You are going to love this recipe for Instant Pot Rice and Beans! Made with brown rice, dried beans, and a perfect combination of seasonings, pressure cooker rice and beans is an easy, cheap recipe that delivers on flavor!
Rice and Beans make the perfect side dish to any Mexican or Tex-Mex meal. In fact, I often find myself making a meal out of my rice and beans.
And thanks to the Instant Pot, rice and beans just got a whole lot easier to make!
Plus, you can use DRIED BEANS for this recipe, making this meal INCREDIBLY economical.
The trick to cooking dried beans with rice is to season the dish AFTER it pressure cooks. Salt can inhibit dried beans' ability to soften, so by seasoning after cook time, the beans will soften perfectly in the time it takes for the rice to cook.
- Rice: If you are cooking the rice with dried beans, you MUST use brown rice. If you have white rice, you will need to either separately prepare the dried beans in the instant pot or use canned beans. Follow the modifications for this recipe listed in the recipe card, as the cooking time and amounts of liquid will change.
- Beans: If using dried beans, pinto or small red beans work best. If you are using canned beans, any variety you like will work.
- Peppers and Onions: Adding peppers and onions are completely optional. If you have picky eaters, simply omit them.
- Liquid: Use a combination of water, and low-sodium or salt-free broth to cook the rice and beans. I often use just water to keep this dish really affordable.
- Seasonings: While this recipe calls for using Taco Seasoning, feel free to change it up and use Cajun Seasoning for a twist of flavor.
- Salsa: Salsa adds so much flavor to this simple dish and because we are adding it AFTER the bean and rice have cooked, it is a much better choice than diced tomatoes, which need to be cooked for the best flavor. Use homemade salsa or your favorite jarred salsa.
How to Make Instant Pot Rice and Beans
Step One: Saute Onions and Peppers (Optional)
Starting this recipe for Instant Pot Rice and Beans by sauteeing onions and peppers adds a nice flavor, much like it does in my recipe for Instant Pot Spanish Rice. However, you can omit the onions and peppers, making this dish even FASTER to prepare and perfect for picky eaters.
- Turn the instant pot to saute, add in a bit of oil, and let it heat briefly.
- Add in the onions, and peppers and saute for 2-3 minutes or until onions begin to soften.
- Once the onion has softened, turn the Instant Pot OFF by hitting cancel.
Step Two: Deglaze Inner Pot
Any time you use the saute function, you must deglaze the inner pot to prevent a burn notice. NEVER skip this step!
- Pour in a bit of the water called for in the recipe, and use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the inner pot. This is crucial to preventing a burn notice!
Step Three: Layer Ingredients
- Add the remaining broth/water to the inner pot.
- Add the rinsed dried beans to the inner pot.
- Finally, add the rinsed rice and gently push the rice down if needed, until just submerged in the liquid.
Step Four: Pressure Cook
- Close the instant pot and be sure the vent knob is sealed.
- Cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 25 minutes. Do NOT use the Rice function, as it typically defaults to low pressure.
- After the cooking time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes. This is CRITICAL for the rice and beans to be done and to absorb all the liquid.
Step Five: Season
Remember we did not add salt to our rice and beans before COOKING, as salt can interfere with the cooking time. You want to add salt to the beans after pressure cooking to keep the beans nice and soft.
- Once the pressure has been released, open up the inner pot and add in the taco seasoning and salsa.
- Use a fork to fluff the rice and mix the rice into the beans. Using a fork will help keep the rice nice and fluffy.
- Place the lid back on the pressure cooker for a few minutes, just to let the salsa warm through.
- Serve it as a meatless entree and with a side of cheese, sour cream, and pickled jalapenos.
- Roll up ⅓ to ½ cup of the rice and bean mixture in a flour tortilla with a scoop of guacamole and cheese.
- Serve the rice and beans with fried eggs for a Mexican Style breakfast.
- Tossed with chopped romaine, fresh tomatoes, and avocado slices for a quick Taco Salad.
More Instant Pot Staple Recipes
- Instant Pot Brown Rice
- Instant Pot Baked Potatoes
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken
- Instant Pot Yogurt
Whether you are looking for a simple meal to make from pantry staples or a hearty meatless meal, this Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice is a great recipe to try. I hope you enjoy it!
Instant Pot Rice and Beans
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion minced
- 1 yellow, green, or red pepper seeded and diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 cups brown rice rinsed well and drained
- 1 cup dried red or pinto beans rinsed and sorted
- 3 cups low-sodium or salt-free chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- cheese, sour cream, cilantro for serving
- Turn Instant Pot to saute, add in oil, and let heat briefly.
- Once heated, add in the minced onions and diced peppers and saute for 2-3 minutes until they are just beginning to soften up. Add in garlic and saute for 30 seconds longer. Turn off the saute function by hitting cancel.
- Add in ½ cup of water and be sure to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot.
- Add in the remaining water and broth. Add the rinsed dried beans to the liquid and top with the rinsed rice. If needed, gently push the rice down with a spoon to just submerge the rice. DO NOT STIR! Place the lid on Instant Pot and be sure the venting knob is closed.
- Cook on High Pressure for 25 minutes. Hit manual or pressure cook and use the +/- buttons to adjust until the screen read 25.
- Once cook time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally.
- After the pressure has fully released, open the lid. Add in the taco seasoning and salsa, and use a fork to fluff the rice and stir in the salsa and seasonings. Place the lid back on the pressure cooker to let the ingredients warm through for just a few minutes.
- Serve with desired toppings.
- Be sure to use brown rice (not instant rice or white rice) for this recipe if using dried beans.
- It is CRUCIAL to rinse your rice--this helps remove excess starch that can cause a burn warning.
- Red beans or pinto beans work best in this rice and beans. Other beans may have various cook times.
- Rice and beans will keep in your fridge for 4-5 days. To reheat, add a splash of water or stock and heat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes per serving, or use pot in pot method and reheat on high pressure for 2 minutes.
- Using White Rice: Place 2 cups of white rice in the pressure cooker with 2 cups of water/stock and ½ tablespoon taco seasoning. Set cook time to 3 minutes on high pressure. Once cook time has elapsed and pressure has been released naturally, open the instant pot and stir in 2-4 cups of cooked beans and 1 cup of salsa.
- Using Canned Beans: If you want to make this recipe using canned beans, cook the rice using a 1:1 ratio (2 cups rice, 2 cups liquid). Once the rice has been cooked and pressure has been released, open the instant pot and stir in ½ tablespoon taco seasoning, 1 cup of salsa, and 2-4 cups of canned beans that have been rinsed.
- If you like your beans REALLY soft, soak the dried beans for 12 hours, or overnight. Drain and rinse. Cook time will remain the same, but you will only need 3 cups of total liquid instead of 5 cups.
- White Rice and Dried Beans: You must cook your beans and rice separately. Cook dried beans in the Instant Pot and then prepare your rice using the directions for white rice.
- Be sure to check out my cooking modifications for higher elevation if needed.
This post was originally published in 2018 but has since been updated with a new video and tips.