Instant Pot Southwestern Chicken and Rice! Throw everything in the instant pot and walk away. You’ll have a delicious, satisfying, healthy dinner 30 minutes later!

You really just throw everything in the instant pot and let it cook. It makes for a satisfying, healthy and budget-friendly meal with no clean-up.

overhead shot of chicken and rice in white bowls with cilantro and cheese

Have you jumped on the Instant Pot train yet? I caved and bought one on cyber Monday when they were a smoking deal last November.

I know a lot of people who also bought an instant pot 2 weeks ago on Amazon Prime Day. Why is it so hard to pass up deals on Amazon?

All I know is I’m glad I made the leap and bought one. I use my instant pot all the time to make my favorite sprouted brown rice as well as quinoa to go with all kinds of dinners.

It also works great for any recipes where you’d usually use the slow-cooker.

close up shot of chicken and rice in white bowl topped with tortilla chips and cheese

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How to Make Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

This Slow-Cooker Moroccan Apricot Chicken turns out great in the instant pot!

You can use the saute function to brown everything and then select the slow-cooker function or cook it all in 30 minutes on high pressure. I love the versatility!

This Instant Pot Southwestern Chicken and Rice is my very favorite instant pot recipe to-date! When I showed my husband how easy it was to make his mind was blown.

chicken and rice in white bowl topped with tortilla chips and cheese

Instant Pot Southwestern Chicken and Rice

I love making this with the sprouted brown rice I mentioned earlier. I also like eating this with tortilla chips, hot sauce and sharp cheddar.

The leftovers from this meal are delicious and highly coveted at my house.

You can also freeze any leftovers (see instructions in the recipe) for easy meals/lunches later.

If there is one recipe to convince you to buy an instant pot it should be this one. I’m planning on sharing more of my instant pot favorites regularly! For another favorite chicken recipe try this chicken fajita marinade!

FAQ

Can I use frozen chicken?

Yes frozen chicken will work great! Just be sure it does not exceed 1lb of frozen chicken. If you’re using 2 chicken breasts be sure they are frozen separate and not in one big clump. I find this works best with one large frozen chicken breast instead of 2.

Can I use white rice?

This recipe was designed for brown rice. It will burn if you use white rice and keep the cook time/liquid the same. The longer cook time is to insure the brown rice gets fully cooked. This is my favorite brown rice on Amazon!

Help! It burned on the bottom.

There can be a number of reasons for things burning in the instant pot. If you’ve used brown rice and not too much frozen chicken (white rice and too much frozen chicken can cause this to burn) if is probably because your instant pot didn’t seal correctly. Make sure the inner ring is clean and the valve is set “sealing”.

image for pinterest - close up shot of chicken and rice in white bowl with tortilla chips

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chicken and rice in white bowl with fork topped with cheese
4.84 from 68 votes

Instant Pot Southwestern Chicken and Rice

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 6 servings
Instant Pot Southwestern Chicken and Rice! Throw everything in the instant pot and walk away. You'll have a delicious, satisfying, healthy dinner 30 minutes later! 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice I like using this Sprouted Brown Rice best
  • 3/4 cup salsa any kind you like
  • 15 oz can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 chicken breasts about 1 pound
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • chips hot sauce and more cheese for serving

Instructions 

  • Place the brown rice, salsa, kidney beans, corn and chicken stock in the instant pot. Stir to combine.
  • Nestle the chicken breasts (leave them whole so they won't get dry during cooking) down in the rice/liquid mixture. Sprinkle the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and salt partly over the chicken and partly over the liquid/rice mixture. Spread out the spices and mix some in with the liquid with spoon. (This doesn't have to be precise. Just get some in with the rice and some on the chicken.)
  • Secure the lid and cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 24 minutes (select Manual and then dial up or down to get to the correctly number of minutes; the IP will start on it’s own).
  • Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes and then quick release the rest of the pressure. Remove the chicken breasts and shred into bite-sized pieces. Fluff the rice with a fork and mix in the chicken and shredded cheese.
  • Serve topped with cheese, hot sauce and chips for dipping. Enjoy!

Notes

MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE: Omit the cheese.
To Freeze: I like to freeze this in individual-sized portions to defrost in the microwave for quick lunches/meals. Just let everything fully cool before packaging it for freezing. Defrost on the microwaves defrost setting for 3-4 minutes, then microwave on the regular setting for 2-3 minutes more as needed.
I've tried this recipe with long grain brown rice and it works great, but I really love/prefer using my favorite Sprouted Brown Rice in this recipe. (Not sponsored, I just love this rice!) The leftovers from this are delicious the next day. I love eating this with tortilla chips. You can easily omit the cheese to make this dairy-free if needed.
WITH FROZEN CHICKEN: This works great with frozen chicken. Just keep the cook time the same. The long cook time is to ensure the rice cooks through so frozen or fresh chicken will work. It may take a few extra minutes for the pressure to come up, but the recipe will turn out great.

Nutrition

Calories: 362.39kcal | Carbohydrates: 54.74g | Protein: 25.84g | Fat: 4.43g | Saturated Fat: 0.96g | Cholesterol: 50.01mg | Sodium: 786mg | Potassium: 792.86mg | Fiber: 6.46g | Sugar: 3.58g | Vitamin A: 277.43IU | Vitamin C: 3.08mg | Calcium: 51.55mg | Iron: 2.48mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. I’ve made this recipe many times and my family loves it. However, I would like to try using a bag of frozen cauliflower rice. Do you have any suggestions as to how I could do this especially with an instant pot? I don’t want it to get too mushy. Thanks.

    1. Are you wanting to keep the rice and just add cauliflower rice? Or replace the rice with cauliflower rice. I think it would work best to cook the recipe as instructed then stir in a steamed bag of cauliflower rice after cooking. I think it might get too mushy otherwise!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve made this so many times, but right now I can’t eat chicken but this sounded good so I made a couple changes and used ground beef instead. It wasn’t as good but was still tasty!

  3. 5 stars
    This dish is a real crowd pleaser! It’s perfect for large groups, and each time I serve it, someone asks for the recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve enjoyed your cookie recipes so I thought I would give this a try since I have an Instant Pot. I made it for company, so I doubled the recipe. It came out great and the chicken was so tender it just fell apart. It reminds me burrito filling.

  5. 5 stars
    We love this (and most all of your) recipes! However, whenever I try it, the rice burns on the bottom of the instant pot. I end up switching it to a dutch oven and cooking that way (still delicious). Enough time goes by between making it that I forget and it burns all over again! I’m following your recipe to a T. Any idea?

    1. YES this happens to me! I am wondering if it’s because I used jasmine instead of brown rice…I cannot remember what I used last time. I will try to double the broth and see if that helps! Currently have it in a Dutch oven.

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