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Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Make this Instant Pot Mexican Rice for a fast side dish that the whole family will love! This copycat restaurant rice pairs well with so many dishes. No pressure cooker? You’ll also find stovetop instructions in the recipe.

A black bowl filled with Mexican rice and topped with cilantro and limes on a board with avocado and other garnishes

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This Instant Pot Mexican Rice is our favorite side for just about any main dish. It’s super tasty, is made in a flash, and can also easily be made vegan/vegetarian.

Try it alongside Air Fryer Taquitos, Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas, top with Pickled Shallots, and combine with some Spicy Instant Pot Black Beans as a tasty base for our Baked Tortilla Bowls

Is Spanish Rice the Same As Mexican Rice?

Nope. Many people/restaurants use the term interchangeably, but typically, Spanish rice includes saffron. This simple Mexican Rice recipe is one I have adapted to the Instant Pot from my friend’s mother-in-law who is from Guadalajara. 

4 photos showing step by step how to make Mexican rice in the Instant Pot

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • Do NOT stir the tomato juice into the rice before cooking. Instead, pour it on top without combining, and then cook. If the tomato makes contact with the bottom of the Instant Pot insert, you will likely get a burn notice.
  • If you want to double the recipe, the cooking time will remain the same. However, because there is more food, the Instant Pot will take longer to come to pressure.
  • If you use short-grain rice, you’ll need to increase the cooking time by 2 minutes.
  • To make this a faster weeknight meal, use frozen onions and frozen minced garlic.
  • I freeze any leftover tomato juice in Souper Cubes to use in Instant Pot Tortilla Soup With Rice, Ravioli Soup, and Whole30 Beef Stew.

a spoonful of rice being held above a large bowl of rice topped with limes and cilantro

If you love Instant pot rice dishes, check out our Instant Pot Asparagus Risotto, Instant Pot Garlic Butter Rice, Instant Pot Jasmine Rice, Instant Pot Sushi Rice, Instant Pot Basmati Rice, Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice, Instant Pot Coconut Rice, and Instant Pot Brown Jasmine Rice.

Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Pressurizing/Depressurizing13 mins
Total Time29 mins
This copycat restaurant rice is great for meal prep and pairs well with so many dishes.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups Jasmine rice {or other long-grain white rice}{do not rinse}
  • 1/4 cup onion {diced}
  • 3 cloves garlic {minced}
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock {use vegetable to make plant-based}
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium tomato juice


  • Set the Instant Pot to sauté. Allow it to get hot and add the oil.
  • Add the rice and stir to combine with olive oil. Cook on sauté until rice is toasted (~9 minutes).
  • Add onion and sauté until slightly softened (~2 minutes). Add garlic and stir.
  • Press “off/keep warm”to turn the Instant Pot off.
  • Add chicken stock and salt. Use chicken stock to deglaze the insert if anything stuck to it.
  • Add the tomato juice but do not stir it into the rice mixture.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the vent to sealing. Press Manual>High>6 minutes.
  • Allow for a 5-minute natural release and then do a quick release.
  • When the vent has dropped, carefully open the lid and fluff the rice to incorporate the tomato juice.


Do NOT stir the tomato juice into the rice before cooking. Instead, pour it on top without combining, and then cook.
Do not rinse the rice for this recipe.
Select low-sodium tomato juice if it is available.
Stovetop Instructions:
Heat olive in a heavy saucepan (like a dutch oven) and stir in rice. Toast until lightly browned.
Add onion and sauté until slightly softened. Add garlic and stir.
Add chicken stock, tomato juice, and salt. Stir.
Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to low, and cook for 20 minutes with the lid on. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes with the lid on.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Mexican Rice
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cups)
Calories 169 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 131mg6%
Potassium 117mg3%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 82IU2%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 14mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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2 comments on “Instant Pot Mexican Rice”

  1. Sounds delicious. Do you think a blob of tomatoe paste with some water would be an adequate substitute for tomatoe juice?

    • Yes, as long as the volume is the same. The flavor will be a bit low-key but still tasty.

      Just make sure you don’t stir it in until after it cooks. 🙂