Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Cajun Beans and Rice Recipe

4.60 from 5 votes

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Instant Pot or slow cooker Cajun beans and rice is going to become a quick family favorite all winter long! This delicious beans and rice recipe is simple and oh so satisfying!

My Sausage Black Bean and Pumpkin SoupHearty 15 Bean Soup in the Instant Pot, and One-Pot Sausage, Rice, and Peas Dinner are other hearty, flavorful dinners to fill you up and warm your belly this winter! Beans and rice are such versatile foods that there are tons of great ways to prepare them into a dinner the family will love.

beans and rice in a white bowl with a bags of hurst's cajun 15 bean soup bean mix and green onions on the side
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Instant Pot / Slow Cooker Cajun Beans & Rice

This recipe was SO much fun for me to develop. I’m new to my Instant Pot, but I’m starting to really like it. Cooking in it is a lot of fun because I’m having to work and think about the recipes. It’s like learning a new cooking skill which I love. I made this recipe many times getting it just right (ask my neighbors and friends – they all tried it!) and I’m so proud of how it turned out. This Cajun beans and rice recipe is made using Hurst’s HamBeens Cajun 15 Bean Soup Mix and I’m working with them today -such a great Indiana-based company I have been using for years.

What’s great about this beans and rice recipe is that you can make it in either the slow cooker or the Instant Pot which means that you have no excuse not to make it! The beans are cooked to perfection in just 45 minutes of cooking time in the Instant Pot and about 8 hours in the slow cooker. Both are great options. The beans are a little thicker than soup and seasoned with all kinds of veggies, smoked ham, and broth and then served over rice. This is a great, inexpensive meal to make all winter long and I’ve included lots of tips and tricks on how to make it a few different ways.

Here’s why I’m excited to be working with Hurst’s Beans today. Hurst’s is a 4th generation family-owned company that is based out of Indiana (I was raised in Indiana and consider myself a Hoosier through and through), and they’ve been a brand that has been in my cupboard, my mom’s cupboard, and my grandma’s cupboard for years and years. I grew up loving the 15 Bean Soup Mix, and their products are ones I use and know well. I’m so excited to be working with them today. They grow their beans in the US and Canada (yay!), and the flavor packets really are just seasonings in a convenient little package. They are gluten-free and vegan and have no added MSG. This is a great brand, and I can’t wait for you to bring them into your own kitchen if you haven’t already.

two bowls of beans and rice topped with chopped green onions on a white and green towel

What ham cuts can I use?

Smoked ham shanks are a bit unusual but they are great! They are an inexpensive cut of meat that gives this dish a ton of flavor. Ham hocks are a similar cut that tend to be more meaty (and a little more expensive). Whichever you get, make sure they are smoked; that’s where all the flavor comes from.

What can I top this meal with?

You can add a lot of fun toppings like hot sauce, sour cream, or pickled jalapenos to this dish. Toppings are what make my children try something new, so if beans and rice is new to your family give them topping options to encourage them to try it.

How can I make this dinner ahead of time?

This dish can sit in the Instant Pot on the “keeping warm” setting for a long time. It’s a great one to make in the middle of the afternoon and just let it sit in the Instant Pot until you are ready to serve. The same thing works with the slow cooker, set it to keep warm and let the smells fill your kitchen until dinner.

Do you have to soak your beans before using?

No! They cook just fine without soaking. You can if you’d like, though – simply soak them in water overnight or for 8 hours before using. If you soak your beans, reduce the broth in the recipe by 1 cup (from 7 cups to 6 cups).

beans-rice-instantpot
4.60 from 5 votes

Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Cajun Beans and Rice Recipe

Instant Pot or slow cooker Cajun beans and rice is going to become a quick family favorite all winter long! This delicious beans and rice recipe is simple and oh so satisfying!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 10

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
  • 1 sweet bell pepper, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, trimmed and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 7 cups chicken, vegetable, or beef broth
  • 1 package Hurst Beans Cajun 15 Bean Soup rinsed and sorted
  • Seasoning packet included in the soup mix
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cans diced green chilis
  • 1 pound smoked ham shanks
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-6 cups hot cooked rice
  • Optional hot sauce, pickled jalapenos, cheese, cilantro, or sour cream for serving
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Instructions 

For the Instant Pot

  • Set the Instant Pot to saute. Add the oil, onion, bell pepper, celery, and carrots and saute until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the broth, beans, seasoning, garlic, thyme, cumin, bay leaves, and diced green chilis. Stir to combine.
  • Add the ham shanks.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot, make sure the top pressure gauge is closed (set to sealing). Press the pressure cook button (also known as “manual” on some models), set the pressure to high for 45 minutes.
  • Let the Instant Pot come to pressure, cook for 45 minutes, and then you can manually release the pressure or let it come down on its own. It’s up to you and your time restraints.
  • Open the Instant Pot carefully and remove the ham shanks, placing them on a cutting board.
  • Remove the meat from the ham shanks and discard any bone, fat, or other non-edibles.
  • Return the meat to the Instant Pot as well as the can of diced tomatoes, juice included. Stir to combine well.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve over hot cooked rice with your choice of toppings.

For the Slow Cooker

  • Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet on the stove. Add the onions, bell pepper, celery and carrot. Saute until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the contents of the skillet to the crock of your slow cooker. Add the broth, beans, seasoning, garlic, thyme, cumin, bay leaves, and canned chilis. Stir to combine.
  • Add the ham shanks.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 6-7 hours or until the beans are tender and cooked through.
  • Remove the shanks from the slow cooker and place them on a cutting board.
  • Remove the meat from the ham shanks and discard any bone, fat, or other non-edibles.
  • Return the meat to the slow cooker as well as the can of diced tomatoes, juice included. Stir to combine well.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve over hot cooked rice with your choice of toppings.

Video

Notes

  • If you like your beans thick and creamy, make them as directed. If you like a thinner, more soup-like consistency, add an additional cup of broth when the broth is added.
  • Be sure to not under-salt this dish. The amount needed will depend a lot on your broth of choice.
  • This dish can sit in the Instant Pot on the “keeping warm” setting for a long time. It’s a great one to make in the middle of the afternoon and just let it sit in the Instant Pot until you are ready to serve.
  • You can omit the meat, though it won’t be as flavorful. To compensate for that, add 3 tablespoons of soy sauce in place of the meat.
  • When it says “sort” the beans, that means to pick through them for any debris that might not be beans (like little stones).
  • Save the ham bone from Christmas dinner and use it in place of the shanks!

Nutrition

Serving: 1 of 10 servings, Calories: 400kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 117mg, Sodium: 432mg, Potassium: 732mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 2361IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 83mg, Iron: 3mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hurst’s Beans. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bless this Mess possible.

Here are a few other recipes I made with Hurst’s Beans that you’ll love:

More Instant Pot Dinners:

This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated in November 2019.

Cajun Rice and Beans in the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot is an easy and quick recipe perfect for a winter evening and adding some extra flavor to dinner.

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24 Comments

  1. Ria says:

    They did! That’s how I got the link. On the Hurst recipe page. Mine is cooking as we speak!

  2. Laura Marriott says:

    Have you tried making this and then freezing it? I’m trying to decide if I could make this ahead for a family vacation and bring it with, or if I need to make it fresh the day of. (Which I have and have loved, without putting carrots in and with some chili seasoning instead of green chilis.)

    1. Melissa says:

      I think it would reheat from frozen just fine, let us know if you try it!

  3. Gail Nugent says:

    5 stars
    We like SPICY (nose running) so I added fresh, chopped jalapeños and more Cajun seasoning. PERFECTION! Question: has anyone tried putting okra in this? Was wondering whether I should wait until after the beans are finished to add it.

    1. Melissa says:

      I’d wait until after the beans were done to add it!

  4. Samantha says:

    3 stars
    Followed recipe to a T but unfortunately, my beans were not cooked all the way through

  5. Chris B. says:

    5 stars
    This is SO good. I made this with very few changes to the recipe and it turned out so delicious! I forgot to buy a bell pepper, so instead of using a can of fire roasted tomatoes, I used two cans of original Rotel (the smaller ones). I used three ham hocks, and added about a 1/3 tsp of cayenne pepper because I like my nose to run and my eyes to water when I eat. 🙂

    1. Melissa says:

      Thanks for sharing your tips!