Instant Mexican Rice and Beans

Whether you're serving tacos, enchiladas or burritos, you need a great side dish to go alongside. Enter this super quick Mexican rice and beans dish that takes a fraction of the time in your pressure cooker and feeds a crowd too! 

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Mexican rice and beans in a white bowl with wooden spoon and yellow kitchen towel.

Mexican Rice and Beans in a Hurry

If you think about the time it takes to soak beans, cook beans, cook rice, sauté vegetables and mix it all together, you might decide not to make Mexican Rice and Beans. However… if you could make the whole dish using just one pot and it would take well under an hour, you might consider it, right? The pressure cooker to the rescue! It’s not exactly made in an “instant”, but this recipe for  Instant Mexican Rice and Beans is a pretty quick way to get a delicious side dish (or vegetarian main) on the table. 

Types of Beans to use in Mexican Rice

The most common bean to use for this dish is a pinto bean, but you can use any bean that you like – black beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, or even cranberry beans would work nicely. They might not be traditional, but they will all provide protein and nutrients to this dish. Usually, dried beans require an overnight soak in water, but with the pressure cooker, you can give them a “quick soak”. Cover them with water in your pressure cooker and cook for 5 minutes. Let the pressure drop naturally for 15 minutes and then release any residual pressure manually. Drain the beans and they’re ready for the next step.

Looking down into a pressure cooker with vegetables in the bottom and a wooden spoon sticking out.

Quick Sauté

Once you’ve given the beans a “quick soak”, the first step is to sauté the vegetables and spices. This can be done right in the pressure cooker and is really just to give the onions and peppers a head start in cooking. 

Looking straight down into a pressure cooker with rice and vegetables in the bottom.

Can I use different rice?

Any long grain white rice will work for this recipe. Many people ask about substituting brown rice in pressure cooker rice recipes, but I’m afraid it is not an easy substitution. Brown rice takes significantly longer to cook than white, and in the time it would take to cook the brown rice, the beans would over-cook and be mushy. That’s not to say one couldn’t develop a recipe for brown rice, but this is not it!

Cooking Beans and Rice Together in a Pressure Cooker

The nice thing about this Instant Mexican Rice and Beans recipe is that after the beans have had their initial “quick soak”, it take about the same amount of time in the cooker to finish the beans as it does to cook white rice – 6 minutes. So, toss the rice and beans in together and let them cook under pressure together. Then, quick-release the pressure and fluff the rice.

A wooden spoon lifting mexican rice and beans out of a pressure cooker.

What to serve with Mexican Beans and Rice

Instant Mexican Rice and Beans is a zesty side dish for typical Mexican dishes like tacos or fajitas, but it can also be served with simple grilled or air-fried chicken, seafood and meats. You can use it as a filling in a burrito too, or frankly, just eat it on its own. It is rich in plant protein and fiber and is wholly satisfying. A warm bowl of Mexican rice and beans makes a perfect lunch, so hang on to those leftovers!

Mexican rice and beans in a white bowl with wooden spoon and yellow kitchen towel.

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Instant Mexican Rice and Beans

  • Cook Time: 25 m
  • Pressure Release Time: 15 m
  • Total Time: 40 m
  • Servings:


  • 1 cup dried pinto beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • cups long grain white rice
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 14-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Place the pinto beans in the pressure cooker and cover with an inch of water. Pressure-cook on HIGH for 5 minutes. Let the pressure drop NATURALLY for 15 minutes, then release any residual pressure with the QUICK-RELEASE method and carefully remove the lid. Drain and set the pinto beans aside.
  2. Pre-heat the pressure cooker using the brown or sauté function.
  3. Add the olive oil and sauté the onion for a few minutes until it starts to become tender. Add the peppers, oregano, chili powder, salt and tomato paste and continue to cook for another minute or two. Stir in the rice and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the cooked pinto beans, chicken stock and diced tomatoes and lock the lid in place.

  4. Pressure-cook on HIGH for 6 minutes.
  5. Release the pressure using the QUICK-RELEASE method and carefully remove the lid. Fluff with a fork, mix in the fresh cilantro and transfer to a serving dish.
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Comments (4)Post a Reply

  1. I think I missed a step in the recipe. When do the beans go back in? At the end? Or do they go back in and cook with the rice?

    Thanks for the clarification!

    1. The cooked beans are returned to the pot when you add the stock. The recipe has been corrected, thanks for bringing this to our attention!

  2. 5 stars
    Is there any alternative of tomato paste as my husband his allergic to tomatoes, so I want to know if I can add an alternative that doesn’t change the taste much, if there any?

    1. Hi Brenda. You can leave out the tomato paste, but you’ll also have to leave out the chopped tomatoes. That will affect the flavor – it will be quite different, but that doesn’t mean it won’t still be nice. Add a touch more stock (about a ¼ cup) to make up for the lost moisture of the chopped tomatoes.

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