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


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!


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


Order my gluten-free cookies cookbook today
chicken and rice in white bowl with fork topped with cheese
4.87 from 79 votes

Instant Pot Southwestern Chicken and Rice

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
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! 


  • 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


  • 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!


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.


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

Categories: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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!

You may also like

image for website to buy cookies cookbook


  1. 5 stars
    I did a variation of this recipe with dry black beans, topped with avocado and Greek yogurt and It came out amazing. Thanks for the inspiration. Will be doing a lot more of this recipe for healthy cheap lunches.

    1. This usually happens when the instant pot doesn’t seal correctly. It could be the ring inside the lid was loose or dirty. I hope this helps!

  2. Hi Erin.
    Please forgive me for repeating this question, but I don’t think you saw it last time.
    I love this recipe. We make it often. But this time the smallest package of chicken I could find is 1.65 lb. Because of a change in circumstances, I was not able to make the dish when I bought the chicken oh, so I froze it. For frozen chicken that is slightly over 1.5 lb, do I have to adjust the time of the recipe any? Please respond. I’d like to make this tonight for dinner. Thanks!

  3. Hi.
    I love this recipe. We make it often. I know that it takes one pound of chicken, but unfortunately all I could find today is 1.65 lb is there any particular way I auto adjust the recipe to the larger quantity of chicken? I’m sorry if that’s a silly question, but I just want to make sure we do it right because I really do love the recipe.

  4. 4 stars
    Help….this was my very first time trying out my 8 quart and my rice burnt to the bottom. What did i do wrong?
    Still tasty though and will make it again 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Thanks in support of sharing such a pleasant
    idea, piece of writing is fastidious, thats why
    i have read it entirely

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe is great! I used some extra frozen corn and chicken broth because I didn’t want to waste them and it came out perfect. I also topped it with some guacamole and it was delish. So easy to make, too!

  7. 5 stars
    Love this recipe!!! Super easy one pot meal my 7 and 9 year old loved it too! This was my first ever instapot attempt too and it went great! Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating