Instant Pot Mexican-Style Brown Rice and Bean Bowl

mexican brown rice and bean burrito bowl

Although this has been such a strange time, over the last couple of months a lot of people (myself included) are experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen. It is so fun to see everyone's home cooking on Instagram. However, a lot of us are still working from home and juggling other responsibilities so I wanted to find a meal that was not only enjoyable but would help me use what they have in my pantry without too much legwork. Enter: the Mexican Rice and Bean bowl.

This variation was inspired by a recipe on 365 days of Crockpot and uses the Instant Pot. It was fairly easy to make and can be customized with fresh ingredients to make a burrito bowl but is also delicious as a standalone dish. Enjoy!

What if I don't have an Instant Pot?

I haven't tested this recipe yet using a stovetop method. Though I imagine it would still work. You'd still want to saute your onions and garlic first and then add in the remaining ingredients. The main difference has more to do with cooking time rather than process. The Instant Pot reduces the cook time because you're using the pressure cooker setting. It's likely that making this on the stovetop can result in up to a 40min cook time.

If you choose to use basmati or jasmine rice, for instance, it will cut down the cooking time (regardless of whether you use the Instant Pot or stovetop).

Should I use canned or dried beans?

This recipe uses canned beans. If you'd like to use dried beans, you will most likely need to add more liquid (broth or water) or soak them ahead of time. Additionally, this might change the cooking time.

Do you recommend water or broth?

I recommend broth for this recipe because it will give the rice more flavor but if you don't have any broth, water will work. I used pre-made low sodium vegetable broth because that is what I had on hand but you can use homemade broth as well.

Can you use diced tomatoes instead of whole peeled tomatoes?

Yes! I used a 28oz can of whole peeled tomatoes because that's what I had in my pantry but using the tomatoes pre-diced or crushed would cut down on prep time which is always a plus. Just use a similar amount of diced tomatoes (28oz) if you can.

First, gather and prep your ingredients

Mexican Brown Rice and Beans Ingredients

Add oil to the Instant Pot and turn on the sauté feature. Once oil is hot, add onions and sauté for 4 minutes. Then, add garlic to the pot and stir together. After 30 seconds, press cancel on the Instant Pot.

Sauteing onions in instant potsauteing garlic in instant pot

For extra flavor, first add the spices and stir for 15-20 seconds. Then add the rice, tomatoes, beans, broth, and spices to the Instant Pot and stir together.

Onions and garlic stirred with spices in Instant Potblack beans, brown rice, broth, and crushed tomatoes in instant pot

Put lid on Instant Pot and make sure that the steam valve is set to sealing. Press Pressure Cook (high) or Manual button, set timer to 22 minutes, and press start.

It typically takes several minutes for the pressure cooker to be ready to start. Don't worry if the timer doesn't start for a bit.

You'll want to let the Instant Pot naturally release for 10 minutes after the 22 minute pressure cook timer is done. This means you do not touch the steam valve. After 10 minutes, you can manually release the remaining pressure. Make sure you only remove the lid once all the pressure has been released.

Stir and serve with your favorite toppings

mexican brown rice bowl with black beans, shrimp, and cilantroMexican Brown Rice Bowl with Chicken

In the picture on the left is a burrito bowl topped with shrimp and cheddar cheese, cilantro and lime.

In the picture on the right is a burrito bowl topped with grilled chicken, guac, salsa, and sour cream.

If freezing for later, scoop into Souper Cubes®, let cool and then freeze.

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