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Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Whether you use it as a side dish or devour it as a main, this flavor-filled Instant Pot Mexican Rice is a total hit. It’s ready in less than 30 minutes and it’s perfect for weeknights.

Aerial shot of serving bowl full of Instant Pot Mexican Rice garnished with fresh parsley, sliced avocado, and lime wedges.

Our local Mexican joint has us hooked on Mexican rice. They serve it as a side, but we’ve started snubbing the tacos and going for the rice first—it’s just that good. In an effort to make a full-blown meal out of the good stuff, we came up with our own version. It’s quick, effortless, and made in the Instant Pot so it’s perfect for weeknights. This was actually the first rice dish we ever made in the Instant Pot, and it totally sealed the deal for us. The texture is perfect; the flavors are bold. We never want to cook rice any other way, ever again.

What’s in Mexican Rice?

Think big flavors: juicy tomatoes, garlic, bell peppers, cumin, and smokey paprika. The beauty of this dish is that it’s super flexible. You can keep it vegetarian, add meat or seafood, serve it as a side, or curl up with a huge bowl of it. We keep things pretty simple with our recipe.

Here’s our ingredient list:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Bell pepper
  • Long grain rice
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Cooked black beans
  • Vegetable broth (you could also use chicken stock)
  • Kosher salt
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Smoked paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Ground coriander (optional)

For serving, we’re really into some chopped fresh parsley, sliced avocado, and lime wedges.

Ingredient bowls and fresh produce laid out over a marble background, including green bell pepper, rice, spices, fresh herbs, black beans, and tomatoes.

How do you make Instant Pot Mexican Rice?

The key to Mexican Rice is to sauté the rice in hot oil until it’s lightly toasted. This helps the grains retain some of their texture after being cooked, so you’re going to put the sauté function on your Instant Pot to use with this one.

  • Set the Instant Pot to Sauté mode. When your Instant Pot is hot, add the oil. Then, add the garlic, diced onion, and diced bell pepper. Let these veggies sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring often to keep the garlic from burning.
  • Add the uncooked rice and stir to coat the rice in oil, mixing it well with the onion, garlic, and pepper. Let the rice simmer for about 2-3 minutes, or until it’s lightly toasted.
  • Add the vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, and spices to the Instant Pot. Stir everything well to combine the ingredients.
  • Turn off the Sauté function by pressing the Keep Warm/Cancel button. Secure and lock the lid onto your Instant Pot and ensure that the pressure knob is set to the Sealing position.
  • Click on the Manual button and set the Instant Pot to cook, on High Pressure, for 8 minutes. Once 8 minutes is up and your Instant Pot starts to beep, it will start its natural release process. Let it naturally release for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, carefully move the pressure knob from sealing to venting for a quick release. Steam will spit out of the valve, so be careful. Once the steam has fully released, it’s safe to remove the Instant Pot lid.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the cooked black beans.
  • Serve, and garnish with chopped fresh parsley, avocado slices, and lime wedges.

Aerial shot of broth and tomatoes being added to Instant Pot full of toasted rice.

Aerial shot of spices being added to Instant Pot, then stirred.

What can I serve with Mexican Rice?

We love to make a meal out of this by eating it on its own or by adding some leftover cooked ham or cooked shredded chicken. (A precooked rotisserie chicken from the supermarket always does the trick!) This would also go amazingly well with:

Close up of bowl of Instant Pot Mexican Rice with fresh parsley and sliced avocado on top.

Let us know what you think!

If you plan on making this recipe, be sure to snap a pic and tag us on Insta! @killing__thyme.

Close up of bowl of Instant Pot Mexican Rice with fresh parsley and sliced avocado on top.
Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Whether you use it as a side dish or devour it as a main, this flavor-filled Instant Pot Mexican Rice is a total hit. It's ready in less than 30 minutes and it's perfect for weeknights.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword 20 minute meal, 30 minute meal, Instant Pot, Mexican, Pressure Cooker, Rice
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Instant Pot Natural Release 5 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Dana Sandonato

Ingredients

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained If you want more bite, get a can of diced tomatoes with chilies!
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth Or chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander (optional)
  • 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed

For serving.

  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Avocado, sliced or cubed
  • Lime wedges, for spritzing

Instructions

  • Set the Instant Pot to Sauté mode. When your Instant Pot is hot, add the oil. Then, add the garlic, diced onion, and diced bell pepper. Let these veggies sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring often to keep the garlic from burning.
  • Add the uncooked rice and stir to coat the rice in oil, mixing it well with the onion, garlic, and pepper. Let the rice simmer for about 2-3 minutes, or until it’s lightly toasted.
  • Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, and spices to the Instant Pot. Stir everything well to combine the ingredients. Then, turn off the Sauté function by pressing the Keep Warm/Cancel button. Secure and lock the lid onto your Instant Pot and ensure that the pressure knob is set to the Sealing position. Click on the Manual button and set the Instant Pot to cook, on High Pressure, for 8 minutes.
  • Once 8 minutes is up and your Instant Pot starts to beep, it will start its natural release process. Let it naturally release for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, carefully move the pressure knob from sealing to venting for a quick release. Steam will spit out of the valve, so be careful. Once the steam has fully released, it’s safe to remove the Instant Pot lid.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the cooked black beans, cover, and let the rice sit for a few minutes.
  • Serve, and garnish with chopped fresh parsley, avocado, and lime wedges.

5 Comments

  • […] Instant Pot Mexican Rice […]

    Reply
  • simon andrew
    June 18, 2020 at 4:55 am

    5 stars
    I will try at home this recipe is awesome thanks for sharing

    Reply
  • MomAlmighty
    June 16, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    5 stars
    I subbed half a jalapeno for the bell pepper and a large tomato for the canned because that’s what I have on hand. It came out great!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      June 16, 2020 at 3:10 pm

      I’m so glad the recipe worked for you with your alterations! Always great to know so that others can improvise if needed. Thanks so much for the feedback :)

      Reply

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