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Easy 30-Minute Instant Pot Mexican Rice

This Instant Pot Mexican rice is our favorite easy side dish that pairs perfectly with any Mexican-inspired main dish! If you love the Mexican red rice that’s commonly served in Mexican restaurants, you will adore this simple recipe that’s ready to serve in just about 30 minutes…

instant pot mexican rice in a black ceramic bowl with cilantro and lime wedges

Instant Pot Mexican Rice Ready In 30 Minutes

I’m SO freaking excited to share this new Instant Pot Mexican rice recipe with you all!! This has been months in the making, tested time and again by my persnickety teenagers until rated “perfect”.

It all started with a request from my oldest daughter for Mexican restaurant rice. A little confused, I had to press her a bit to figure out that she was referring to the red rice that’s served as a side at our favorite local establishment. Ah, no problema! Or so I thought…

My first few attempts were borderline terrible. I mean, we’re talking a Mexican red rice that was mushy, gummy, dense, bland, and just plain blah. My daughter’s disappointment was visible, so I kept at it. And then one day it happened — I finally earned that coveted smile and a BIG thumb’s up. In fact, she said it’s even better than her fave restaurant rice, and honestly, I would have to agree.

This perfectly spiced, fluffy Mexican rice in the Instant Pot:

✔ starts with ordinary white rice + just 8 additional ingredients
✔ that are all pantry staples
✔ takes only 9 minutes to prep
✔ retains the firm texture of the rice
✔ is full of flavor (as spicy or mild as you prefer)
✔ pairs wonderfully with any Mexican main dish (salsa chicken, anyone?) and more!


ingredients for mexican rice instant pot recipe with a green succulent and black and white dish towel

Mexican Rice Instant Pot Ingredients

The ingredient list for this spicy rice side dish is fairly short, and chances are you have everything you need to make it already on hand. Just another reason why I love this recipe so much!

Obviously a good, basic white rice is essential, like basmati or jasmine. I typically buy the 20 or 25-lb. bags at Costco and then portion them into 8 cups per gallon size Ziploc bag. Yeah, it’s a lot of rice! But it’s way much more economical to purchase it in large quantities, and breaking it into smaller portions makes it manageable, even for smaller families.


butter — real butter, please! Used to sauté the onions and jalapenos until the onions are translucent.

diced onion & jalapeño peppers — remove the ribs and seeds from the jalapeños for less heat. Make dicing both super easy with my favorite veggie chopper!

chicken broth — along with the butter, adds a delicious richness to this dish!

tomato sauce — the recipe calls for an 8-oz. can, but if you have a larger can just measure out 1 cup and freeze the remainder for another use.

cumin, oregano, and chili powderMexican oregano provides the most authentic flavor, but regular oregano works just fine. Control how spicy the final dish is by reducing the amount of chili powder.

mexican red rice in the instant pot on a white marble background with jalapeño peppers

How To Make Mexican Rice In The Instant Pot

Okay, if you want the quick and dirty on how to make Mexican rice in the Instant Pot, here it is:

  1. Sauté the diced onion and jalapeños in butter right in the Instant Pot insert.
  2. Add the chili powder, cumin, and oregano, and cook for 1 additional minute.
  3. Pour in the rice, chicken broth, and tomato sauce. Add the kosher salt, pop the lid on, and cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. (Really!)
  4. Perform a 10-minute NPR, vent any remaining steam, and it’s ready to serve!!

If you’re familiar with your Instant Pot, you could follow these simple instructions and turn out relatively good Mexican rice. But if you want the BEST Mexican rice, I’ve got a few important tips to share:

Order a non-stick insert pot for your Instant Pot — I won’t go so far as to say this is an absolute necessity, but after making a number of rice recipes in my Instant Pot, I’ve got to say this is definitely the way to go if you want to minimize your cleanup.

Pick up one of these countertop vegetable choppers — I mentioned this earlier, but it’s totally worth mentioning again. I’m one of the most anti-kitchen gadget people you’ll ever meet, but this chopper is by far one of the most-used tools in my kitchen. It will dice the onion and jalapeños into the perfect size for this recipe in no time at all!

Rinse your rice well. — After turning out the first few batches of gummy and mushy rice, I had an epiphany. Taking a cue from my Instant Pot brown rice, I decided to try rinsing the rice before adding it and reducing the amount of liquid. And it was perfecto! Pick up a large mesh strainer (if you don’t already own one) and rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear.

mexican rice in instant pot garnished with lime wedges and cilantro leaves

Instant Pot Mexican Rice Recipe Yield

One batch of this Instant Pot Mexican rice recipe yields about 6 cups of cooked rice. I often double it, because yeah, my family loves it THAT MUCH!

And leftovers? Well, if (and that’s a BIG IF) there are any leftovers, I’d put money on them being gone by the time I wake up the next morning. I’ve seriously had to break up late-night arguments between my boys over who gets the last bit. File that under Things I Never Thought I Would Have To Deal With As A Mom


Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Yield: 6 cups
Prep Time: 9 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes

This Instant Pot Mexican Rice is our favorite easy side dish that pairs perfectly with any Mexican-inspired main dish! If you love the Mexican red rice that's commonly served in Mexican restaurants, you will adore this simple recipe that's ready to serve in just about 30 minutes...



    1. Place the non-stick insert pot into the Instant Pot base. Add the butter, and then press the Sauté button. Use the Adjust button to select "high". Add the diced jalapeños and onions, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, and oregano, and cook for 1 additional minute.
    2. Meanwhile, pour the rice into a large mesh strainer, and rinse well under cold water until the water runs clear. When the jalapeños, onions, and spices are done cooking, add the rinsed rice, along with the chicken broth, tomato sauce, and kosher salt.
    3. Lock the lid on top of the Instant Pot and make sure the steam release knob is turned to “sealing”.
    4. Press the Manual (Pressure Cook for the new IP-DUO60) button on the front. High pressure should automatically be selected, but if it’s not for some reason, press the Pressure button to toggle it to high.
    5. Use the plus or minus buttons to set the cook time to 4 minutes. Wait a few seconds and you should hear a beep. At this point, the display will read “on”, indicating that the Instant Pot is pressuring up. Once it comes to pressure (about 9-10 minutes), it will switch to the timer to pressure cook the rice for 4 minutes.
    6. When the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally (NPR) for 10 minutes. Then use a thick towel or a pair of tongs to turn the steam release knob to “venting” to release any remaining pressure. If you’ve never experienced this before, it can be pretty forceful, so pull your hands away quickly, stand back, and allow the steam to escape.
    7. Once the pressure is released, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Press the Keep Warm/Cancel button to turn the Instant Pot off. Serve warm with chopped cilantro and cut lime wedges (optional).


*Add more chili powder for a spicier Mexican Rice and less if you prefer it to be milder.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 288.3Total Fat: 6.1gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 17.2mgSodium: 899.7mgCarbohydrates: 52.9gFiber: 1.1gSugar: 2.5gProtein: 5.2g

How much did you LOVE this recipe?

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mexican restaurant rice in the instant pot in a black ceramic bowl with a black serving spoon

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Tuesday 29th of December 2020

I love mexican rice, but hate making it. This was so easy and tasted great - will definitely follow this recipe again.


Wednesday 28th of October 2020

How does one make this without an instantpot? I don't have an instant pot. Thanks. My family really likes Mexican rice.

Tara Kuczykowski

Wednesday 28th of October 2020

Hi Connie -- you can definitely make this on your stovetop! Follow steps 1 and 2, using a large pot over medium heat. Once everything is added, bring the mixture to a boil. Then cover it, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit for another 10 minutes covered. Fluff and serve.

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