You are going to love this cheap and easy recipe for Instant Pot Rice and Beans! Made with dried red beans, rice, and a perfect combination of seasonings, the pressure cooker pot works magic to deliver a wholesome, meal with affordable pantry staples!
And when you can combine two of those staples to create a cheap and easy meal or side dish, that is what I call winning!
This recipe for Instant Pot Rice and Beans couldn't be easier to make. Whether served as a side dish for beef tacos or used as the filling in bean burritos, you will love just how cheap, easy, and flavorful this recipe is for dried beans and rice!
Reasons to Love Instant Pot Rice & Beans
- No Soaking Required. Just as I have shown in my recipe for Instant Pot Dried Beans, there is no need to soak your dried beans before pressure cooking them.
- Perfect Results. The pressure cooker cooks and softens the beans as the rice cooks, resulting in plump and tender beans and nutty, chewy rice.
- Cheap Recipe. Using dried beans, rice, and minimal fresh ingredients, Instant Pot Rice and Beans is seriously one of the most economical recipes out there.
Notes on Ingredients & Equipment
- Rice: In order for your rice to not be overcooked in the time it takes the beans to soften, you must use long-grain brown rice for this recipe.
- Beans: Use dried pinto or small red beans for the best results. Black beans and kidney beans take a bit too long to cook to work in this recipe.
- Peppers and Onions: Adding peppers and onions to your rice and beans is completely optional. It takes a few extra minutes to saute them, but it does add a nice flavor to the overall dish.
- Liquid: Use a combination of water and low-sodium or salt-free chicken or vegetable broth to cook the rice and beans. I often use just water to keep this dish really economical.
- Seasonings: To give these rice and beans a Tex-Mex flavor, I use a blend of spices to replicate Taco Seasoning. Cajun Seasoning or Jerk Seasoning is a great alternative. Just be sure to season your rice and beans AFTER pressure cooking, as salt can interfere with the beans' ability to soften.
- Salsa: Salsa adds so much flavor to this simple dish, as it is already packed full of flavor. Because we are adding it AFTER the bean and rice have cooked, it is a much better choice than diced tomatoes, which need to be cooked for the best flavor. Use homemade salsa or your favorite jarred salsa.
- Cajun Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice: Use dried red beans and brown rice, and add a dried bay leaf to the mixture when pressure cooking. After cooking, remove the bay leaf and add 1 tablespoon of Cajun Seasoning and 2 teaspoons of hot sauce. Feel free to add in cooked, diced andouille sausage as well.
- Jamaican Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice: Use dried red beans and brown rice, and add 3 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves and 1 scotch bonnet pepper, cut in half to the mixture when pressure cooking. After cooking, remove the pepper and thyme and add 1 tablespoon of Jamaican Jerk Seasoning to the rice.
How to Make Instant Pot Rice and Beans
While this is an incredibly simple recipe, if you are unfamiliar with cooking in an Instant Pot or the functions of your Instant Pot, be sure to start with How to Use an Instant Pot for the best results on this and future recipes. You will find the full recipe in detail in the recipe card below.
Step One: Saute Onions and Peppers (Optional)
Starting this recipe for Instant Pot Rice and Beans by sauteeing onions and peppers adds a nice flavor, much like it does in my recipe for Instant Pot Spanish Rice. However, you can omit the onions and peppers, making this dish even FASTER to prepare and perfect for picky eaters.
Step Two: Deglaze the Inner Pot
Any time you use the saute function, you must deglaze the inner pot to prevent a burn notice. NEVER skip this step! To deglaze the pot, pour in a bit of the water called for in the recipe, and use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the inner pot.
Step Three: Rinse the Rice and Beans
It is really important to rinse both the rice and beans prior to pressure cooking them. Rinsing the rice removes the excess starch on the surface of the grains and helps the grains remain separate. Rinsing the beans will remove dust and dirt. It is a good idea to quickly sort through the beans as well as to look for any rocks.
Step Four: Pressure Cook
Once the rice, beans, and liquid have been added to the inner pot, pressure cook on high for 25 minutes. The most important thing to remember is to allow the pressure to release on its own for AT LEAST 15 minutes after pressure cooking. This will help the beans continue to soften and the rice to remain fluffy. Don't be alarmed to see the beans on top of the rice when you open the inner pot. It is natural for them to float up to the top of the mixture as they cook.
Step Five: Season
Because we did not add salt to our rice and beans before COOKING, as salt can interfere with the cooking time, you will need to season the rice and beans after pressure cooking. I like to add salsa and taco seasoning for a Tex-Mex version, but you can season as desired.
∗ important to remember ∗
Use a fork to fluff the rice and beans and mix in the added seasonings. This will keep your rice nice and fluffy, instead of mushy.
Instant Pot Rice and Beans make the perfect side dish to any Mexican or Tex-Mex meal. In fact, I often find myself making a meal out of my rice and beans. There are truly endless ways to serve this dish! Below are a few of my favorites.
- Instant Pot Rice and Beans make an obvious side dish to dishes like Chicken Enchiladas Pork Carnitas, Instant Pot Steak Fajitas, Honey Lime Chicken Fajitas, Beef Tacos, or Shrimp Tacos.
- Serve the rice and beans as a healthy, hearty, meatless meal. You can add additional flavor by topping it with shredded cheese, sour cream, and pickled jalapenos.
- Roll up ⅓ to ½ cup of the rice and bean mixture in a flour tortilla with a scoop of guacamole and cheese.
- Serve the rice and beans with fried eggs for a Tex-Mex-style breakfast.
- Instead of using meat, toss the rice and beans with chopped romaine, fresh tomatoes, and avocado slices for a quick Taco Salad.
Storage & Reheating Instructions
- Refrigerate: Allow the rice and beans to cool slightly and then transfer them to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Freeze: Allow the rice and beans to cool slightly and then transfer them in 1-2 cup portions to a freezer-safe bag or container. Refrigerate until fully cooled and then transfer to the freezer where they will keep for up to 3 months.
- Reheat: If needed, defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Place the rice into a heat-safe dish, add a splash of water, and cover with a damp paper towel or napkin. Heat in 30-second intervals until heated through. Fluff with a fork and serve.
FAQs on Pressure Cooker Rice and Beans
No, there is no need to soak beans before pressure cooking. Many people state that soaking the beans aids in digestion, but I have not noticed any difference.
Absolutely! Place your dried beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Soak the dried beans for 12 hours, or overnight. When ready to prepare this recipe, drain and rinse the soaked beans. Proceed with the recipe as directed, reducing the liquid from 5 cups to 3 cups. The cooking time will remain the same.
If you want to use white rice to prepare Instant Pot Rice and Beans, you will need to either separately prepare the dried beans in the Instant Pot or use canned beans. Follow the modifications for this recipe listed in the recipe card, as the cooking time and amounts of liquid will change.
Yes. If you want to make this recipe using canned beans, combine 2 cups of rinsed rice with 2 cups of broth or water with ½ tablespoon of taco seasoning in the inner pot. Cook on high pressure for 22 minutes for long-grain brown rice, and 3 minutes for long-grain white rice. Once the rice has been cooked and pressure has been released naturally, open the instant pot and stir in 1 cup of salsa, and 2-4 cups of canned beans that have been drained and rinsed.
Yes. The trick to cooking dried beans with rice is to season the dish AFTER it pressure cooks. Salt can inhibit dried beans' ability to soften, so by seasoning after cooking, the beans will soften perfectly in the time it takes for the rice to cook.
More Instant Pot Rice Recipes
- Instant Pot Brown Rice
- Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
- Instant Pot Rice Pilaf
- Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
- Instant Pot Spanish Rice
- Instant Pot Jambalaya
- Instant Pot Jasmine Rice
If you gave this recipe for Instant Pot Rice and Beans a try, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Instant Pot Rice and Beans
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion minced
- 1 medium yellow, green, or red bell pepper seeded and diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 cups long-grain brown rice rinsed well and drained
- 1 cup dried small red or pinto beans rinsed and sorted
- 2 cups low-sodium or salt-free chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- cheese, sour cream, cilantro for serving optional
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute by hitting the saute function, add in oil, and let heat briefly. Once heated, add in the minced onions and diced peppers and saute for 2-3 minutes until they are just beginning to soften up. Add in garlic and saute for 30 seconds longer. Turn off the saute function by hitting cancel. (Feel free to skip this step if you are not wanting to add peppers or onions to the recipe.)
- Add in ½ cup of water and be sure to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot.
- Add in the remaining water and broth. Add the rinsed dried beans to the liquid and top with the rinsed rice.
- Place the lid on Instant Pot and be sure the venting knob is closed or the lid is locked. Cook on High Pressure for 25 minutes. Hit the manual or pressure cook button and use the +/- buttons to adjust until the screen reads 25.
- Once cook time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally, or for at least 15 minutes.
- After the pressure has fully released, open the lid. Add in the taco seasoning and salsa, and use a fork to fluff the rice and stir in the salsa and seasonings. Place the lid back on the pressure cooker to let the ingredients warm through for just a few minutes.
- Serve with desired toppings.
This post was originally published in 2018 and updated in 2023.