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Instant Pot Mexican Rice

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Instant Pot Mexican Rice is the perfect side dish for taco Tuesday! The Instant Pot method helps makes this rice perfectly tender, fluffy, and flavorful every time. It’s so easy to make and completely delicious!

instant pot Mexican Rice in a white bowl with lime on the side

I know a lot of y’all hate “stories” in blog posts these days, but you can easily scroll on by if you don’t wanna read cause your girl’s got a quick one today. Mexican Rice has been one of my absolute favorite foods since I was like a toddler. I remember going into Mexican restaurants and eating a cheese quesadilla and rice when I was little and well before I discovered how amazing Mexican food actually is. These days, little Pepper’s favorite food is also Mexican Rice and quesadillas! I set out a few years ago to make a authentic-ish Mexican Rice recipe to have at home so that we could enjoy it as a side dish (main dish if you’re Pepper).

Mexican Rice with vegetables in instant pot

After I got my Instant Pot a few years ago I discovered quite quickly that I really love using it mostly for side dishes because it totally makes the dish pretty hands off so I don’t have to think about it. I don’t know about you, but I go a little overboard on side dishes, guacamole, and salsa/pico when we make Mexican food at home so I’m more than happy to make the rice in the Instant Pot so I don’t even have to think about it!

This Instant Pot Mexican Rice is a little healthier than a more traditional Mexican Rice recipe because I don’t toast the rice in loads of oil before hand. This may go against the authentic Mexican Rice guidelines, but I think it still tastes pretty darn good with less fat/calories! Most recipes I’ve seen call for 1/4-1/2 cup of oil while this recipe calls for just a teaspoon. That’s why we call it the skinny-ish dish, friends.

What you need for Instant Pot Mexican Rice:

ingredients: rice, spices, frozen veggies, tomato sauce, bouillon
  • Instant Pot (click here for the one I use and love)
  • Long Grain White Rice- Note: rice is kind of weird. Different kinds of rice cook differently so be sure to use long grain white rice for these specific instructions. Brown/jasmine rice won’t work, instant rice won’t work here either. These would need different times/amounts of water because they cook differently than regular ol’ long grain white rice.
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Knorr Tomato Boullion Cube (you can find these packs in the international food aisle in most grocery stores)
  • Better than Bouillon: This ingredient elevates flavor! You can find these jars in the broth/stock section of your grocery store. I use whatever I have on hand chicken, beef, or vegetable and usually stick to the low sodium one.
  • Oil (I use avocado, olive, or vegetable)
  • Spices: kosher salt, garlic powder, cumin, and onion powder.
  • Water
  • Frozen mixed vegetables (corn, green beans, peas, carrots) or just peas and carrots
better than bouillon

How to make Instant Pot Mexican Rice:

rinsing rice with water in mesh strainer

Rinse your rice before cooking!

Rinse rice in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. In a nutshell, rinsing your rice removes excess starch from the rice. I know a lot of people are going to want to skip this step, and honestly you totally can, but your rice will more than likely turn out a little gummy and will clump a bit when it’s finished making for not as yummy rice. I used to always ignore this part because I’m the number one advocate for less dishes and steps while getting the job done, but sometimes the extra small steps do make a difference. In this case, I agree with the rinse your rice before you cook it Gods and vote that you should too.

instant pot filled with uncooked rice, broth concentrate, tomato sauce, spices, and water

Next up, grab your Instant Pot. Load it with 1-1/2 cups uncooked long grain white rice, 1-1/2 cups water, 1 tsp of oil, 1 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder, 1/4 tsp cumin, and 1 tsp kosher salt. Additionally, add in 1 tbsp of the better than bouillon, and 1 Knorr tomato bouillon cube (crush that up a bit with you fingers when you add it). Stir together really well. Cover the instant pot and turn it on to manual high pressure. Cook for 3 minutes and then let it naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. You shouldn’t need to manually release anymore pressure after letting it release.

instant pot filled with cooked rice and frozen vegetables

After you let the pressure release naturally (takes about 8-10 minutes), turn off the instant pot and take the cover off. Add 1 cup of the frozen veggies. Fluff the rice and vegetables well with a fork (be sure not to stir-it’ll clump if you do). Place cover back on and let it sit for a few minutes. Be sure to turn off the instant pot because If you keep it on the warm setting it’ll continue to cook the rice at the bottom.

Optional: Add a couple tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro and juice from a lime. It takes the flavor up another level!

instant pot Mexican Rice cooked

And there she is ladies and gents- a super easy and delish side dish!

instant pot Mexican Rice
instant pot Mexican Rice on wooden plate with chicken fajita tacos topped with tomato onion and cilantro lime on the side

This Instant Pot Mexican Rice has quickly become our favorite dish to make as a side dish to our favorite Mexican dinners! Lately we’ve been enjoying in next to my other new recipe Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas!

Pepper and I argue over who’s having the leftovers for lunch the next day because it’s our fave!

More Mexican Inspired recipes for you to try!

heart with love from my kitchen to yours

If you try this recipe please comment below and/or rate it to let me know how it went!

Instant Pot Mexican Rice in bowl with linmes on the side
5 from 13 votes

Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Instant Pot Mexican Rice
Prep Time5 minutes
Active Time15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: instant pot, mexican, mexican rice
Yield: 10
Author: Star @ the skinny-ish dish



  • cups long grain white rice, uncooked
  • cups water
  • 1 tsp oil (avocado, olive, or vegetable oil will work fine)
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp better than bouillon (chicken, beef, or vegetable contcentrate flavor works- find this with broth/stock in store)
  • 1 Knorr tomato bouillon cube (usually found in the international food section in grocery stores)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • cooking spray
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Rinse rice in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear.
  • Spray Instant Pot with cooking spray. Add all ingredients to the Instant Pot except for frozen mixed vegetables. Stir everything together very well.
  • Seal the Instant Pot cover onto the pot and turn on manual high pressure. Cook for 3 minutes (4 for softer rice). When timer beeps let it naturally release. It should take about 10 minutes.
  • When the pressure has naturally released turn off the instant pot and add frozen vegetables and fluff all together with a fork (don't stir it). Put the cover back on and close it doe 3-4 minutes letting the veggies steam a bit with the rice. Serve on the side of your favorite Mexican dish!


Makes 5 cups total. Serving size: 1/2 cup
 112 calories | 0.5g fat, 0g saturated fat, 135g sodium, 23g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 1g sugar (0g added sugar) 3g protein
Weight Watchers Points: 3 Points
*Be sure to check out blog post for extra tips and tricks! 

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    1. Absolutely! I do my rice on the stove top like this: Add rice + water + seasonings bring to a boil. Once it has a gentle rolling boil I reduce the heat to a simmer and put a tight fitting cover that doesn’t have a steam vent to cover it. Cook for 15 minutes. When 15 minutes is up check it and make sure there it’s not water-y. If it is still water-y let it go for another 1-3 minutes depending on the amount of water (there really shouldn’t be any water). Add in frozen veggies if using (don’t mix), put the lid back on, and set a 10 minute timer. When that is up, fluffy rice with work.

    1. brown riced will need a different amount of liquid and more time. I’ll try to update the recipe when I get a chance to make it with brown rice.

  1. 5 stars
    Great flavor. I cooked it for 4 minutes, but the rice was still a bit chewy. Any recommendations? It was wonderful with your air fryer chicken fajitas.

    1. Did you use regular long grain white rice? I ask because different types of rice need different amounts of water/time so that could be it too. If it was long grain white rice then I’d try adding a minute if it just had a tiny bite to it. So happy you enjoyed it with the fajitas. one of my favorite meals

      1. Yes I used long grain white rice. I may try using parboiled next time. Also it was a bit dry. Do you think 1 3/4 cups of water would work ok? Loved the flavor of the dish.

      1. Great idea!!! Thank you so much. I actually made this tonight (used tomato paste in place of the tomato bullion cube) and hit was a HUGE hit with my entire family. Will definitely be making this again. Super yummy!

  2. 5 stars
    As with all of your recipes, this was so so so SO good! Normally I don’t care for Mexican rice, but this had a really good flavor. It’s my new side dish to all Mexican recipes!

  3. I’m making the fajitas you posted and would like to make this on the side, I don’t have an instapot suggestions for stove top? Thanks!! Love your recipes

  4. Have you tried halving this? We are a family of 3 and I’m not sure leftovers would be eaten ☹️

  5. 5 stars
    As soon as this was posted, I had to make it! Lucky for me I had all the ingredients on hand. This recipe is so good and so easy to make. Throw it all in the Instant Pot and kick back with a margarita!

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