Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Instant Pot Mexican Rice – easy, quick, restaurant style Mexican Rice made in the Instant Pot. Serve it as a side dish or along with tacos, burritos, wraps!

If you love all the Instant Pot vegetarian/vegan recipes that I share on the blog, please join me on this Facebook Group – Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes. The group shares/features vegetarian instant pot recipes and ideas from all around the web!

a yellow bowl filled with mexican rice

Mexican food is quite a favorite around here. In fact the first food that I warmed up to besides Indian was Mexican and it continues to be my favorite. While we get really good Mexican food here, I really had the best one in Mexico itself.

You clearly get the best food at it’s place of origin. Isn’t it?

I remember we went on to this trip to Chichen Itza from Cancun and in between somewhere we ate tacos with veggies and those were the best soft tortillas I have ever eaten! So good! I didn’t even need anything fancy topping, it was that good. I wish I could make tortillas like that at home, well maybe someday.

For now, let’s talk about Mexican Rice! So my most pinned recipe and one of my most popular posts on the blog is this – Vegetarian Mexican Rice. It’s a super simple recipe but people really like it.

instant pot mexican rice served in a yellow bowl with lime wedge on the side

Because you guys love it so much, I thought I should share an instant pot version of the same too. I tried to make it even more simpler. Less ingredients, less prep work and restaurant style Mexican Rice all made in the IP!

The recipe for this Instant Pot Mexican Rice is really simple but it took me several tries to get it right. When you use thick canned tomatoes in your IP, the sauce can get stuck at the bottom. The pot doesn’t come to pressure and you get the burn message.

Fir my first trial, I did everything as usual and stirred the tomato along with everything. The pot did not come to pressure. I did not get the burn message and the rice got cooked too (because it was covered for so long) but I obviously couldn’t share the recipe with you.

So for the next trial, I again did everything as usual but this time around added the tomatoes at the very end didn’t stir it. And that was it, perfect Mexican Rice in the Instant Pot! The key is not stir the tomatoes especially when there isn’t enough liquid to begin with.

instant pot mexican rice

This Instant Pot Mexican Rice Recipe

✓ is easy, one-pot recipe

✓exactly like the one you get at restaurants

✓ great as a side or inside tacos/burritos

✓ vegan & gluten-free

I have used basmati rice in this recipe. I know it is not the traditional rice to make Mexican Rice but that’s what I had at home and it worked out quite well for the recipe. If you change the rice, the water quantity might change too. So stick to basmati recipe for this recipe.

This recipe is relatively simple with garlic, onions, jalapeño, pepper and cilantro. You can even add corn here. A squeeze of lime juice at the end would be nice too! The recipe is easily customizable.

I make a big batch of this instant pot Mexican rice for summer parties and get togethers. First of all I don’t need to turn off my stove in this heat so that’s a huge plus!

And second, this rice can be pretty much used as a side or a main along with tacos/burritos. I love the versatility and ease of this dish!

Method – How to Make Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Rinse the rice until water turns clear. Then drain the water and let the rice dry.

1- Press the saute button on your Instant Pot.  Once it displays hot, add oil to the pot. Then add the rice and cook for 4-5 minutes until toasty.

2- Add the bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, garlic and saute for 1 minute.

3- Add the cumin, salt and saute for 30 seconds.

4- Now add the water and stir to deglaze the pot (there shouldn’t be anything sticking to the bottom).

step by step pictures of making mexican rice in the instant pot

5- Add the canned crushed tomatoes on top. Do NOT STIR.

6- Close the pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. The pressure valve should be in the sealing position.

7- Let the pressure release naturally for 2 minutes and then do a quick pressure release. Open the pot, now carefully stir the tomato with the rice using a spoon. Cover pot with a glass lid, let it remain like that for 2 minutes.

8- Remove the lid and add the cilantro. Fluff the rice with a fork. You may squeeze in some fresh lime juice.

step by step pictures of making mexican rice in the instant pot

Serve Mexican Rice as a side or with beans or inside tacos, burritos! Enjoy!

instant pot mexican rice served in a yellow bowl with lime wedge on the side

If you’ve tried this Instant Pot Mexican Rice Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagramPinterest and Twitter to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Restaurant style Mexican Rice made in the Instant Pot! This pot meal makes a great side and also be served with tacos, beans, burritos! Vegan and gluten-free.

a yellow bowl filled with mexican rice
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword instant pot mexican rice
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 as a side
Calories: 258 kcal
Author: Manali
4.55 from 11 votes
Print

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup basmati rice, 200 grams, rinsed until water turns clear and drained until dry
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded & chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup water, 8 oz
  • 1 cup crushed canned tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • lime juice, optional

Instructions

  1. Rinse the rice until water turns clear. Then drain the water and let the rice dry.

  2. Press the saute button on your Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add oil to the pot. Then add the rice and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until toasty.

  3. Add the bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, garlic and saute for 1 minute.

  4. Add the cumin, salt and saute for 30 seconds.

  5. Now add the water and stir to deglaze the pot (there shouldn't be anything sticking to the bottom).

  6. Add the canned crushed tomatoes on top. Do NOT STIR.

  7. Close the pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. The pressure valve should be in the sealing position.

  8. Let the pressure release naturally for 2 minutes and then do a quick pressure release. 

  9. Open the pot, now carefully stir the tomato with the rice using a spoon. Cover pot with a glass lid, let it remain like that for 2 minutes.

  10. Remove the lid and add the cilantro. Fluff the rice with a fork. You may squeeze in some fresh lime juice.

  11. Serve Mexican Rice as a side or with beans or inside tacos, burritos! 

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Mexican Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 258 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 377mg16%
Potassium 261mg7%
Carbohydrates 43g14%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 645IU13%
Vitamin C 29.2mg35%
Calcium 36mg4%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

42 thoughts on “Instant Pot Mexican Rice

      1. You say to add tomato sauce and cover with glass lid and let sit for 2 minutes. You say to add the crushed tomatoes prior to this so lm confused!

        1. Hi Julie, i mean the same thing. We add crushed tomatoes on top of rice and do not stir and pressure cook. Once rice is cooked, I then stir the tomatoes with rice and cover with lid and let it sit for 2 minutes. Let me remove the word “sauce” so that there’s no confusion.

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Just a couple of questions, have you made it with brown basmati rice and have you ever doubled or tripled the recipe? If yes, do I need to increase the cooking time? I’m having 30+ people over and serving pulled pork burrito bowls. Any tips appreciated. Thanks!

    1. I have not tried this recipe with brown basmati rice..the cooking time will change significantly if you do that. I have also never doubled or tripled this recipe but I am sure you could. The cooking time should remain same.

  2. Thanks for the recipe–it looks great! If I want to double the rice, do you think I should double everything else (but not the cooking time)?

    Also, did you drain your crushed canned tomatoes first?

    Thanks!

  3. I don’t know why, but when I made this, I got a burn message! I had to remove the lid and although everything was cooked, it had a slightly mushy texture and the outcome was a bit bland. What do you think went wrong?

    1. hmm did you follow the instructions exactly and did not stir after adding the tomatoes? I don’t see any reason why you should get burn message if there’s nothing thick at the bottom. And if you think it was bland, add more jalapeno, more cumin!

  4. 5 stars
    Hi there!
    Is it possible to replace the basmati rice with brown rice? One less thing to buy at the grocery store would be awesome.
    Thanks 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Would definitely suggest 🍅 sauce, I used about 8-10ounces and came out perfect. I also used chicken less broth instead of water and was no need for salt

  6. 5 stars
    Thank you thank you thank you thank you for introducing me to this recipe!!!!!! When I commented the other day on the Thai Peanut Noodles I hadn’t had a chance yet to taste the rice because I was super busy on my one day off but I had some last night and WOW!!! I will never use that stuff in a bag at the store ever again!!!! I shared some with a buddy at work who’s been eating my cooking for a few years now and we’ll see how he likes it! For the rest of my life this will be the recipe I will use any time I want Mexican Rice!!! Love your videos and channel and website!!!! I am not a vegetarian but do like veggies! Thanks again very much!!!! I will definitely recommend this and others to people on the Instant Pot Community or anywhere else if someone asks for a recipe for this or other items!!!!

    1. really? 5 minutes is plenty for basmati or long grain white rice… IP does take time to come to pressure so one has to keep that time in mind too..I am very surprised that white rice didn’t cook in 5 minutes..I cook it all the time this way..glad you liked the flavor!

      1. Will agree, used long grain white rice and followed recipe. Definitely needed 2 or so more minutes of cooking time.

  7. 5 stars
    This is as good as any restaurant Mexican rice I have eaten. Yes, it is a little bland, but I always put salsa or other sauce on the rice. I never over season at the start. You can season at the end and get it up to your salt level. I put Franks Red Hot sauce on it when I tried it and it brought all the flavors out. Great recipe. Thanks.

  8. 5 stars
    Thanks for the delicious recipe! Tried doubling this last night for a party. Did get the burn message but turned it off immediately. Next time I think I would heat the water and tomatoes prior to adding. The pressure never built enough to seal. When the burned alarm came on I immediately shut it off and opened. It was clearly done. I just didn’t scrape up the bottom. My guests loved it! The flavors were delicious. Thanks for sharing this excellent recipe. I will definitely make this again.

    1. Bina, I am not sure what is wrong. Because I tell you not to stir and the reason I do so it so that you don’t get the burn message. So even after doing that you are getting the burn message, I am not sure what’s going on. Because it works perfectly in my IP. Are there any burnt bits stuck at the bottom of the pot after sauteing?

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