Are you an Instant Pot lover too? Raise your hand in the air!
At first, I wasn’t so sure about adding another “gadget” to my kitchen, one that might end up just collecting dust and taking up valuable space.
Well, I can say that nearly 2 years later, that is certainly NOT the case! I use my Instant Pot so often that I’ve never even “put it away”. It’s always sitting out in my kitchen, ready and waiting.
On Taco Thursday (yeah, yeah… I know it’s supposed to be Taco Tuesday. Ha!), it gets a double workout. First, I use it to make a perfect batch of black beans (from dry beans to perfect beans in less than 2 hours, with only 5 minutes of hands-on work?!? SOLD!), then I use it to make tasty Mexican brown rice.
Before I purchased the Instant Pot, I tried pretty much every brown rice cooking method out there. Occasionally, it worked out, but the majority of the time, I ended up with chewy rice that was burned and stuck to the bottom of the pan. I started to dread making brown rice.
After cooking brown rice in the Instant Pot, I was HOOKED and I will never use any other method again!
A Tasty Variation on Plain Brown Rice
While you can certainly serve plain brown rice on Taco Night, I like to dress it up a bit and infuse it with more flavor. If you are in a rush and don’t have time to chop and saute the veggies, you can substitute them with a bit of onion powder and more paprika. No judgment! I’ve done it plenty of times when I need to get food on the table FAST.
If you have broth or stock on hand, you can use that instead of water. It makes the rice extra flavorful and adds a little extra nutrition.
While this rice only cooks in the pressure cooker for 22 minutes, I recommend that you give yourself 1 hour from start to finish (chopping veggies, sauteing, pressure cooking and pressure release).
I’ve read that a good rule of thumb with Instant Pot recipes is to double the actual cooking time, to account for the time it takes for pressure to release. In addition, brown rice always benefits from being “fluffed” with a fork, then recovered and allow to “rest” for 5-10 minutes before serving, so take that into account.
Make Taco Night more festive with this tasty brown rice side dish! Using an Instant Pot makes it quick and easy.
- Place the oil/butter, chopped onion and chopped pepper in the Instant Pot and press “Saute”. Saute on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until veggies start to become translucent. Stir often to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- After 5 minutes, turn off the “Saute” function. Add the tomato paste, salt, cumin
andpaprika. Stir to incorporate.
- Add rice and water to the pot.
- Place lid on Instant Pot and press “Manual” (or “Pressure Cook”, depending on your model) and use the [-] button to set
- Once time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally (about 10 minutes). Remove lid, fluff with a fork, then put the lid back on for another 5-10 minutes.
- Allow rice to rest with lid on until you are ready to serve.
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If you feel like experimenting, you could try adding more spices or substituting some of the bell pepper for a spicy pepper, like jalapeno or a milder poblano pepper.
Tomato paste can be frozen in 2 tbsp portions, which makes it quick and easy to throw into the pot. I make my own tomato paste and freeze it in ice cube trays, as described in my post about 3 Easy Ways to Preserve Tomatoes (That Don’t Involve Canning).
Bonus: Brown rice freezes beautifully, so if you are a fan of large batch cooking, you could double this recipe and freeze some portions for later. I like to use the straight-sided pint or pint-and-a-half mason jars for freezing. Just pull the jars out the night before and allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat in the microwave or a pan on the stove with a little water added.
Enjoy the recipe! I hope it becomes a staple for your family too!
Other Instant Pot Tutorials:
- What is a Pressure Cooker (basics for the rookie cook)
- How to Set up a New Instant Pot (VIDEO)
- Pros and Cons of the Instant Pot
- How to Use the Instant Pot in a Hotel Room (save $$$ on dinner out!)
- 10 Basic Techniques for your Instant Pot
- How to Make Squash in the Instant Pot
- How to Cook Frozen Ground Beef in the Instant Pot FAST
- Instructions to Convert Slow Cooker or Crock Pot Recipes to the Instant Pot (& favorite slow cooker recipes to make in the IP!)
- How to Pressure Cook Dry Beans (even without soaking!)
- Is a Pressure Cooker Still Healthy and Safe?
Other Instant Pot Recipes:
- Paleo & Whole30 BBQ Chicken – used thighs, so frugal!
- Gluten-free Chipotle Beef (chuck roast or stew beef)
- Instant Pot BBQ Beef
- Quick Cauliflower Rice in the Instant Pot (2 flavors)
- Instant Pot Quick Turmeric Rice Recipe
- Easy Mashed Potatoes (no drain!) in the Instant Pot
- Pressure Cooker Mexican Lentils and Rice (chicken or vegetarian)
- Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs (AIP & GAPS)
- Instant Pot Country Style Boneless Pork Ribs (that just fall apart!)
- Budget-Friendly Instant Pot Chipotle Beef
- Fast Smoky Mexican Chicken Soup
- Curried Lemon Coconut Chicken
- Italian Lentil One-pot Dinner
- Apple Cranberry Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
- Easy Instant Pot One Pot Meals – that any beginner can make!
- Black-Eyed Pea and Beet Greens Soup
- Gluten-free Instant Pot Mac & Cheese
- Instant Pot Cherry Compote (and 10 Instant Pot Desserts)