The easiest, tastiest Instant Pot Mexican Rice Recipe you’ll ever make using all fresh ingredients like onion and garlic, ripe, juicy tomatoes and jalapeño. It doesn’t get any better than this—on the table in 20 minutes!
Mexican Rice, Spanish Rice, Red Rice, Arroz Rojo, whatever you call it, it is a staple in any Mexican household and there’s always one person who makes it better than anyone else.
In our family that title goes to my Mother-in-Law. It is the first thing my kids (and all her other 11 grandchildren) ask for the minute they walk through her door. She has secrets that remain secrets so I don’t know her exact recipe or technique but whatever she does, it comes out fluffy and perfect every time.
I may not have her magic touch and I certainly don’t have her recipe, but the one advantage I have over her Mexican rice, is speed. This Mexican Rice Recipe cuts the cook time in half because it is made in the Instant Pot and is flavorful and comforting—even if its not Nana’s rice.
Why You Must Make This Instant Pot Mexican Rice
It is super easy. A few basic ingredients and a few simple steps will turn out perfect, flavorful rice every time. The pressure cooker cooks rice evenly, so it all cooks at the same time.
An essential side dish. This will take your next Mexican meal from good to amazing! Delicious with everything from a pot of beans to enchiladas.
Uses only fresh ingredients. Many Mexican Rice recipes call for powdered chicken bouillon or other enhancers that are loaded with sodium and MSG. This simple recipe uses only fresh vegetables, rice, oil, and chicken stock.
Gluten-free and easily vegan. This rice recipe is 100% gluten-free and can easily be made vegan by replacing the chicken broth with water or vegetable broth.
This is a simple and basic rice recipe. Feel free to mix in blanched green peas and carrots after the rice is cooked or chopped cilantro.
- White Jasmine rice. Buy the highest quality rice you can afford, it makes all the difference. I like to use California-grown Lundberg rice or the Thai brands like Four Elephants.
- Roma tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are traditional but ripeness trumps variety here.
- White onion
- Jalapeño. Remove the seeds and white veins if you don’t want it too spicy.
- Olive oil or any other neutral oil. Avocado oil also would be good.
- Chicken broth
- Kosher salt
- Chipotle chili powder. Totally optional but I like the smoky, spicy kick it adds.
How To Make It
The Instant Pot does all the work here. If you don’t own an Instant Pot, try my Oven-Baked Mexican Rice Recipe.
Rinse the rice. Get any dust, dirt, or extra starch off the rice by placing it in a fine mesh sieve and running it under cold water until the water runs clear.
Chop the veggies. Chop the onion, jalapeño, tomatoes, and garlic. They don’t have to be small, just roughly chop.
Blend tomato sauce. Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, garlic, salt, chili powder, and chicken broth in a blender and blend until smooth.
Fry the rice. Turn Instant Pot to sauté on high. Add oil and fry rice in the oil until it is toasted and opaque. Stir frequently to prevent rice from sticking and burning to the bottom. Add the sauce and stir to combine.
Cook the rice. Lock the lid to the sealed position. Turn Instant Pot to PRESSURE COOK on HI and set timer for 4 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes for the machine to come to pressure then it will start cooking.
Serve! Let the pressure naturally release for at least 5 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure. If you have time, let the rice naturally release for even longer (like 10-15 minutes). This lets the rice soak up more of the liquid. Carefully open the lid, fluff rice with a fork and serve!
Help! The Burn Notice Went Off
You don’t want to add too much liquid otherwise the rice will become mushy. The downside is sometimes the sugars in the tomato sauce get too hot and burn on the bottom of the pot. If the burn notice goes off, push the pressure release button, carefully remove lid, add another 1/4 cup chicken broth, stir to combine and repeat step 4.
Serve Instant Pot Mexican Rice With:
- Easy Sofrito Black Beans
- Authentic Chiles Rellenos
- Crock Pot Borracho Beans
- Oven-Roasted Cochinita Pibil
- Chicken Mole Verde
- Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa
- Mushroom and Cheese Enchiladas
Fluffy Mexican Rice in an Instant?
Yes please! Let me know when you make it by snapping a pic and tagging me on Instagram @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so I can see or leave me a comment below (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating) ! Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!
- 1 1/2 cups white Jasmine rice
- 1 pound ripe Roma tomatoes, cored and chopped
- 1/2 small white onion, chopped
- 1 medium jalapeño, stemmed and chopped (seeds removed if you'd like it less spicy)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Rinse rice. Place rice in a colander and rinse under running water until the water runs clear.
- Blend. Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, garlic, chicken broth, salt, and chipotle chili powder in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Fry rice. Turn the Instant Pot to SAUTE on HI. Add the oil and let heat for 1 minute. Add the rice and fry in the oil, stirring frequently to prevent from sticking and burning, until opaque and toasted, about 6 minutes.
- Cook. Add the tomato sauce and stir to combine. Seal the Instant Pot. Select PRESSURE COOK HIGH for 4 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes for the machine to come up to pressure before the cooking cycle begins.
- Natural Release. When the 4 minutes of pressure cooking has finished, let the pressure release naturally for at least 5 minutes. If you have more time, let it release naturally for 10-15 minutes for maximum fluffiness. Quick release the remaining pressure. Carefully open the lid.
- Fluff and serve. Fluff rice with a fork and serve.
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