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?

Rice, beans, corn and other ingredients in a white bowl with a spoon

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!

Small glass bowls each containing corn, black beans, chunky salsa, rice. With it are whole bell pepper, white onion and cilantro on a wooden chopping board.

Ingredient notes

  • 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.
Ingredients of the Mexican beans and rice in an instant pot with a wooden spoon

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!

Stovetop instructions

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Heat the mixture until any liquid has evaporated and all of the ingredients are warmed through. Serve warm and enjoy!
Two white bowls with a spoon containing Mexican beans and rice surrounded by lemon wedges and cilantro on a wooden chopping board

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.

Two white bowls with a spoon on a wooden chopping board containing Mexican beans and rice

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?

Instant Pot Mexican Rice and beans

Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans

by Silvia Dunnirvine
Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans is a naturally vegetarian side dish or meal that’s easy to make with black beans, brown rice, veggies, and spices. It’s a one-pot, 30-minute recipe!
Prep: 8 minutes
Cook: 26 minutes
Additional Sauté (optional): 10 minutes
Servings: 8 people

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup dried black beans (not soaked)
  • 1 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 1/2 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
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (stem and leaves, minced)

Spices and Seasoning

  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder

Instructions 

  • 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*

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1090mg | Potassium: 673mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 759IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Keyword: Instant Pot, Instant Pot Mexican Recipes, Mexican Rice and Beans
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Like this? Leave a comment below!

Hi! I’m Silvia.

My goal is to make cooking simple and enjoyable.

Garden in the Kitchen is full of easy and balanced recipes for busy families. Classics get a healthier twist with additions of veggies or alternative ingredients.

I hope my recipes will inspire you to cook more home meals and above all have fun in the kitchen!

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60 Comments

  1. My beans weren’t done all the way. I didn’t have frozen corn so I omitted it and used a very large onion. Would this have kept a the brand from cooking all the way?

    1. I am sorry to heat that. What I know about beans is that sometimes if they are too old at the supermarket, it will take longer to cook. But of course it is hard to tell. I always buy the same beans and always get the same results. in fact, I made this recipe again this week and came out perfect (26 minutes + 10 NPR). In any regard, you can turn the IP on sautéed and let it continue to cook. If needed any more broth too. Or even add up to 5 more minutes under high pressure. I hope this helps

    1. Hi Linda! This recipe is for dried uncooked beans. If you use cooked beans they will get super mushy.

  2. I have brown rice that is already cooked! How would you go about making this recipe with the cooked rice?

    1. If your rice is already cooked I would just cook the beans with remaining ingredients for the same amount of time. When you open the pot, add in your cooked rice and stir. If needed turn on sauté mode to allow the rice to incorporate into the dish. Hope this helps

    1. Hi Karen, that’s totally possible but very much time consuming. If you want to cook the beans from scratch, follow this recipe https://gardeninthekitchen.com/brazilian-pinto-beans/ and incorporate the remaining ingredients later on. The beans will take much longer to cook than anything else. About an hour left to cook, I would add the rice and other ingredients. You will likely need to adjust the liquids (water) but you can add as needed. The other option is if you use canned beans. In this case you will cook everything together and as soon as the rice is cooked, you are all set because the canned beans is already cooked. Hope this helps. I don’t have any more specifics such as timing and amount of liquid, keep a close eye on the stove, be conservative with the liquid and add as needed

  3. Great recipe Perfect for meal prep for the week. I made some modifications as I’m Brazilian an I can’t do any recipe without sauteing my veggies first. Added the rice and the beans to the sauté then added the veggie broth stirring well making sure nothing was stuck to the bottom of the pot, then added the salsa without stirring. Everything cooked perfectly. Maybe slightly creamier than I wished but very tasty. Loved your recipes and I’m following you now. 😊

    1. Obrigada Valeria! I am also Brazilian, so nice to meet you! and I am glad you liked my IP rice and beans recipe, hopefully you will find lots of recipes to enjoy 🙂 xoxo

  4. My family loves this! I have made it multiple times as written. Today I didn’t have everything, so I used dry navy beans, no corn, frozen pepper/onion mix, a can of tomatoes, and 1/2 c salsa (little one thinks everything is too spicy!). I even snuck some frozen riced cauliflower in but don’t tell the family😉. I don’t ever measure spices but also added some nutritional yeast and a mushroom umami blend. Amazing as always, you really can’t go wrong. Thank you for a great, easy, quick recipe that the whole family loves!

    1. Hi Paige! First of all, it’s so clever of you to sneak in some cauliflower, in a recipe like this full of flavor and texture, they will never know (I use this trick too!) Second, I love how you took the recipe as “base” and made it your own with what you had in hand, adjusted the level of spiciness and made a great meal for your family. Lastly, THANK YOU for taking the time to share this, made me happy to hear 🙂 your feedback means the world to me! xoxo

      1. I increased the beans and decreased rice. Only other change I made was to add 2 diced jalapeños. YUM!

      2. That’s great, I am so happy to hear! Thanks for your feedback also Cara, it’s always very helpful!

  5. This was so quick, easy and delicious! Thank your for sharing. It turned out perfectly for me exactly as written and got my meat ore this week started off with a win. Pairing it with some grilled chicken this week & it almost makes me look forward to going to work Monday!

  6. This was super easy, quick and delicious. I followed the recipe as written and it was perfect. Thanks for sharing it & getting this week’s meal prep off to a great start.