If you need a quick and easy side dish that is ready in just about 20 minutes, try this Instant Pot Mexican Rice with green chiles and tomato paste. It’s flavorful without being too spicy. This recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free.

This Instant Pot Mexican Rice is an Americanized version of traditional rice dishes from Spain and Mexico. It’s also called Spanish Rice in the States. This version of spicy rice made using tomato paste got popular in the United States back in the 1950s.

Even if it’s not super authentic, Instant Pot Mexican Rice is easy to make and is so delicious! You can serve it with almost any main dish that needs rice as a side dish.

Why You Need This Recipe

  • For this version, I’ve used tomato sauce, green chiles, and cilantro to garnish. You can also add onions and chili powder if you like (see the full recipe card at the end of this post for all the specific measurements and variations).
  • Mexican rice is one of those dishes you can serve with just about anything, including beans, baked chicken, steak, or hamburgers. This recipe is naturally vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
  • I think you’re going to love how easy and tasty this healthy side dish is. It’s not too spicy, but it has great flavor.

Key Ingredients

Labeled photo with ingredients for instant pot mexican rice.

Long-grain white rice makes the base for this yummy rice dish. I used long-grain basmati rice.

Vegetable broth adds flavor to the rice. You can use chicken broth if you aren’t on a vegan or vegetarian diet and you want more protein.

Tomato paste adds the pretty red color plus depth of flavor.

Canned green chiles add a Mexican flair without being too spicy.

Cilantro is nice to sprinkle on at the end. Leave it off if you don’t like it.

Recipe Steps

There are just a few quick steps to making Instant Pot Mexican Rice. One reason this recipe should become part of your weekly meal plan is because of how simple and easy it is to throw together.

Step One

Rinse two cups of white rice and put it in the bowl of a 6-quart Instant Pot.

If you want to use brown rice, please see the recipe card below that discusses how you need to alter the cook time for brown rice.

white rice in a strainer.

Step Two

Place the rinsed rice in the bowl of your Instant Pot, along with the vegetable broth, tomato paste, and green chiles.

ingredients in instant pot for mexican rice.

Step Three

Lock on the lid and set the time to 6 minutes for white rice (brown rice will need 22 minutes). When the cooking time is complete, let the pressure come down naturally for about 10 minutes, and then carefully release any remaining pressure.

Remove the lid and use a fork to fluff the rice.

mexican rice cooked inside instant pot.

Step Four

Sprinkle some chopped fresh cilantro on top of the rice and serve it hot.

bowl of mexican rice topped with cilantro

Recipe FAQs

Can I use brown rice for this recipe?

Yes, you can! But, you need to increase the cooking time to 22 minutes. Brown rice takes longer than white rice to cook.

Can I make this in a 3-quart mini Instant Pot?

Yes, just cut the recipe in half.

How long does cooked Mexican Rice store in the fridge?

This recipe will last up to 5 days in a tightly-sealed container in the refrigerator.

Can I add an onion to this recipe?

Yes! I left it out to make the recipe super simple. Just add 1/2 of a chopped onion to cook with the rice.

What other types of rice dishes can you make in an Instant Pot?

So many! I gave away my rice cooker once I started using a pressure cooker to make rice. Find my recipes for Instant Pot Basmati Rice, Instant Pot Chicken Soup with Rice, Instant Pot Coconut Rice, Instant Pot Rice Pudding, or see all of my Instant Pot Rice Dishes.

bowl of instant pot mexican rice served with fresh cilantro and a lime.

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

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cooked mexican rice in a bowl.

Instant Pot Mexican Rice


Description

If you need a quick and easy side dish that is ready in just about 20 minutes, try this Instant Pot Mexican Rice with green chiles and tomato paste. It’s flavorful without being too spicy. This recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups white rice, rinsed well in a fine-mesh colander
  • 1 3/4 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 4ounce can green chiles, with the liquid
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional, for topping)

Instructions

  1. In the base of a 6-quart or 8-quart Instant Pot, pour in the rinsed rice and vegetable broth. 
  2. Add the tomato paste and green chiles and stir gently to combine.
  3. Lock on the lid and set the time to 6 minutes.
  4. When the cooking time is complete, let the pressure come down naturally for about 10 minutes.
  5. Then, use the quick release to get rid of any remaining pressure. Carefully remove the lid and use a fork to fluff the rice.
  6. Sprinkle the rice with the chopped cilantro and serve hot. 

Notes

  1. If you want to use brown rice for this recipe, increase the cooking time to 22 minutes. 
  2. If you want to add a chopped onion to this recipe, just add it with the rice and the other ingredients.
  3. If you want this recipe to be spicy, add 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder to the rice before you cook it. 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Instant Pot pressure cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: instant pot mexican rice, pressure cooker spanish rice, vegan instant pot recipes

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