Instant Pot Mexican Rice

5 from 1 vote

This Instant Pot Mexican rice recipe is the perfect addition to taco Tuesday. Make the Instant Pot your sous chef and take the pressure off of dinnertime!

Instant pot Mexican rice in a white dish with a spoon.
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Instant Pot Mexican Rice Recipe

Cooking rice in the Instant Pot has become a game changer in the kitchen. I love to cook jasmine rice and brown rice in the Instant Pot because it's essentially just a "set and forget" method. While I focus on other things, the pressure cooker takes care of the hard work.

So, I figured why not figure out how to make an authentic Mexican rice recipe in the Instant Pot? And wow, did it turn out just perfect! This easy cooking method gives me flavorful, fluffy rice every single time.

And since we love Mexican food, we're making our favorite Mexican dishes all the time. So having a way to cook the perfect Mexican rice very easily is so helpful!

I turn my focus to the easy taco meat or yummy enchiladas and let the electric pressure cooker do its thing. It turns out absolutely perfect, just as good as the rice at my favorite Mexican restaurant!

Instant pot Mexican rice on a dark gray plate.

Why You'll Love this Recipe

Who wouldn't love an easy and flavorful side dish that requires very minimal effort? Delicious recipes like these have so much to love. This quick and perfect side dish is so great because:

  • This easy Instant Pot recipe uses tons of pantry staples that you likely already have on hand. So, if you need a good last minute side dish then you may have everything you need to make this last minute!
  • You can finish this recipe in just under a half hour. During that time, make an easy main dish and before you know it your dinner is on the table!
  • It can be easy to overcook and undercook rice, but with this method its cooked perfect every time. No more guesswork!


These main ingredients are all that you need to make this great side dish. You can, of course, modify and adapt as needed but these basic ingredients will make the most flavorful and tasty rice. Here's what you'll need to have on hand:

  • crushed tomatoes
  • diced white onion
  • white rice
  • olive oil
  • minced garlic cloves
  • low sodium chicken broth
  • tomato paste
  • salt
  • fresh lime juice
  • chopped cilantro leaves
  • optional: diced jalapeño
Instant pot Mexican rice and flour tortilla tacos.

Substitutions and Variations

I recommend using low sodium chicken broth so that you can control the salt level of the Mexican rice. However, you can use regular if that is all that you have on hand. Just be sure to reduce or omit the salt.

You can use yellow onion in place of white onion if you prefer. And if you do not have olive oil, avocado oil is a great swap.

I do not recommend swapping out the type of rice used because different types can have a different cook time. Use regular white rice for the best texture and best results.

How to Make Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Follow this quick overview of the steps to ensure that you'll know what to do. This recipe is very simple, so let's get started:

In the liner of your Instant Pot, add all of the ingredients except the lime juice and fresh cilantro leaves. Stir everything well to combine.

An instant pot filled with rice and sautéed onions.
Rice and onion mixture in an Instant Pot.

Then cook the mixture for 3 minutes on high pressure. It should take about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.

An instant pot with rice, onions and chicken broth.
Instant pot filled with crushed red tomatoes, rice, onions and chicken broth.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Mexican rice.
A pot of tomato sauce on a stove top.

Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes and then manually release any remaining pressure.

Carefully remove the lid and then add lime juice and cilantro. Stir the Mexican red rice gently to combine the lime juice and cilantro.

A white dish filled with Instant pot Mexican rice garnished with cilantro.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

How to Store Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Allow the leftover rice to cool completely to room temperature and then transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze the leftovers of this flavorful rice for up to 6 months! Thaw completely before use and then reheat.

For best results, reheat rice in the oven or on the stove top with a bit of oil in the pan.

What to Serve with Instant Pot Mexican Rice

I love to serve this Instant Pot Spanish rice alongside fajitas or tacos with a big ol' serving of refried beans too. It's a great side to serve with Mexican tostadas too.

You can even serve taco soup over some of this flavorful rice to add extra incredible flavor to your bowl!

Mexican rice is also a great base for making taco bowls too. Add some fajita veggies, beans, maybe corn and tomato salad and a tasty protein like grilled cilantro lime chicken.

Don't forget the big batch of margaritas too!

Instant pot Mexican rice in an oval serving dish.

Tips for Success

Even on easy recipes, I like to give a few extra tips to ensure that the end result of your food is absolutely perfect! Check out these few tips:

  • If you prefer spicy food and would like your rice to be spicier, then use jalapeños with core and seeds removed.
  • The Instant Pot is a bit finicky with tomato sauce and can sometimes result in a burn notice. Because of this, I do not recommend sautéing the onion first. If you want to sauté the onion, use a separate pan to sauté first, then add it into the ingredients in the Instant Pot liner.
  • If you use brown rice, you’ll want to use the “rice” setting to make sure it’s fully cooked. For other types of rice, play around with the settings and cook time so that your rice is fully cooked and fluffy!


Why is my Instant Pot rice too hard?

If you end up with undercooked rice, it could mean one of two things. You either did not cook the rice long enough, or you didn't add enough liquid. Be sure that you are following the measurements and timing exactly so that the rice turns out perfect every time!

Why is my Mexican rice gummy?

When rice is mushy and gummy, it often means it has been cooked for too long. Make sure that you allow for a natural release on the Instant Pot for only 10 minutes and then you manually release the rest. Otherwise, the rice could continue to cook and become mushy.

Instant pot Mexican rice on a plate with a lime wedge and tacos.

More Side Dish Recipes

Did you make this recipe?

If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.

Instant pot Mexican rice in a white dish with a spoon.

Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Ready for the best Mexican rice you've ever tasted? This amazing Instant Pot recipe is a total game changer!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 servings


  • 32 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium white onion diced
  • 2 cups white rice
  • cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ lime juiced
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves chopped


  • In your Instant Pot bowl, add all ingredients except lime juice and cilantro leaves. Stir to combine.
  • Cook rice for 3 minutes on high pressure (it will take about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure). When the timer goes off, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes before releasing any remaining pressure.
  • Remove lid. Add lime juice and cilantro and gently stir rice.


  • If you prefer a spicier rice, add 1-2 diced jalapeños with the core and seeds removed. (Leave seeds in for even more spice.) 
  • The Instant Pot is a bit finicky with tomato-based recipes and can sometimes result in burning. Because of this, I do NOT recommend sautéing the onion first. If you want to sauté the onion, use a separate pan to sauté the onion first, then add it into the ingredients in the Instant Pot bowl.
  • If you use brown rice, use the “rice” setting to ensure it’s fully cooked.


Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 415mg | Potassium: 328mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 230IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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