Pressure Cooker Mexican Rice

For our Mexican-themed dinner the other night, I made Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas, and my oldest son asked to have a rice dish to go along side. Wanting something quick and easy, I used my Instant Pot and came up with my version of a Mexican-style rice dish.

Cooking rice in a pressure cooker is super easy, and it’s definitely how I cook rice now. No more guessing how long to cook the rice or having to keep a close eye on it. Just add the rice and liquids, add the lid, and cook. It’s that simple.

I didn’t remember to take a separate picture of just the rice, but I did get one with the entire meal plated.

Feel free to experiment with variations of spice in this dish. My husband doesn’t like super spicy things while my kids do, so this is kind of middle-of-the-road as far as the spiciness goes.

Pressure Cooker Mexican Rice

2 cups white rice (I used jasmine)

3 cups beef or chicken stock, whichever you have on hand

1 package taco seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt, optional depending how salty your taco seasoning is

1 can diced tomatoes, including juice

1 can Rotel tomatoes, including juice

Whisk together the stock (or water if not using stock) and the taco seasoning until the seasoning is completely dissolved. Add all ingredients to the pressure cooker, and stir everything to combine.

Add the pressure cooker lid, remembering to seal the vent. Select the manual setting, and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. When the beeper sounds, turn off the pressure cooker, and let it set for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, do a quick release to release any remaining pressure. Serve warm.

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Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

I love enchiladas, and I’ll eat them with whatever protein is available: beef, chicken, beans, or cheese. I hadn’t made any at home for a while, so I decided to make chicken enchiladas. Of course, since I’ve been on a kick of using my pressure cooker, I decided to use my Instant Pot to cook the chicken ahead of time, and then it was simply a matter of throwing all the ingredients together and baking in the oven.

You can definitely use leftover chicken or other precooked chicken you may have. I wanted to infuse my chicken with taco seasoning, and the pressure cooker is great way to do that. Plus the chicken is done after 10 minutes of cooking time, so if you are using raw chicken, the pressure cooker is a terrific time saver.

This recipe made a bunch of enchiladas — I ended up with 15 of them and had to use 2 baking dishes, but since there are 4 of us, and the guys have big appetites, this worked out fine for us. Feel free to adjust to how many people you are cooking for.

I served a quick version of Pressure Cooker Mexican Rice and refried beans – this was a super easy dinner to make, and the kids said I can make this anytime.

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

1 package of chicken breast tenders (about 1-1/2 pounds)

1 package of taco seasoning

1 cup hot water

Salt and black pepper

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

Tortilla shells

Enchilada sauce

2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar but use your favorite)

Shredded lettuce, optional

Sliced black olives, optional

Pico de gallo, optional

Sour cream, optional


Season your chicken with salt and black pepper, and place them in the pressure cooker. Whisk together the taco seasoning with the hot water, stirring until the seasoning has dissolved. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Place the lid on the pressure cooker, remembering to seal the vent, and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.

When the beeper goes off, turn off the pressure cooker, and do a quick release to release the built-up pressure. Remove the chicken to a bowl, and shred the pieces with 2 forks. Set aside for a few minutes until the chicken is cool enough to work with but still warm.

To the bowl with the shredded chicken, add the softened cream cheese, and stir to completely combine.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Add some of the chicken and cream cheese mixture to each tortilla shell, and roll up, placing the seam side down in the baking dish. Once you’ve filled your tortilla shells, spoon the enchilada sauce over each tortilla. Top everything with shredded cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely browned.

To serve, top enchiladas with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, sliced black olives, and sour cream if desired.

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Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs


I love BBQ, especially barbecue ribs. We grill year-round, and it doesn’t matter how cold it is outside. We prefer pork ribs over beef, but I’m sure I’m be trying out a short rib recipe in my Instant Pot soon. Today, though, the guys brought home a nice stack of baby back ribs for me to play with. Of course, I pulled out my Instant Pot (okay – it sits out on my counter every day because I use it every day) and tried a recipe I found at Our Best Bites that sounded really good. I basically followed that sauce recipe, but I did add some garlic powder and some molasses to the sauce, just to make it a little closer to the one I usually make.

The ribs had a cooking time of 30 minutes on high pressure, and then I let the pressure reduce naturally for 15 minutes. You could put the ribs on a baking sheet, slather on more of the sauce, and stick them under the broiler for a few minutes if you wish, but as my broiler is on the fritz, we just dove in and eat. Absolutely delicious.

For sides, I tried another new recipe from I Wash You Dry for Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower and also fixed some home-canned green beans. Not a bad dinner for a cold winter Iowa evening.

Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs

Baby back ribs (3 to 4 pounds)

Spice Rub:

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


1-1/2 cups ketchup

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon dry mustard

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon molasses

Other Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

Cut the ribs into 2-rib sections, and set on a baking sheet or cutting board.

Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl, and mix to completely combine. Use your hands to rub the mix into both sides of the meat; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients. Mix thoroughly, and set aside.

Select the Sauté function on the Instant Pot, and add the olive oil to the pan. Sauté the onions for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic, and sauté for another 30 seconds or so.

Add the sauce mixture to the pot, and stir to combine. Add the ribs a few pieces at a time, using tongs to coat them with the sauce. Arrange the ribs meat side out, standing them upright as best you can. When you’ve got all the ribs in the pot, spoon some of the sauce over them again.

Secure the lid, making sure the vent is sealed, and select the Manual function. Set the time to 30 minutes on high pressure.

When the beeper sounds, turn the cooker off. Let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes and then manually release the pressure. Can place ribs with sauce in a foil-lined pan and broil for a few minutes if desired.

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Pressure Cooker Beef and Noodles

I was in a hurry the other night and didn’t have much time to prepare dinner, so I went through what was available in the freezer and pantry and decided to make beef and noodles. I had some really nice Amish-made wide egg noodles, and I knew the stew meat I had would turn out super tender if I used the pressure cooker. But I didn’t have any beef stock in the house. I knew I wanted to have a tasty beef gravy to pour over the cooked noodles. A little more rummaging through the pantry found some home-canned tomato juice and a individual-sized bottle of Merlot, both of which are perfect to cook beef in.

I did cook the noodles separately from the stew meat. I have yet to cook pasta in my Instant Pot, and I’ll get there someday, but these were such nice noodles, and I didn’t want them to get all mushy by overcooking them under pressure along with the meat, which was still partially frozen. After cooking the noodles separately and finishing the gravy for the meat, everything went back into the Instant Pot to keep warm and let the noodles soak up some of the sauce. All in all, it turned out to be a pretty good meal.

Beef and Noodles

2 pounds beef stew meat

Olive oil

4 ounces Merlot or other dry red wine

1/4 cup tomato juice

1 cup water or beef stock

2 teaspoons garlic powder

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salt to taste

One bay leaf

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Milk or cream

Cooked egg noodles

Drizzle some olive oil in the Instant Pot, and select the Sauté function. Season the stew meat with garlic powder and black pepper, and add the stew meat to the Instant Pot. Sauté on all sides until nicely browned. Add the wine, tomato juice, water or beef stock, and the bay leaf to the pot. Secure the lid, and select the Beef/Meat function, setting the cooking time to 40 minutes at high pressure. Make sure to close the vent.

When the cooker beeps, turn off the Instant Pot. Let it naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, do a quick release to let out the rest of the pressure.

Remove the bay leaf and the beef with a slotted spoon; set aside and keep warm.

Select the Sauté function. In a coffee cup, add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and enough milk or cream to completely dissolve the cornstarch and make a slurry. Stir to completely combine. Add the slurry to the liquid still in the Instant Pot, and cook until it reaches a gravy consistency. Carefully taste the gravy (it will be hot!), and add additional salt and/or pepper if needed. Add the beef pieces back to the pot along with the cooked egg noodles. Stir everything to combine well. Can select the Keep Warm function if you like or serve immediately.

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Pressure Cooker Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

I’ll admit I’ve been on a rice pudding kick ever since I got my Instant Pot. It’s just too dang easy to make it in the pressure cooker. Plus I found a good deal on bulk Arborio rice on Amazon, so a couple of clicks and 2 days later, I was stocked up on rice for a while. While the plain old-fashioned recipe is delicious, I wanted to add some spice to it for a change. There are so many different flavors you could add to rice pudding, but this one has just a hint of the cinnamon and nutmeg without it being overpowering.

Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

Follow the instructions for my Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding, but after cooking the rice, add the following to the egg/milk mixture:

1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (to taste)

Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste

3 tablespoons good rum

Continue to follow the above recipe for the old-fashioned rice pudding. Serve either hot or cold.

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Pressure Cooker Creamy Chicken with Spinach and Mushrooms

Chicken is probably one of the most fun proteins to cook with because you can do anything with it. Whatever cuisine you’re hungry for, there’s a recipe out there to satisfy your craving. Since I’m still in the honeymoon stage with my new Instant Pot, I’m on the lookout for different ways of making everything, and I was inspired by a couple of different recipes I’d seen on Pinterest about making chicken breasts in the Instant Pot. After looking through my pantry and refrigerator to see what ingredients I had on hand, I came up with the following recipe.

You can cook your chicken breasts in the Instant Pot if they are still frozen, but mine were thawed, so that helped speed up the process a little bit. Feel free to use whatever seasoning your family likes—Italian seasoning would be good, as would some herbs de Provence if you’re feeling a little bit French. I stuck to the basics—salt and freshly ground black pepper—to season my chicken breasts as I knew I’d be adding different flavors in the cream sauce.

You’re really simply poaching the chicken in some cooking liquid. After the chicken is cooked, you can top it with whatever sauce you wish. I had mushrooms, spinach, and heavy cream on hand, so that was my inspiration.

Again, the ingredient amounts are approximate, so feel free to experiment. I usually cook without recipes, so it’s a little of this and a little of that—taste and adjust seasonings and ingredients accordingly.


Creamy Chicken with Spinach and Mushrooms

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup good chicken stock

Salt and black pepper

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1/2 stick butter (not margarine)

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

2 cups fresh spinach

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Liberally season the chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper and place them in the Instant Pot. Add the cup of chicken stock and the smashed garlic cloves. Place the lid on the cooker, remembering to set the valve to seal, and select the Manual setting. Cook for 10 minutes on high pressure.

When the cooker beeps, turn off the Instant Pot, and do a quick release to bring down the pressure. Remove the chicken breasts from the cooking pot, and set aside, keeping them warm. Pour out the chicken stock and save for another use if desired.

Select the saute function, and melt the butter in the cooking pot. Add the sliced mushrooms, and saute for approximately 5 minutes or until they start to soften. Add the white wine, and scrape to remove any browned goodies at the bottom of the pot. Add the fresh spinach, and continue to saute for a few minutes until the spinach wilts. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

In a small bowl, combine the heavy cream and the grated Parmesan cheese. Add this to the cooking pot, and cook for a few minutes more until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Serve sauce over poached chicken breasts.
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Pressure Cooker Sesame Honey Chicken

My family loves Chinese food, and my youngest son is always asking me to make Orange Chicken, probably his most favorite Chinese dish. While it’s one of my favorites too, I wanted to change things up a bit, as I hate always making the same thing for dinner. Variety is the spice of life, right? While looking through some pressure cooker recipes on Pinterest (that site is way to addictive!), I found a recipe for Sesame Honey Chicken on the Key Ingredient website that sounded quick and delicious. It really takes very little time to do in a pressure cooker, and I think it’s going to be a new family favorite.

While I usually brown chicken and beef in a cast iron skillet before I add it to a pressure cooker or a slow cooker, I cooked everything in the Instant Pot for this recipe. Talk about a time saver—saving time doing dishes, that is. I only had one dish to clean, instead of my huge cast iron skillet, which is a big plus in my book.

The recipe calls for soy sauce, but since I’m trying to follow a Paleo-style diet, I substituted coconut aminos for the soy sauce. You could also substitute tamarind sauce. Both of these are gluten-free, and you can’t tell the difference taste-wise when you are adding them to a sauce.

Sesame Honey Chicken

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil (or your favorite cooking oil)

1/2 cup diced onion

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced

1/2 cup soy sauce (I used coconut aminos)

1/4 cup ketchup

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1 cup honey

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons water

Toasted sesame seeds

Chopped green onions, for garnishing (optional)


Salt and pepper the chicken pieces to taste.

Preheat the pressure cooker pot by selecting the sauté function. When the cooking pot is hot, add the olive oil, the chicken pieces, the onion, and the garlic to the pot, and sauté until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes or so. Add the soy sauce, ketchup, and red pepper flakes to the pot, and stir to combine the ingredients.

Lock on the lid, and cook at high pressure for 3 minutes. When the cooker beeps, do a quick pressure release.

Add the honey to the pot, and stir to combine. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and the water. Add this to the pressure cooker pot.

Select the sauté function, and stir until the sauce begins to thicken, roughly 3 to 4 minutes.

Serve chicken and sauce over cooked rice, and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions, if using.

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Pressure Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings

I had originally purchased some chicken wings thinking I would make some chicken stock in the Instant Pot, but when the snowstorm hit last weekend, I needed something quick to fix for my son and husband, who spent the weekend plowing snow. I came across a recipe on This Old Gal’s website, and it sounded yummy and delicious. I didn’t have any bourbon in the house, but I had some whiskey, which substituted just fine. I also discovered that the broiler on my stove wasn’t working (I rarely use it), so after pressure cooking the wings, I turned the oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and cooked the wings for 15 minutes (10 minutes without the glaze and an additional 5 minutes after I glazed the wings). The result was good, but the wings didn’t have the crispy texture that using the broiler would give. My youngest son had the suggestion to deep fry the wings first and then put them in the oven with the sauce for a few minutes. This would give the crispy texture we love on our wings, so I’ll try that next time. All in all, the sauce was delicious, and I’ll definitely make this again.

Pressure Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings

3/4 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon liquid smoke

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup onion, finely minced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced

4 to 5 pounds chicken wings

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup bourbon or whiskey

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Using the sauté function on your pressure cooker, sauté the ketchup, liquid smoke, brown sugar, onion, and garlic for about 5 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the water and remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Add the chicken wings, and stir to coat them with the sauce. Lock on the lid, making sure to close the pressure valve. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. When the pressure cooker beeps, do a quick release to release the pressure.

Turn on the oven to broil.

Line a baking sheet with foil, and carefully remove the wings from the pressure cooker, and place them on the baking sheet. Place wings in the oven, and broil for 5 minutes on each side.

While the wings are in the oven, turn the pressure cooker back to sauté, and stir the sauce until it thickens.

After the wings have been under the broiler for 10 minutes, remove the baking sheet, and coat the wings with the thickened sauce. Place the wings back in the oven, and broil for an additional 5 minutes per side, or until the sauce and wings start to look crispy and brown.

Use any extra sauce for dipping.

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Pressure Cooker Cubed Swiss Steak

I was hungry for Swiss steak, so I went to the grocery store looking for some beef. While I know that Swiss steak is traditionally made using minute steaks, I knew I would be serving this over mashed potatoes, so I decided to look for a cheap cut of beef that I could cube. Since I would be using my Instant Pot, I knew whatever cut of beef I used would turn out tender. But what cut is “charcoal steak”? That’s what I ended up buying because it was cheap. I have no idea whether it was arm roast, chuck roast, or whatever, but the package had enough beef, so I went with it. It turned out extremely tender, so have no fear when you see packages labeled this way.

Mom always made her Swiss steak with tomatoes, celery, and carrots. I decided to use the “trinity”—green bell pepper, onion, and carrots—in mine, and I really liked it this way. I actually cooked everything in the Instant Pot this time, even sautéing the beef in the cooking pot. Usually I break out my cast iron skillet and sear the meat in that first, but the Instant Pot really is a one-stop cooking appliance, which made cooking and cleanup easy peasy. You could serve this cubed Swiss steak over rice or cooked egg noodles, but I was hungry for mashed potatoes, so that’s what I did. This made a delicious and quick meal that had no leftovers.


Pressure Cooker Cubed Swiss Steak

2 pounds beef roast, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 onion, largely diced

1 green bell pepper, largely diced

1 cup diced carrots

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

Splash of red wine

1 can diced tomatoes (I used tomatoes seasoned with basil and garlic)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon salt (or to taste), plus more for seasoning beef

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for seasoning beef

1 bay leaf

Add the olive oil to the pressure cooker pot, and select the sauté function. When the oil is hot, add the cubed beef, and sauté until the beef is lightly browned. Remove beef cubes with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

Add the onion, green pepper, and carrots to the cooking pot, and sauté for a few minutes until the veggies are slightly softened. Add the diced garlic, and cook for another minute or so until it starts to soften. Add a splash of red wine to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any browned bits at the bottom.

Add the diced tomatoes and the tomato paste. Add the Worcestershire sauce, paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add the browned beef back to the pot, and stir to combine everything. Add the bay leaf to the cooking pot.

Lock the lid in place, and select the manual setting. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. When the pressure cooker beeps, turn off the cooker, and let the cooker naturally release the pressure. While you’re waiting for the pressure to reduce, mash your cooked potatoes or make some rice or egg noodles to serve with the Swiss steak.

When your potatoes, rice, or noodles are ready, release any remaining pressure (if any). Remove the lid, and serve.

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Pressure Cooker Beef Stock

I love making homemade soups and stews, but I’m kind of picky about the stocks I use in them. If I go grocery shopping in the city, I can usually find decent organic beef and chicken stock that doesn’t have a lot of salt in them, but the taste is usually meh. I’ve made homemade stock and bone broth before, but doing it the traditional way is extremely time consuming. I guess it’s really not that bad—if you have an entire day that you can devote to watching your pot. Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of time, so when I got my Instant Pot, I thought I’d give stock making another go, and I’m so glad I did. The pressure cooker does all the work, and in the end, I had a flavorful, delicious beef stock to use however I wanted.

I have the 6-quart Instant Pot, so I really didn’t end up with a bunch of beef bone broth. After filling the pressure cooker to its limit, I ended up with just under 3 quarts of stock, just enough really for a good batch of soup. One day I might get ambitious and make several batches of bone broth and pressure can it, but for now, this small-size batch works for me. I can make up the stock and keep it refrigerated for a few days until I’m ready to use it. Instant flavor just sitting there ready to be used—if it makes it to soup anyway. I like to heat up a cup just to drink in all that collagen goodness.

You can make bone broth or stock with whatever you like as far as vegetables go. Just remember that using the pressure cooker intensifies the flavors of what you put in it. If you’re used to making stock with lots of veggies, you can cut back to just one stalk of celery or 1 piece of carrot. The cooker will infuse the broth with the flavor just fine. I make my stock without salt, but feel free to add some if you wish. I like to control the salt level when I’m making a recipe, and the salt-free stock helps me do this.

To help pull out all the goodness in the bones, you need to have some sort of acid in the pot. Most recipes call for adding some apple cider vinegar, but I’ve also seen a recipe that added a tomato. I’ll try that this summer when I have fresh garden tomatoes available, but this time I used a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, which added some really nice flavor.

I pressure cooked my stock for 120 minutes. I’ve seen recipes that will cook for just an hour, and you’ll still get great-tasting bone broth, but since I had the time, I wanted to get as much flavor as I could. A lot of recipes call for roasting the bones in the oven before making the stock. I’ve done that, and it does add a richness of flavor, but you can simply sauté the bones in the Instant Pot until nicely browned, if you want, and you’ll get the same result plus save a bunch of time. Or you can simply add everything to the pressure cooker, seal the lid, and cook. That’s what I did.

Pressure Cooker Beef Stock

3-1/2 pounds meaty beef bones (my butcher had nice neck bones)

Half an onion

1 stalk of celery

1 carrot, unpeeled

1 clove of garlic, peeled and smashed

1 sprig thyme

1 sprig rosemary

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

10 cups water (or enough to cover everything but not go past full capacity of the cooking pot)

Yield: I ended up with almost 3 quarts of bone broth.

Place all ingredients in the pressure cooker pot. Seal the lid. Select the manual setting, and set cooking time to 120 minutes. When the pressure cooker beeps, turn off the cooker, and let it naturally release the pressure. Mine took about 2 hours to come down to normal pressure. If you’re in a hurry, you can use the quick-release venting option.

Ladle stock through some cheesecloth into another large container or straight into glass Mason jars. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can keep in the refrigerator for a few days, or place in freezer containers and freeze until ready to use. If you make large batches of stock, you can also pressure can it. I recommend the Ball website for canning instructions.

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