Instant Pot Cheesy Mexican Chicken and Rice

This easy Instant Pot Cheesy Mexican Chicken and Rice recipe is flavor-loaded comfort food without the work! Family-friendly and picky-eater approved. 

More instant pot goodness awaits with Best Easy Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff, Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos, Instant Pot Chicken and Potatoes, and Instant Pot Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

Instant Pot Cheesy Mexican Chicken and Rice |

This easy Instant Pot Cheesy Mexican Chicken and Rice recipe is flavor-loaded comfort food without the work! Family-friendly and picky-eater approved.

What if I told you you could have this gorgeous dish in front of you in 30 minutes? You’d probably laugh right in my face, right? Well go ahead and laugh, because it’s true.

I have to give nearly all the credit to my Instant Pot, though. I’ve sung it’s praises before, and I’ll be signing them again, but I really do enjoy creating recipes for this little stainless steel beauty to cook right up to perfection.

Instant Pot Cheesy Mexican Chicken and Rice |

For this recipe, I simply combined everything I love about Mexican food and tweaked it for cooking in an instant — pot. (Anyone else crack themselves up as easily as I do?) Chicken, ooey, gooey, cheese, nutty rice, plus all those chunks of tomatoes and limes and spices.

There is almost zero way this recipe + those ingredients could have gone any which way but amazing.

Instant Pot Cheesy Mexican Chicken and Rice |

Could I Use a Slow Cooker?

I’ll be honest — I didn’t test this recipe in a slow cooker. However, that being said, if you are an aficionado of slow cooking or you don’t own an Instant Pot, please, go ahead and give it a go, and then come back and let us all on how it came out. I’d really enjoy hearing from you.

If you are going to try a slow cooker, then I can give you my suggestions: Follow steps 1 and 2, except saute ingredients in a regular saute pan, not an Instant Pot, and reserve the rice to the last hour of cooking.

Add the sauteed veggies, and the rest of the ingredients except for the rice into the slow cooker. Then set your timer for about 3-4 hours on high or 4-6 on low.

During the last hour, add your rice, and then add the cheese when it’s finished (or put the lid back on for a few minutes until it’s melted). It should melt right up in no time.

Instant Pot Cheesy Mexican Chicken and Rice |

Can I Use Frozen Chicken?

Yes, you can use frozen chicken in an Instant Pot, but you have to increase the cooking time to about 20 minutes. From there, you can follow the rest of the instructions as stated.

Why Use an Instant Pot?

Instant pots cook meals in a fraction of the time it takes a slow cooker. I like it for this reason the most. Sometimes I forget to thaw my meat or to start the slow cooker before I walk out the door for the morning, and in these instances, it’s so nice to have a back-up plan (other than my drawer full of take-out menus).

Many Instant Pot models also will slow cook your rice, make your yogurt, saute your veggies and herbs, or even switch to “slow cooker” mode (potentially saving you room in your kitchen for yet another appliance). Once you figure out how your Instant Pot works, you’ll grow to love it as much as I do!

Instant Pot Cheesy Mexican Chicken and Rice |

What Are Some Other Mexican Foods?

I feel like this is such a loaded question. Authentic Mexican foods include tortillas, mole sauce, corn, tamales, enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, guacamole, chorizo…the list could go on and on.

Now, while I’m sure you won’t find any Mexican abuela using her instant pot to make up this particular dish, I’m sure we can all agree that it’s the essences of Mexican food that we are often after. It’s the spices, sauces, textures, smells, and flavors of Mexican food that cause us to seek new recipes, new (and often quicker) ways to get those flavors right into our mouths and adapt them for a busy lifestyle. I think if you’ve been on my blog for any amount of time, you’ll notice how much I love creating and cooking Mexican dishes.

What Other Ways Could I Top This Dish?

In my recipe, I suggest you top this Instant Pot Cheesy Mexican Chicken and Rice dish with cherry tomatoes, avocado, olives, cilantro, or sour cream. However, feel free to add whatever toppings you love. You could use all of these plus some pickled onions or jalapenos, hot sauce, guacamole, or even a fried egg! Yum!


Instant Pot Cheesy Mexican Chicken and Rice |
4.34 from 3 votes

Instant Pot Cheesy Mexican Chicken and Rice

This easy Instant Pot Cheesy Mexican Chicken and Rice recipe is flavor-loaded comfort food without the work! Family-friendly and picky-eater approved. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chicken and rice, instant pot, pressure cooker
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
hands-off time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 yellow or white onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • juice of 2 limes about 2 tablespoons
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup chunky salsa mild or medium
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • toppings: cherry tomatoes, avocado, green onions, olives, cilantro, sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Set Instant Pot to “Saute” setting. Drizzle with oil, then add onions and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and saute for 20-30 seconds longer. 

  2. Add chicken broth and lime juice, stir for a few seconds to loosen onions and garlic from the bottom of the pot, then add chicken, black beans, corn, salsa, and rice. 

  3. Place the lid on the pot, set vent to the “seal” position, and change to the “Pressure Cook” setting for 10 minutes. 

  4. Once time is up, let the pot naturally release for 5 minutes, then turn the vent to the venting position. Once pressure is completely released and float valve drops down, remove the lid. Remove chicken breasts and shred with two forks. Return to the pot and mix in with the rice.

  5. Sprinkle the cheese on top and place the lid on the pot for 3-4 minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve with your favorite toppings like cherry tomatoes, avocado, olives, cilantro, or sour cream.


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Can not find the number of servings this recipe makes. Did I just miss it?

    My mistake- it should say 4-6 servings!

This looks delicious! Keep those instant pot recipes coming 😊. I would be INTERESTED to heAr the adjustments if anyone tries this with brown rice. Thank you for the great recipe.

    I hope that you love this instant pot recipe! They’re so fun to use, right?!

    If you make it with brown rice, you will need to increase the cook time to 20 min (and you may need to add a Little extra water… the instant pot book says 1:1, but long grain rice is often toothy when done that way.) that’s what I am planning to do!

Hi,is there any substitue for mexiCan cheese?

    You can cheese a cheddar jack, or even just a cheddar. Anything along those lines will work!

this is really tasty! i think it needs something crunchy, which i think is where the toppings come in, i think. maybe over a big pile of crunchy romaine? maybe once the danger clears. 🙂 this is my first recipe i’ve tried from your site. thanks very kindly.

    Happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe, Molly! 🙂

      First time Using instapot. I assume i will press manUal button and adjust to 10 minutes. Currently defaults to low pressure. Is that setting ok?

        I typically use high pressure!

WheN do you add the uncooked rice in?

    Step 2 🙂

Cook time if i double the cook time

What is the cook time if double the recipe

    Hi Robert- I haven’t tested it out that way, but I would start by trying one and a half times the stated time in the recipe.

Loving your instant pot recipes, please keep them coming!

    You’re so kind!

I made this tonight and it came out pretty well, but i got the dreaded burn message!! if i make it again, i’ll likely increase the amount of chicken broth a little more. thanks for a great recipe 🙂

    I am excited to hear that you had success with this recipe! Thanks for your input, Heather!

This was big time fail! Kept getting burn. Very frustrated!

    Sorry to hear that you didn’t have great success with this recipe, Lynn. Thanks for your feedback!

I plan on trying this today. My chicken will Likely still be somewhat frozen. Am I at risk for overlooking the rice if I up the cook time to 20 minutes like suggested?

    I do recommend thawing your chicken if you can!

I have a 6L Instant Pot. Can i double this RECIPE?

    Hi Daria- I am not positive on that one! I typically cook this recipe with an 8 qt instant pot so I can’t say for sure!

Could I eliminate the rice?

    Hi Kathy- Eliminating the rice would alter the recipe quite a bit and likely would need less liquid. I can’t say for sure because I haven’t tried it that way!

Made this tonight and its ddelcious. How much salt and pepper? I difnt see it. Do you know the cslories in this?

    Hi Kris- thanks for pointing out that typo! It is fixed now. It is just to taste- however much you prefer! As far as the calorie count goes.. I suggest using MyFitnessPal. They have a great (free!) tool where you can input any recipe URL into and it will generate any nutritional information that you might be looking for!

Wicked I used chicken thigh loved it

    Awesome job, Andy!

I made this tonight and added the ingredIents as the recipe saId and my rice came out uncooked. Any suggestions as to why?

    I have no clue- I have not had that issue with this recipe before! With cooking in a pressure cooker, all the ingredients cook at the same time… So I am a little stumped as how the rice wouldn’t cook but the meat did?!

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