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


chicken and rice in white bowl with fork topped with cheese
4.88 from 87 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

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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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    1. The brown rice needs at least 22 minutes to cook in the instant pot and pre-cooked chicken would dry out during that time. Your best bet would be to fold in the canned chicken after cooking!

  1. 5 stars
    Love this recipe and have made it several times! I’m wondering if I can use chicken drummies or chicken thighs with this recipe and how I would adjust the time? Thanks!

    1. Hi Amanda! I’m glad you like the recipe. You can keep the cook time the same for either of those cuts of chicken! The long cook time is needed to cook the brown rice and either kind of chicken will cook through during that time. I hope this helps!

  2. 5 stars
    My son made this for our family, and it was delicious! I don’t own an instant pot. Can this be made in a crockpot? Thank you!

    1. Unfortunately this recipe doesn’t work in the crockpot. You need the high pressure for the rice to cook accurately! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe though!

  3. 5 stars
    Have used this recipe numerous times now. Excellent tasting dish. Easy to make throw it all in and forget about it. One of my fav all time recipes. Usually add in a bit of sour cream once its all done. Mmmm mmmmm mmmmm

  4. 5 stars
    We eat this almost every week! It’s a favorite. Do you know if you can double the recipe and if any of the instant pot settings would change if you do?

  5. 5 stars
    My college roommates and I made this for an easy weeknight meal. We substituted a bag of frozen veggies for the beans and it still turned out great! It goes even better with leftover queso and avocado, 10/10 would make again!

  6. 5 stars
    This is our family’s go to recipe when we can’t figure out what to have for supper. It’s so good, so, thank you for the recipe!

    Just a quick question, we want to make this for a group of friends and was looking at doubling them. Can we just double the recipe an keep the same cooking time?

    1. Yes you can keep the cook time the same if you double it! I’m glad you like the recipe 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! Did it so many times already. Thank you so much for the recipe. Its one of my favorite.

  8. 5 stars
    Made this as the recipe called but with quinoa and 17 mins high pressure with 9 mins of natural release before quick release. So good! The chicken was a little tough so I’d knock off a couple mins of pressure and add those mins to the natural release. Added lime when playing.

  9. I made this today even though I only had white rice. I took a chance even though a lot of people had issues. So based on other reviews I decided to spray the insert with Pam, add an extra 1/2 cup of broth and only did 22 minutes. I had no issues with burning. The only problem was it turned out very mushy. Mabye if I took off even more time and rinsed the rice it would turn out better. I will definitely try again when I’m able to get brown rice. The flavor was great and I love that I can use frozen chicken and throw it all in at once.

  10. Hi Erin, do you think I could sub a pork tenderloin for the chicken? Do you think I would need to change the cook time? Thank you!

    1. Hi Erika! I’m not sure that would work? It’s such a different cut of meat it’s hard to say for sure. Sorry about that!

  11. 5 stars
    For all the people who want this dish with white rice. We made this fish tonight. It was delicious. To make with white rice, add all ingredients to instant pot except for rice. Cool on high pressure 10 min for fresh chicken, 15 for frozen chicken. Allow pressure to naturally release. Open pot and shred chicken with 2 forks. Stir in one and one half cups of instant rice. Close lid and lock.. Leave instant pot on warm and allow to steam for 10 to 20 minutes.

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