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Instant Pot Red Beans and Cauliflower Rice

This Instant Pot red beans recipe combines andouille chicken sausage and canned red beans to make a high protein creole copycat that pairs perfectly with lemon parsley cauliflower rice or your choice of rice. It’s great for meal prep, making 8 huge servings with 22 grams of protein and only 250 calories each. Once you add a big helping of cauliflower rice, you’ll have serious trouble eating more than one serving!

It’s comforting, creamy, and easy to make thanks to the Instant Pot. But enough talk, let’s get after it.  

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Instant Pot Red Beans Recipe Walkthrough

Other than a little veggie prep, this recipe is really easy to make. I’ve included a quick visual recipe walkthrough with some tips and ingredient notes. If you want to skip down to the full recipe card at the bottom, you can hop back here if you have questions. 

Step 1: Sauté sliced chicken sausage and diced onion, celery, and bell pepper in olive oil for 8-10 minutes. 

For the andouille chicken sausage, I used Trader Joe’s like in my low carb jambalaya. Another solid option is Good & Gather from Target. Though you’re welcome to use other chicken sausages or even turkey sausage. The packs of 4 sausages called for weigh 12 oz in total, for comparison. 

The cooking method in this step is pretty straightforward, but I’ll mention if you’re a fan of extra browned sausages, you can brown them on their own for a few minutes before adding the veggies. If you do this, you can go straight in and save the olive oil for once the veggies go in (like in my chicken sausage pasta recipe).

Step 2: Add minced garlic, tomato paste, and hot sauce. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. 

You can go with any hot sauce here but since we’re making Instant Pot red beans and rice, it seems right to use a Louisiana hot sauce. I’m a huge fan of Tiger Sauce, for what it’s worth. 

Step 3: Add chicken broth slowly, making sure to deglaze the Instant Pot, before adding canned red beans, cajun seasoning, and 2 bay leaves. 

You’ll want to make sure you get any crispy bits off the bottom of the Instant Pot to avoid the dreaded burn notice. Add a tablespoon or two of broth at a time and use a spatula or wooden spoon to get all the fond goodness off the pot and into the veggie and sausage mixture. Then you can add everything else and give your red beans a whirl. 

For the cajun seasoning, I used Louisiana Cajun Seasoning, which has salt. If you’re using a salt-free cajun seasoning, you’ll want to add a little salt.

Want to make your own cajun seasoning? Check out the seasoning blend in my cajun fries recipe.

Step 4: Seal and pressure cook for 25 minutes.

Your Instant Pot red beans will only get better the longer everything has time to get to know one another. Pressure cooking is a great way to accelerate that process.

At the end of pressure cooking, you’re looking for a thick and creamy texture with flakes of bell pepper and indistinguishable pieces of onion and celery. If your veggies are a little too prominent, don’t be afraid to pressure cook a bit longer.

Making Instant Pot Red Beans and Cauliflower Rice

For the cauliflower rice, you’ll need to microwave a bag of frozen cauliflower rice before mixing in a handful of parsley and a little lemon juice. Feel free to make your own freshly riced cauliflower or use any type of rice with your Instant Pot red beans.

Other lower calorie rice substitutes might be chickpea-based Right Rice or Banza rice (check my ground chicken and rice enchiladas for an example) or simply mixing cauliflower rice with the real deal for a half and half mixture like I used in my Tex-Mex ground beef and rice.

However you end up serving your Instant Pot red beans, I hope you enjoy! Recipe reviews are always appreciated and if you have a question I forgot to cover, drop a comment at the bottom of this post. 

red beans and cauliflower rice in a bowl

Instant Pot Red Beans and Cauliflower Rice

Yield: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

A high protein, low fat recipe spin on classic creole red beans and rice made with andouille chicken sausage and canned red beans.

Ingredients

  • 4 Andouille Chicken Sausages, cut into rounds
  • 1/2 (150g) White Onion, diced
  • 1 (150g) Bell Pepper, diced
  • 2-3 (150g) Celery Hearts, diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp (16g) Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) Hot Sauce
  • 1/4 C (60g) Tomato Paste
  • 3 15-oz cans Red Beans
  • 1 1/2 C (360g) Chicken Broth
  • 1 tsp Cajun Seasoning
  • 2 Bay Leaves

Instructions

  1. Sauté the chicken sausage, onion, bell pepper, and celery with the olive oil for 8-10 minutes until the sausage begins to slightly brown and the veggies have softened. Stir occasionally.
  2. Add the minced garlic, tomato paste, and hot sauce. Cook for another 1-2 minutes before slowly adding the chicken broth to deglaze the pot. Add the remaining chicken broth, red beans (undrained), cajun seasoning, and bay leaves.
  3. Seal and pressure cook for 25 minutes.
  4. Vent, remove the bay leaves, and salt/pepper to taste before serving with your choice of rice*.

Notes

*For the cauliflower rice, microwave a 12 oz bag of Frozen Cauliflower Rice and mix with parsley and lemon juice. Nutrition facts on this card are for the red beans only.

Each serving has 3 WW SmartPoints (blue).

Recipe adapted from Chungah Rhee's red beans and rice.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Servings Serving Size: 1 C (about 10 ounces)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 7gCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 12gProtein: 22g

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Katie

Tuesday 8th of June 2021

This looks so so good! But I don’t have an instant pot! Any suggestions for alternatives?

Mason Woodruff

Thursday 10th of June 2021

You could cook this on the stovetop in a large pot or Dutch oven. Just let it simmer for 20-30 minutes.

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