Instant Pot Mexican Rice

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Learn how to make Instant Pot Mexican Rice (Instant Pot Spanish Rice) with pantry ingredients! Flavorful & fragrant rice paired with flavor-rich juicy chicken. So easy to make yet so tasty to eat! You’ll enjoy this easy Mexican chicken and rice one pot meal.

instant pot mexican rice | instant pot spanish rice | spanish rice instant pot | mexican rice instant pot | instant pot mexican chicken and rice  #AmyJacky #InstantPot #PressureCooker #recipe #chicken #rice

What is Mexican Rice?

Mexican Rice is also known as Spanish Rice or arroz rojo (“red rice”) because of the red color. The rice is mainly cooked with chicken broth, tomato-based ingredient, onion, and garlic. It’s a tasty Mexican savory side dish!

Even though many people also call it “Spanish Rice”, it’s not the same as the popular Spanish rice dish – Paella.

How can I use Mexican Rice?

You can eat it as a side dish with Mexican food (Carnitas, Enchiladas, Fajitas), bean dishes (Refried Beans, Black Beans), or other flavorful main dishes. You can also use the Mexican Rice for Burritos, Tacos, Rice bowls, and more!

instant pot mexican rice | instant pot spanish rice | spanish rice instant pot | mexican rice instant pot | instant pot mexican chicken and rice  #AmyJacky #InstantPot #PressureCooker #recipe #chicken #rice

Mexican Chicken and Rice

In order to develop a tasty yet foolproof Instant Pot Spanish Rice, we’ve experimented with many different methods & variations to cooking Mexican rice in Instant Pot – including sauteing rice in Instant Pot, cooking in the pot, using the pot-in-pot method.

We finalized this tasty recipe by adding chicken for an extra boost of flavors and to prevent the common “burn” error with sensitive Instant Pots.

  • Rice: fluffy, plump & separated, not mushy or hard; soaked in the flavors, seasonings, & aroma
  • Chicken: tender, juicy, flavorful

Time for cooking Mexican Rice in Instant Pot!


Step by Step Guide: Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Prepare the ingredients for cooking Mexican Rice in Instant Pot.

instant pot mexican rice ingredients

Which rice is best for Spanish Rice?

Long grain white rice is the best for cooking Spanish Rice.

Adding Chicken to Mexican Rice:

We’ve added chicken thighs to our Mexican rice recipe for an extra boost of flavors and to prevent the burn error (aka Instant Pot Burn Message) from happening with sensitive Instant Pots.

Plus, you can make a tasty & easy chicken and rice one pot meal! 😀

Can I use chicken breasts?

Yes. You can use chicken breasts for this Mexican chicken and rice recipe, but they will always come out drier. Be sure to reduce the pressure cooking time by 2 – 3 minutes.

Step 1

Prepare Ingredients


First, mince half of a small onion and 4 cloves of garlic.

chop onion and garlic

*Note: We love to ground our own cumin. So, if you have some cumin seeds, you can do that too.

ground cumin with mortar and pestle

Now, rinse the rice 2 – 3 times under cold running water to remove some extra starch. This will help prevent the “Burn Error” with some sensitive Instant Pots.

Be sure to drain the rice well!

rinse rice  #AmyJacky #recipe

Step 2

Brown Chicken in Instant Pot


First, press “Saute” button to “Sauté More” function to heat up Instant Pot. It will switch to “ON” on the screen.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Saute More #AmyJacky #InstantPot #PressureCooker

Wait until it says “HOT” on the screen (takes roughly 8 minutes).

*Pro Tip: Make sure Instant Pot is as hot as it can be in order to induce a maillard reaction.

Now, add 2 tbsp (30ml) olive oil in Instant Pot.

Pat dry the chicken with a paper towel, then lightly season one side of the chicken with kosher salt and black pepper.

Place 1 ½ lb (680g) chicken thighs in the Instant Pot (seasoned side face down), then brown them for 3.5 minutes.

brown chicken in Instant Pot  #AmyJacky

Then, lightly season the other side of chicken with salt and black pepper. Flip the chicken, and brown this side for another 3.5 minutes.

Finally, set aside the browned chicken thighs.

Step 3

Saute Onions & Spices


Add diced onions, then saute for 3 minutes.

*Note: If you’re using onion powder and garlic powder, saute them together with all the other spices for a minute instead.

saute onions in Instant Pot  #AmyJacky

Add in minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp (3g) smoked paprika, a pinch of dried basil, a pinch of dried oregano, and ½ tsp (1.5g) ground cumin, then saute for another minute.

*Note: Initially, we also saute the tomato paste in this step to give the dish some extra flavor. We didn’t have a problem with the recipe, but in the end, we decided to skip the tomato paste sauteeing as it can cause some issues with sensitive Instant Pots. Developing tasty fail-proof recipes for everyone is our #1 goal!

Step 4

Deglaze Instant Pot


Now, pour 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot (as shown in the photo below).

*Pro Tip: Make sure to deglaze really well for this Instant Pot Spanish Rice!

deglaze instant pot  #AmyJacky

*Note: Please ignore the red color in the above photo as we added tomato paste during one of our experiments when we took this photo.

Add in another cup (250ml) of unsalted chicken stock. 

Step 5

Pressure Cook Mexican Rice


If you used minced onion and garlic, blend the liquid mixture with an immersion blender.

*Note: If you’re substituting with ½ tbsp (5g) onion powder and ½ tsp (2.4g) garlic powder, you can skip the blending step. 

Spanish rice in Instant Pot  #AmyJacky

Add in ½ tsp (3.8g) table salt, then mix well.

Add in the browned chicken thighs in Instant Pot.

Then, add 2 cups (400g) well-drained white rice in Instant Pot.

*Pro Tip: Make sure to add the chicken in Instant Pot first, and then the rice on top to avoid the “Burn” error (as shown in the photo below).

Ensure all the rice is fully submerged in the stock.

pressure cooker Mexican rice  #AmyJacky

Finally, layer 2 tbsp (30g) tomato paste on the very top. Do not mix.

With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position.

instant pot high pressure 8 minutes  #AmyJacky

  • Pressure Cooking Method: Pressure Cook at High Pressure 8 minutes + Natural Release 10 minutes

After 10 minutes, release the remaining pressure by turning Venting Knob to Venting Position.

When Floating Valve drops, open the lid carefully.

Step 6

Mix & Season


Mexican rice in Instant Pot  #AmyJacky

*Note: The Mexican Rice in Instant Pot will look a bit too watery at first, that’s normal! Once you start mixing all the ingredients, it’ll all come together nicely & tasty. 🙂

You can serve the chicken thighs as is or shred them up. Make sure to taste and season the chicken properly.

shred chicken for chicken and rice

Finally, don’t forget to taste the Mexican Rice in Instant Pot, then adjust the seasoning accordingly.

*Pro Tip: For reference, we added roughly 2 – 3 pinches of salt to open up the flavors & season the Spanish rice properly. 

Step 7

Serve Instant Pot Spanish Rice


instant pot mexican chicken and rice  #AmyJacky

Optionally, you can garnish the Instant Pot Spanish Rice with freshly chopped parsley, then serve.

instant pot mexican rice | instant pot spanish rice | spanish rice instant pot | mexican rice instant pot | instant pot mexican chicken and rice  #AmyJacky #InstantPot #PressureCooker #recipe #chicken #rice

Enjoy your tasty Instant Pot Mexican Rice!

instant pot mexican rice | instant pot spanish rice | spanish rice instant pot | mexican rice instant pot | instant pot mexican chicken and rice #AmyJacky #InstantPot #PressureCooker #recipe #chicken #rice

Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Easy to make Instant Pot Mexican Rice (Instant Pot Spanish Rice) with pantry ingredients! Flavorful & fragrant rice paired with deliciously juicy chicken. Enjoy this easy Mexican chicken and rice one pot meal.
5 from 1 vote
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 - 6
Calories: 539kcal
Author: Amy + Jacky

Rate This Recipe Print

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds (680g) chicken thighs
  • 2 cups (400g) long grain white rice
  • 2 cups (500ml) unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
  • ½ (40g) small onion , diced (or ½ tablespoon (5g) onion powder)
  • 4 cloves (14g) garlic , crushed (or ½ teaspoon (2.4g) garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) smoked paprika
  • A pinch (0.1g) dried basil
  • A pinch (0.1g) dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5g) ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon (3.8g) table salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) tomato paste
  • Salt & Black Pepper

Instructions 

  • Prepare Ingredients: Mince half of a small onion & 4 cloves of garlic.
    Rinse rice 2 - 3 times under cold water to remove some extra starch. (Note: This helps prevent the "Burn Error"). Be sure to drain the rice well.
    chop onion and garlic
  • Brown Chicken in Instant Pot: Press “Saute” button to “Sauté More” function to heat up Instant Pot. Wait until it says “HOT” on the screen. Add 2 tbsp (30ml) olive oil in Instant Pot.
    Pat dry chicken with a paper towel, then lightly season one side of the chicken with kosher salt and black pepper. Place 1½ lb (680g) chicken thighs in Instant Pot (seasoned side face down), then brown for 3.5 minutes. Lightly season the other side of chicken with salt and black pepper. Flip the chicken, and brown this side for another 3.5 minutes. Set aside the browned chicken thighs.
    brown chicken in Instant Pot #AmyJacky
  • Saute Onions & Spices: Add diced onions, then saute for 3 minutes.
    *Note: If you're using onion powder & garlic powder, saute them together with all the other spices for a minute instead.
    Add in minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp (3g) smoked paprika, a pinch of dried basil, a pinch of dried oregano, and ½ tsp (1.5g) ground cumin, then saute for another minute.
    saute onions in Instant Pot #AmyJacky
  • Deglaze Instant Pot: Pour 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
    *Note: Make sure to deglaze really well for this Mexican Rice recipe!
    Add in another cup (250ml) of unsalted chicken stock.
    deglaze instant pot #AmyJacky
  • Pressure Cook Mexican Rice: If you used minced onion and garlic, blend the liquid mixture with an immersion blender.
    *Note: If you’re substituting them with ½ tbsp (5g) onion powder & ½ tsp (2.4g) garlic powder, skip this blending step.
    Add in ½ tsp (3.8g) table salt, then mix well. Add browned chicken thighs in Instant Pot. Add in 2 cups (400g) well-drained white rice.
    *Pro Tip: Make sure to add the chicken in Instant Pot first, and then the rice on top to avoid the "Burn" error. Ensure all the rice is fully submerged in the stock.
    Layer 2 tbsp (30g) tomato paste on the very top. Do not mix.
    With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure Cook at High Pressure 8 minutes + Natural Release 10 minutes. Open the lid carefully.
    pressure cooker Mexican rice #AmyJacky
  • Mix & Season: It’ll look a bit too watery at first, that's normal! Once you start mixing all the ingredients, it'll all come together nicely. You can serve the chicken as is or shred them up.
    Make sure to taste the chicken and rice, then adjust the seasoning accordingly (for reference, we added roughly 2 - 3 pinches of salt to open up the flavors).
    Mexican rice in Instant Pot #AmyJacky
  • Serve: Garnish the Mexican rice with freshly chopped parsley, then serve.

Spread the Love by sharing this recipe, so others can enjoy it too!  Thank you 🙂

Recipe Notes:

In order to develop a tasty & foolproof Instant Pot Spanish Rice, we've experimented with many different methods & variations to cooking Mexican rice in Instant Pot - including sauteing rice in Instant Pot, cooking in the pot, using the pot-in-pot method. We've decided to add chicken to this Mexican Rice for an extra boost of flavors and to prevent the common "burn" error with sensitive Instant Pots.
*Rate Recipe: If you've tried the recipe, don't forget to Rate the Recipe in the Comments Section. Thank you!

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 539kcal (27%)Carbohydrates: 53g (18%)Protein: 25g (50%)Fat: 25g (38%)Saturated Fat: 6g (38%)Cholesterol: 111mg (37%)Sodium: 351mg (15%)Potassium: 452mg (13%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 334IU (7%)Vitamin C: 2mg (2%)Calcium: 36mg (4%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
Tried this recipe?Mention @pressurecookrecipes or tag #AmyJacky!
Course: Main, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: instant pot mexican chicken and rice, instant pot mexican rice, instant pot spanish rice, mexican rice in instant pot, mexican rice instant pot, spanish rice instant pot

More Instant Pot Rice Recipes

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