Cajun Red Beans and Rice are mom's Monday Wash Day go-to budget dinner for a long work day. There's nothing better than a big bowl of comfort food that's been simmering with jowl bacon and the holy trinity. Make this classic New Orleans dish in a fraction of the time with your Instant Precision Dutch Oven.
Why this works
- Full of flavor - this dish is full of complex flavor but is simple to make like my air fryer beignets.
- Fill your belly - fill your belly without breaking your budget. This is a great dish that uses pantry ingredients that are very cheap to buy. You can even use leftover pulled pork or ham for this recipe to make it go further.
- Feed a crowd - this is a great recipe to feed a crowd or when you need leftovers for days like my Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls.
Ingredients you will need
Here is a quick snapshot of the ingredients you'll need. Scroll down to the recipe card where you'll find exact measurements.
- Red beans - you should look for dried small red beans, and not kidney beans for this recipe.
- Sausage - any type of beef smoked sausage, kielbasa, or andouille sausage is great for this recipe.
- Bacon - you can use any type of bacon, but jowl bacon makes this recipe exceptional.
How to make this
Soak the dried beans overnight or for at least 8 hours prior to using.
Dice the bacon or jowl bacon into pieces, and slice the sausage. Preheat the Instant Precision Dutch Oven to sear/saute. Once heated add the bacon to saute. Once some of the bacon grease releases add the sliced sausage to brown.
Once the sausage is browned and the bacon is crispy remove it from the pot leaving the grease. Add in the diced onion and bell pepper, and sliced celery. This is what is called the "holy trinity" in Louisiana cooking.
Cook the vegetables until softened. Add the soaked beans, browned sausage, and bacon back to the Dutch oven.
Add the bay leaves, ground thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, white pepper, oregano, parsley, Creole seasoning, and chicken broth to the Instant Dutch oven.
Cook covered on manual mode 2 at 350 degrees for 1 ½- to 2 hours. The Dutch oven will be very full and it will take a long time to come to temperature at a lower setting. However, if you want once it reaches a hard simmer you can reduce the heat to 275 degrees for a longer slower cook time. Cook the rice separately.
You can make this Cajun Red Beans and Rice on slow cooker mode for 8-10 hours. You can also make it on the stovetop using my Stovetop Red Beans and Rice recipe. To thicken, remove ½ cup of beans to a small bowl during the last 15-minutes of cooking. Mash the beans and return to the Dutch oven being sure to stir them in well.
This is a perfect recipe to use a leftover ham bone to add another layer of flavor. You can also add in a teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon ham base for even more flavor.
If you would like to cook the rice with the stew then add 1-2 cups of dry rice during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking. Be sure to add additional water if needed and stir very often to prevent sticking.
No, they are two different types of beans. Kidney beans are larger and a darker red with a "beanier" taste.
Monday was wash day so this was an easy way to make sure dinner was on the table that night. You could also use Sunday's ham bone to make Monday's dinner.
Cajun Red Beans and Rice are best served with cornbread, collard greens, crab cakes, or corn on the cob. Be sure to make an Instant Pot Bananas Foster Cheesecake for dessert to make it a New Orleans kind of night.
Storage & reheating
Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to one week. Red beans and rice are best frozen in individual servings in bags or freezer containers for up to three months. Defrost in the refrigerator prior to reheating.
More Instant Dutch Oven recipes
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Instant Dutch Oven Cajun Red Beans and Rice
- 1 pound dried small red beans soaked overnight, rinsed, and picked
- ½ pound bacon can sub ham or jowl bacon
- 2 green peppers diced
- 2 onions diced
- 4 celery stalks sliced
- 2 pounds smoked sausage
- 4 cups unsalted chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground thyme
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- 2 tablespoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon seasoned salt or Creole seasoning
Equipment You Might Need
- Soak beans in enough water to cover with a couple inches above the beans overnight or a minimum of eight hours. Drain, and rinse the beans in a collander the next morning. Pick out any undesirable looking beans.
- Dice bacon, jowl bacon, or ham into cubes. Preheat the Instant Precision Dutch Oven to sear/saut. Saute on medium heat until crispy. Remove from pan.
- Dice the green pepper and onion. Slice the celery. Add to the pan, and saute until softened.
- Add the bacon and cooked vegetables to Instant Dutch Oven along with the remaining ingredients.
- Cook on manual mode 2 at 350 degrees for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Cook rice separately.
- Serve with rice or alone immediately, or refrigerate for up to one week. Makes a great heat it up, and eat it up meal for leftovers!