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Instant Pot Mexican Rice

It’s this vegan Instant Pot Mexican Rice for me. 

Tender, fluffy, and so tasty. Mexican rice is so wonderful because it’s a simple-to-make dish that can elevate whatever it’s served with. Most often I serve it with simple home-cooked black beans or grilled tofu and vegetables. But sometimes, I just eat it as a snack as is. However you enjoy it, this vegan Instant Pot Mexican rice is the truth.

Like everything in life, I make this Mexican rice in the Instant Pot. You start by sauteéing onions, garlic and peppers, then add a melange of tasty spices. I love anything with a smoky flavor, so this recipe has plenty of smoked paprika, not plain paprika which really has no flavor. After the spices have toasted, add your rinsed rice, tomatoes, and vegetable broth, and let it cook. Part of the joy of this recipe is that it takes just 3 minutes to cook in the Instant Pot. I usually get it started while I’m working on other ingredients, and it’s done by the time we’re ready to eat. 

I know it’s called Mexican rice, but this fantastic fluffy dish is not bound by borders. Serve it any time you want rice and extra flavor. Tonight I’m making West African Peanut Stew, and I plan to serve it with some vegan Mexican rice I have leftover. It’s also delicious with my Butternut Squash Moroccan Tagine, and of course it’s perfect in Buddha bowls, in burritos, with Jerk jackfruit, and anywhere else you’d like rice. 

Even better, it freezes well! I know it’s easy to make, but sometimes all I want is to pull something healthy and home-cooked out of my freezer, and let it thaw while I go about my day. This Mexican rice is that. 

You can make it with brown or white rice, long or short grain. However, my preference is white Jasmine rice. It makes such nice fluffy rice, and the white rice soaks up all of the flavor so nicely. 

Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Prep time

10 mins

Cook time

15 mins

Total time

25 mins

You can also make this stovetop. Simply cook the rice following the package instructions for liquid and cook time.

Author: Jenné

Serves: 6-8


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ¼ cup red or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cups white rice (I use basmati)
  • 2 cups water + 1 tsp vegan bouillon paste (or 2 cup veg broth)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ⅔ cup tomato sauce or diced tomatoes in liquid


  1. In your instant pot, sauté the onions, garlic, and pepper on medium heat in the oil.
  2. Once tender, add the spices, and stir. Toast for about 15 seconds, before adding the rice, water, salt, bay leaf, and tomato sauce. Stir well.
  3. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and pressure cook for 4 minutes. Allow it to natural pressure release for 7 minutes, then quick pressure release.
  4. Fluff with a fork, and serve.



About Sandy

Sick of eating steamed vegetables time after time? Tired of making the same old meals? Make things exciting and fun, and explore vegetarian cooking with the recipes in this book. Don’t think that ‘meat’ can’t be part of your vegetarian diet! Even if you’re just interested in vegetarian dishes, you can make your own ‘meat’. You hear me! “Make your own meat!” I will show you the traditional Chinese way of making vegetarian meat. The possibilities are endless after you learn how! You can make Kung Po Chicken, Soft Blow Kidney, Sweet and Sour Chicken, and so much more. Learn and digest the recipes in this book. Then get creative, make your own dishes, and really explore vegetarian cooking.

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