15 minute Instant Pot Mexican Rice is real! 4 main ingredients is all you need to make this easy instant pot Mexican rice recipe that tastes even better than restaurant. Learn how to make Fluffy Mexican rice in instant pot using 3 different kinds of rice & various forms of tomatoes. Don’t miss the tips!
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Easy Instant Pot Mexican Rice
Fluffy Mexican Rice is the best instant pot Mexican rice ever, just like the rice that’s served in your favorite Mexican restaurant. You can make Instant pot Mexican Rice with Rotel, diced tomatoes, Tomato sauce, tomato paste or even salsa. We made it with tomato sauce.
You can even make this budget friendly one-pot Mexican rice with either long grain rice, White Jasmine rice or White Basmati rice. Find all methods shared in this post.
Tips & Tricks
- How do you make Mexican rice not mushy: Rinse the rice several times until clear water runs through. This will help rinse out the starch from the surface of the rice and make the rice super fluffy. No more gummy rice, no more over cooked rice and no more BURN errors! You’ll have an amazing pot of fluffy mexicain rice.
- Secret to amazing flavor: Saute the aromatics (onion & garlic) in oil to release more flavor. Also, toast the rinsed and drained rice for a few minutes. This will enhance the nutty depth of the rice grains lending it an extra layer of awesome flavor.
- Spicy Mexican Rice: If you prefer spicy food you may add chopped jalapeno and saute it along with the aromatics. Today’s recipe is not spicy. You can also replace the canned tomato sauce and add a can of Hot Rotel to make spicy Mexican rice. The recipe and cook time would remain the same.
- Clean Instant Pot bottom: Once you are done fluffing the cooked rice immediately remove the steel insert of the instant pot on the counter top or transfer the Mexican rice into a bowl. This will prevent the rice from getting stuck at the bottom of the pot due to the residual heat coming off from the base of the instant pot. Much less mess and your instant pot will have a clean bottom.
Fluffy Mexican Rice Instant Pot – Ingredients
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements at the bottom of the post. The list below is just a reference.
- Long grain rice: Rinsed very well until clear water runs through. You need to drain the rinsed rice in a colander to remove the excess water. You can also use White Jasmine or White Basmati rice. Check out their cooking times in the “Variations” below.
- Tomato Sauce: We love using canned tomato sauce. It makes the dish absolutely user friendly and eliminates any BURN error possibilities. You can also use rotel, tomato paste or even fresh diced roma tomatoes. Check out the “Variations” below for ideas.
- Aromatics: Yellow Onion & garlic.
- Seasonings: Cayenne & chili powder. Both are optional.
- Cooking fat: Any neutral oil like canola, sunflower, avocado or light olive oil.
How to make Mexican Rice in Instant Pot?
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements + Video at the bottom of the post.
Step #1 Saute aromatics & toast rice
- Saute aromatics: Saute the onion & garlic with salt in instant pot on SAUTE function kept at HIGH heat.
- Rinse rice: Rinse the long grain white rice several times under running tap water until clear water runs through. This will wash out the surface starch from the rice grains and make the rice extremely fluffy. No more mushy or gummy rice ever & no more BURN errors! Drain the rinsed rice in a colander.
- Toast rinsed rice: Add the rinsed rice and toast for 1-2 mins. You’ll find that the rice is turning opaque. Toasting the rice will add lots of depth of flavor to the dish and enhance the nuttiness in the rice.
Step #2 Pressure cook rice
- De-glaze pot: TURN of the instant pot. Pour the chicken stock and de-glaze the pot by scraping the sides & the bottom of the pot with a spatula so that there are absolutely no bits and crumbs stuck at the bottom of the pot. This will prevent BURN error! Add the tomato sauce and mix well.
- Pressure cook: Secure the lid, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 6 mins (Al dente rice) & 8 mins (soft rice) followed by 10 mins natural pressure release. Than, release the rest of the pressure manually.
Step #3 Fluff Mexican rice & serve
- Fluff Mexican rice: Gently fluff the Pressure cooker Mexican rice with the help of a pair of fork. Once you are done fluffing the rice immediately remove the steel insert and keep it on the countertop or you may transfer the Mexican rice into a large serving bowl/plate. This will prevent the rice from getting over cooked and sticking to the bottom of the pot with the residual heat coming off from the base of the Instant Pot. The instant pot takes a while to cool down even after you turn it off!
- Serve: Serve the fluffy Mexican rice with you favorite Mexican dishes like this Instant Pot Shrimp Fajita. Enjoy!
Instant Pot Mexican Rice Variations
Instant Pot Mexican rice with Rotel:
Follow todays recipe. Sub the tomato sauce with a 10 ounce can of Hot Rotel (undrained). The cook time would remain the same. Using Rotel tomatoes would make the rice spicy and pack a punch.
Instant Pot Mexican rice with tomato paste:
Follow to todays recipe. Sub the tomato sauce with 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste. Add the tomato paste in the chicken stock, stir to mix well until the tomato paste has completely dissolved. Than add it to the rice. For more flavor add the tomato paste in a blender along with 1 clove garlic & 1 serrano pepper, blend well and than add this to the rice after adding the chicken stock. The rest of the recipe would remain the same.
Instant Pot Mexican rice with fresh tomatoes:
Sub the tomato sauce in todays recipe with 2 medium Roma tomatoes. You may either finely chop the tomatoes and saute them along with the onion until the become mushy, than add the rinsed rice & toast it. The rest of the recipe would remain the same. For more flavor add 1 tablespoon tomato paste or Caldo de Tomato after adding the chicken stock. Stir until the paste has completely dissolved.
Instant Pot Mexican Rice with peas & carrots:
For extra veggie boost you can 1/4 cup small diced carrots and saute them along with the onion. Also, add 1/4 cup thawed green peas once the pressure cooking cycle is over. Mix and allow the rice to rest for 5 mins before serving. If you do not mind less green peas you may add them along with the carrots. The recipe would remain the same.
You can serve this 15 minutes Instant Pot Mexican rice recipe with various Mexican dishes like:
- Instant pot Shrimp Fajitas
- Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas
- Shrimp Tacos
- Mexican black beans
- Grilled chicken
- Steamed Broccoli.
- Steamed green beans.
- Steamed carrots.
How long will Mexican rice last in fridge?
Mexican rice will last for 4 days in the fridge when stored in air tight containers. Follow the reheating tips shared below.
Can Mexican rice be frozen?
Yes, Mexican rice can be frozen for upto 3 months in air tight freezer safe containers. Follow the reheating tips shared below.
Can Mexican Rice be reheated?
Yes Mexican rice can be reheated in the microwave oven until warm or hot. Follow the directions below for best results!
Fridge: Sprinkle a few drops of water on top of the fridge cold rice and than pop it in the microwave oven to reheat. Those extra drops of water will keep the rice moist and prevent it from getting dry.
Freezer: Thaw the frozen Mexican rice overnight in the refrigerator. Than, follow the reheating directions shared above.
Mexican rice is orange due to the use of tomatoes in the recipe. The tomatoes impart an orange hue to the rice.
Mexican rice get’s mushy if the rice is over cooked or the recipe uses unrinsed rice. The surface starch from the unrinsed rice results in mushy, gummy rice.
Yes, Mexican rice can be made way ahead and than stored in the fridge or freezer for future use. It does great in the fridge and the freezer.
Yes, Mexican rice is gluten free. Store bough chicken stock might sometimes contain gluten. It’s better that you check the labels or use homemade chicken stock or use just plain water to cook the rice.
Spanish rice and Mexican rice are not the same thing though they might look way similar and sometimes used interchangeably. Spanish rice and Mexican rice uses different seasonings. Spanish rice uses saffron which lends the rice a gorgeous yellow color. Whereas, Mexican rice has a more orange or red hue due to the use of cayenne, chili powder & tomatoes. Spanish rice has a good mouthfeel, it’s way firmer than Mexican rice.
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Watch Recipe Video
- 2 cups long grain white rice (**rinsed very well. For Jasmine & Basmati Rice options check NOTES below.)
- 1 cup onion (**finely chopped. Use yellow onion.)
- 1/2 tbsp garlic (**minced)
- 8 ounce tomato sauce (**226 g. For Rotel, tomato paste or fresh tomato options check TIPS & TRICKS above in the post body.)
- 1/4 tsp chili powder (**optional)
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper (**optional.)
- 3 tbsp Avocado oil (**or use any neutral oil. Find list in NOTES below.)
- Salt (**use according to your personal taste preference.)
- 2 cups Water (**warm. Use this to stir the better than bouillon (chicken base) to make an instant stock.)
- 1 tbsp Better Than Bouillon (**stirred well in the 2 cups warm water for an instant chicken stock with best flavor.)
- Saute aromatics: Set the instant pot on SAUTE & set it on HIGH heat. Add oil and when the oil becomes moderately hot gently release the onion and garlic and saute until the onion begins to turn limp. Add salt to quicken the process of sautéing.
- Rinse Rice: While the onion and garlic are being sautéed rinse the long grain white rice several times under running tap water (Cold or normal temp.) until absolutely clear water runs through. This is super important & will help rinse out the surface starch from the rice. As a result you’ll have fluffy Mexican rice, no more gummy/mushy rice & NO burn error! Drain the rinsed rice in a colander to remove excess water. DO NOT soak the rice in water, this will alter the cook time!
- Toast rinsed rice: Add the rinsed & drained rice back to the pot & toast the rice for 1-2 mins stirring continuously with a spatula. You’ll notice the rice will begin to turn opaque, some grains might pop, that’s absolutely fine. Toasting the rice will enhance the depth of flavor & take the dish to the top. TURN OFF the instant pot.
- De-glaze pot: Now pour the chicken stock into the pot and de-glaze the pot very well by scrapping the sides and the bottom of the pot to loosen any stuck food particles. This will prevent the BURN! Add the tomato sauce and give everything a quick stir.
- Pressure cook: Now, secure the lid of the instant pot, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 6 mins for al dente rice or 8 mins for softer rice. Once, the cooking cycle is over the instant pot will begin to beep. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 mins and than release the rest of the pressure manually by turning the valve from the sealing to the venting position. Open the lid carefully and TURN OFF the instant pot immediately.
- Fluff Rice & serve: With the help of a pair of fork fluff the rice gently and immediate remove the steel insert of the instant pot and keep it on the counter top to prevent the rice from getting over cooked by the residual heat & getting stuck at the bottom of the pot. Or you may transfer the fluffed Mexican rice into a serving bowl. Serve hot with your favorite Mexican dishes and enjoy!
- Can I use Jasmine rice? Yes you can use white Jasmine rice. The recipe would remain the same. However, the cook time would be 3 mins on HIGH PRESSURE followed by 10 mins natural pressure release.
- Can I use white Basmati rice? Yes, you can use white basmati rice. The recipe would remain the same. However, the cook time would be 5 mins on HIGH PRESSURE followed by 10 mins natural pressure release.
- Is the recipe spicy? No today’s Instant pot Mexican rice recipe is not spicy at all.
- Spicy Mexican rice option: Add 1-2 finely or roughly diced Jalapenos white sautéing the aromatics. You’ll have a pot full of fluffy and spicy Mexican rice.
- Read the Variations & Tips section of the post for more options.
- Better than Bouillon substitution: If you do not have better than Bouillon chicken base at home than do use 2 cups chicken stock (store bought or homemade) for todays Pressure cooker Mexican rice recipe. Better than Bouillon chicken base would add lots of depth of flavor. We highly recommend it!