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How to Make Red Beans and Rice (2 ways!)

Classic Cajun Red Beans and Rice! Made with canned red beans, smoky sausage and creole seasonings, and served over white rice. How-to instructions for the pressure cooker and slow cooker included. This recipe is filling, freezer-friendly and cheap!

Bowl of red beans and rice on blue place mat with striped towel and spoon

One thing's for sure, Southerners love tradition! But, while the authentic recipe calls for dried kidney (or red) beans, I’ve made some changes to this recipe to make this recipe easy to throw in the slow cooker or pressure cooker without much preparation.

When mom makes this, she uses Andouille sausage, but since that’s a regional ingredient mostly found in the deep south, I use pre-cooked kielbasa instead.

Andouille sausage is a spicy sausage, so if you enjoy the spicy-ness, opt for a smoked sausage with some kick to it. You can usually find a selection of sausages near the bacon in your grocery store.

overhead shot of bowl of red beans and rice on blue place mat with striped towel and spoon

Tips for this recipe:

  • Half the amount of broth for thicker beans and rice.
  • Makes a great freezer meal! Freeze separately from the rice for up to 3 months.
  • Leave out the hot sauce if you are sensitive to heat. You can always add more later.
  • Don't skimp on the seasoning! Old Bay Seasoning gives this recipe such flavor!
overhead shot of Spoonful of Red Beans and Rice over pressure cooker

How to Make Red Beans and Rice - two ways!

Since this recipe uses canned beans, there’s no need to soak or plan ahead to make this recipe a success. It’s more of a dump and stir kind of meal. And I can really appreciate that it uses just one pot!

Bowl of red beans and rice on blue place mat

What is traditionally served with red beans and rice?

This is pretty much a meal in itself, but you could make a crispy skillet of southern cornbread or french bread.

I make this recipe two ways: slow cooker and pressure cooker. The Crock-Pot Express Cooker has a pressure cooker and slow cooker function, along with a few other uses.

Bowl of red beans and rice on blue place mat with striped towel and spoon close up

Pressure Cooker Method

  • First, saute the onions, garlic and add in the sausage. I like to get my sausage brown around the edges, so don’t stir too often.
  • Then, I add in the red beans, broth and seasoning.
  • Set the unit at high pressure for 5 minutes. Serve over white rice and you’re ready to eat!
Pressure Cooker

Slow Cooker Method

If you are making this in the slow cooker, saute the onions, garlic and sausage separately. Then add it to the slow cooker, along with the beans, broth and seasoning. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours. Serve over white rice.

overhead shot of Spoonful of Red Beans and Rice over pressure cooker

If you are looking for other Cajun dishes, try my low country boil or sheet pan shrimp boil.

Yield: 10 people

How to Make Red Beans and Rice - 2 ways!

Bowl of red beans and rice on blue place mat with striped towel and spoon close up

Classic Cajun Red Beans and Rice! Made with canned red beans, smoky sausage and creole seasonings, and served over white rice. Instructions for the pressure cooker and slow cooker included. This recipe is filling, freezer-friendly and cheap!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time (Pressure Cooker) 7 minutes
Cook Time (Slow Cooker) 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound pre-cooked Kielbasa sausage, sliced into half moons
  • 3- 15 ounce cans of kidney beans (red beans)
  • 4 cups beef broth (or stock)*
  • 1 tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon of Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Olive oil

Instructions

Pressure Cooker Method:

  1. Turn your unit to "saute" function, and add oil.
  2. When oil is hot, add onion and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant. (about 3-5 minutes)
  3. Turn off the unit, and add the red beans.
  4. Add broth and seasonings and stir to combine.
  5. Set the unit to High Pressure for 5 minutes. When cooking time is complete, all 2 minutes for natural release of pressure, then quick release all remaining pressure.
  6. Serve over cooked white rice.

Slow Cooker Method:

  1. In a medium-sized skillet, saute onion in olive oil over medium-high heat until translucent. Add garlic and quickly stir in pan until fragrant. Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients to a slow cooker. Stir and combine well.
  3. Cook for 5 hours on high or 3 hours on low. Stir occasionally. As cooking time ends, mash beans if desired.
  4. Serve over cooked white rice.

Notes

  • For thicker red beans and rice, cut broth amount by half.
  • Mashing the beans increases thickness to the dish.
  • Omit the buffalo sauce until serving if you are sensitive to heat.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 341Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 1075mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 8gSugar: 2gProtein: 18g

The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate generated by a calculator.

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Rand

Monday 31st of May 2021

I can’t wait to try this! I’ve been scrolling through recipes for this dish,and yours is the one I want to make!

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Wednesday 7th of November 2018

[…] There are several cautionary tales when it comes to using cast-iron cookware, but I’ll get into that later. I use this recipe frequently, especially in my Cornbread Dressing during the holidays. It’s also a delicious companion with red beans and rice. […]

Athena

Wednesday 11th of July 2018

This looks so good! Will need to try out soon.

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