Instant Pot Southwest Rice (Served Five Ways)

A simple and delicious Instant Pot Southwest rice is a one-pot dish that can be finished and served in five different ways such as cheesy casserole, crispy pan-fried patties, burritos or a salad. Made with sweet corn, black beans and green bell peppers, this Southwestern recipe is inexpensive, vegetarian-friendly and great for making ahead.


WHAT IS SOUTHWEST RICE?

Southwest style rice or Southwestern rice is a Tex Mex inspired one-pot dish made with rice, corn, black beans and bell peppers, flavored with garlic, onions, tomatoes and spices. It’s similar to cowboy caviar/salad but is served as a warm side dish or a main.

It complements any Mexican meal wonderfully, can be served with grilled chicken or fish, in a taco or burrito, turned into a baked casserole or cheesy rice patties. You can also serve it as a meat-free main with a side salad, avocado, corn chips and a dollop of sour cream. 

 

Southwestern Rice Instant Pot

INSTANT POT SOUTHWEST RICE 

In this recipe, we show you how to make versatile Southwest style rice in the Instant Pot and how you can serve it up as five different dishes. The recipe makes a large batch of colorful, nutritious rice that can be divided into two meals (unless you’re feeding a large family or a group of friends). We love this dish because it goes a long way and is super affordable and easy to make. 

In addition, we have a recipe for a delicious avocado tomato salsa salad that can be served with all of these Southwest rice variations. You will find the full recipe and nutritional breakdown in a recipe card below. And don’t forget to check out the five ways with Southwest rice after that! 

Southwest Rice (Instant Pot Recipe, Serve 5 Ways)

 

SOUTHWEST RICE INGREDIENTS

Here is a quick overview and notes on the ingredients you will need to make this rice dish:

  • Long-grain white rice – make sure to rinse it really well before adding to the pot to get rid of the starch, which can otherwise make it stodgy and gluggy.
  • Black beans – any canned beans can be used but we love black beans for that Southwestern feel.
  • Sweet corn – we used frozen corn but you can also use fresh or canned.
  • Bell peppers – we love green bell peppers for color but red or yellow can also be used. 
  • Add some flavor: in addition to chopped canned tomatoes, onions and garlic, you will need a few staple spices like paprika, cumin, turmeric (for that brilliant yellow color), salt, pepper. A touch of chili will give it a little kick. 

Southwest rice ingredients

HOW TO MAKE SOUTHWEST RICE IN AN INSTANT POT

We used a 6-quart Instant Pot Duo but you can easily make this recipe in an 8-quart. Find the full recipe ingredients and a nutritional breakdown below these step-by-step photos.

Step 1. Rinse rice under cold water 4-5 times and drain in a sieve. 
Step 2. Using Sauté mode (Normal), cook the onions and green peppers in a little olive oil for 4-5 minutes, until softened. Press Cancel to stop the Sauté mode.
Step 3. Add garlic, black beans, corn, rice, spices, salt and stock cube (if using, crumbled). Add the 2.5 cups water and stir through well, make sure to scrape the bottom so that nothing is stuck (to prevent the BURN ERROR). If you’re not using a stock cube, add 2.5 cups of ready-made stock instead of water.

How to make Instant Pot Southwest Rice steps 1

Step 4. Spread the canned chopped tomatoes over the top but don’t stir through (again, to prevent the burn error).
Step 5. Secure and lock the lid. Set to Manual/Pressure Cook on HIGH pressure for 4 minutes. After 3 beeps, the Instant Pot will start building up pressure (should take about 10 minutes), and the cooking will commence. Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes and then use the quick release to let off the remaining pressure. 
Step 5. Open the lid and stir through the rice. 

How to make southwestern rice in Instant Pot steps 2

 

AVOCADO TOMATO SALSA SALAD

This zesty, refreshing tomato avocado salsa is like a side salad that goes fabulously with Southwestern rice. You can serve it on the side with the rice, on top of the casserole or crispy patties or inside the burritos or tacos. It’s super easy to make using diced tomatoes, red or white onion, cilantro, avocado and fresh lime juice. Season with a little salt and finish with a drizzle of olive oil (optional). 

Avocado tomato salsa salad


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Instant Pot Southwest Rice Served 5 Ways

Instant Pot Southwest Rice (Serve Five Ways)

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 9 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

A simple and delicious Instant Pot Southwest rice is a one-pot dish that can be finished and served in five different ways such as cheesy casserole, crispy pan-fried patties, burritos or a salad. Made with sweet corn, black beans and green bell peppers, this Southwestern recipe is inexpensive, vegetarian-friendly and great for making ahead.


Ingredients

Scale

For Southwest Rice In Instant Pot
2 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, diced finely

1 green bell pepper, diced into small cubes

2 garlic cloves, diced finely

1 can black beans (14 oz), strained

1.5 cups frozen corn

2 cups long-grain rice, rinsed well

1.5 tbsp sweet paprika

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp chilli

1 cube chicken stock (or skip the cube and use ready-made stock instead of water below)

2.5 cups water

1 can (14-15oz) chopped tinned tomatoes

For Tomato Avocado Salad
2 large tomatoes, diced (remove the seeds, if you wish)

1 large or 2 small avocados, diced

1/4 red or white onion, finely diced

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/2 tsp salt

For Southwest Rice Patties
3 cups cooked Southwest rice

1.5 cups grated cheese like Cheddar or/and Mozzarella (you can do 50/50)

1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, chopped (you can use less or more spice level dependent)

3 tablespoons flour

Olive oil for cooking

For Southwest Rice Casserole 
4 cups Southwest rice (or more)

1/3 cup BBQ sauce (smokey or chipotle is best)

23 cups grated/shredded cheese


Instructions

  • Rinse rice under cold water 4-5 times and drain in a sieve.
  • Set the Instant Pot to Saute mode (Normal) and once hot, add the olive oil, onions and green peppers. Saute for 4-5 minutes, until softened.
  • Add garlic, black beans, corn, rice, spices, salt and stock cube (crumbled. Add the water and stir through well, make sure to scrape the bottom so that nothing is stuck (to prevent the BURN ERROR).
  • Spread the canned chopped tomatoes over the top but don’t stir through (again, to prevent the burn error).
    Secure and lock the lid. Set to Manual/Pressure Cook on HIGH pressure for 4 minutes. After 3 beeps, the Instant Pot will start building up pressure (should take about 10 minutes), and the cooking will commence. Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes and then use the quick release to let off the remaining pressure.
  • Open the lid and stir through the rice.
  • Southwest rice patties: combine the rice with cheese, pickled jalapenos and flour, mix until well incorporated. Shape small patties using your hands (about 2-3 tablespoons per patty) and pan-fry in a little oil over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy. Serve with tomato and avocado salad.
  • Southwest rice casserole: transfer the pre-cooked rice to a baking dish, drizzle all over with the BBQ sauce and top with the cheese. Bake in the 200 C/ 400F oven for 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and browned slightly around the edges. Serve with tomato avocado salad and sour cream.
  • Tomato avocado salsa: mix all ingredients in a bowl, this can be done in advance; season and drizzle with lime and olive oil just before serving for freshness. Serve with the rice as is or with any of the dish variations in this post.

Keywords: Southwest, Southwestern, Rice, Tex Mex, Instant Pot, Black Beans, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

 

FIVE WAYS WITH SOUTHWEST RICE 

As we mentioned earlier, Southwest rice can be served as a main meat-free meal topped with some guacamole and/or sour cream and a side salad. The beauty of this rice is that it can also be turned into a variety of meals, some of which we would like to share here.

SOUTHWEST RICE WITH CHICKEN & SALAD

Serve the rice with grilled chicken or steak and any salad on the side. It’s a great side dish with pretty much anything. 

Southwest Rice With Chicken & Tomato Avocado Salad

SOUTHWEST RICE CASSEROLE

To make a Southwest style rice casserole, transfer the pre-cooked rice to a baking dish, drizzle all over with the BBQ sauce and top with plenty of grated cheese. Bake in the 200 C/ 400F oven for 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and browned slightly around the edges. Serve with tomato avocado salad and sour cream. 

Southwestern rice casserole baked with BBQ sauce and cheese

CHEESY  RICE PATTIES SOUTHWEST Style

To make these crispy, cheesy rice patties, combine the pre-cooked rice with grated cheese, diced pickled jalapenos and a little flour. Mix until well incorporated. Shape into small patties using your hands (about 2-3 tablespoons per patty) and pan-fry in a little oil over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy. Serve with tomato and avocado salsa salad.

How to make cheesy rice cakes or patties with Southwest rice

Cheesy Rice Patties With Southwest Rice

Cheesy Rice Cakes With Southwest Rice

 

SOUTHWEST RICE SALAD (COWBOY CAVIAR)

This is a great salad to make with leftover, chilled Southwest rice. Allow the rice to cool down completely (or use leftover rice from the fridge). To 3 cups of rice, add 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes, 1 cup diced cucumber, 1/3 cup diced cilantro, 1/3 cup diced red onion. For the dressing, combine the juice of 1 lime with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 garlic clove (minced) or 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp smoked paprika or sweet paprika. Whisk and stir into the salad. 

Southwest rice salad aka Cowboy caviar

SOUTHWEST RICE BURRITOS OR TORTILLA BOWLS

Wrap hot rice in a large tortilla together with grated cheese, BBQ or chipotle sauce, salsa sauce, avocado, diced tomatoes and onions. Heat in the oven or in a frying pan for 5 minutes to get the cheese to melt slightly or serve as is. You can also pop it in a microwave for a minute. Another option is to make tortilla bowls filled with rice and topped with guacamole or cashew cream. 

Tex mex rice burritos
Image from Coles

Tortilla bowls with Southwest Rice

 
By Instant Pot Eats

About us: We are a team of Instant Pot enthusiasts, who love good food and cooking. Our blog is dedicated to delicious recipes you can make using your trusted pressure cooker.

PS. This post may contain Amazon affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. 

More about us here »

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