Home » Blog » Vegan Side DIsh » Instant Pot Mexican Brown Rice

Instant Pot Mexican Brown Rice

4.48 from 34 votes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Sharing is caring!

Instant Pot Mexican Brown Rice is the perfect side dish for your favorite Mexican dishes. Serve this easy recipe with tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and more!

White bowl of Mexican rice in front of Instant Pot

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

My family eats a lot of Mexican food. We have some form of it at least once a week – tostadas, burritos, enchiladas, taco salads – not only because we love it, but also because it’s usually a quick and easy dinner on busy days. This easy Mexican rice is a perfect accompaniment to those meals.

One of the easiest things to cook in my Instant Pot is rice. It turns out perfect every time. And this is also the easiest way I’ve made Mexican rice.

If you want a stove top rice recipe, be sure to check out my Spanish Rice and Beans recipe!

You’ll love Instant Pot Mexican Rice recipe because it’s

  • Made with simple ingredients you probably have in your pantry;
  • A delicious side for your Mexican dishes;
  • A quick and easy one pot dish;
  • Oil free, high fiber, and healthy!

Is Mexican rice the same as Spanish rice?

Closeup view of Mexican rice

The terms Mexican rice and Spanish rice are often interchanged, but there are a couple of differences between the two. Spanish rice contains saffron, which gives it a yellow color. The grains of rice in Spanish rice are also more separate.

Mexican rice is a more moist rice, and is typically flavored with tomato stock and cumin. Because the tomato stock that is used in authentic Mexican rice contain chicken stock, I am using vegetable broth along with tomatoes in my Mexican rice recipe.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Mexican Rice Recipe

Wooden cutting board with ingredients for Mexican rice
  • Long grain brown rice
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Vegetable broth
  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Crushed tomatoes

Why make this in an Instant Pot?

While you can certainly make your Mexican rice on the stove, it is so much easier to make it in a pressure cooker. The Instant Pot has a saute function, making it easy to saute your onions and toast your rice.

And cooking in the Instant Pot means you can prepare your rice without heating up your kitchen in the summer, or watching over a pot on the stove.

How to make Mexican rice in the pressure cooker

Step 1: Rinse the rice in cool water 3 times. Drain and set aside. Rinsing is necessary to remove excess starch that makes the rice sticky.

Step 2: Press the Sauté button on the Instant Pot. Add the onion and cook until it is soft, adding a small amount of water if the onion begins to stick. When the onion is soft, add the garlic and sauté for one more minute.

Step 3: Stir in the rice and cook for a few more minutes, to toast the rice.

Step 4: Pour in the vegetable broth and spices and stir, making sure the bottom of the pan is deglazed.

Step 5: Add the tomatoes, but do not stir.

Step 6: Press the “Stop” button to turn off the saute function. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and make sure the knob is turned to “seal”. Press the “Manual” button and reduce the time to 22 minutes. After the rice has cooked at pressure for 22 minutes, allow the pressure to come down naturally. A natural pressure release allows time for the rice to absorb excess liquid.

Cooked Mexican rice in Instant Pot

Step 7: When the pressure has fully come down, open the pressure cooker and allow the rice to sit for 10 minutes. Then stir the tomato into the rice. Serve warm.

Can I substitute white rice?

Yes. You can make this recipe with long grain white rice. If using white rice, reduce the cooking time to 3 minutes.

How can I avoid the burn notice?

Sometimes when you’re cooking in an Instant Pot, the food will scald on the bottom and the pot will not come to pressure. This usually is due to one of three things:

  • There are burnt pieces of food on the bottom surface of the pot from sauteing ingredients. Be sure to completely deglaze the pan before adding the rest of the ingredients and cooking at pressure.
  • There is not enough cooking liquid in the pot, or the liquid is not thin enough. To avoid this in this recipe, be sure to place the tomatoes on the top of the other ingredients, and do not stir them in until after cooking.
  • The sealing ring is not in the proper position. Be sure to check that the sealing ring is properly aligned before placing the lid on the pot.

What toppings go well on this rice?

White bowl of Mexican rice in front of bowl of black beans and Instant Pot

If desired, top this rice with chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, or vegan cheese. Peas, corn, or carrots are also delicious add ins for this recipe.

What to eat with Instant Pot Mexican Rice?

This rice is a perfect side for any of your Mexican dishes – enchiladas, burritos, tacos, fajitas, and more. It’s also delicious as a filling for many of these dishes

How to store Mexican rice

Store leftover rice in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The rice can be reheated by sprinkling a little water over the rice and reheating it in the microwave.

For longer storage, place the rice in an air tight freezer container or Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost frozen cooked rice, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

You’ll also love these other Mexican recipes:

Other Instant Pot Recipes:

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a rating and feedback below. It only takes a few seconds, but helps other visitors to my site. Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment!

And come join my Oil Free Vegan Recipes and Support Facebook group, where you can share your favorite oil free vegan recipes, and give and receive support on your plant based journey.

White bowl of Mexican rice on striped napkin

Instant Pot Mexican Brown Rice

Teresa Sklenicka
Instant Pot Mexican Brown Rice is the perfect side dish for your favorite Mexican dishes. Serve this easy recipe with tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and more!
4.48 from 34 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8
Calories 116 kcal


  • Pressure Cooker


  • 2 cups long grain brown rice
  • ½ yellow onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 14 ounces crushed tomatoes


  • Rinse the rice until the rinse water runs clear. Drain thoroughly and set aside.
  • Press the Sauté button on the Instant Pot. Add the diced onions, and sauté until the onions are soft. Add a small amount of water if the onions begin to stick.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for one to two minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the rice and continue to sauté for two more minutes, to toast the rice.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth, making sure to completely deglaze the bottom of the pot. Stir in the spices.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, but do not stir.
  • Push stop on the Instant Pot. Place the lid on the pot, push Manual, and set the time at 22 minutes.
  • When the time has elapsed, unplug the Instant Pot and allow the pressure to release naturally.
  • Open the pot, and allow the rice to sit for 10 minutes. Then stir so the tomatoes are mixed into the rice. Serve warm.


Calories: 116kcalCarbohydrates: 23.8gProtein: 3gFat: 1.4gSodium: 321.2mgFiber: 2.1gSugar: 3.1gVitamin A: 367.45IUVitamin C: 6.21mgCalcium: 22.88mgIron: 1.64mg
Keyword Brown Rice, Gluten Free, Oil Free
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Nutrition calculations are approximate.

Pin to save for later:

Pinterest Image for Mexican Rice
By on April 18th, 2021

About Teresa Sklenicka

I love creating tasty, oil-free, vegan recipes that everyone will love (even non-vegans)! Here you'll find vegan versions of your favorite comfort foods, as well as some new tastes! Join me on a path to improving your health, helping the planet, and saving animals.

More posts by this author.

12 thoughts on “Instant Pot Mexican Brown Rice”

  1. 5 stars
    Recipe looks great, and I’m in the middle of making it. I have no ‘manual’ button, but I’m assuming you want us to pressure cook the rice for 22 minutes. Do we use high or low pressure? I read another recipe and they specified ‘high’ so I’m using that with fingers crossed ;-). Maybe wanna clarify? Thanks.

    • Yes, you want to use high pressure. I’m still using one of the original Instant Pots with a manual setting rather than high and low settings. I recently purchased a new Instant Pot, but it’s still in the box. I’ll have to get it out and start using it with the new settings and go through my posts to update them for the newer models of Instant Pot.

  2. Paprika is mentioned above. But I don’t see in the ingredients? Could this be made with fire roasted tomatoes and tomato paste instead of crushed tomato maybe?

    • Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve edited the post. I think it would be fine to substitute fire roasted tomatoes. Be careful about how much tomato paste you use, or you might get a burn notice on your Instant Pot. I wouldn’t add more than a tablespoon or two of tomato paste.

  3. 5 stars
    This is such a fantastic recipe with a wonderful amount of flavor! I love putting it in burritos and tacos, and I can’t wait to try it with even more Mexican dishes!

  4. Hi Teresa,
    Can you tell me if the cooking time is the same if I cut the recipe in half, I.e. one cup of rice and 1 1/4 cups of stock?
    Thank you!


Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating