These Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice are spicy and flavorful. This recipe makes dinner easy thanks to the Instant Pot (with stovetop directions, too!). It’s vegetarian and easily made vegan! Make this tonight to jazz up the week!
We’re getting down with the comfort today. Last time I looked, it was still February, still cold, and there’s still snow in the forecast, which means comfort is a must ’round here.
Comfort and EASE. Easy Instant Pot recipes – that’s what! I’ve been playing around with several IP recipes lately (as you may know already) and I’m loving throwing in the ingredients, letting it do its thing, and then eating dinner! While they usually lend themselves to meat-filled recipes, I’ve been loving a variety of vegetarian dinner recipes made in that good ol’ pressure cooker!
So growing up, we used to make a boxed version (yep, another one of those) of Red Beans and Rice. We’d add sausage, let it simmer, and then a quick and easy dinner was ready.
Except you know how I feel about boxed dinners nowadays (and why, when the IP is so easy now?!).
I was craving the spicy, cajun-like flavors in Red Beans and Rice, and missing the bit of nostalgia it brought along, so I knew it had to be made! I haven’t been to New Orleans myself – not yet anyway – but my dad does say he likes this version better than the one’s he’s had in NOLA. WHAT A COMPLIMENT!
What is Red Beans and Rice?
It’s red beans.
Only kidding. 🙂
Like I said, Red Beans and Rice is a traditional Louisiana dish – Creole
Traditionally, Red Beans and Rice has some sort of meat, but you know how we roll over here on Fork in the Kitchen…why add it when a recipe is just as good (or better!) without?! Which is why this version is totally vegetarian!
P.S. sub olive oil for the butter and you’ve just made it VEGAN, too!
It’s got a spicy kick and a stick-to-your-bones kind of comfort to it, too. With the addition of lots of garlic, cayenne pepper, oregano, and bay leaves, you will not be lacking flavor!
Why the Instant Pot?
So, I never use dried beans. But now that the Instant Pot exists DRIED BEANS ARE SO MUCH EASIER TO MAKE! And seriously, they are so much cheaper (and sustainable when bought in bulk!).
Which definitely rivals the boxed red beans and rice you might be buying to save money… just saying 😉
There’s no soaking required either. So all things considered, making this version in the Instant Pot is much faster than it would be using dried beans and the stove top!
What if I don’t have an Instant Pot? Or dried beans?
You can absolutely use canned beans in this recipe if you need to, it’s just going to require much less time to cook! Similar to my Classic Chili recipe in the Instant Pot – where I use canned beans – the beans essentially just need to heat through and meld with the flavors.
Similar to that chili recipe – if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make it on the stovetop! If using the stovetop, I’d recommend using canned beans then otherwise you’ll be waiting a
Get the Recipe Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice
- 3 Tablespoon unsalted butter, olive oil for vegan
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small green bell pepper, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, more to taste
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 Tablespoon hot sauce
- Dash of red pepper flakes
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups dried kidney beans
- 2 1/4 – 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 3/4 cups stock or water
- 1 cup basmati rice
- Parsley, lime, and/or green onion for garnish
- Turn your Instant Pot on the saute function; add butter and melt. Add onion, garlic peppers, celery, spices, and tomato paste. Cook for approximately 2 minutes, stirring to combine. Add beans, stir to combine, and add vegetable stock (add the full 2 1/2 cups for a little more liquidy result; the 2 1/4 cups stock will result in a thicker result). Turn the saute function off.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure it is turned to sealed. Set to high pressure, for 39 minutes, and let naturally release once done (approximately 20 minutes). Once it’s done, stir in fresh parsley.
- While red beans are cooking, cook the rice by bringing the stock or water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add the rice, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff. Set aside until ready to serve with red beans. Garnish with parsley, lime, and green onion as desired. I like to use cilantro, too!