This spicy cajun style 15 bean soup recipe brings the flavors of the Bayou home. It’s an easy-to-make, no soak recipe for the Instant Pot that is perfect for a cold winter night or a summer BBQ.
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What Is A Fifteen Bean Soup?
We’ve made bean recipes with three or four beans at one time, but the idea of packing more flavorful beans into one recipe is a dream come true.
There are a few companies that make a 15 bean soup. The most well known, though, is Hurst’s HamBeens 15 Bean Soup mix. You can buy the bean mix on Amazon here.
Essentially, this mix is a blend of different beans in one bag. It includes northern, pinto, large lima, yelloweye, garbanzo, baby lima, green split, kidney, cranberry, small white, pink, small red, yellow split, lentil, navy, white kidney, black bean. I’m going to admit many of these beans I’ve never cooked with before.
Goya sells a 16 bean soup mix, seeming to one-up Hurst’s. It also would work fine with this recipe. The Goya brand can be purchased from Amazon here.
The reason why this collection of beans is so interesting to cook with is that the smaller beans and lentils start to break down when cooked. This makes the soup super thick and creamy.
Why Make a 15 Bean Soup Cajun
One of the things we miss about living in the US is good ole fashioned Cajun cooking. It’s one type of cuisine we try to make at home.
This is why we brought home some Louisiana Fish Fry Company Cajun seasoning. And, no, they are not paying us to say this. But, on a trip to Baton Rouge a few years ago, we did tour their factory and learned all about their passion for all things Cajun. We became converts.
I thought that mixing a 15 bean soup instant pot recipe with some Cajun seasoning sounded too good to be true. We brought a few bags of 15 bean soup mix and Louisiana Fish Fry Cajun Seasoning home with us from the US for a taste of home in Spain.
Check out our recipe for Creamy 15 Bean Soup With Chicken.
What Makes This A Cajun Bean Soup Recipe?
Hurst’s Ham Beans sells its 15 soup mix with a seasoning packet. And they sell a version with a Cajun seasoning packet. I prefer not using the packet and controlling the seasoning myself. Maybe I am a control freak.
You can use a premade Cajun seasoning like the ones offered by the Louisiana Fish Fry Company. You can buy the Cajun seasoning on Amazon here.
Or, you can use the seasonings you already have at home. Include cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and a bay leaf. Just remember to remove the bay leaf before serving.
Why Use An Instant Pot For A 15 Bean Cajun Soup Recipe?
I like using an Instant Pot for a 15 bean soup because it means I don’t need to soak the beans ahead of time. As much as this isn’t the quickest of Instant Pot recipes, it does speed up the process a good amount.
The other alternative is about 10 hours in a slow cooker or an overnight soak of the beans.
We have the Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1. It has a six-quart capacity, which is more than enough to cook for two people or for a small group. There is also an 8-quart option for families. For this recipe, use the bean function or the pressure cook function.
(FYI, mine looks a little different because it is from the UK. It has a sous-vide function, but everything else is the same.).
Check out our other Instant Pot recipes
Ingredients For a Cajun 15 Bean Soup Recipe
There are two main ingredients that make this soup Cajun-style. First is the Cajun seasoning. Chili powder can supplement the Cajun seasoning to provide a little extra heat.
Second, I like to use either andouille sausage, smoked sausage, or even chorizo. Really any sausage will work, even a mild Italian sausage. I used chorizo because, well, we live in Spain and it’s readily accessible.
In addition to olive oil, I thought about some of the ingredients that are used in jambalaya or red beans and rice. This includes onion, diced celery, and garlic. I like to use carrots and green pepper as vegetables for the color.
All of these ingredients are bathed in chicken broth and used to season and plump up the 15 bean soup mix. For this recipe, I used about a half bag of 15 bean soup mix, which is about two cups. With the veggies and meat, it’s plenty for 5 or 6 servings.
The diced tomatoes add a little bit of acid and help to thicken the sauce more than it would be with just chicken broth.
You can also use okra, which would make it even more Cajun-style. If you use okra, then add it in at the end, with the tomatoes or they will cook too fast and get everything slimy.
How To Prepare Cajun 15 Bean Soup In An Instant Pot
Start with the prep. Place the dried beans in a colander and sort through them to ensure there is no debris. Rinse and drain the beans under cool water. Dice all of the vegetables, garlic, and onions, and place them in a large bowl for cooking.
Cooking The Sausage
On the Instant Pot, select the Saute function. Add the olive oil and the sausage. Sautee the sausage for about 2-3 minutes until it starts to brown. Remove the sausage and keep it warm.
As soon as the sausage is ready, turn the Instant Pot off. Add in about a cup of the chicken broth to deglaze the bottom of the pan. This ensures that there are no extra specks of food on the bottom of the pan, which may cause the Instant Pot to show a burn error.
Use a rubber spoon or spatula to scrape the bits of sausage from the bottom but leave the bits in the pot for flavor.
Pressure Cooking The 15 Bean Soup
Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, green pepper, beans, and chicken broth to the Instant Pot. Don’t add the tomatoes with these vegetables. If you add acid, like tomatoes, too early when cooking beans, the beans don’t cook as well.
Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and ensure it’s sealed. Put the Instant Pot on the pressure cook function for 35 minutes.
The Instant Pot will read “On” and when the pot is pressurized, the time will start to count down.
Once the time is up, let the pressure cooker vent for about 10 minutes then release the pressure. Carefully remove the lid away from your face. Add in the cajun seasoning, chili powder, and diced tomatoes.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot and put it on the Pressure Cook setting for 5 minutes. When the time is up, turn off the Instant Pot and allow the pressure to release for about 5 minutes. Release the pressure.
Stir in the sausage and taste. Add any salt or pepper if needed. Serve the 15 bean soup with white rice or on its own with sour cream and chopped coriander. Or, serve the soup with cornbread.
Cooking Beans In An Instant Pot
If using an instant pot there is no need to soak the beans. If you already soaked them, no worries, just reduce the water in the pot by about a half cup.
If using dry beans, just do a little inspection to look for any broken beans or debris. Then place them in a colander and rinse them in cold water.
There are also a few tips when trying to cook beans in an Instant Pot. First, I like to add any sort of acidic ingredients towards the end, after the beans fully cook. This ensures the beans cook well, without getting too mushy. Acidic ingredients include tomatoes, lemon juice, and vinegar for example.
How To Serve Cajun-Style 15 Bean Soup
It’s possible to serve the 15 bean soup as a soup in a bowl on its own. Or, jazz it up with freshly made cornbread or serve it over rice to make it like a rice and beans.
Either way, it can be topped with a little bit of cilantro to give it some color and aroma. If you don’t have cornbread, slice up a crusty baguette to dip into the 15 bean soup. Serve with a bottle of Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce.
- 1 pound of andouille or smoked sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 stalk of celery, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, pressed or diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups of 15 bean soup mix
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- corriander for garnish
- Place the dried beans in a colander and sort through them to ensure there is no debris. Rinse and drain the beans under cool water.
- On the Instant Pot, select the Saute function. Add the olive oil and the sausage.
- Sautee the sausage for about 2-3 minutes until it starts to brown. Remove the sausage and keep warm.
- Turn the Instant Pot off. Add one cup of the chicken broth. Deglaze the bottom of the pot by scraping the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula.
- Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, green pepper, beans, and chicken broth.
- Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and put it on the pressure cook function for 35 minutes. Make sure the pressure valve is sealed.
- Once the time is up, let the pressure cooker vent for about 10 minutes then release the pressure.
- Remove the lid. Add in the cajun seasoning, chili powder, sausage, and diced tomatoes.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and put it on the Pressure Cook setting for 5 minutes.
- When the time is up, turn off the Instant Pot and allow the pressure to release naturally.
- When the pressure is released, unlock the lid. Stir. Add any salt or pepper if needed.
- Serve with white rice or on it’s own with sour cream and chopped coriander or serve with cornbread.
If you aren't familiar with cooking beans in an Instant Pot, check out the cooking tips above. The addition time is the time for the Instant Pot to heat, pressurize, and then release the pressure.
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Amount Per Serving Calories 620Total Fat 32gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 56mgCarbohydrates 58gFiber 24gSugar 13gProtein 28g
This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.
Modifications And Variations To The Cajun Soup
If you like your soup more soupy rather than a stew, add about a cup or a half cup of warm water to the soup at the end. The water should be added at the same time as the sausage.
This 15 bean Cajun soup recipe includes smoked sausage, but there are a few variations you can make as well. You can substitute the sausage for cubed chicken or turkey. If you can’t find smoked sausage, add cubes of cured ham.
To make this a vegetarian 15 bean soup, use water or vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. If this is the case add about a tablespoon of olive oil to add a little fat and texture to the soup.
FAQs – Making A 15 Bean Soup
A 20-ounce bag of 15 bean soup mix will make about 8-10 servings, which is a lot. We tend to make a half bag at a time. This recipe is perfect for a half bag of beans and is enough to feed 4-5 people. Most 15 bean soup recipes are for an entire bag of beans, I think to sell more beans. That’s just way too much food for us.
You can store 15 bean soup in the fridge for about 4 or 5 days. You can also freeze the remaining soup for up to 2 months.