Making perfectly cooked rice just got even easier with this foolproof Instant Pot Mexican Rice recipe. This go-to side dish is ready in under 30 minutes, and it makes perfectly fluffy and flavorful Mexican rice every time!
Once I discovered how to make rice in an Instant Pot, I was hooked! It’s so easy and hands-off once all the ingredients are mixed together. No more watching over the stove and hoping your rice doesn’t turn out under or overcooked.
There are so many different ways to make Mexican rice. I’ve seen variations that use tomato sauce, bouillon cubes, and even canned diced tomatoes. This version uses tomato paste and a fresh roma tomato, just like my mom taught me from her Mexican kitchen.
Ingredients you’ll need
The ingredients in this recipe are almost identical to my stove top version of authentic Mexican rice, but with a few variations to make it Instant Pot friendly.
- Long Grain Rice – Mexican Rice is traditionally made with long grain rice and is an easy pantry staple ingredient.
- Olive Oil – I used olive oil to toast the rice and sauté the vegetables, but you can use other neutral tasting oil like canola, or vegetable oil.
- Garlic, Onions, Tomato – This delicious smelling trio is chopped and cooked with the rice for added flavor and texture.
- Broth and Tomato Paste – I used vegetable broth but you can also use chicken broth. The combination of broth and tomato paste make a flavorful base for the rice.
- Frozen Peas – I love to add frozen peas to rice for added texture and color, and it’s a great way to incorporate more veggies.
How to make Mexican Rice in the Instant Pot
Here’s how to make easy Instant Pot Mexican Rice.
Start by rinsing your rice until the water comes out clear. This helps make sure your rice stays fluffy and less sticky.
Set your Instant Pot to saute and add the oil once it’s hot. Add the rice and saute until it’s evenly toasted and a very light golden brown color.
Toasting the rice helps give it a complex nutty flavor that makes Mexican rice so unique!
Add the tomatoes, onions, and garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add the broth and tomato paste, making sure to stir until the tomato paste is dissolved and fully incorporated.
Turn the instant pot off, secure the lid, and seal the valve. Turn on Manual or High pressure and cook for 4 minutes. Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally for about 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
Fluff the rice gently with a fork and add the frozen peas. Don’t stir or use a spoon to ensure the rice keep it’s fluffy texture!
Let the rice sit for about 5 minutes to help it set and then it’s ready to serve!
Helpful tips and variations
- Fluff with a fork and let sit for a bit to help the rice keep it’s fluffy texture. If you stir the rice instead of fluffing it while it’s still very hot, it can clump together and get mushy.
- Add in a chopped jalapeno or serrano pepper if you want to add some spice!
- I used frozen peas, but you can also use frozen corn, or a frozen pea, corn and green bean vegetable mix.
- Add rice to a fine mesh strainer or colander and rinse under running water until the water runs clear. Drain well.
- Turn on the saute function on the Instant Pot and set to medium and add the oil to the pot.
- When hot, add the rice and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice begins to lightly brown.
- Add the onion, tomato, garlic and salt. Stir and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add the broth and tomato paste. Stir together to mix until the tomato paste has completely dissolved.
- Turn the Instant Pot off, secure the lid, and turn the valve to the sealed position.
- Turn on Manual or High Pressure, set the pressure valve to the seal position, and pressure cook for 4 minutes. When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then carefully open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
- Add the frozen peas and gently fluff the rice with a fork. Don't stir it. Taste and season with more salt if necessary.