Instant Pot Ham Bone Red Beans and RiceThe Monday tradition of red beans lives on here in the Deep South, even if they’re made on Sunday, which, when they're made from dried beans, more often they are!
Because time is precious these days, I have four different ways I make them up here on the blog currently, depending on the time factor I have on my hands. From a quick skillet version like you get with those convenience boxes (but without the added chemicals and preservatives), to a shortcut version that you'll never believe started with canned beans, plus one for the slow cooker and of course, old school, slow-stewed from dried beans (still my number one favorite)... I've got you covered. Now I give you an instant pot pressure cooker version to add to the list that's as good as any!
This is actually my fourth pot of red beans and rice in the instant pot. While all were good, it took me awhile to get them exactly where I wanted them, Still... remember, like all other appliances, your brand pressure cooker may cook differently from mine, so like we used to say in the early days of the internet, YMMV (your mileage may vary). Test, then adjust.
Any brand of electronic pressure cooker will work!
First, full disclosure. I do not have an actual Instant Pot branded electronic pressure cooker. I would love to have one, but by the time those things went viral, I already owned three other pots, including the Power XL version, which is the one I used here for the beans. I really didn't need to invest in another. However, since so many people have bought into them, I'll refer to instant pot generically in whatever posts I share, kinda like we use the generic terms crockpot, jello, and if you're southern, coke, because coke means everything from 7up to root beer. It's a lot easier to use the term instant pot than electronic pressure cooker, because everybody knows what you're talking about when you do!
Make the rice first, transfer to a covered bowl, then make the beans.
I actually used two of the three of my pots to make these red beans and rice. I had a rather large bone so I needed the bigger pot for the beans, and the smaller pot is a 4 quart Cook's Essentials brand, that I keep out all the time and use the most. If you're limited to just one pot, just make the rice first, transfer to a bowl, cover and let it steam while you make the beans.
I went with a ham bone with this, because I had a beautiful, meaty one up in the freezer from that Whisky Glazed Ham I made recently. Most times when I buy a smoked ham to bake, I try to buy a big one and my preference is always one with a bone. If you're gonna bake a ham you might as well plan for leftovers to put up in the freezer, and on the bone is always better tasting, although there are some excellent boneless hams to be had. I'm quite spoiled by Kentucky Legend myself. It's a little more expensive, but it's all meat and it's mighty delicious ham too! If you don't have a ham bone, no worries. If you have a ham store anywhere near you, they sell bones by the pound, or you can sub in some nice meaty pork hocks. You want some meat to pull off and put into the beans at the end.
2 cups each - 6 minutes for perfect rice.
As far as instant pot rice goes, I've tried just about every ratio and time out there I think, but I've settled on equal parts rice and water, 2 cups each here, a tablespoon of butter, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt,and high 6 mins, let pressure release naturally. While electronic pressure cookers all have presets on them, I honestly never use them. I've found that I often have to reset the times on them anyway, so I just enter my times manually for everything.
While I still have to say that I love my slow-stewed recipe for red beans and rice, as well as the other methods I've shared here, I have a feeling this version will be the one I turn to a bit more often. As always, scroll on toward the bottom of the post for the full ingredient list, exact measurements and complete instructions, as well as a printable version of the recipe.
Presoak the beans.
After you've made the rice, next step, the presoak. Rinse and sort through beans to look for any stones or other natural debris. Transfer beans to the pressure cooker and add enough fresh water to cover the beans, plus another 2 inches. Add 1/2 tablespoon of the butter, seal and cook on high for 5 minutes. The butter helps to keep foaming down in this step. Let pressure release naturally; then drain and set aside. Draining and continuing with fresh water seems to help with those gassy bean issues. Just sayin'...
Add 1/2 tablespoon of fat to the cooker - bacon drippings, butter or oil - and saute the trinity - onion, bell pepper, celery plus the garlic, until soft. Add the ham bone, peppers, basil, thyme and bay leaf, and another tablespoon butter.
Return beans to pot and add 4 cups fresh water. Seal and set for 15 minutes. Let pressure release naturally.
Brown the sausage separately.
While the beans are cooking, heat some fat in a skillet and brown the smoked sausage. Drain and add to cooked beans, or if you prefer, just add a few pieces to individual servings bowls when you plate this up. I have tried cooking the sausage in with the beans but didn't care at all for the texture, so now I prefer to cut it up into chunks and brown it on the stove while the beans are cooking. You can also, of course, saute those in the pot first to cut back on dishes but I prefer to cook them right before serving. Doing them separately keeps them more appetizing looking and you know what they say... we first eat with our eyes!
When beans are done, use tongs to remove the ham bone and set aside to cool. Once cool pull meat off into shreds and add back to the beans.
Always taste and adjust seasonings at the end.
Remember always to taste and adjust seasonings at the end, adding Cajun seasoning, and any salt or other seasonings as needed. Hold on warm. Serve over hot rice with cornbread, crispy French bread or hot rolls. Past efforts have resulted in me having to mash some beans and even add a slurry to get them the same consistency as the stovetop. Not this time! Look how beautifully creamy they turned out. Success!
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Recipe: Instant Pot Ham Bone Red Beans and Rice©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 6 servings
For the Rice:
For the Beans:
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Prepare rice by adding water, rice and salt to cooker. Stir, add butter, seal and set on high for 6 minutes. Let pressure release naturally, then transfer rice to a lidded storage container; cover and set aside. Wash and rinse pot.
- 1 pound dried, red kidney beans (preferably Camellia brand)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2-1/2 tablespoons butter (or bacon drippings, olive oil or other cooking oil), divided
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large meaty ham bone
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste,optional
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 quart water
- 1/2 pound andouille or other spicy sausage
- Cajun seasoning and kosher salt, to taste
- Sliced green onion, for garnish, optional
- Hot sauce, for the table, optional
For the presoak, rinse and sort through beans, place in pressure cooker pot and add enough water to cover the beans plus 2 inches. Add 1/2 tablespoon of the butter, seal and cook on high for 5 minutes. Let pressure release naturally; drain and set aside. The butter helps to keep foaming down in this step.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of butter to cooker and saute onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic, until soft. Add ham bone, peppers, basil, thyme, bay leaf and 1 tablespoon butter. Return beans to pot and top with 4 cups fresh water. Seal and set for 15 minutes. Let pressure release naturally. Remove ham bone and set aside to cool slightly.
While the beans are cooking, brown sausage in remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter, shaking pan occasionally and cooking until browned. Drain off and add sausage to beans. Pick meat off ham bone and add to pot. Taste, adding Cajun seasoning and salt, only as needed. Hold on warm. Serve over hot rice with cornbread, crispy French bread or hot rolls, garnish with green onion and offer hot sauce at the table.
Cook's Notes: A 6-quart pot will work for both recipes, however, use the size pot that will fit your ham bone, at least 4 quart. White rice is traditional, however, brown, wild or other rices may be substituted. Refer to your individual cooker for ratios and cooking times. If you don't have a ham bone, substitute a couple of pork hocks, or you can increase the smoked sausage to a full pound and sub in some bacon for flavoring. Saute the bacon in pot first, then add veggies and proceed with recipe. Add in some cubed baked ham if you have it.
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