Instant Pot Red Beans (Fast, Tender, No Soaking!)

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Bowl of small red beans made in the Instant Pot

With an Instant Pot and about 1 hour, you can make perfectly cooked red beans every time! Let us show you how.

Spoon and bowl of Instant Pot red beans

About Red Beans

Red beans look similar to red kidney beans, but they’re smaller and more round. These mild-tasting, creamy beans are most commonly used to make Louisiana Red Beans and Rice. Learn about the history of this dish here.

Pouring water into an Instant Pot of dry red beans

Instant Pot Red Beans

The Instant Pot is our preferred method for cooking red beans because it’s quick and easy (no soaking required!), and yields perfectly tender beans!

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Ratio = 1 part red beans : 3 parts water
  • Cook Time = 28-30 minutes
  • Release = 15 minute natural release, then release any remaining pressure

Red beans are delicious with rice or Cajun baked fries or added to soups, stews, chili, or salads. They can also be used to make refried beans.

Using a wooden spoon to stir red beans in the Instant Pot

Did you find this helpful? If so, be sure to check out our Instant Pot Cooking Times Guide for perfectly cooked grains and beans every time!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Bowl of perfectly cooked red beans

Instant Pot Red Beans (Fast, Tender, No Soaking!)

A quick & simple method for making PERFECT red beans in the Instant Pot every time! Just 1 ingredient and 1 pot required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Bowl of Instant Pot red beans
4.05 from 20 votes
Prep Time 23 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes
Servings 4 (3/4-cup servings)
Course Helpful How-to, Side Dish
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Southern-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 5 Days



  • Add red beans and water (or vegetable broth) to the Instant Pot and stir to prevent sticking. Pressure cook on high for 28-30 minutes (28 minutes for more firm, 30 for more tender // it will take about 8 minutes for the Instant Pot to pressurize before cooking begins).
  • Once the timer goes off, allow to naturally release for 15 minutes, then release any remaining pressure. Carefully remove lid once steam has fully escaped and strain off any excess cooking liquid.
  • Enjoy immediately with rice or Cajun baked fries or added to soups, stews, chili, or salads. They can also be used to make refried beans. Store cooled leftovers in the refrigerator up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat in a saucepan on the stovetop, adding a little water, as needed, to prevent sticking.


*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
*Total time includes active cook time, release time, and the time it takes for the Instant Pot to heat up (~8 minutes).

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 three-quarter-cup serving Calories: 160 Carbohydrates: 28 g Protein: 10 g Fat: 0 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 5 mg Fiber: 7 g Sugar: 1 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 2.4 mg Calcium: 40 mg Iron: 2.7 mg

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  1. Jac Samuel says

    I made this dish with smoked sausage it took all in all about an hour and a half on pressure cook setting beans and chili. The dish was absolutely delicious throw things in with it leave a little liquid and it really comes out good when you put it on top of rice.i

  2. David Schingeck says

    Thank you for this instant pot recipe for basic Little Red Beans. Sometimes you just want to cook beans without seasoning and additions. These were for mashing for baby and adding to salads throughout the week so I just wanted beans, no seasoning, no salt, no broth, no peppers and sausage and rice oh my! I didn’t use kidney beans and mine were older so I added a couple minutes to the cook time. They came out great.

  3. Brenda I Hall Alvarez says

    I have been using this recipe for a while now. It comes out perfect and ready for whatever recipe I am making with red beans.

  4. Jil says

    Loved this recipe! Beans are tricky to cook, depending on the type of beans and how you’re going to use them. I like my beans on the softer side, so I always opt for 40-50 minutes, plus adding both onion and garlic. Good bean to liquid ratio! Thank you!

  5. Claudia says

    The time might be correct for one cup of beans but doesn’t work out when tripling the recipe. It would be helpful to mention that in the instructions and even better a specific time guide for 2, 3 or even four cups of dry beans
    I used a whole pound and ran them twice for 30min since after the first 30/15 they were barely cooked.
    After the second round, they had the perfect texture for my recipe of frijoles valteados

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Claudia, we’re so sorry they didn’t work out. Making a larger batch does not require modifying the cook time – they will cook in the same amount of time. Is it possible you were using a different type of red beans than what’s pictured? For example, red kidney beans require much longer (see this recipe). Other factors that can impact the cook time are if the beans are old or if you have hard water.

  6. Sam Harrison says

    I followed the instructions but was unsatisfied by the result. I just made this using 2.5 cups of red beans and 7.5 cups of water and ended up with the beans fully cooked but 3-4 extra cups of liquid that I had to drain. If the recipe is going to be simple and straightforward then it needs to be correct.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sam, sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the result! It’s normal for there to be extra liquid and it can be drained off. In this case, it sounds like you increased the number of servings, which will magnify it. We found that if you use less than 3 cups of water with 1 cup of beans, then the beans aren’t fully covered by the end of the cooking process, causing them to be unevenly cooked.

  7. Leigh says

    I used this as a guide for timing for red beans to be made as red beans and rice, so I doctored it up quite a bit. My beans were still not soft enough at 30 minutes, ran again for another 5 minutes, and then another 5. I don’t know if the beans were old or the water hard, but I’d do 40 minutes going forward.

  8. Todd says

    Thanks so much for this easy to follow instructions. I use dried beans mostly to reduce sodium in my diet and I much prefer red beans to kidney beans. In addition to red beans and rice I also use red beans and black beans in my chili. What I tend to do is make a batch of one the day I’m planning chili use what is cooked and freeze the rest and pull out the other from the freezer to use. The instant pot is such a time saver and not having to soak the beans helps so you don’t have to remember the night before!

  9. Susan says

    The beans came out perfect. These plain perfectly-cooked beans were just what I needed for layered burritos I was making.

  10. May says

    My first time cooking red beans (or any beans, really) in the instant pot and came out perfect. I followed directions exactly and cooked for 28 minutes. I never really like the texture of canned beans, so I’m happy this was so easy and fast and cheaper. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe, May! Thank you for the lovely review! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Megan, sorry to hear they weren’t fully cooked. To confirm, you were using small red beans, not kidney beans? Some other factors that could cause a longer cook time would be old beans, hard water, or living at elevation.

  11. Charlene says

    What are some ideas for.using the leftover “broth”?

    The beans came out great…seems like a waste to dump out the liquid.

  12. BJ says

    I’m from the South and have been cooking Red Beans for 30+ years. I wanted to find a recipe for Red Beans cooked in a pressure cooker and I ran across this recipe. I cooked on high for 28 minutes and they were perfect. I did make some changes: I chopped up an onion and a bell pepper. I seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic. I also sliced up some smoked sausage. I browned the onion, bell pepper and sausage in the pressure cooker (browning option) before adding the beans. Also I used 3 Cups of Beans instead of one cup and added 9 cups of water. I now have Red Beans for a crowd and hopefully some leftovers. These are even better the 2nd/3rd day. They also freeze really well. I’m giving this 3-stars for the lack of seasoning, smoked sausage and having to triple the quantity of beans. Thanks for the pressure cooker info.

    • Malachi says

      Mine either. They were really firm & just sitting in all the broth. I added another 5 mins, with 30 minutes of natural pressure release time & they were still swimming. I don’t understand. I mashed them & even pureed some. I felt like such a failure in front of my husband from New Orleans.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there, the recipe for Cajun fries was linked because both red beans and cajun-style fries are often enjoyed in Louisiana and the southern US. Hope this helps!

  13. Fabien says

    Thanks for this recipe and for the incredibly useful table with cooking times! I’m leaving this comment because I think I figured out why several readers below say that the unsoaked beans are undercooked after 30 minutes. Or at least I found confusing discrepancies between a few pages on red beans.

    The table says 28-30 minutes for “small red beans” and 38-40 minutes for “red kidney beans”, while the page on “kidney beans” ( says 40-45 minutes. To add to the confusion, the pictures for “red kidney beans” (40-45 minutes) over there and “red beans” (28-30 minutes) here and are exactly the same!

    Could it be that the cooking time on this page is best for small red beans, but that some readers (understandably) believe it’s about kidney beans and therefore end up with undercooked beans?

    Thanks again for your spectacular work!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Fabien, thank you for sharing and sorry for the confusion! Red beans are a different bean than kidney beans – they are smaller and cook faster. We’ll get that chart updated for the kidney beans. Thanks for pointing it out!

  14. J Ravix says

    I am not sure, but the beans came out a little tough. If you can inform me of how to get my beans truly tender, it would have made a huge difference. Other then that, it was okay.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi J, did you happen to make any modifications? And do you happen to know the age of your beans? You could try increasing the cook time by 5 minutes or so next time to see if that makes enough of a difference.

  15. Katie P says

    I’ve tried making red beans in the instant pot for red beans and rice. I can never get my beans soft enough for me. They’re edible and delicious, but I’d like them softer. I’m scared to add too much extra time to the instant pot because everywhere I’ve looked says the same time! I’ve added a few minutes here and there. Is it OK to keep adding minutes or will soaking first help or make them too mushy?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Katie, is it possible you’re using older beans, hard water, or at elevation? These factors could all make them take longer to cook. We’d suggest trying 5 more minutes to see if that does the trick!

      • Malachi says

        Hard water makes a difference?! Then perhaps that is the reason why I used to cook perfect red beans at our last house, but at our current house, with harder well water, they’re not absorbing the water.

  16. Barb says

    Silly question…to stor or freeze the beans after cooking, do I freeze in liquid or dry?
    They are cooking as I type. Thanks for being there and providing your knowledge.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Either way is fine! We typically store in the liquid in case we want to use it in a recipe. You can drain it out later if not using it. Hope that helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes! If you adjust the default number of servings, the recipe will adjust accordingly. Just make sure not to fill past the 1/2 line of the Instant Pot when cooking beans. Hope that helps!

    • Tara says

      I made these a couple of days ago,… DELICIOUS! I soaked the beans overnight.. They were simple and no worry of constantly adding water. I added a link of sausage to mine as well. Everything cooked up tender. What a great time saver!

  17. Jen says

    30 minutes was absolutely not enough time and I was even only doing half the amount of beans. Luckily I factored extra time in before the ribs came off the smoker.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so sorry to hear that, Jen! Is it possible the beans were old or there was any salt or acidic ingredients added to them? Those factors can cause them to need additional time.

    • Bill says

      30 minutes of pressure cooking time followed by 15 minutes of natural pressure release worked out perfectly for me.

      1 cup of beans with 3 cups of vegetable stock.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the request, Alperen. We found that most of the beans didn’t need soaking. But a few did, and those were included in this list!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        So sorry to hear that, Karlen! Is it possible you have hard water, are at high altitude, or are using beans that are old? You could also try soaking them for next time to ensure they soften. We didn’t find it necessary in our testing though.

  18. Amrita says

    Please consider making a cooking time table for presoaked beans. They are easier to digest for some of us.
    Thank you very much,