Dinner Ideas, Soup & Sides

Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Big bowl of Mexican rice.

This Instant Pot Mexican Rice tastes just like the rice you would get at a Mexican restaurant. Cooking rice in the Instant Pot is an easy, no-fuss way to get perfect rice without needing to keep an eye on the stovetop.

Big bowl of Mexican rice.

Growing up, Mexican rice was something we ate nearly every evening. It was quick, it was easy, and it went with almost every dish my mom made. This Instant Pot version captures all those flavors, but is even easier than the rice my mom used to make. Why? Because everything goes into the Instant Pot, then you can just walk away and do something else. No need to monitor your rice as it cooks on the stovetop.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Mexican rice.

What You’ll Need

What goes into making authentic Mexican rice? Mainly just rice, spices, and a couple of other key ingredients:

  • Olive Oil: Or another cooking oil like canola.
  • Onion: Finely chop 1 medium-sized yellow onion before starting.
  • Garlic: Minced.
  • Long Grain Rice: I prefer to use white long grain rice.
  • Vegetable Stock: Feel free to use chicken or beef stock if you prefer.
  • Tomato Sauce: Use plain tomato sauce, not one with herbs added.
  • Seasoning: I used kosher salt, ground cumin, dry oregano, and some dry parsley.
  • Optional: Fresh cilantro for garnish.
Bowl of Instant Pot Mexican rice.

How to Make Mexican Rice in the Instant Pot

One of the best parts about making Instant Pot Mexican rice is that there isn’t much to clean up after dinner- this is a one-pot recipe, folks! In addition to that convenience, once you saute the garlic and onion and add everything else into the pot, all you have to do is wait for the rice to finish cooking.

Cook the Onion & Garlic: Turn on the saute function on your Instant Pot. Add the olive oil and onion, cooking for 2-3 minutes until the onion is translucent and softened. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds, until fragrant.

Briefly Cook the Rice: Add the rice and cook another 1 minute stirring frequently to gently toast the rice.

Mix in Vegetable Stock & Tomato Sauce: Pour in the stock, tomato sauce. Stir everything together well. Add the salt and spices, stir together well.

Seal the Instant Pot: Close the lock the lid of your instant pot. Seal the vent and select the rice function. It will take your instant pot 5-10 minutes to build pressure then cook the rice, which usually takes about 13 minutes. 

Allow Rice to Vent & Cool: When timer goes off, allow your instant pot to do a natural release for at least 5 minutes before carefully venting the remaining steam from your Instant Pot. Open the lid once all the steam has been safely vented and the pressure gauge is off. Fluff the rice and serve, and garnish with a small amount of fresh cilantro if you choose.

Turn This into a Chicken & Rice Recipe!

Sometimes I like to turn this side dish into a meal in and of itself. And of course, a classic combo is chicken and rice.

Want to try it? Simply take 2-3 raw chicken breasts and cut them into 2-3 inch pieces. Add the chicken to the Instant Pot when you mix in the vegetable stock and tomato sauce.

Seal your Instant Pot and proceed with the rest of the recipe as outlined above and in the recipe card below.

Bowl of Mexican rice with lime wedges.

Tips for Success

  • Don’t Stir Your Rice: Fluff it with a fork instead. If you stir the rice, you will activate its starch and it may become mushy.
  • Add-Ins: In addition to adding chicken as outlined above, you could also add about 1/4 cup peas, corn or diced carrots. If you are adding canned veggies be sure to drain them well before adding to the rice.
Flautas served over Mexican rice.

Serving Suggestions

Rice goes with so many main dishes it would be impossible to list them all here. But, here are few of my favorite pairings:

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

You can store this rice in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 1-2 days. I wouldn’t keep rice any longer than that. When you want to reheat it, simply put it in the microwave for a minute or two. Place a damp paper towel over the plate to ensure the rice is fluffy and moist.

Print

Instant Pot Mexican Rice Recipe

Bowl of Instant Pot Mexican rice.

Instant Pot Mexican Rice is the perfect side dish for all of your favorite Mexican dinner recipes! Enjoy it in burrito bowls, alongside enchiladas and flautas, and more. 

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tbs garlic minced
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp dry oregano
  • ¼ tsp dry parsley
  • Optional: fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  1. Turn on the saute function on your Instant Pot. Add the olive oil and onion, cooking for 2-3 minutes until the onion is translucent and softened. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  2. Add the rice and cook another 1 minute stirring frequently to gently toast the rice.
  3. Pour in the stock, tomato sauce. Stir everything together well. Add the salt and spices, stir together well.
  4. Close the lock the lid of your instant pot. Seal the vent and select the rice function. It will take your instant pot 5-10 minutes to build pressure then cook the rice, which usually takes about 13 minutes.
  5. When timer goes off, allow your instant pot to do a natural release for at least 5 minutes before carefully venting the remaining steam from your Instant Pot. Open the lid once all the steam has been safely vented and the pressure gauge is off. Fluff the rice and serve, garnish with a small amount of fresh cilantro if you choose.

Keywords: instant pot mexican rice, pressure cooker mexican rice

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