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Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Instant Pot Mexican Rice is hands down the fastest way to get this flavorful Spanish rice on your table. It almost makes itself!

Instant Pot Mexican Rice Overhead

My goal at The Spicy Apron is to show you the easiest ways to get the best, healthy results in your kitchen. And this Mexican rice recipe does all of that.

Rice is definitely my go-to comfort food but it also has health benefits. Instant Pot Mexican Rice is a delicious, good-for-you dish that combines the flavors of Mexico with the convenience of an Instant Pot. It’s packed with nutrients, fiber, protein, and healthy fats that can help you maintain a healthy diet.

You can also add a protein to it if you prefer (there’s added chicken in the photo above.) It goes really well with my Healthy Guacamole too!

What is the Difference Between Mexican Rice and Regular Rice?

Instant Pot Mexican rice is a way to level up your rice game! Regular long-grain white rice by itself is great, but it can a bit bland. (Don’t get me wrong… I do love regular white rice.

There are times, however, you want to kick it up a notch. Or three. And that’s where Mexican rice comes in. The depth of flavor comes from rich tomato sauce, traditional Mexican herbs and spices, and some onion and jalapeño. Yum!

Why Rinse Rice Before Cooking in the Instant Pot?

White rice has quite a bit of starch on the outside of the grains. So it is important to rinse the excess starch off before you cook it if you want light and fluffy rice.

Long Grain White Rice in a spoon.

It is also best to choose a long grain rice such as Jasmine or Basmati. Put the uncooked rice grains into a fine mesh sieve and run it under cold water until it runs clear. This will take 1-2 minutes.

Ingredients for Mexican Rice in the Instant Pot

  • Long Grain White Rice – I prefer to use Jasmine rice, but any long grain white rice will work. (see full recipe below) This rice recipe is written for white rice only. Do not use brown rice because the cooking time and pressure cooker level is different.
  • Olive Oil – This is where the healthy fat comes from.
  • Onion – White or yellow both work well.
  • Garlic – Loads of flavor and it’s good for your gut!
  • Bell Pepper – I use red to add a bit of color.
  • Jalapeño – I always add this, but if you don’t like it then omit it. Be sure to remove the seeds for less heat.
  • Cumin – This adds a nice authentic flavor.
  • Tomato Sauce – The richness of this rice comes from the tomato sauce.
  • Broth – Vegetable or Chicken will work well. You can also use water.

How to Make Instant Pot Mexican Rice

  1. Saute the onions, jalapenos, bell pepper, garlic and spices in the oil. (See full recipe below)
  2. Add the rinsed rice and saute another 3 minutes. Feel free to add other ingredients like corn (pictured below) if you want.
  3. Add the tomato sauce and broth. Stir well and set the pressure cooker to the rice setting. The pressure level will default to low and the time will automatically be calculated.
  4. Immediately release the pressure after the cooking time is complete.
  5. Fluff with a fork and serve.
Instant Pot Mexican Rice vertical cooked in spoon

Health Benefits of This Dish

Here are some health benefits of Instant Pot Mexican Rice:

  • Boosts Your Immune System – Instant Pot Mexican Rice contains ingredients like garlic, onions, tomatoes and bell peppers which are rich in antioxidants and vitamins C and E. These nutrients help to boost your immune system by protecting your cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Provides Energy – The rice in this dish provides complex carbohydrates that provide sustained energy throughout the day while black beans provide protein for muscle repair and growth.
  • Lowers Cholesterol – Black beans are a great source of soluble fiber which helps to lower cholesterol levels in the body.
  • Promotes Digestive Health – Rice contains insoluble fiber which promotes digestive health by keeping your bowel movements regular.
  • Helps Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels – Adding spices like cumin, or coriander and chili powder to this recipe can help regulate blood sugar levels thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties.

Enjoy this easy way to make authentic Mexican Rice. You’ll get great flavor as well as awesome health benefits. Win-win. Be sure to see my Instant Pot Pinto Beans recipe!

instant pot mexican rice overhead

Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Instant Pot Mexican Rice is the quick and easy way to get this authentic tasting and healthy dish on your table!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno (optional), seeded and finely minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups long grain white rice, well rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce


  1. Turn your pressure cooker on to saute mode and let it get hot. Add the oil, bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, salt, cumin, and black pepper. Saute, stirring frequently for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and saute another 3-4 minutes. Turn off saute mode then add the broth and tomato sauce. Stir well.
  3. Secure the pressure cooker lid, ensuring the pressure release valve is turned toward sealing. Press the rice button. The pressure level should automatically default to low pressure. The time will be automatically calculated.
  4. It will take about 5-10 minutes to come to pressurize, then the cook cycle will begin.
  5. Immediately release the pressure by turning the valve to venting when the cook cycle is complete. Carefully remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 171Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1090mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 4g
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