Cajun White Beans combining navy beans, coconut milk, and Cajun seasonings resulting in an Instant Pot recipe full of flavor. Where New Orleans is known for its red beans, you’ll find white beans to be the staple side dish at spots across parishes in Southern Louisiana.
I’m participating in the 2020 Juneteenth Cookout Takeover. This initiative was established to encourage the celebration of Juneteenth – a jubilee of freedom to commemorate the end of slavery – and to amplify the food traditions of black culinary creatives.You can check out other recipe favorites from participating talented bloggers at the bottom of this post.
Juneteenth (a merge of the words/date June Nineteenth) marks the date in 1865 that the last enslaved people learned of their freedom.
And for over 150 years since, Black American families, home-cooks, chefs, and culinarians have commemorated the summer holiday with a wide range of food traditions that tell a story of the perseverance of a people.
I wanted to share my version of a recipe that brought me so many memories. Growing up in Louisiana, I had the privilege of being around two grandmothers who loved hard and were awesome cooks. One of the most memorable dishes my grandmothers made was their white (navy) beans.
A little background on beans and their significance in black history:
Beans and rice is an iconic dish in Louisiana and depending on which parish you grew up in, you would either find the red or white variety. Where New Orleans is known for its red beans, you’ll find white beans to be the staple side dish at spots across Southern Louisiana.
In Louisiana, a hot meal usually involves rice and some type of beans. In fact, Mondays (since the 19th century) have been deemed the official day to enjoy them. Since Monday was typically laundry day, the ladies of the house were so busy doing other things it left almost no time to cook. Leftover meats from Sunday’s supper were thrown in with beans that simmered on the stove for hours. This tradition continues today.
Do I need to pre-soak my beans for this recipe?
Traditionally-prepared bean recipes take quite a bit of time to prepare. First, you have to soak your beans for hours as this shortens the cooking time. Soaking doesn’t add to the flavor or texture so it’s great that the Instant Pot helps speed up the process exponentially and removes most of the effort. For this recipe, you will not need to pre-soak your beans. Add the dry beans directly to the Instant Pot.
Can I use a slow cooker?
Yes, a slow cooker should work just fine. You will have a longer cooking time, but it should still turn out great. Rule of thumb: Begin checking the beans after 5 hours and then every 30 minutes until they’ve reached your preferred level of tenderness (without being mushy). Basically, I would give 5-6 hours of cooking time for un-soaked beans.
Start with cooking your onions until they are translucent in the Instant Pot (in Saute mode). Once complete, slice your beef sausage into small cubes. Add them to the Instant Pot and cook for 5 minutes.
Once your beef is ready, you can add the remaining ingredients. Be sure to add your crab boil seasoning bag last before closing the lid. This makes it easier to remove the bag after the beans are done.
Change your mode setting on the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook (at high pressure) for 45 minutes. Close your lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealed position.
When the cooking time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 15 minutes. Then you can begin the “venting” process to release the steam.
To minimize/eliminate any spillage, slowly remove the bag using a large spoon. In case the bag opens while cooking, carefully remove any spillage.
Note: If you don’t have Zatarain’s Crab Boil (affiliate link) available in your area, here is a great recipe for how to make an alternative.
The flavors you get from the combination of the coconut milk and the Cajun seasonings will have you feeling just like you’re at a mom and pop restaurant in southern Louisiana. It doesn’t get more comforting than a bowl of rice and beans.
When you want a recipe that will leave the entire family satisfied give this Instant Pot Cajun White Bean recipe a try and you will not regret it.
Looking for other side dish recipes? You’ll love my…
I collaborated with my fellow black food bloggers for this Juneteenth cookout takeover and they are highlighting some of their favorite recipes as well. Here are a few of my favorites. Check them out!You can find the complete list of participants here.
Note: These recipes do not contain pork or shellfish