An easy and hands-off recipe for Instant Pot Mexican rice. This recipe is made with pantry staples and is a restaurant-style side dish that would pair perfectly with tacos, burritos, or enchiladas!
This Instant Pot vegan Mexican rice recipe will definitely become one of your new favorites as it’s super simple and delicious! Let the Instant Pot do all the work for you, then bask in the joy of only having only one pot to clean!
No matter what kind of Mexican or Latin-inspired food you’re eating, this rice will be the perfect accompaniment. Enchiladas, burritos, tacos, with chips and salsa… anything and everything will complement it wonderfully!
So, read on to learn how to make this addictive Instant Pot vegan Mexican rice recipe for yourself!
Mexican Rice Ingredients
Many of these ingredients are vegan staples so you’ll probably already have a lot of these on hand!
- Olive oil – Olive oil has been studied tons as it’s a central part of the famed Mediterranean diet. We know that olive oil, in moderation, can be part of a very heart-healthy diet. In addition to its beneficial fatty acids, olive oil also contains potent antioxidants that may help reduce our risk of chronic illnesses!
- Long-grain white rice – White rice is rich in carbohydrates, which helps keep us full and gives us energy to do the things we love every day. Plus, while white rice may not be quite as healthy as brown rice, it still packs some beneficial nutrition and is actually easier to digest than brown rice due to the absence of phytic acid.
- Tomato sauce – Tomatoes are quite rich in a powerful compound known as lycopene, which is a potent antioxidant. Plus, tomatoes are now thought to have probiotic characteristics, which makes for better digestion! Just try to avoid tomato sauces that are particularly high in sodium if you’re aiming for a healthier recipe.
- Garlic cloves – Garlic belongs to the allium family. Allium vegetables are rich in organosulfur compounds, which research shows may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure!
- White onion – Onion, like garlic, is part of the allium family, so by using onion as well as garlic you’re getting double the beneficial organosulfur compounds! You can use other types of onion if you prefer or if you don’t have any white onion on hand.
- Carrot – Carrots contain a powerful compound known as beta-carotene, which our bodies naturally convert into vitamin A. These colorful vegetables are renowned around the world for their benefits for eye health and they’re also rich in vitamin C as well!
- Vegetable bouillon – Using vegetable bouillon or broth instead of plain water helps make this rice extra rich in flavor! Plus, you get extra nutrition from the vegetables contained in the bouillon or broth.
- Chili powder – In addition to providing a tasty punch of flavor and spiciness, chili powder is full of capsaicin, which naturally contains incredibly powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Chili powder even contains more vitamin C by weight than oranges!
- Cumin – Cumin is a wonderful spice for Mexican cuisine, and this recipe is no exception. It lends a powerful and delicious taste, but also is full of health benefits such as enhanced digestion and a variety of antioxidants.
- Salt – If you try to be health-conscious like me, it can be tempting to skip or reduce the salt, but don’t! Adding even a little salt really helps bring out the other flavors.
- Frozen peas – Frozen peas work well for this recipe, but you can use unfrozen if that’s what you have. Peas, whether frozen or not, pack a lot of nutrition! You can count on vitamins A, B, C, and E, as well as zinc and anti-inflammatory compounds!
- Fresh cilantro – It’s always best with Mexican food to use fresh cilantro whenever possible. You can chop it to your preference, leaving in stems or not and chopping it as finely or coarsely as you prefer. Cilantro, like many herbs and spices, has wonderful health benefits including antioxidant and antifungal effects!
Steps to Make Mexican Rice
- Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse well with water until the water runs clear.
- Add the rice, tomato sauce, water, garlic, onion, carrot, vegetable bouillon, chili powder, cumin, and salt to the Instant Pot. Give it a good stir so everything is incorporated well.
- Place the lid on your Instant Pot and turn the valve to "sealed." Press manual or high pressure, and set the Instant Pot to cook for 6 minutes. When the timer beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before turning the valve to "vent" and removing the lid.
- Add the peas and cilantro to the Instant Pot and fluff the rice with a fork. Let the rice sit for 10 minutes before serving.
What Should I Serve with Mexican Rice?
Mexican rice is an amazing accompaniment to any and all kinds of…wait for it…Mexican food! I mean, it makes sense, right? Here are some different things you can serve this rice with:
- Sofritas or soyrizo
- Alongside beans (whole or refried)
- Chips and salsa
- On its own topped with guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, and fresh cilantro
Can you substitute brown rice?
Yes! You might consider increasing the water by ¼ cup and the cook time to 8 minutes, however, as brown rice takes a little longer to cook in the Instant Pot.
Why do you rinse rice before cooking it?
Rinsing rice, in addition to removing possible impurities, also helps remove the starches naturally present. This will help you avoid getting a mushy texture once cooked.
Is this rice gluten-free?
Yes! Fortunately, rice is naturally free of gluten, and there’s nothing else in this recipe that contains gluten.
What’s the difference between Spanish rice and Mexican rice?
Interestingly enough, there are not many differences between Spanish rice and Mexican rice. One key difference is the color. Spanish rice should be yellow, as one of its key ingredients is the spice saffron. As Mexican rice doesn’t use saffron and uses cumin, it keeps more of a reddish-orange color from the tomato sauce.
Should you sauté the rice in the Instant Pot first?
I would not! I actually tested it this way first and kept getting the burn message, so I suggest not doing that and instead adding all of the ingredients directly to the Instant Pot.
Do I instantly release the pressure when the rice is done cooking?
For the ultimate fluffy rice, it’s best to let the pressure naturally release for about 10 minutes first before switching the valve to “vent.”
Can you freeze this rice?
Definitely! It should keep for up to three months, and when you’re ready to eat simply defrost in the refrigerator overnight and heat up in the microwave or stovetop according to your preference.
Are there any possible recipe substitutions?
- Some recipes that would be considered authentic don’t have any vegetables in them at all. If you prefer, you can definitely leave the vegetables out.
- You can also add other ingredients like beans (for some added nutrition), jalapenos (for some added heat), or corn (really whatever you want!).
- Finally, you can also opt for vegetable broth rather than water to get a more robust flavor.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
This is a great recipe for meal prepping as you’ll have delicious rice all week long! It’s delicious with any combination of Mexican or other Latin flavors. This rice is...
- Warm – Warm rice and beans really hit the spot with cooler weather!
- Simple – Just four easy steps and ready in a mere half an hour! It’s also a one pot (Instant Pot) recipe so the Instant Pot does all the work, and the cleanup is a breeze! Plus, the ingredients are common pantry staples.
- Cheap – Rice, even organic rice, offers great bang for your buck as it’s filling and super versatile.
- Versatile – Speaking of versatility, you can use it to make this recipe, of course, but also for any given stir fry or other Asian or Latin dish you might make.
- Like eating out at home! – You will be perfectly happy eating at home and maybe even proud of your feat once you bite into this addictive crispy vegan orange tofu!
Let me know if you try this recipe for Instant Pot Mexican Rice, and if you do, I would love it if you left a rating and review below! Make sure you are also following along on Instagram and Pinterest for more food inspiration.
Try more vegan entrees below:
- Crispy orange tofu
- Chipotle burrito bowl
- Yellow curry
- Pineapple fried rice
- Creamy pink pasta
- Tofu Poke Bowl
- Pumpkin Pasta
- Grilled Tofu Burger
- Mediterranean Buddha Bowl
- Spicy Noodle Stir Fry
- Pumpkin Soup without Stock
- Beyond Sausage Paella
- Greek Lemon Soup
- Broccoli Leek Soup
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Shepherd's Pie with Beyond Beef
- Quinoa Lentil Meatloaf