Red beans and rice is a New Orleans dish that makes a hearty and affordable meal, with a spicy kick. Although this still takes a little over an hour plus soaking time, the Instant Pot really simplifies the effort since the rice and beans cook together in the same pot—from scratch! Traditionally, this dish would be made with sausage, bacon, or ham, so go ahead and add some if you miss the meat. I find this vegetarian version to be an equally satisfying plant-based alternative.
Prep: 15 minutes, plus soaking
Pressurize: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Natural Release: 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour, 5 minutes
1 cup dried red kidney beans, soaked for 8 hours
2½ cups water
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup long-grain brown rice, rinsed
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
Chopped green onions, tender white and green parts only, for garnish
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
1 Pour the drained beans into the Instant Pot, add 1½ cups of the water, and stir to make sure the beans are submerged for even cooking. Without stirring, add the onion, celery, red bell pepper, garlic, thyme, oregano, cayenne, black pepper, and tomato paste on top.

Arrange a 2.5-inch trivet over the bean mixture and place a 7-inch oven-safe bowl or pan on top. Add the rice and remaining 1 cup water to the bowl. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing . Select Manual/Pressure Cook to cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
3 When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure. When the floating valve drops, remove the lid. Use oven mitts to lift the trivet and the bowl out of the pot. Use a spoon to press a bean against the side of the pot to make sure it’s tender. If they need a little more cooking time (which could be the case for older beans), secure the lid (be sure the sealing ring is properly seated) and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes more. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before venting and removing the lid. When the beans are tender, stir in the soy sauce and salt.
4 For an authentic New Orleans–style dish, use a potato masher to mash some of the beans until the broth thickens to your liking. (If the beans are too liquidy, press Sauté and let some of the liquid evaporate.) Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed, then serve the beans with a scoop of brown rice topped with the green onions and cilantro. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week.