • Turn the venting knob to sealing.
    Ingredients for red beans in the Instant Pot
  • On your Instant Pot press the “Keep warm / cancel” function key. Then press the “Manual” function key. Then using the + and – keys set the timer to 40 minutes.
    A ladle dipping red beans from the Instant Pot
  • When the Instant Pot comes to tempature confirm the vent seals and is not blowing steam.
    A ladle dipping red beans from the Instant Pot
  • After the Instant Pot seals the timer will start to count down. When the timer reaches 0 press cancel. This will ensure that the unit will depressurize. Let it cool down for twenty minutes or so.
    A ladle dipping red beans from the Instant Pot
  • Turn the vent to venting (be careful of steam coming out). Remove the lid and take out the bay leaves.
    A ladle dipping red beans from the Instant Pot
  • At this point your beans should be ready to use. But you should check (you never know if your beans were old).
    Cooked red beans in a bowl sitting on a towel.


If they need a little more time cook for two more minutes.


Calories: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 162mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 31IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
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[…] Printable recipe can be found here: […]

[…] and red kidney beans. To ensure even cooking both are soaked overnight before using. I do have an Instant Pot recipe for red beans that does not require soaking. Camellia brand was used since in Louisiana they are consistently […]

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