Vegan Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans

I recently shared three Budget-Friendly Easy Vegan Instant Pot recipes over on Youtube, and one of them is for Vegan Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans.

It’s my version of Mexican Rice and Beans but made vegan and simplified. After you sauté a few aromatics, you’ll dump the remaining ingredients into the Instant Pot and that’s all! It’s a super simple recipe and a great option for meal prep. Plus, it’s made with inexpensive, everyday ingredients so it’s also really affordable to make.

To keep this dish budget-friendly, I use dried beans (instead of canned beans) that I purchase in bulk (along with the brown rice). Since dried beans typically take anywhere from 25-40 minutes to cook in the Instant Pot, I first soak the beans overnight to reduce their cook time. This enables you to cook the beans and the rice (and all the other ingredients) at the same cook time. If you don’t soak the beans, they won’t fully cook through in the 12-minute cook time.

If you forget to soak your beans overnight, you can try this quick soak method.

Vegan Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans

What you need to make this recipe

Vegan Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans

Vegan, Gluten-Free

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried pinto beans, soaked for 8 hours or overnight

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil or neutral cooking oil of choice

  • 1 small red onion, diced

  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano  

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt + more to taste

  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste  

  • 4 cups water

  • 1 ½ cups long-grain brown rice

  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

  • ½ of a lime, juiced

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with plenty of cold water. Soak for 8 hours or overnight, then rinse and drain the beans. Alternatively, use the quick soak method described here.

  2. Sect the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and let the pot heat up for a few minutes before adding the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and bell pepper along with a pinch of salt and cook until the onions are translucent, 3-5 minutes.

  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, tossing frequently to prevent burning.

  4. Add the spices, salt, and pepper, and stir frequently until very fragrant and the vegetables are well coated with the spices, about 30 seconds.

  5. Pour in the water to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the soaked and drained beans, along with the brown rice, and stir well.

  6. Pour the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce on top and gently stir (don’t stir the tomatoes down too much, or they might sink to the bottom and block the Instant Pot’s heat sensor, causing it to burn).

  7. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 12 minutes.

  8. Once the 12-minute timer has completed and beeps, allow a natural pressure release for 15 minutes and then carefully switch the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining steam.

  9. Stir in the lime juice. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper as needed and garnish with the cilantro.