This easy Instant Pot Mexican rice is a flavorful rice side dish perfect to serve with Tex Mex or Latin entrees.
Why you'll love it
- Easy side dish with lots of flavor. It pairs really well with Latin or Tex Mex dishes.
- You can make it mild or spicy to suit your preferences.
- Cook perfect rice in the Instant Pot, with no risk of burning it.
- Can easily be turned into an entree by adding some protein like shredded chicken or black beans.
- Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, nut free, soy free and dairy free recipe. This dish should be suitable for most dietary requirements.
Browse my collection of Instant Pot recipes for more amazing meal inspiration.
Mexican rice vs Spanish rice
Mexican rice and Spanish rice are very similar in that they are made using similar ingredients, served with the same types of food, and taste similarly.
The main difference between Mexican rice and Spanish rice is that the Mexican version is more soft and mushy, whereas Spanish rice tends to be firmer.
The other difference is that Mexican rice is cooked with cumin, and Spanish rice uses saffron instead.
Rice: Use long grain rice, such as Jasmine or Basmati. Avoid using short grain rice or brown rice, as these have different cooking requirements.
Salsa: I use a jar of store bought salsa, but you can also totally use your favorite salsa recipe.
Garlic + onion: Add a bit of texture and flavor to the dish.
Chili: The chili adds a hint of spice. Omit it if you want a very mild rice dish, or add extra chili if you prefer it really spicy.
- Saute the onion: On saute setting, saute the onion in a little olive oil or vegetable oil for a few minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add seasoning: Add grated garlic, chili and the seasoning, stir and leave to saute for another minute.
- Add rice: Then, add dry rice to the Instant Pot, and stir to coat the grains in the seasoning.
- Finish and cook: Add vegetable stock and salsa, stir to combine, and seal the lid on the Instant Pot. Turn on the PRESSURE COOK or MANUAL setting, and cook the rice for 10 minutes.
- Release the pressure: Quickly release the pressure according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Serve: Fluff the rice with a fork, then serve.
- If you're really short on time, you can skip the step of sautéing the ingredients, and simply add them all into the pressure cooker at the same time. The rice will be less flavorful, but still good.
Here are some of my favorite entrees and dishes to serve this rice with:
- Slow Cooker Picadillo - A flavorful Latin dish with ground beef.
- Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas - These juicy fajitas are super easy to make in your Instant Pot.
- Ground Turkey Enchiladas - My favorite learn enchiladas!
- Healthy Buffalo Chicken Tacos - Mexican rice and tacos is an excellent combination.
- Fajita Stuffed Chicken - If you're looking for a more standard entree, try these chicken breasts stuffed with onions and peppers.
If you're looking for the perfect side dish, you might want to check out my collection of rice recipes!
Spicy: Double up on the chili if you want to make spicy rice.
With veggies: Feel free to add diced vegetables to your rice. Peppers, tomatoes and corn can be excellent additions.
As an entree: Add a protein source, such as black beans, shredded chicken or pulled pork to make the rice more filling.
Store leftover Mexican rice in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat it in a microwave for a few minutes, and serve it warm.
Mexican rice is perfect for meal prep, as you can prepare a big batch and serve it with multiple meals through the week.
Frequently asked questions
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Instant Pot Mexican Rice
- Use the saute setting on the Instant Pot, and saute the onion in a little olive oil or vegetable oil for a few minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add grated garlic, chili and the seasoning, stir and leave to saute for another minute.
- Then, add dry rice to the Instant Pot, and stir to coat the grains in the seasoning.
- Quickly release the pressure according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Fluff the rice with a fork, then serve.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container for up to 4 days.
- This recipe is only tested with a 6 qt Instant Pot.