Learn how to make nachos-inspired Mexican rice and beef casserole in the Instant Pot. Topped with melted cheese and corn chips, this pressure cooker dinner recipe is perfect for the whole family. Gluten-free and can be made vegetarian by swapping meat with canned beans or lentils.
To cook in the Instant Pot
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 lb (450 g) ground beef mince
1/2 teaspoons salt
3 large cloves of garlic, finely diced
1/2 long red chili (jalapeno), diced
1 tablespoon Mexican taco seasoning or spice blend
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
1.5 cups chicken stock
1 cup long-grain rice (e.g. Basmati, rinsed well)
1 cup canned tomato sauce (or diced tinned tomatoes)
1/3 cup canned sweet corn (frozen can also be used)
1/4 cup diced roasted red peppers (like these)
1.5 cups grated cheese (e.g. cheddar or Mozzarella or a mix)
1 cup corn tortilla chips
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 large avocado, diced and scooped out
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 small tomato, diced
1 small clove garlic, grated or minced
A little chili if you wish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup light sour cream
Extra corn chips
Hot sauce or salsa
- Turn the Instant Pot on and press the Saute setting (it will say 30 mins, Normal – no need to change the time, it simply gives you a countdown clock). Once the bottom of the pot feels hot, add the olive oil and onions and cook for 1 minute to soften.
- Add the beef and salt and cook with the onions for 1-2 minutes, breaking the meat apart with a spatula. Add the garlic and chili and stir through. Add the spices and stir, followed by chicken stock. Use the spatula to stir in the stock, scraping the bottom of the bottom from any bits that might have gotten stuck. This will prevent any potential burn errors. Press Cancel to stop the Saute process.
- Rinse the rice under cold water (4-5 times to remove excess starch) and strain. Add to the beef and stock and stir through. Pour the tomato sauce over the top and spread over the top but do not stir into the rice. Spread the corn and roasted red peppers over the top. The reason we are not stirring the tomato sauce into the rice is that sometimes having tomato-based foods at the bottom of the pot (especially when the liquid gets absorbed during cooking) can also result in a burn notice.
- At this stage, secure and lock and lid. Select Manual/Pressure Cook setting and adjust the time with – and + buttons to 5 minutes at HIGH pressure. In a few moments, the ON sign will come on indicating that the Instant Pot is building up the pressure, which will take about 5 minutes as well. The timer will start once the pressure is built up.
- While the rice and beef are cooking, prepare the guacamole, cheese and any other condiments you want to use.
- Once your 5 minutes are up, the display will change to a new timer indicating the depressurizing of the pot. Allow about 2-3 minutes for the pressure to release naturally and then use the steam releasing knob/handle on the top of the lid to manually let off the remaining pressure.
- Open the lid. You will see that most of the liquid and tomato sauce have been absorbed into the rice. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top and cover the pot with a regular glass lid or a towel to keep the heat inside. Leave for 3-4 minutes until the cheese has melted. Finish with scrunched corn chips and fresh cilantro on top and you’re ready to serve.
- From start to finish, the cooking time should be 5 minutes for Sauteing, 5-7 minutes to build up the pressure, 5 minutes cooking at pressure, 2-3 minutes natural release, 3-4 minutes for melting cheese on top.
- Serve the casserole in bowls with a side of guacamole, sou cream (if using) and extra corn chips. You can also add fresh salsa, extra jalapenos, raw onions etc.
Vegetarian version: Swapping ground beef for 1-2 cans of beans or lentils or vegan alternative to ground meat.
Store leftovers for up to 3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Reheat in a microwave, oven or in a frying pan with a splash of water and melt extra cheese on top if you like.
Keywords: Mexican, Rice, Ground Beef, Casserole, Nachos, Pressure Cooker, Dinner, Family-Friendly, Kid-Friendly