Oh how I love this Instant Pot Cajun Red Beans and Rice. The recipe uses spicy Andoullie sausage for extra kick and smoked ham hocks for a nice smoky touch of flavor. You can leave out either and still make a good recipe. Heck, you could make this vegan if you want by leaving out all meat and using vegetable broth. But for the the full taste Cajun experience, I highly recommend adding both sausage and ham hock. The Ham in particular adds so much to the dish!
I started this recipe with Instant Pot quick soak beans. The recipe is written and tested with either quick soaked beans or beans soaked overnight. However, if you wish to substitute canned beans, you can substitute three cans. I would suggest then adding the beans at the end when you put the sausage back in. Your beans will not have nearly as good of flavor (not even close to as good), but you will eliminate the need for the quick soak.
So, I seriously suggest sticking to dried beans for this recipe! Your other option is to skip the presoak and simply start with dried beans. Results with that can be inconsistent and I suggest pressure cooking a bit longer, perhaps 40 minutes, if you do so.
Smoked ham hock added to this recipe adds a ton of great smoky flavor. Ham shank can also work. Ask your grocery meat department for it, they should have it. I got mine from our purchase of a portion of a hog for the freezer. I was excited to finally make some good use of it!
You can use any Andouille sausage, but I prefer Aidells Cajun style. It give the sausage a nice Cajun kick that really stands out in this recipe. When browning the sausage, make sure to get it nicely browned. Reserve the sausage, you will put it back in at the end. I sometime brown mine in a pan while the rest of the recipe is pressure cooking, just to save a bit of time. If you do this, save the juices form the sausage and add them back in at the end.
For Cajun seasoning, you can use any brand. You could also use simply Cayenne Pepper if you prefer. I use Cajun Street Louisiana Style Seasoning because it is easy to find and I have had good experiences with it.
Once the beans are soaked and everything is in the Instant Pot, the recipe is pretty easy. Simply pressure cook everything expect the sausage on high pressure for 30 minutes, then use natural pressure release. That natural release helps keep the ham hock moist and finishes the cooking of the beans.
Next, remove the ham hock and shred it, add back in the sausage, and stir on saute mode until thickened. If you like your red beans mashed, feel free to remove some and mash them. I usually just mash a few while I am stirring during thickening.
Serve your Instant Pot Red Beans with rice. If you need a rice recipe, here you go! How to Make Perfect Instant Pot White Rice.
This recipe is already on the spicy side, but I add a few drops of hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot) to mine because I like lots of spice!. Feel free to do so to taste for extra kick.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb Andouille sausage, sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 Tbsp garlic, minced,
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1½ tsp Cajun seasoning or to taste
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper or to taste
- 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth or water)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb drained red beans (either red kidney or small red) soaked overnight or quick-soaked (canned, sub three 15.5 ounce cans)
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 4 cups cooked rice for serving
- Add the oil to the pot and set to saute
- Brown Andouille sausage, about 5 minutes, then set aside.
- Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Saute until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in thyme, oregano, Cajun seasoning, salt, and black pepper.
- Deglaze the inner pot, with broth if needed, scraping up any brown bits.
- Stir in remaining broth
- Add the red beans and ham hock.
- Float bay leaves on top.
- Pressure cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
- Natural pressure release
- Remove the ham hock and shred or chop it into bite-sized pieces.
- Return ham hock and reserved Andouille sausage to the pot.
- Turn on the saute mode and allow the beans to thicken, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, mash beans if desired.
- Serve over white rice.
- Add hot sauce to taste.