This Instant Pot Mexican Rice recipe is packed with flavor and is so simple to make. It’s the perfect side dish for tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, and more.

For more delicious Mexican inspired Side Dish Recipes, be sure to check out my Copycat Chipotle Guacamole, Avocado Corn Salad, and Mexican Black Beans.

a bowl full of rice with a lime slice on the side.

Tacos or enchiladas are on regular rotation at our house, and on those nights I love to make Instant Pot Mexican Rice to eat on the side.

To be honest, my kids tend to eat more of the rice than they do the main dish! That’s a true testament to how delicious this Mexican Rice recipe is.

an Instant Pot full of rice topped with cilantro.

I absolutely love Mexican Rice because it’s chock full of flavor from the diced onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and fresh cilantro.

It’s also really easy and effortless to make in the Instant Pot; just sauté the onion and garlic, then add the rest of the ingredients and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Easy peasy! The result is a perfectly cooked pot of Mexican rice that is perfect for serving as a side dish or as a main course. 

Ingredients for Instant Pot Mexican Rice

  • olive oil
  • onion
  • garlic
  • chicken broth
  • tomato sauce
  • basmati rice
  • Spices: cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper
  • fresh cilantro
ingredients spread out on a counter top.

How to Make Mexican Rice in the Instant Pot – Step by Step

Ingredient measurements and full instructions are located in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Rinse and drain rice

Rinse the rice in a strainer under cold water. Drain well.

Step 2: Sauté onions and garlic

Select the sauté mode on the Instant Pot and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onion and cook for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.

Step 3: Add remaining ingredients

Cancel the sauté mode, then add the chicken broth, tomato sauce, drained rice, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir.

step by step photos for making Mexican rice in the Instant Pot.

Step 4: Pressure cook

Place the lid on the pot and flip the valve to “sealing.” Cook over manual high pressure for 12 minutes.

Step 5: Quick release

Once the time is up on the Instant Pot, perform a quick release. When all of the steam has escaped and the pin on the lid has dropped, open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro and serve.

a spoon holding rice over an Instant Pot.

Tips and Notes

  • Rinse your rice. It’s important to rinse and drain the rice under cold water to remove any excess starch before cooking. This will lend to rice that won’t stick together and get gummy once it’s cooked.
  • For a vegetarian/vegan alternative, substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
  • Substitute the tomato sauce with crushed tomatoes, or with diced tomatoes for a chunkier texture. 
  • Fresh cilantro can be substituted with dried cilantro if needed, or left out entirely if cilantro isn’t your thing!
  • Some delicious additions to your Instant Pot Mexican Rice would be frozen corn or peas, some drained and rinsed black beans, or a small can of diced green chiles. These can all be added in step 4 with the chicken broth, tomato sauce, rice, etc.
  • If you’re in a hurry, you can skip the sautéing step and just add all of the ingredients to the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes.
  • To make your Mexican Rice into a full meal, you can add cooked chicken, beef, or shrimp.
a bowl full of rice with a lime slice on the side.

FAQs

How to make Mexican rice without tomato sauce?

The tomato sauce in this Mexican rice can be replaced with crushed or diced tomatoes or even enchilada sauce.

Is Mexican rice gluten free?

Yes, all of the ingredients in this Instant Pot Mexican Rice recipe are gluten free!

How to store leftovers

Any leftover Mexican Rice can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for four days. You can also freeze the leftovers in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before re-heating.

a bowl full of rice with a lime slice on the side.

If you try this recipe, please leave a comment and rating below. I love to hear from you and always appreciate your feedback!

a bowl full of rice with a lime slice on the side.
5 from 2 ratings

Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Time to come to pressure: 10 mins
Total Time: 32 mins
This Instant Pot Mexican Rice recipe is packed with flavor and is so simple to make. It's the perfect side dish for tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, and more.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh cilantro , chopped

Equipment

  • 1 Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the rice in a strainer under cold water. Drain well.
  • Select the sauté mode on the Instant Pot and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onion and cook for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  • Cancel the sauté mode, then add the chicken broth, tomato sauce, drained rice, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir.
  • Place the lid on the pot and flip the valve to “sealing.” Cook over manual high pressure for 12 minutes.
  • Once the time is up on the Instant Pot, perform a quick release. When all of the steam has escaped and the pin on the lid has dropped, open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro and serve.

Notes

  • Rinse your rice. It’s important to rinse and drain the rice under cold water to remove any excess starch before cooking. This will lend to rice that won’t stick together and get gummy once it’s cooked.
  • For a vegetarian/vegan alternative, substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
  • Some delicious additions to your Instant Pot Mexican Rice would be frozen corn or peas, some drained and rinsed black beans, or a small can of diced green chiles. These can all be added in step 4 with the chicken broth, tomato sauce, rice, etc.
  • If you’re in a hurry, you can skip the sautéing step and just add all of the ingredients to the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes.
  • Any leftover Mexican Rice can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for four days. You can also freeze the leftovers in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before re-heating.
Cuisine: Mexican Inspired
Course: Side Dish
Calories: 206kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 0.4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 686mg, Potassium: 247mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 316IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know! Mention @TheBelleoftheKitchen on Instagram or tag #BelleoftheKitchen.