Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Rice loaded with awesome fajita flavors, beans, corn, juicy chicken and lot’s of cheese. This one pot Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl get’s done under 30 mins, a perfect weeknight dinner that’ll make you lick your plate!
Check out our huge collection of easy Instant Pot Recipes!
Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl
One-pot rice dinners like this Instant Pot sausage and rice are pretty awesome. And today’s Instant Pot Cheesy Fajita rice is no exception. It get’s done fast & loaded with bold flavors, filled with awesome aroma & juicy chicken and it’ll help satiate your cheesy rice cravings, because it’s just so cheesy!
If you do not prefer the cheese just skip it! The Fajita rice will still taste outstanding. You can also customize the dish further by making it spicy. Add a few chopped jalapenos for a fantastic kick.
Tips & Tricks
- Rice: Rinse the rice several times under running tap water until clear water runs through. This is very important and will help remove the surface starch from the rice. As a result, the rice will not be gummy or gooey. Rinsing the rice will also help prevent the BURN error!
- Best rice: Use white Long gain rice. It’s a must and do not replace with any other types of rice. The recipe might not work if you use other types of rice.
- Fajita Seasoning: Add the fajita seasoning on top of the rice before beginning the pressure cooking cycle. Do not stir or mix. Store bought Fajita seasoning has cornstarch & sugar. Hence, it has a tendency to stick at the bottom of the pot when mixed or stirred along with other ingredients. This would trigger the BURN error.
- Prevent Burn: De-glaze pot very well. There should not be any food particles (even the tiniest) stuck at the bottom of the pot. This will prevent the burn. Also, rinse the rice very well and add the ingredients in order. DO NOT mix or stir ingredients before beginning the pressure cooking cycle. Diced tomatoes & fajita seasoning has a tendency to stick at the bottom of the pot. Add them in the order mentioned in the recipe to prevent the burn error.
- Best flavor secret: The flavor secret lies in the fire roasted tomatoes and the seasoning trio pack (cumin, paprika & chili powder). Don’t miss these and also the fajita seasoning.
- Make Fajita Rice super cheesy and spicy: For cheesy Fajita rice mix one half of the shredded Mexican cheese into the rice and layer the other half on top of the Fajita rice and allow the cheese to melt for a gooey texture. It’s irresistibly good! For a spicy note add chopped jalapenos along with the onion. Today’s recipe is not spicy!
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements at the bottom of the post. The list below is just a reference.
- Chicken: You can use either boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs.
- Rice: Long grain rice. DO NOT use any other rice as the liquid to rice ratio is critical in an Instant Pot and it matters a lot. The cook time and also the liquid rice ratio would vary for different kinds of rice. Do stick to only Long Grain white rice.
- Aromatics: Onion & garlic.
- Bell Peppers: Bell Peppers. We used red and green bell peppers. They add so much freshness, crispness & a subtle sweetness to the dish. You can add your favorite colors.
- Corn: Use frozen corn just like us if you prefer the cooked rice to be slightly on the moist side. If you prefer the cooked fajita rice to be on the drier side use thawed corn or canned corn that are drained well.
- Black Beans: From the can, drained.
- Tomatoes: Fire roasted diced tomatoes would add a whole lot of punch and extra flavors to the dish as compared to regular diced tomatoes. We love the outstanding flavors that it adds to the Instant Pot Fajita Rice! Simply irresistible!
- Seasonings: Cumin Powder, Fajita seasoning, red chili powder, paprika (not smoked) and salt.
- Liquid: Use either store bought or homemade chicken stock or use Better than Bouillon mixed in hot or warm water. This stuff is crazy good. The day we started using it in our recipes we have never looked back to chicken stock again!
- Lime Juice.
- Cooking Fat: Butter & extra light or light olive oil. You can use any neutral oil like avocado oil, canola, sunflower or vegetable oil.
- Dairy: A blend of grated Mexican Cheese.
- Garnish: Sour Cream, avocados, cilantro and sliced lime.
How to make chicken fajita rice?
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements + Video at the bottom of the post.
Step #1 Sear chicken, saute aromatics
- Marinate Chicken: Marinate chicken cubes with paprika, red chili powder, cumin powder and salt. Rest it for 30 mins. This will make the chicken so flavorful.
- Sear Chicken: Set Instant Pot on Saute at High heat setting, add oil and sear the marinated chicken until golden around the edges. Do not skip this step. It’ll add tons of good flavor to the fajita rice.
- Saute aromatics: In the same pot, add butter and saute the onion, bell peppers and garlic for about 2 mins total.
Step #2 De-glaze pot
- De-glaze pot: Add the seasonings and saute 30 sec. Than, pour chicken stock and de-glaze the pot very well scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot with the spatula to help loosen any stuck food particles. This is so IMPORTANT. This step will prevent the BURN error!
- Add corn & beans: Once done de-glazing add the corns and black beans and give a quick stir. We’ll begin layering the ingredients in the next step.
Step #3 Layer ingredients, pressure cook
- Rinse rice: Rinse the long grain white rice very well several times under running tap water until clear water runs through. This is important and will help rinse out the surface starch from the rice. As a result the rice won’t turn gummy or mushy. Drain the rinsed rice very well so that there’s absolutely no excess water remaining.
- Layer ingredients: Add the rice to the pot, DO NOT mix or stir. Instead just spread out the rice gently with the help of a spatula and press it down. It’s ok if the rice is not submerged in the stock. DO NOT mix or stir! Next, layer the diced fire roasted canned tomatoes, sprinkle the fajita seasoning and layer the seared chicken pieces on top of the tomatoes. DO NOT stir or mix.
- Pressure cook: Secure the lid of the instant pot, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 6 mins followed by 5 mins natural release. Open the lid carefully
Step #4 Add Cheese & serve
- Fluff Rice & mix cheese: The rice will be moist at this stage. It’ll retain a perfect consistency as it cools down. Gently fluff the rice with the help of a pair of forks. Add lemon juice & Mexican shredded cheese and gently fold it with the rice.
- Rest Fajita rice: Add more cheese on top of the Fajita rice, DO NOT mix or stir. Cover the Instant pot with a temporary lid or it’s own lid and let the rice rest for 5 mins. The cheese on the top will melt.
- Serve: Scoop out the chicken fajita rice in individual serving bowls. Serve with your favorite toppings like diced/sliced avocados, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro and lime wedges.
Pro Tip: If you want to make cheese free Fajita rice. Go ahead and skip adding the cheese. Once, you are done fluffing the cooked fajita rice you can serve it with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
Fridge: You can store the chicken fajita rice in the fridge for upto 4 days. Use air tight containers for best flavor retention.
Freezer: Instant Pot chicken fajita rice bowl is freezer friendly and would last up to 2 months in the freezer when you store in heavy duty freezer safe bags or containers.
From the fridge: Reheat the chicken fajita rice in the microwave oven until warm or hot. Sprinkle water on the top and than re-heat, this will add some extra moisture to the surface and help keep the dish moist.
From the freezer: Thaw the fajita rice bowl overnight in the fridge and than re-heat following the above mentioned directions.
Instant Pot Chicken Fajita RicePrint Recipe Pin Rate
Watch Recipe Video
- 1.5 pound chicken (**skinless, boneless breasts or thighs diced into 1/2 inch cubes.)
- 1 cup long grain white rice (**rinsed very well.)
- 1 cup onion (**yellow onion roughly chopped.)
- 1 tbsp garlic (**minced)
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper (**roughly chopped)
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper (**roughly chopped)
- 15.25 ounce Black Beans (**432 g. Drained. Used 1 can.)
- 1 cup corn (**frozen or thawed or from the can drained. Read NOTES below.)
- 14.5 ounce canned fire roasted tomatoes (**411 g. Used 1 can.)
- 1.5 cups Mexican Cheese (**shredded or grated. We used store bought shredded cheese.)
- 1 tbsp Lime Juice (**or lemon juice.)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil (**or any neutral oil. Check Notes below.)
- 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- Salt (to taste) (**use according to your own personal preference.)
Liquid (you can also use chicken stock)
- 1 cup Water (**hot or warm.)
- 1 tbsp Better than Bouillon (**we used roasted chicken.)
Seasonings for chicken
Seasonings for Rice
- 2 avocado
- 1/2 cup Cilantro (**roughly chopped.)
- 1/2 cup sour cream (**whisked well.)
- 1 Lime (**sliced into wedges.)
- Marinate Chicken: Add all the ingredients in a bowl mentioned above in the “seasonings for chicken” along with the diced chicken cubes. Mix well until all the chicken pieces are well coated with the marinade. Rest for 30 mins.
- Sear Chicken: Set the Instant Pot on SAUTE function & set it on HIGH heat. Add oil, when the oil becomes moderately hot gently release the marinated chicken pieces and sear until they become golden around the edges. Set the seared chicken pieces aside.
- Saute Aromatics: Now, add butter and allow it to melt. Than. throw in the chopped onion and bell peppers. Saute for 1 min. Add salt and mix well. Add the garlic and saute another 30 secs. Next, add the cumin, chili powder & paprika mentioned in the “seasonings for rice” above (do not add the fajita seasoning now). Saute another 30 seconds.
- De-glaze pot: Pour the chicken stock and de-glaze the pot very well scraping the sides & the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. There should not be any food particles stuck at the bottom of the pot. This will prevent the burn. Turn off the SAUTE function.
- Layer ingredients: Add the corn and black bean, give a quick stir. Rinse the long grain white rice very well under running tap water until clear water runs through. Drain the rice very well in a colander and than add it to the pot. Gently spread the rice with the help of a spatula and push it down. DO NOT stir or mix. It’s ok if the rice is not below the liquid. Next, pour the diced fire roasted tomatoes and spread them out on top of the rice. DO NOT mix or stir. Add the fajita seasoning now. Transfer the seared chicken pieces into the pot and spread them out on top of the tomatoes. DO NOT stir or mix.
- Pressure Cook: Secure the lid of the instant pot, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 6 mins. Once, the cooking cycle is over the instant pot will begin to beep. Wait for 5 mins Natural Release and than release the rest of the pressure manually by moving the valve from the sealing to the venting position. Open the lid when the metal pin drops. Gently fluff the fajita rice with the help of a pair of fork. The rice will look moist at this super hot stage but it’ll retain a perfect texture as it cools down.
- Add Cheese: Now, add the lemon juice and 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese and mix gently. Add the rest of the 1 cup Mexican Cheese, DO NOT mix or stir. Cover the Instant pot with a temporary glass lid or the instant pot lid and rest for 5 mins. This will allow the cheese to melt. Serve hot with your favorite toppings like – diced avocados, cilantro, lime wedges, sour cream, chopped tomatoes. Enjoy!
- Neutral Oil: Oils that doesn’t have any strong smell or taste are known as neutral oils. The best example are extra light or light olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil & sunflower oil.
- Fajita Seasoning: DO NOT add the store bought fajita seasoning along with all other seasonings because it contains cornstarch and will stick at the bottom of the pot resulting in BURN error. Add the fajita seasoning on top of the tomatoes as suggested and shown in the recipe and DO NOT mix stir before the pressure cooking cycle.
- Spicy Fajita Rice: If you prefer spicy food you can add a few diced jalapenos along with the onion and bell peppers. If you prefer mild heat go ahead and add a few dashes of red pepper flakes instead or jalapenos. Add the red pepper flakes along with the other seasonings.
- Is the Chicken Fajita rice spicy? No, today’s recipe is not spicy at all!
- Can I double the recipe? Yes, you can double the recipe. The cook time would be 6 mins on high pressure followed by 10 mins natural release.
- Frozen Corn: Frozen corns will add some extra moisture to the dish. If you add frozen corn just like this recipe you’ll get moist rice that’ll remain slightly on the moist side.
- Regular thawed corns or drained from the can: If you prefer Fajita chicken rice slightly on the drier side add regular thawed corns or drained from the can.