Mexican Rice – Instant Pot|Stove (Tex-Mex Style)

March 1, 2019 (Updated: June 18, 2019) By Aneesha |

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Soft, fluffy and bursting with flavor, this Mexican Rice recipe will become your go-to side dish for Tex-Mex Night! In my take on this easy Instant Pot recipe, I combine simple ingredients and make the most delicious Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice.

Mexican rice with corn and peppers, garnished with lime and cilantro

Easy Delicious Vegan & Gluten-Free Recipe

Make this vegan and gluten-free side in your Instant Pot pressure cooker, or on the stove, and enjoy it with your favorite Mexican or Tex-Mex entree!

Colorful mexican rice served in a grey bowl with a lime green napkin

Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice with Salsa

My family LOVES Mexican food. We have a few favorite local restaurants that we visit a lot, plus we cook quite a few Tex-Mex dishes at home.

After having tried many versions of Mexican rice, this recipe was declared the winner over and over again by my kids. It is a fairly simple recipe that can be made in a pressure cooker, or on the stove.

I saute the rice with garlic, onion, corn, peppers and taco seasoning. Then, I cook it with fire-roasted salsa and water . Using fire-roasted salsa in this recipe gives this dish its unique and robust flavors, and that gorgeous reddish-orange color.

This recipe is a Tex-Mex variation of the traditional Mexican Red rice or Arroz Rojo.

A spoonful of fluffy and colorful Mexican rice

How to Make Mexican Rice Step by Step in an Instant Pot

Making rice in the Instant Pot pressure cooker is a breeze. What I love about it is that the process is so easy, consistent and mostly hands-off. Here is how I make Mexican Rice:

How to Make Mexican Rice on the Stove

No pressure cooker? No worries. This easy to follow recipe can be made on the stove too.

✔️Heat a sauce pan over medium-high heat, and follow all the steps for sautéing.

✔️Then, add water, seasoning and salsa. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

✔️Once done, open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork, and place the lid back. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro and fresh lime juice and enjoy with your favorite entree.

Make a Meal: What to Serve with Mexican Rice

This is such a versatile side that pairs well with anything with Mexican flavors. We love to serve it with Enchiladas, Tacos, Quesadilla, Burrito, Tostada, and even with a side of black beans.

Instant pot Mexican Rice and Beans served in a bowl

Tips for Perfect Mexican Rice

Here are a few things things that I do, which result in fluffy and flavorful rice every single time!

Rinse the rice: Whenever I use long grain white rice, I always rinse it 2-3 times, until the water runs clear. What that does is remove the extra starch coating the rice kernels. This prevents the rice from being sticky and they turn out fluffy.

Adding paprika and salsa: Using these two ingredients gives this dish its iconic reddish-orange color. Salsa adds a spiced tomato flavor to the rice, which compliments any dish you pair it with.

Saute the rice: I always saute the rice with aromatics for a couple of minutes before adding water. Sautéing brings out the nutty flavor of rice and when you toast it with aromatics, it blends all the flavors really well. It also makes the end texture fluffy.

A bowl of mexican rice garnished with cilantro and lime, placed on a dramatic grey background

Popular Mexican Food Recipes from my Kitchen (Tex-Mex)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

3-Ingredient Salsa Chicken

Pulles Chicken Fajita Tacos

Arroz Con Leche (Rice Pudding)

★ Have you tried this recipe? Click on the stars ★ in the recipe card to let us know your feedback!

Colorful mexican rice served in a grey bowl with a lime green napkin

Mexican Rice – Instant Pot | Stove (Tex-Mex Style)

Soft, fluffy and full of flavor, this easy pressure cooker or stove-top recipe for restaurant-style Mexican Rice will become your go-to side dish for Tex-Mex Night!
Print Pin Discuss Recipe
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
NPR: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 250kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil light/refines, or vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed or grated
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped 1/2 medium onion
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers, chopped any color
  • 1/2 cup corn frozen or fresh
  • 1 cup basmati rice (or Jasmine) Rinsed well and drained
  • 2 tbsp Taco Seasoning (I user Trader Joe’s brand- see notes for substitute))
  • 1/2 cup fire-roasted salsa (or crushed tomato, I use Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 cup water

Garnish

  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 tsp Lime juice (about 1/2 a lime)

Instructions

  • Rinse Rice: Using a wide sieve, rinse the rice 2-3 times until water runs clear.  Let is soak in fresh water till you chop and prep the other ingredients.  After that, drain the rice and keep aside. 

Instant Pot Method

  • Saute: Turn on Instant Pot on Saute high mode. When it displays ‘hot’, add garlic, onions, peppers, corn, drained rice and seasoning to the pot. Saute everything for 2 minutes. 
  • Pressure Cook: Add water and salsa to the pot.  Stir everything and close the lid. Turn off Saute mode. Cook on Pressure cook/Manual for 6 mins.
  • NPR 5, then QR: After cooking, wait 5 minutes and then release the pressure manually.  If using DUO model, turn the knob to ‘Venting’ position, if using ULTRA model, simply push down the pressure valve. 
  • Fluff Rice and garnish: Open the lid after the pin drops.  Using a fork, gently fluff the rice. Garnish with cilantro and fresh lime juice and enjoy with your favorite entree. 

Stove-Top Instructions

  • Heat a sauce pan over medium-high heat.  When hot, add oil, garlic, onions, peppers, corn, drained rice and seasoning.  Saute for around 2 minutes. 
  • Then, add water and salsa. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Once done, open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork, and place the lid back. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro and fresh lime juice and enjoy with your favorite entree.

Video

Notes

  • Estimated Time includes roughly 10 mins for pressure build-up. 
  • Cook time = Time to set for pressure cooking.
  • This recipe has been tested in a 3qt and 6qt Instant Pot. If making this in an 8Qt size, adjust the water quantity to meet the minimum requirement. 
  • Substitute for Taco Seasoning: 1 tbsp Mexican chili powder + 1 tsp ground cumin + 1 tsp ground coriander + 1 tsp Mexican oregano.
  • Tips for Perfect Mexican Rice:
    • Rinse the rice: Whenever I use long grain white rice, I always rinse it 2-3 times, until the water runs clear. What that does is remove the extra starch coating the rice kernels. This prevents the rice from being sticky and they turn out fluffy.
    • Adding paprika and salsa: Using these two ingredients gives this dish its iconic reddish-orange color. Salsa adds a spiced tomato flavor to the rice, which compliments any dish you pair it with.
    • Saute the rice: I always saute the rice with aromatics for a couple of minutes before adding water. Sautéing brings out the nutty flavor of rice and when you toast it with aromatics, it blends all the flavors really well. It also makes the end texture fluffy.
  • If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 489mg | Potassium: 281mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 23.9% | Vitamin C: 34.5% | Calcium: 3.3% | Iron: 5.2%
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: instant pot mexican recipes, Instant pot mexican rice, mexican rice recipe
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HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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