Food & Drink Magazine

Cajun 15 Beans and Rice

By Chuck Underwood @brandnewvegan

This post is sponsored by my good friends at Hurst’s Hambeens ®.

Red Beans and Rice is one of those iconic recipes that has stood the test of time. With the big game coming this weekend, and Mardi Gras not too far after, when my friends at Hurst’s Beans asked me to come up with a Vegan Recipe for them, I knew this Lousiana favorite was going to be it. I think I’ll call it Cajun 15 Beans and Rice.

Cajun 15 Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice is traditionally made with, well……red beans and rice.

The story goes that since a lot of Louisiana folks had Ham on Sundays, they would reuse that hambone to make this now famous dish on Mondays, which also happened to be the day a lot of people did their laundry. True story.

Since laundry was an all-day task back then, this was an easy dish to make as you just threw everything in a pot and then continued on with your chores while it cooked.

This version is just as easy since I used my Instant Pot to cook the dried beans. It does take a bit of time, even in the Instant Pot, but not nearly as long as it did back in the old days, certainly not all day anyway.

And instead of using a hambone to flavor the beans, I decided to chop up some portobello mushrooms instead. And of course, I used the holy trinity of cajun cooking to start my beans, meaning onions, celery, and green pepper.

Is it spicy?

Since I’m using a pre-mixed bag of Hurst’s Cajun 15 Bean Soup Mix, there is some cayenne pepper in the mix. Cayenne pepper and a good shot of hot sauce is what made this dish so popular, and as it happens it was one of Louis Armstrong’s favorite dishes. But you can omit the hot sauce and always add more rice to tone it down if it’s too much spice for you.

I personally do not think it’s hot at all, but my anything-remotely-spicy-hating wife said she could taste it and just added a dollop of my Vegan Sour Cream which made it better for her.

But if you LIKE spice (as I do), then pile on those jalapenos and crack open that red bottle of goodness, because as the commercial goes – “I put that $h#t on everythng!

Cajun 15 Beans and Rice

Cajun 15 Beans and Rice
Cajun 15 Beans and Rice | Brand New Vegan

We’re going to start by prepping our vegetables. You’ll want to finely chop 1 onion, 1 green bell pepper, and about 3 ribs of celery. And I do mean chop finely. These will basically dissolve into the soup adding a ton of flavor.

Add these to your Instant Pot with a few tablespoons of either veg broth or water and then set your IP to SAUTE. I use the lowest heat setting if yours allows you to control that.

When the veggies have softened, stir in 3-4 cloves of minced garlic and stir for about 15-20 seconds and then stop the saute process by pressing the KEEP WARM/CANCEL button.

Note: The following contains an affiliate link which if used will pay me a small commission.

I used a 20oz bag of Hurst’s Cajun 15 Bean Soup mix and removed the spice packet before dumping the dried beans into a colander for a good rinse. Now is a good time to remove any weird looking misshapen beans you may find.

Then we simply add the beans to our IP along with 4 cups (1 qt carton) of Low Sodium Veg Broth and 3 cups of water. Toss in a couple of bay leaves, some smoked paprika, and the contents of the seasoning packet. Give it a good stir and attach the lid.

For the first round of cooking, we’re going to press MANUAL and cook for 30 minutes. When it’s done go ahead and use a wooden spoon or something to carefully release all the pressure in your IP. Then carefully remove the lid.

Now add 1 lb of chopped portobello mushrooms and 1/2 tsp of dried Thyme, and give it a good stir. Make a well in the center of the soup and add a 10 oz can of Rotel Tomatoes with Green Chiles (can sub diced tomatoes if you don’t like spice) but this time do NOT stir (tomatoes can sometimes scorch in your IP if they touch the sides or bottom). 

Reattach the lid and now we’re going to cook the beans for an additional 15 minutes on MANUAL. This time let the pressure release naturally when they are done cooking – this will take about 45 minutes.

And that’s all there is to it.

You can add any additional seasoning you like (additional salt, pepper, hot sauce, whatever) and serve it up with your favorite rice.

If it appears a little watery, it will thicken as it cools. Or, you can use an immersion blender like I did to blend up a small amount which will also thicken the soup.

Add your favorite garnishes and may I recommend my Country Vegan Cornbread recipe as a side dish? It goes exceptionally well with a big ole bowl of beans.

That’s it for this week, thanks always for your kind comments and support, and we’ll see you back here next week for another brand new recipe.

As always look for the recipe video on YouTube and oh that reminds me… One commenter called me the Vegan Food Wishes of YouTube.

I kind of like that!


With the big game coming this weekend, and Mardi Gras not too far after, I knew I'd have to make this Louisiana favorite...  Cajun 15 Beans and Rice.
Cajun 15 Beans and Rice

Cajun 15 Beans and Rice

  • Author: Brand New Vegan
  • Cajun 15 Beans and Rice
    Prep Time:
    30 min
  • Cajun 15 Beans and Rice
    Cook Time:
    90 min
  • Cajun 15 Beans and Rice
    Total Time:
    2 hours
  • Cajun 15 Beans and Rice
    About 4 qts
  • Cajun 15 Beans and Rice
    Beans, Soup, Rice
  • Cajun 15 Beans and Rice
    Instant Pot
  • Cajun 15 Beans and Rice
Cajun 15 Beans and Rice


With the big game coming this weekend, and Mardi Gras not too far after, I knew I’d have to make this Louisiana favorite… Cajun 15 Beans and Rice.


  • 20 oz bag Hurst’s Cajun 15 Bean Soup Mix
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 3 ribs celery, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 16 oz portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 10 oz can rotel tomatoes (can sub diced tomatoes)
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • hot sauce, green onion, parsley for garnish


  1. Remove beans and separate spice packet.  Rinse beans and allow to soak in cold water if desired while prepping the veggies.
  2. Finely chop the onion, green bell pepper, and celery and add to Instant Pot
  3. Add 2 Tbs water or veg broth and press SAUTE.  Stir often.
  4. Once veggies have softened, add minced garlic and stir for 20 seconds – then press CANCEL
  5. Add beans, veg broth, water, and stir
  6. Add bay leaves, paprika, and contents of seasoning packet and stir
  7. Attach lid and cook on MANUAL for 30 minutes
  8. Carefully release pressure using a wooden spoon or other tool and carefully remove lid
  9.  Add mushrooms and thyme and stir
  10. Make a well in the center and add tomatoes – do NOT stir
  11. Reattach lid and set to SEALING and cook on MANUAL for 15 minutes
  12. Let pressure naturally release – it will take about 45 min
  13. Carefully remove lid and stir – taste for any seasoning adjustment
  14. Serve with rice and garnish with fresh parsley, green onions, jalapenos, and/or hot sauce


Tips Are Always Welcome

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Cajun 15 Beans and Rice

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