This set-it-and-forget-it Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans recipe combines dried black beans, brown rice, veggies, and Mexican flavors all in one pot. Enjoy it as an effortless 30-minute side dish or hearty meal!
Turn to this Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans recipe whenever you need a flavorful, versatile, and allergy-friendly side dish to pair with Easy Beef Enchiladas or Sheet Pan Chicken Sausage Fajitas. The dish just happens to be naturally vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free, ready to eat in 30 minutes, and filled with Mexican flavors! What more could you need in a stress-free side dish?
It may sound simple, but rice and beans is a staple food in almost every cuisine from every country on earth. It’s such a popular combination because rice and beans together pack in all kinds of nutrients and are both inexpensive. When you add in a few spices or aromatics, you end up with a simple, yet delicious side dish or main.
Just like my Brazilian pinto beans and Mexican refried beans, rice and beans can be included in a filling meal prep lunch, on the side of dinner, or stuffed into a few Mexican favorites, like vegetarian enchiladas, quesadillas, or burritos. You can never go wrong with rice and beans!
- Black beans - Black beans are one of the most popular varieties of beans used in authentic Mexican recipes. Not only are they one of the healthiest beans you can eat, but they also make for protein-packed fillings in Mexican soups, salsas, burritos, and enchiladas. If you don’t have dried black beans, dried pinto beans are the next best option.
- Brown rice - Cooked brown rice absorbs a ton of flavor as it cooks with the beans and vegetables in the Instant Pot. Another long grain rice, like basmati or jasmine rice, could work but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time slightly.
- Salsa - I prefer a medium chunky salsa, but any jarred or homemade salsa will do.
- Vegetables - Frozen corn, red bell pepper, and white onion give this Mexican-inspired recipe similar flavors and textures to the authentic version. Feel free to saute the onion ahead of time to deepen the flavor.
- Vegetable broth - This is the main liquid used to cook the rice and beans. If you don’t need to keep this dish vegan, you can also use chicken, beef, or bone broth.
- Spices and seasonings - You’ll need a simple and flavorful blend of chopped cilantro (stems and leaves), garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, and chili powder.
How to make Mexican rice and beans in the Instant Pot
Instant Pot Mexican rice and beans is an extremely easy and flavorful meal or side dish that can be made in just 4 simple steps:
Step 1: Place the dry black beans, brown rice, and vegetable broth in the Instant Pot and stir to combine.
Step 2: Add the salsa, frozen corn, red bell pepper, onion, and spice blend. Do NOT stir!
Step 3: Seal the lid in place and set the valve to sealing. Cook on high until the beans are tender. Allow the pressure to naturally release for about 10 minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure.
Step 4: Open the pot and give everything a good mix. Serve warm and enjoy!
Making Spanish rice and beans on the stovetop does take some extra preparation and time, but always turns out to be just as delicious as the Instant Pot version. Here’s how it’s done:
- Cook the dried black beans and brown rice (in 2 cups of vegetable broth) according to package instructions. Precooked rice and beans can also be used.
- Combine the cooked beans and rice in a large saucepan along with the salsa, frozen corn, red bell pepper, onion, and spice blend. Mix well.
- Heat the mixture until any liquid has evaporated and all of the ingredients are warmed through. Serve warm and enjoy!
Frequently asked questions
Why didn’t my brown rice cook?
Some varieties of brown rice take longer to cook than others. Once the rice and beans are done, turn Saute mode on in the Instant Pot to help the rice finish cooking. It shouldn’t need more than 10 minutes.
Why are my rice and beans so watery?
Again, Saute mode can help with that! If your cooked rice and beans are too watery for your taste, turn Saute mode on to help evaporate any remaining liquid.
Can you make rice and beans with canned beans?
No, this recipe is meant for dried beans only. Pre-cooked or canned beans will turn to mush in the Instant Pot.
Do you need to soak the beans before cooking them in the Instant Pot?
I don’t recommend soaking the beans before adding them to the pot.
Storage and reheating
To store: Place any leftovers into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To freeze: The leftovers can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Let them thaw in the fridge before reheating.
To reheat: Heat the rice and beans in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through. Add additional vegetable broth or salsa if more liquid is necessary.
Looking for more easy and delicious Mexican-inspired recipes?
- Easy Homemade Mexican Rice
- Ranchero Beans Breakfast Burrito
- Spicy Shrimp Tacos
- Instant Pot Mexican Chicken Soup
Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans
- Instant pot
- 1 cup dried black beans (not soaked)
- 1 ½ cup brown rice
- 1 ½ cup salsa (I used medium chunky)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 whole red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 whole white onion, chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup cilantro (stem and leaves, minced)
Spices and Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Add beans, rice and vegetable broth to the instant pot and stir to combine.
- Next add the salsa, corn, bell pepper, onion, cilantro and spices BUT DO NOT STIR.
- Cover the instant pot and seal the vent. Cook on HP for 26 minutes. When done allow for 10 minutes of NPR, then quickly release any remaining pressure.
- Open the pot and give it a good mix. If there is more liquid in the pot than you wish, turn on sauté mode for an additonal 10 minutes. This will eliminate some of the liquid*