You are going to love this Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice! It is the EASIEST way to prepare red beans and rice! Made with brown rice, dried beans, and a perfect combination of seasonings this pressure cooker Mexican Rice and Beans is a perfect vegetarian entree, filling for a burrito, or side dish.
Not only does this recipe for rice and beans make a delicious hearty meatless meal, but it is also a great side dish for Beef Tacos or Chicken Tacos. It also makes a great filling for burritos or base for burrito bowls.
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--which makes this meal INCREDIBLY economical and a perfect recipe for pantry staples!
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 short grain 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 cook 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 is completely optional. If you have picky eaters, simply omit them. If you only have frozen peppers and onions on hand, use those (just defrost first).
- Liquid: Use water chicken or vegetable broth to cook the rice and beans.
- Seasoning: I often use Taco Seasoning for a Tex-Mex rice and beans recipe, but you can use Cajun Seasoning for a twist.
- 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.
How to Make Instant Pot Rice and Beans
Step One: Saute Onions and Peppers
- Turn instant pot to saute and allow to heat.
- Add in 1-2 teaspoons of oil and heat.
- Add in onions, and peppers saute for 2-3 minutes or until onions begin to soften.
- Turn Instant Pot OFF.
Pro Tip: If you have picky eaters, just omit this step and make rice and beans without peppers and onions!
Step Two: Add in Liquid
- Pour in water or stock into Instant Pot and scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot.
Step Three: Cook Rice and Beans
- Add in dried beans to inner pot.
- Next add in rinsed rice. RINSING your rice before adding the pressure cooker helps the rice to not stick to bottom or pressure cooker and fluff up correctly.
- Gently push down rice until just submerged in the liquid.
- Close instant pot and be sure vent knob is sealed.
- Cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 24 minutes. Do NOT use the Rice function, as it typically defaults to low pressure.
- Let pressure release naturally--CRITICAL for the rice and beans to be done and to absorb all the liquid.
Step Four: Add in seasonings
- Add salsa and taco seasoning to the rice and beans and fluff with a fork to combine.
- Put lid back on the pressure cooker and let the mixture warm through.
- Serve as desired.
How to Serve Red Beans and Rice
- As a Meatless/Vegetarian Main Course
- Rolled Up in a Burrito
- As the base of a Burrito Bowl
- Served 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!
Instant Pot Rice and Beans
- ½ tablespoon avocado oil or olive/canola oil
- 1 onion diced
- 1 yellow, green, or red pepper diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 cups short grain brown rice rinsed well and drained
- 1 cup dried red beans or pinto beans
- 4 cups 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 mode on high and allow to heat up.
- Once heated, add in oil, onions, and peppers and saute for 2-3 minutes until just beginning to soften up. Add in garlic and saute for 30 seconds longer. Turn Instant Pot to OFF.
- Add in stock and be sure to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot.
- Add in water and then beans. Then add rice and gently push down with a spoon to just submerge rice. DO NOT STIR! Put the lid on Instant Pot.
- Cook on High Pressure for 24 minutes. Hit manual or pressure cook and use the +/- buttons to adjust until the screen read 24.
- Once cook time has elapsed, let pressure release naturally.
- Open the lid and use a fork to fluff the rice. Stir in taco seasoning and salsa. Place lid back on pressure cooker to let ingredients warm through. Serve with desired toppings.
- Be sure to use short grain 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 and pinto beans work best in this rice and beans. Other beans may have various cook times.
- Rice and beans will keep in your fridge 4-5 days. To reheat, add a splash of water or stock and heat in 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 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 rice has been cooked and pressure has been released, open 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 4 cups of total liquid instead of 6 cups.
- White Rice and Dried Beans: You must cook your beans and rice seperately. 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.