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Cheesy Instant Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice

Cheesy Instant Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice is a family dinner favorite that is chock-full of flavor! A tasty dish that is comforting and customizable with delicious toppings.

We love our instant pot because it cooks in a fraction of the time so you can serve dinner fast! Some of our favorites include Penne alla VodkaInstant Pot Oatmeal with rolled oats, Kale Dal or BBQ Pulled Chicken.

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grey plates filled with Mexican chicken and rice garnished with jalapenos, cilantro and lime wedges and a black fork

Instant Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice

This recipe is one of the easiest and tastiest dinners you’ll make and there’s minimal cleanup because it all comes together in the instant pot! Spicy. Cheesy. Packed with Flavor. Adding yet another Instant pot winner to our huge collection of instant pot dinner recipes.

Using your Instapot is an easy way to make a casserole. Once you get the ingredients prepped, it’s mostly hands-off and cooks perfect every-time. It is comforting, family-friendly one pot meal and healthy.

If you are not new around here, then you might be familiar with my love affair with Mexican food. It is loaded with flavor, family friendly and can be made as spicy as you like!

Some of my favorites are Mexican Chickpeas, Mexican Spiced Chicken, Chickpea Tacos , Baked Fish Tacos or Avocado Jalapeno Crema.

If you remember this Chicken Burrito Bowl with rice and beans, which includes skillet ground chicken cooked with taco seasoning, cilantro lime rice, salsa and all the usual taco fix-ins. This recipe is a cheesy version of that. Need I say more?!

Why This Recipe Is So Good

  • Instant Pot – The advantage of a pressure cooker is that water doesn’t evaporate. Grains and meat can be cooked together perfectly, resulting in a super-duper tender and juicy meat and fluffy grains.
  • Quick and Easy – This not only saves you time and energy, but cooking the ingredients together in pressure cooker allows the flavors to blend, cuts down the cooking time, one pot makes it easy clean up and a complete balanced easy dinner.
  • Bursting with flavor– Made with our favorite homemade taco seasoning, aromatics, stock, cheese and then topped with all that your heart desires, this is absolutely packed with flavor. Cheesy, filling and satisfying!

What type of chicken to use?

We used boneless, skinless thighs for the juiciness, tenderness and the addional flavor it adds to the dish, but you can use any kind here – breast, thigh meat or tenders. We often what we have on hand.

What kind of cheese to use?

Mexican blend cheese which includes Montery jack, Cheddar, Asadero and Queso cheeses, melts into the rice, adding more deliciousness. If you don’t have on hand, then equal parts of Monterey jack and cheddar cheeses work well.

Do you have to soak rice?

No! If you cooking in a stovetop then soaking it allows to absorb water, leading to a more even cooking. But, one of the main advantages of using the insta pot is that it cooks grains soft without having the need to soak.

Tips To Avoid The Burn Warning

Instant Pots can be finicky and give you the Burn Warning even when you think you made everything right. Here are few tips that will help you avoid the burn warning: 

Adding recommended amount of oil and liquid and closing the pot quickly. the longer it takes time to close, the more liquid evaporates and increases the chance of getting the dreaded burn notice. Also, make sure that the valve is set to seal, which is another common mistake.

What size instant pot to use?

We have tried this recipe in a 3-quart and a 8-quart. The 8 quart size made a more perfectly cooked, al dente and slightly shorter coming to pressure time when compared to the 3 quart, which cooks more softer grains.

Cooking Time

Though the actual cooking time is 12 minutes for rice setting, it takes about 8-12 additional minutes for the instant pot to come to pressure.

Then, there is the standing time or warm time. This recipe works best, if you release pressure after 5-8 minutes. So, the actual time will be upwards of 30 minutes, but remember this is hands free cooking.

PRO TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Rice – Rinse in a strainer and let it hang out for couple of minutes to drain as much water as possible. This step is important to not only wash the rice, as well as remove excess starch <— less mushy.
  • Stock – I used 1 cup of 33% less sodium stock . If using regular sodium or salt free stock, then adjust salt accordingly.
  • Salt – Salt depends on the type of stock and salsa used and of course your taste. Season accordingly.
  • Love Spicy? Then add a chopped jalapeños along with the onion and garlic and use a spicy salsa.
  • Brown rice is not recommended since it would take longer, which would overcook the meat.
  • Adjust seasonings based on your preference.

TOPPING IDEAS

Although this is incredible delicious on it’s own, a few toppings elevates it to new heights. Any kind of tacos or burrito bowl toppings will be great here. Some of our suggestions:

  • Avocado – Sliced or chopped ripe avocado, guacamole or this Avocado crema.
  • Sauce – This creamy cilantro and lime sauce will be amazing.
  • Lettuce: Chopped romaine lettuce is an excellent option because it is crisp and has a mild flavor. However, you can use whatever type of lettuce you like.
  • Black beans: Drained and rinsed black beans adda a great source of protein, fiber and heartiness to this dish.
  • Red Onions: Red onions are a great way to add a bit of color and sweetness to this dish.
  • Cilantro: It is the perfect garnish. It adds a bright, fresh flavor and ties everything together.
  • Jalapenos – More heat ain’t gonna hurt.
  • Sour cream – Adds creaminess and cuts down the heat.
an instant pot with cheesy chicken rice topped with sliced jalapeños, cilantro and lime wedges

HOW TO MAKE?

This is a creamy, cheesy, satisfying and filling dinner! It’s perfect for busy nights when you need something to get one pot dinner on the table that’s balanced yet with less effort and minimal clean up after.

  1. Saute – Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode. Saute onion and garlic in vegetable oil, followed by cut up chicken and taco seasoning. Cook for about 3 minutes to get a sear and the spices are toasted.
  2. Pressure cook – Stir in rinsed rice, corn, stock and salsa. Cook until done and release pressure after about 5 minutes.
  3. Cheesy topping – Open pot and stir in chopped cilantro, lime juice and cheeses. Close lid, give it couple of minutes to melt.
  4. Load up into a bowl – Add additional taco toppings that you’d like and enjoy!

HOW TO SERVE?

Since this dish contains grains, protein and veggies, it can be a meal on its own. If you’d like to add in a side dish or two, try this Chili lime Corn on the Cob, Crispy Air fryer Kale or Carrot Fries.

Be it tacos or burritos, one of my favorite part of Mexican dishes is got to be the toppings. Here are some suggestions that will pair well with this dish: Avocado, guacamole, Avocado jalapeños crema, fresh cilantro, squeeze of lime, more cheese, sliced jalapeños, black beans or chopped lettuce.

STORAGE & REHEATING TIPS

Leftovers may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat leftovers in the microwave with additional cheese on top, until steaming hot .

If you are meal prepping, then omit the cheese in the recipe. Refrigerate or freeze in individual containers, stir in shredded cheese mixture before heating in the microwave.

A shot of instant pot filled with chicken and rice topped with melted cheese

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can you cook rice and meat at the same time in the Instant Pot?

Sure can! Make sure to choose the right cooking time to ensure that both are cooked perfectly. Otherwise, you might end up with mushy rice or overcooked meat.

Why did my rice burn in the Instant Pot?

Adding grains to an already hot pot and not adding liquid right away, might make the grains to stick and start burning.

Can you put raw chicken in the Instant Pot?

You can put any type of raw meat and cook it. You will have to adjust the cooking time depending on the quanity.

Can I use other types of cheeses?

Ansolutely! We have used the Mexican blend which consists of Monterey jack, Cheddar, Asadero and Queso cheeses. In case you don’t have this, then equal parts of Monterey jack and cheddar cheeses work well.

a setting of plates served with spicy mexican rice with black forks and sliced jalapenos, lime wedges and cilantro for garnish

More Easy Instant Pot Rice to try:

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Cheesy Instant Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice

Cheesy Instant Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Cheesy Instant Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice is a family dinner favorite that is chock-full of flavor! A tasty dish that is comforting and customizable with delicious toppings.

Ingredients

Group-1

  • 1 cup Basmati rice, rinsed and drained well
  • 1 cup corn (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 cup chicken stock (I used 33% reduced sodium)
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Group-2
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 cup Mexican cheese plus more for topping 
  • TO SERVE 
  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Chopped avocado
  • Sour cream 
  • Additional salsa 
  • A squeeze of lime

Instructions

  1. Heat instant pot to saute. When hot, add vegetable oil followed by chopped onions and garlic. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add chicken and taco seasoning and give a good stir. Continue cooking for about 3 minutes (stirring occasionally).
  3. Press cancel and add all group-1 ingredients, stir well and close and lock lid (making sure that the valve is set to seal) and cook in rice setting (This is an automated setting and it takes 12 minutes for 1 cup of rice after it comes to pressure).
  4. When cooking time is done, let instant pot be in warm mode for 5 to 7 minutes and turn valve to vent to release pressure.
  5. Open lid, add chopped cilantro and lime juice and stir well. Then stir 1 cup of cheese.
  6. Finally sprinkle more cheese on top (as much or as little as you like), close lid (no need to lock), and let rest for couple of minutes for the cheese to melt.
  7. Spoon into serving bowls or plates, load up on your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Notes

Black beans - One cup of cooked black beans can be added along with the rice, corn and stock

Rice – Rinse rice in a strainer and let it hang out for couple of minutes to drain as much water as possible. This step is important to not only wash the rice, as well as remove excess starch <— less mushier rice

Chicken – I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but boneless, skinless chicken breasts may be used.

Stock – I used 1 cup of 33% less sodium chicken stock . If using regular sodium or salt free stock, then adjust salt accordingly.

Salt – Salt depends on the type of stock and salsa used and of course your taste. Season accordingly.

Cheese – I used a Mexican blend cheese which inludes Montery jack, Cheddar, Asadero and Queso cheeses. In case you don’t have this, then equal parts of Monterey jack and cheddar cheeses work well

Love Spicy? Then add a chopped jalapeños along with the onion snd garlic and use a spicy salsa.

Cooking Time – though the actual cooking time is 12 minutes for rice setting, it takes about 8-12 additional minutes for the instant pot to come to pressure. Then, there is the standing time or warm time. This recipe works best, if you release pressure after 5-8 minutes. So, the actual time will be upwards of 30 minutes, but remember this is hands free cooking.

Instant Pot size – I have tried this cheesy Mexican chicken rice recipe in a 3-quart and a 8-quart. The 8 quart size made a more perfectly cooked, al dente rice and slightly shorter coming to pressure time when compared to the smaller size.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 406Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 777mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 15g

I am not a certified dietician or nutritionist. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. This information is provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is a product of online calculator such as Nutrifox.com.. Although Kitchen at Hoskins attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their fact sources and algorithms. Under no circumstances will Kitchen at Hoskins be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the nutritional information. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

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Aya

Monday 23rd of May 2022

Group 2 is not In bold so watch out for that!

Kelly @ Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats

Tuesday 11th of August 2020

Sounds yummy and perfect for a weeknight family meal! Yum!!

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