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.
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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

a yellow bowl filled with mexican rice
Manali
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.
4.6 from 20 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 as a side
Calories 258 kcal

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
 

  • Rinse the rice until water turns clear. Then drain the water and let the rice dry.
  • 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.
  • Add the bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  • Add the cumin, salt and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Now add the water and stir to deglaze the pot (there shouldn't be anything sticking to the bottom).
  • Add the canned crushed tomatoes on top. Do NOT STIR.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Remove the lid and add the cilantro. Fluff the rice with a fork. You may squeeze in some fresh lime juice.
  • Serve Mexican Rice as a side or with beans or inside tacos, burritos! 

Nutrition

Calories: 258kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 4gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 377mgPotassium: 261mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 645IUVitamin C: 29.2mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1.4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

53 thoughts on “Instant Pot Mexican Rice

  1. Really good recipe. I added black beans and green onion after it was cooked so good. I was thinking maybe next time I will add corn too.

  2. 5 stars
    I made it couple times , big change I made to salute veggies first and then added the rice and saluted for few min . Added Traders Joe’s taco seasoning. I used one 8oz can of tomato sauce and half cut fresh tomato on top . It turned out awesome.

  3. Hi
    Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ?
    Also can I prep everything as you mentioned and keep it ready in the morning . And cook it last minute before dinner time ?
    Will that work ? Or is it better to make it right away and reheat it before serving.
    Thanks
    Suman

  4. 5 stars
    Even with accidental and intentional alterations, this was very good! I used Jasmine rice but otherwise followed the recipe up until adding the can of tomatoes. I forgot! I cooked the rice using the Amy&Jacky method for Jasmine rice (1:1 rice:liquid, cook 3 minutes, 10 minutes NR — their recommend rice times always work for me). When I opened the pot the rice was so good as is, I didn’t need to add the tomatoes.

  5. Great recipe! I used the whole can of Rotel tomatoes.
    Note: clean your liner well and be sure to deglaze the pot before adding tomatoes, turn off the sauté if needed to avoid too much evaporation because any stuck bits will give a burn notice, start clean, scrap well to loosen residue, wait until hot to add oil and you will have success!

  6. 4 stars
    After reading comments I followed your recipe line by line . Since we like spicy food I added couple teaspoon of Trader Joe’s Taco seasoning. I noticed cooking rice in sauté mode absorbed all oil and 4-5 is too long to sauté . Next time I will add veggies first and then rice . Amount
    water and tomato purée was perfect .5 min was perfect time to cook . Overall great recipe.

  7. In your recipe you mention to use 1 cup rice and 1 cup water. Is that right? I thought we needed 2 cups water with 1 cup rice

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