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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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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Unstuffed Cabbage

I had a really great meal planned for dinner. I was going to make traditional cabbage rolls, something I hadn’t eaten for a long time, probably since my grandmother was alive. I’d found a really nice head of cabbage at the grocery store and had everything planned out for the meal – and then work got in the way. I love working from home, but sometimes work can get crazy with deadlines and tasks that need to be managed. So my wonderfully planned meal went out the window.

But I still had all the makings for cabbage rolls, just not all the time I needed. Cabbage rolls generally take about 2 hours to bake and about 30 minutes or so for the prep work. I was still hungry for the taste of a cabbage roll, so I decided to make unstuffed cabbage in a big skillet instead. It uses all the same ingredients, but dinner can be ready in about half an hour. Win-win for me!

I used Minute Rice in this recipe simply because I was pressed for time in getting something on the table for everyone to eat, but you can definitely use the long-grain rice of your choice. You’ll just need to extend the cooking time to allow the rice to cook. I also added a pint of homemade salsa to my skillet unstuffed cabbage. Salsa isn’t a usual ingredient in traditional cabbage rolls, but it adds a nice spicy flavor when you’re making it on the stove top.

unstuffed cabbage

Unstuffed Cabbage

1 pound ground beef
1/2 an onion, diced
1/2 head green cabbage, chopped
2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 pint salsa (optional)
2 cups Minute Rice (or your favorite long-grain rice but add more cooking time)
2 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, brown ground beef with the onion until the beef is no longer pink. Drain. To the skillet, add the chopped cabbage, and stir to combine. Let it cook for a few minutes to let the cabbage wilt a bit (and make more room in the skillet). Add the tomato sauce, salsa if using, 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of water. Stir to combine everything.

Let cook over medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all the water and the cabbage is tender. If you’re using long-grain rice, the cooking time may be closer to 30 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid anything sticking in the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.