Va Vite Red Beans and Rice

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Va Vite means “go quickly” in Cajun French which is a fitting name for these Red Beans And Rice made in the Instant Pot. You go quickly on  your way in making them, and they go quickly away from the pot onto the plate and into the belly. 

A plateful of white rice topped with "Va Vite" Red Beans And Rice.

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Are Red Beans and Rice Cajun or Creole?

It’s always surprising to people when I tell them I didn’t grow up eating the famous Louisiana dish of red beans and rice. I thought it was because Daddy didn’t like them, but Mama said she didn’t grow up eating them either. Not knowing the reason why I questioned her older sister (my Godmother) and I think we have come to the right conclusion.

Nanny said the Cajuns didn’t prepare dried beans because they didn’t have them in France or Canada. They used fresh vegetables instead. So with a little more investigation I found out that dried beans are a product of the West Indies. They were imported to New Orleans a long time ago to meet the demands of the Caribbean immigrants. It is well known that red beans and rice is still a Monday meal in New Orleans today. It comes from the tradition that Monday morning was wash day and a pot of red beans with Sunday’s leftover ham bone was put on to cook. Without needing much attention it slowly simmered on the stove as they were busy washing last weeks dirty clothes.

It’s Creole

Now I have a ready answer about my deprived upbringing. Red beans and rice is a Louisiana creole cuisine (deemed city food) and not a Cajun cuisine (considered country food). Makes sense to me. I really never considered the dish, nor did I prepare it for my family when my children were still at home, until about ten years ago. I have since been introduced to several different ways of preparing it and how easy, nutritious and delicious those red beans in a rich sauce can be. Especially since it’s served over a mound of our beloved rice. My favorite time to fix it is after a busy day and I’m hungering for a hearty meal that’s quick to get on the table. While most recipes call for dry beans I use canned in order for quick preparation. Va Vite (pronounced vah-veet) means go quickly. It’s a good description of how these beans are cooked and how they leave the pot.

The Instant Pot and Stove-Top Methods

There have been a few readers recently asking for more Instant Pot recipes and I’m more than happy to oblige. I find cooking in this pressure cooker more enjoyable every time I use it. I even moved it from it’s out of reach storage spot in the pantry to a lower shelf for easy access. (“Move over chocolate!”) Therefore, this recipe has instructions for both stove top and pressure cooking.

Here’s the recipe:

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Va Vite Red Beans and Rice

A quick, delicious and easy recipe of Red Beans and Rice for the Instant Pot or stove-top that is sure to satisfy any hungry appetite.

  • Total Time: 28 minute
  • Yield: 10 cups 1x



3  16-ounce cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 3/4 cups chicken stock, no salt (use 1/4 cup more for stove top cooking)

3 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped celery

2 pressed garlic cloves

4 ounces breakfast sausage

12 ounces smoked sausage or andouille sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 1/4 teaspoons Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning

2 bay leaves

1 small bundle fresh thyme leaves (tied with string) or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves


Instant Pot Cooking

  • Rinse and drain beans.
  • Whisk the flour into the chicken stock, set aside.
  • Set the Instant Pot on saute’. Cook onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Do not brown.
  • Add breakfast sausage stirring until it starts to brown then add the sliced smoked sausage. Stirring occasionally.
  • After smoked sausage is lightly browned stir in the chicken stock, seasoning, bay leaves and thyme.
  • Stir in the beans and cook on high for 15 minutes. Be sure lid is closed properly and valve is set on sealing.
  • Allow valve to slowly release pressure on its own or manually release according to directions, remove bay leaf and thyme. Serve over cooked rice.

Stove-top Cooking

  • Rinse and drain beans.
  • Whisk the flour into the chicken stock, set aside.
  • Saute’ onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes stirring frequently in a large heavy pot. Do not brown.
  • Add breakfast sausage stirring until it starts to brown then add the sliced smoked sausage. Stirring occasionally.
  • After smoked sausage is lightly browned add the chicken stock, seasoning, bay leaves and thyme stirring to combine.
  • Stir in the beans and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove bay leaf and thyme and serve over cooked rice.


Turn off the Instant Pot if it gets too hot when cooking vegetables or browning sausage. You can turn it back on if needed to finish the sauteing or browning process.

  • Author: Louisiana Woman
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15-30 minutes


  • Serving Size: 1 cup

red beans
Rinsing canned beans gets rid of almost half the sodium and that metallic taste they sometimes have. So rinse your beans, rinse your beans, rinse your beans!

red beans
You may need to turn off the Instant Pot for a bit while sauteing if the food seems to be cooking too quickly.


Some people serve their red beans and rice mixed together, but I prefer serving them separately. Here is the link to my Everyday Rice Every Day recipe. I also share about how rice was such an important part of our lives in south Louisiana.

Garlic Peeler

Before I go I want to show off this little kitchen gadget I got at The Dollar Tree a few months ago. I paid a dollar for 2 of them and I use it just about every time I’m cooking in the kitchen. It’s a garlic peeler. You place whole cloves in it, roll it up and down several times on the counter and out comes garlic cloves with no skin on them.

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You can clean several at a time and store them in a zip top bag for later use. Before this little tool I was always smashing cloves under a wide knife blade with my fist. Now the rolling is easier and it always works. Just be sure your hands and counter tops are dry while rolling for a sure grip. I like gadgets. It’s pretty close to an addiction.

“Somehow, what’s in our hearts, good or bad is eventually translated into words and deeds.” Andy Stanley

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