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Creamy-dreamy Mexican Salsa Red Beans cooked in Instant Pot for a flavorful weeknight Beans and Rice dinner.

Red Beans (Instant Pot)

Red Beans and Rice is by-far our favorite weeknight dinner. Today's recipe makes this weeknight-favorite easy, with one-step cooking in Instant Pot and loaded in flavor, with Mexican salsa and spices. 

If you have not tried cooking red beans from scratch, this is the recipe for you. All you need is; dried beans soaked overnight, medium salsa (hot if you prefer heat in beans), and some pantry staples - chicken stock, garlic, tomato, cilantro, and spices.

(In short, I call these my Salsa Red Beans.)

Does this sound like a do-able weeknight dinner!? So, let's get cooking!

Raw Red Beans in Instant Pot

When I started cooking in Instant Pot, I used it it very much like manual Pressure Cooker. Every thing I cooked on manual setting because that's what I was most comfortable with. I still prefer to share Manual settings on blog because these work for any kind of Instant Pot. However, these days, I'm also loving Pre-Defined settings on my Instant Pot. 

I use programmable Instant Pot Duo Mini 7-in-1 and Instant Pot Duo 9-in-1. Instant Pot Duo Mini 7-in-1 (affiliate link) is perfect for small family kitchen. It takes less space and has 3 quart capacity. It is my favorite for blog pictures. 7-in-1 means it is programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer. It also comes in 6 Qt or 9 Qt sizes. If you planning to buy an Instant Pot, I can tell you it is very a good investment. 

The first thing I cooked in Instant Pot, with "Bean and Chili" programmable setting, was these Red Beans. I must say, I loved the quality of beans that came out of pot after 40 minutes (very soft and creamy).  No peaking, no re-cooking. Just add everything, press button and forget. Good thing to know is, this option cooks beans at variation of temperatures for best quality of soft and creamy beans. Even better! Isn't it?! You can pick to cook beans soft or very soft (I used very soft).

To make red beans, first I wash and soak dried beans overnight. I make sure to discard soaking liquid next day before using.

Note: It is important to wash beans before soaking in water and discard soaking liquid from all thick-skin legumes such as Red Beans, Pinto Beans, or Chickpeas etc. Soaking of beans make skin soft and release toxins which reside in outer thick layer. It is always best to discard that water.

Once I have beans, Red Beans comm together in 50 minutes with only 10 minutes of prep and rest is job of Instant Pot.

Really, it is That easy!

Bowl of Red Beans with Rice for an easy weeknight dinner

Traditional Mexican Bean's recipes have bacon, or sausage. I prefer to only use low-sodium, and low-fat chicken stock. Instead of meat, I flavor these beans with salsa, spices, garlic, cilantro, and chilies. 

The ease of this recipe always remind me of my Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken. Mix, pour, close and forget. It is that kind of recipe and also very flexible because long cooking in Instant Pot (under pressure) extract lots of flavor.

No Salsa? Make Your Own!

When I don't have salsa in-hand. I make quick salsa with fresh grated (or canned diced) tomatoes, and mix rest of salsa ingredients - jalapeno, lime juice, red onion. When first time I took recipe's pictures (Instant Pot picture above), I used salsa ingredients instead of salsa.

Use Vegetarian Stock for Vegan Beans

Sometimes I even replace chicken stock with vegetable stock when we are on strict vegetarian-diet. Since there is no dairy used in cooking of these beans. Recipe is also vegan when made with vegetarian stock and served without yogurt or sour cream.

These beans are also healthier with very negligible amount of oil used in cooking. I saute garlic in just oil spray. Rest, there is no oil used in cooking these beans. When low-sodium chicken stock used, this recipe is also low in fat.

By the time beans are ready, I cook white or brown rice to serve on side. Someday I even have portion of rice frozen and ready to go which makes life easier on weeknights. I recently shared tips on How To Cook and Freeze Rice. If you planning to make some to use later. This is the best place for some helpful notes and tips.

Red Beans cooked with Salsa

Creamy-dreamy Red Beans with cooling sour cream and red onion. A serving of white rice and I call this instant-pot-dinner-heaven! (For this post, I served Red Beans with Cilantro Lime Rice.)

Oh, and if you are a Brown Rice person? Here is my Instant Pot Brown Rice recipe. These brown rice also taste darn delicious with these Red Beans. OMG so good!

The best ever easy Red Beans made in Instant Pot

For more Creamy Beans, try this:
1) Take out a cup of beans, process in food processor, mix back in.
Or 2) Mix in 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Stir well to combine.
Or 3) Mix in 1 cup sour cream before serving.

Let's head to the recipe and enjoy cooking Red Beans and Rice for dinner tomorrow!

More recipes to try in Instant Pot:

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Red Beans (Instant Pot)

Red Beans (Instant Pot)
Total Time Prep Time Cook Time Difficulty Easy Yields 5-6 Servings Serves 6 Notes No. of servings depends on serving size. Nutrition 203 calories per serving

Ingredients

  • 2 Cup Salsa  (medium-hot salsa (not very chunky))
  • 1 tbsp Taco Seasoning  
  • 1 tsp Paprika  (mild Spanish paprika)
  • 1/2 tbsp Cumin Powder  
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil  (or cooking spray)
  • 4 tbsp Cilantro  (small chopped)
  • 2 Cup Kidney Beans  (or Red Beans, soaked overnight)
  • 3 Cup Chicken Stock  (low-sodium, low-fat, or homemade)
  • Whole Spices  (I use mace blade, 1 star anise , 1 bay leaf - optional, skip for less spiced flavor)
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste  
  • 1 tbsp Garlic  (minced)

Directions

  • 1. Heat Instant Pot to Saute Setting. Add oil, let it heat. Add garlic, a tbsp of cilantro, and cumin powder. Cook stirring often for 30 seconds. Don't let garlic burn. Mix in tomato paste and cook for more one minute stirring often.
  • 2. Mix in pre-soaked, drained red beans. Add rest of the ingredients: chicken stock, whole spices (if using), salsa, taco seasoning, paprika, and remaining chopped cilantro. Stir well to combine. Add 1/2 tsp of salt if using low sodium chicken stock.
    Additional Notes
    Please note, taco seasoning, salsa, stock all have some salt. So recipe does not need more salt at this step unless you using salt-free - salsa, or stock, or seasoning.
  • 3. Cook - Cook beans on high pressure for 30 minutes. Or If your instant pot has Bean/Chili cooking setting then use Bean/Chili Setting - High - Very Soft.
  • 4. Serve - Once Instant Pot timer is up. Let pressure auto release for 10 minutes. Open lid, mix everything together with a spatula. Taste and adjust salt, and lime juice. *Serve over rice or quinoa.
    Additional Notes
    For more creamy texture, follow post or notes.
Savita's Notes:

*Beans will be more thick and creamy when left after cooking for one hour. Leftovers are even more flavorful.

**When don't have salsa in-hand, make quick salsa with fresh grated (or canned diced) tomatoes, minced jalapeno, generous amount of lime juice, small diced red onion, chopped cilantro, salt and chili powder to taste. Leave aside for 15-20 minutes before using.

For more Creamy Beans, try this:
1) Take out a cup of beans, process in food processor, mix back in.
Or 2) Mix in 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Stir well to combine.
Or 3) Mix in 1 cup sour cream before serving.

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6 comment(s)

  1. I LOVE cooking beans from scratch, but have yet to use my Instant Pot to do it. This is a great sounding recipe t give it a shot!
  2. I was looking for a good Instant Pot recipe for red beans, thank you! So simple and healthy too!
  3. Ooh I love beans and rice and this looks absolutely divine! Definitely going to have to try making this in my Instant Pot
  4. That looks so tasty and so quick , as you say a perfect mid week meal!
  5. Looks so delicious! I love red beans, and this dish would make a great healthy dinner!
  6. I love red beans! This dish looks so delicious and healthy - such a great idea for dinner!