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chicken and rice in white bowl with fork topped with cheese

Meaningful Eats

Instant Pot Southwestern Chicken and Rice

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! 
Course Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 ½ cups brown rice I like using this Sprouted Brown Rice best
  • ¾ cup salsa any kind you like
  • 15 oz can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 chicken breasts about 1 pound
  • ½ 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