Instant Pot Mexican Casserole

How many “Mexican” theme dinners in a row can you throw before your friends start to wonder if you know how to make anything else? I am hoping A LOT, because now that I’ve discovered Instant Pot Mexican Casserole, it’s all Mexican and margs from here until someone schedules an intervention.

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole. A healthy Instant Pot Mexican recipe with rice, beans, chicken or turkey, and fresh veggies. An easy pressure cooker recipe that’s absolutely delicious!

It’s not that I lack inspiration in the kitchen or don’t enjoy other global cuisines. Mexican food just meets so many needs in so many situations.

Beginning of the week and you are craving something healthy that you can eat leftover for lunches and dinners in the coming days? Mexican.

End of the week and the greatest-sounding thing in life is an easy but ultra tasty meal and a cold beverage to match? Mexican again.

Cooking for a crowd and seeking a recipe that’s easy to adapt to different diets and guaranteed to please? I think you know where this is going.

Easy Instant Pot Mexican Casserole with Rice, Chicken, and Beans

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole- Welcome to the Go-To Menu

Today’s Instant Pot Mexican Casserole is the latest entry on my ever growing “What should I make for dinner?/I know, Mexican!” recipe list.

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole is not new territory—this Crock Pot Mexican Casserole is one of the single most popular recipes on my site, with these Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos a close second—but it is delicious territory, so we’re going back again.

After all, “No, I do not want an easy, flavorful, filling, all-in-one-meal that I can smother in avocado and cheese” was said by….

WAIT. No one has ever said that before.

And if they have, they haven’t tried an Instant Pot Mexican recipe yet!

This pressure cooker Mexican casserole is the complete dinner package.

Healthy pressure cooker Mexican casserole with rice, bell peppers, ground chicken or turkey, tomatoes, and beans.

It hits every food group. Veggies (colorful bell peppers, sweet corn, and fire-roasted tomatoes), whole grains (hello, brown rice), lean protein (beans + ground chicken or turkey), and dairy (gooey cheese + a dollop of creamy Greek yogurt) all make an appearance.

Cheesy Instant Pot Mexican Casserole. Easy and healthy!

It cooks in a single pot. Thank you Instant Pot for reducing the number of dishes I will wash in my lifetime. (More winning one-pot recipes right this way: 15 Healthy Instant Pot Recipes!)

It combines fresh ingredients with convenient pantry staples.

It is YUMMY. The textures and flavors of this Instant Pot Mexican Casserole are reminiscent of a giant Chipotle burrito bowl, without the pesky extra charge for guac.

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole - an easy, healthy Mexican chicken and rice recipe made in the pressure cooker.

If you are looking for a slow cooker version of this recipe, I’d suggest the Crock Pot Mexican Casserole I mentioned above, this Taco Casserole, or these Crock Pot Healthy Nachos; for the stove top, check out my Mexican Chicken and Rice or Fiesta Chicken.

Seeking more Instant Pot Mexican recipes? This Instant Pot Chicken Mole is a new favorite.

Still hungry? I have this entire collection of healthy Mexican recipes.

Whichever recipe you choose, just make sure to wash it down with a Skinny Margarita.

Recommended Tools to Make Instant Pot Mexican Casserole

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole. A healthy Instant Pot Mexican recipe with rice, beans, chicken or turkey, and fresh veggies. An easy pressure cooker recipe that’s absolutely delicious!
4.79 from 14 votes
Leave a Review »

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole

Yield: 4 -6 people
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
55 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 15 mins
Instant Pot Mexican Casserole. A healthy Instant Pot Mexican recipe with rice, chicken, beans, spices, and fresh veggies. Easy and absolutely delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 small yellow onion — diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain brown rice*
  • 1 large red bell pepper — cut into wide strips (about 3/4 inch), halved if long
  • 1 large green bell pepper — cut into wide strips (about 3/4 inch), halved if long
  • 1 15-ounce can low-sodium black beans — , drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes in their juices
  • 1 cup corn kernels — fresh, frozen and thawed, or drained from a can
  • 2 cups of your favorite salsa — 1, 16-ounce jar; I used a chunky medium salsa
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese — divided
  • For serving: chopped fresh cilantro — diced avocado, chopped green onion, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Turn the Instant Pot to SAUTE and add the oil. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the chicken, onion, and salt. Cook and stir, breaking up the chicken as you go, until the meat is no longer pink, about 7 minutes.
 Add the brown rice, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, black beans, diced tomatoes in their juices, corn, salsa, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Stir to combine.
  2. Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure (manual) for 20 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes, and then vent to release any remaining pressure.
 Remove the lid and stir. At this point, the rice may still have a bit of liquid at the bottom, but it will continue to absorb as the casserole sits. Taste and adjust any seasonings as desired.
  3. Stir in 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Set the lid back on the Instant Pot (no need to seal; just make sure it is resting on top). Let rest 10 additional minutes to allow the cheese to melt and more of the liquid to absorb. Serve hot with any desired toppings.

Recipe Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat gently in the microwave.
  • *Do not use instant rice, as it will not hold up in the pressure cooker. I also cannot recommend white, basmati, or any other type of rice or quinoa, as I have not tested the recipe this way. Cooking times and liquid ratios can vary between types of grains. For best results, long grain brown rice is the way to go (and it is delicious!).
  • To make on the stovetop: **Please note that I have not tested this methods yet; this is my best guess, but it may not be accurate.** In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high. Add the chicken and sauté until cooked through. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add an additional 2 teaspoons oil to the pot. Once hot and shimmering, add the onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients except for the cheese (do not add the chicken). Turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and let cook until the rice is done, about 40-50 minutes. Stir in the reserved chicken and 1/2 cup cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and any other desired toppings over the top.
  • I cannot recommend a slow cooker version, as I haven't tested one with these liquid ratios. I'd recommend my Crock Pot Mexican Casserole instead (link in the blog post above).
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Healthy Casserole, Instant Pot Dinner Recipe, Instant Pot Mexican Casserole

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 (of 6), about 1 1/2 cups without extra toppings) — Calories: 437, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Carbohydrates: 47g, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 9g, Protein: 27g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole. A healthy Instant Pot Mexican recipe with rice, beans, chicken or turkey, and fresh veggies. An easy pressure cooker recipe that’s absolutely delicious! #instantpot #pressurecooker #mexican #chicken #casserole #easy #healthy #onepot

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

73 comments

  1. I’m new to IP and would like to try this. Do you think I could use cut up chicken breasts instead of ground chicken?

    • Hi Donna! I would be a little worried about the chicken pieces drying out. You could saute the pieces separately, then remove them to a plate and stir them back in at the end!

  2. So with you on Mexican food. And it’s so easy to crazy load it up with veggies and it’s such a kid pleaser. Definitely on my menu list 1-2 times a week and excited to try this!

  3. shawnna Griffin Reply

    hey girl- this casserole looks amazing! right up my alley!

  4. I will try this with firm tofu as I am wfpb egan.

    Thanks!

  5. I do not have an instant pot but Mexican cuisine is my absolute favorite…we have a new restaurant here in our town that’s just fantastic. I tried an enchilada recipe last week that required me to make even the sauce. That was a first but – oh my goodness: I could eat this with a spoon! I think the secret was the 4T, of ancho chili powder. This sounds wonderful so in the future if anyone comes up with a stove top method, please bring it to us! Have a nice week -hopefully these 95 degree days will come to an end.

  6. This reminds me of a dish my mom used to make us growing up! I need to make this for my dad sometime; I think he’d love it!

  7. Wow!  The rice doesn’t need any water to cook!  I can’t wait to try this, genius!

  8. I want to swim in a big bowl of this!

  9. YUM! this is going on the dinner menu for next week :) 

  10. I made this last night and it was amazing! So easy to put together and so delicious. I love your blog- thank you for so many wonderful recipes!!

  11. Delicious and easy to pull together dish! I used Tostito’s Chunky Medium salsa and Tillamook Mexican cheese to get the best melt. Thanks for the recipe!

  12. Hi Erin. I’d really like to try this, but I’m pretty nervous about there not being enough liquid for the i.p. to seal, as I’ve had issues with that with other recipes in the past. The six quart i.p. requires at least one cup of liquid. I don’t see there being that much liquid from just the tomatoes and salsa. Are we supposed to add water or chicken broth that’s not listed on the ingredients list?
    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi BJ! I left both out and found it to be plenty of liquid actually. Quite a bit of liquid will also cook out of the veggies. A few others have tried the recipe with good results too. You can experiment with adding more liquid if you want, but the casserole might be more liquidy at the end.

  13. BJ- I tell my hubby all the time, don’t be afraid of the recipe,
    Erin will not tell you wrong.
    Erin, You are so patient, I just love patient people. Thank you so much for this recIpe, I will try it soon & report back. Take care…

  14. Okay— I am new to the IP and loved this recipe! I made it as directed in my 6 quart pot and it turned out perfectly. My selective 9 year old even ate it for 3 days (it made plenty of leftovers) 

    Thanks Erin!

  15. I love your recipes and blog. Do you have any thoughts on using cauliflower “rice” instead of the brown rice?

    • Jennifer, thank you! <3 Unfortunately, cauliflower rice won't work for this, because it doesn't absorb liquid the way regular rice does and it will become mushy. You could try making this Instant Pot Shredded Chicken, then serving it over cauliflower rice, maybe with some black beans mixed in and salsa, avocado, and cheese on top!

  16. Hi, I tried this last night and got the dreaded burn.  Ended up finishing it on the stove and it tasted great.  Any suggestions to prevent the burn in the future?

    • The burn warning is the worst! Out of curiosity, do you have a newer model? I hear those register burn warnings more easily. For nex time, I’d make sure there is NOTHING stuck to the bottom of the pot before you seal it. You can also try rinsing the rice before adding it to remove starch.

  17. Hmm probably since we just bought it last year. Ok, thanks, I’ll try those two suggestions next time.

  18. Hello, we tried this with Cauli-rice and found that it worked just fine, we drained the tomatoes and left the liquid from the Salsa, and added 2 cups of Cauli-rice. It is a little liquidy, like a soup. But still very delicious. We were just trying to cut down on Carbs. Thank you.

  19. Tom L, Mahwah, NJ Reply

    Fantastic! I didn’t change a thing. I’m definitely adding this to my regular rotation. As suggested I added some chopped avacado and cilantro (also a squeeze of lime!)

  20. This was delicious! Definitely a keeper! 

  21. It looks delicious. My mouth is watering.

  22. I was really excited to try this recipe because it seemed like few people mentioned getting the dreaded burn!  Unfortunately I did get the burn and yes I have a newer instant pot but have been using an instant pot for about a year so I’ve gotten pretty good at using it.  I also followed the recipe exactly.  So maybe the newer instant pots are part of the problem. I had to add liquid and start the process of pressurizing again. It did pressurize after adding almost a cup of water.  So after adding the water I can’t say what Else went wrong along the way but after 20 minutes of pressure cooking and 20 minutes of venting I had my fingers crossed. Again unfortunately the rice wasn’t cooked all of the way which I thought was very strange after cooking for so long and it was too watery. So I spent another 20 minutes cooking some additional rice in the microwave to add. All in all it was nearly two and half hours later when we sat down to eat. It actually tasted pretty good. Not great and it took way to long. I wish I could have been more positive. 

    • Anthony, I am so sorry to hear that this didn’t turn out for you! I haven’t heard anything about the rice not cooking for this recipe, so I’m not sure what might have gone wrong either. I know it’s disappointing to try a recipe and not have it come out, so I’m truly sorry that this didn’t come out perfectly for you!.

  23. I wonder if people receiving burn notices might have been caused by not deglazing the pan before the pressure cook. It might be worth mentioning in the steps. I know you mention it in a burn notice reply, but it might help others be sure not to forget the step.

    I am thinking I am going to give this a trial run without any rice at all. I plan to strain the tomatoes in an attempt to avoid having too much water with the removal of the rice. I am sure it will end up a bit soupy even with that change, but I dont think that would really bother me that much. It will give me more confidence to give it a try with the rice at another time if it does. I do plan to cut way back on the pressure cook time as well since I assume that is mainly needed to get the brown rice finished.

    • Donnie, deglazing the pan definitely helps! I would recommend using some rice though. You could try rinsing it first, and use about 2/3 of the amount if that makes you feel more comfortable.

      • I plan to make it with rice at some point hopefully sooner than later. I will be making it this time for myself and friends to snack on while hanging out, drinking, and watching football. Going without the rice to make it more of a loaded nacho style of dip to accommodate the setting and group. It will also let me judge a bit how much liquid is in it since I do have an Ultra IP and want to see if I think it would need some modifications for it to avoid the burn notice.

  24. This was so easy, healthy and delicious! I was worried about the amount of liquid, but it turned out perfectly. We paired it with homemade tortillas and lots of great toppings.

    So glad I found your website! I will definitely be back. Thank you, Erin!

  25. Oops! I forgot to add the salsa before sealing the pot! It’s almost done should I do a quick release and add the salsa or just let it naturally release for the 20 minutes and stir it in with the cheese?  I guess that’s what I’ll do because it just beeped!! 

  26. I make this recipe every other week now!! I love the ground turkey with it. Tried ground beef once and that was a complete mistake… kept getting the burn sign! But with turkey it’s PERFECT!! 

    • So so happy to hear that you love this recipe Lauren! THANK YOU for leaving this wonderful review. I’m not sure why the beef would have burned.W Was there a bit stuck on the bottom of the pot before you sealed it? I’m sorry that happened!

  27. This was really good! Thanks for sharing! I used white long grain rice and it was fine! Thanks again for a delicious healthy dinner.

  28. Hi Erin, how many servings does this make? Can the recipe be doubled in an 8 qt pot? Thanks!

    • Hi Joanne, I’d say it serves 4 to 6, depending on how hungry your eaters are! I have not tried doubling this in a larger Instant Pot, so I can’t say for certain where it would hit on the 8-quart fill line and if it would work. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to hear how it goes.

  29. I keep getting the burn notice. I do not think there are enough liquids in this recipe. There seems to be nothing that I can do to reach high pressure without getting burn.

    • Hi Alex, out of curiosity, do you have a newer model? I hear those register burn warnings more easily. For next time, I’d make sure there is NOTHING stuck to the bottom of the pot before you seal it. You can also try rinsing the rice before adding it to remove starch. I hope that helps!

  30. I made this 2 times already,but instead of ground chicken I used shredded chicken that I made in the pot first. I then washed the pot sauted the onions deglaze pot with the juice from the black beans then put in chicken and rest of the ingredients, it came out perfect. Yummy recipe!

  31. I made this in our Instant Pot last night, and it is now our favorite dish. So Mexican and so flavorful. This is now a regular on our menu. I did substitute ground beef for ground turkey/chicken. I highly recommend this dish. So easy and so tasty.

  32. I just made it with frozen chicken breasts starting with the seasoning, rice, salsa and the tomatoes. I cooked that for 13 minutes and then quick released pressure and added beans, Frozen fajita vegetables and frozen corn that had been thawing while the chicken cooked. Sealed & cooked another 5 mins. Quick released, shredded chicken & added cheese. Let rest for few mins. Rice is a bit overlooked, but yum! I will cut initial time chicken cook time to 10 minutes next time. Great recipe!

  33. I made this recipe tonight.  The end result was delicious, but I got the BURN  notice repeatedly.  I have a new IP.  I’m finding it very frustrating!  Have to keep starting the cooking process over.

    • Ann, I’m sorry this happened! I’ve made this recipe a few times and never had that issue. That said, I’ve heard some of the newer Instant Pots trigger a burn warning more easily than others. My advice for avoiding the burn is to make sure you get all the stuck on bits off the bottom of the pot before sealing it and bringing it up to pressure. The recipe has worked great for me and other readers as written, but I know it’s disappointing to run into problems, so I hope it goes better next time!

  34. My husband and I just finished eating this DELICIOUS dish!! I am new to Instant Pot cooking. This was just my 3rd recipe. Two days ago, making a chicken dish with rice, I experienced the dreaded BURN warning. Fearing what others had experienced, the only changes I made to your recipe was: I used cooking spray to coat the bottom of the pan before I added the olive oil, AND, I used 1/2 cup of organic brown rice instead of 1 cup. I also rinsed the rice first, as you had suggested. I added the rice last and gently worked it into the other ingredients, but made sure not to mix it all the way down to the bottom. Perfect!! It pressure cooked for 20 minutes, naturally released pressure for 20 minutes, and after I added the cheese, it ended up staying in the “warm” mode for 20 more minutes, until we were ready to eat. This is definitely a keeper! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  35. I doubled up on the recipe and unfortunately the rice is not cooked all the way… any ideas why this might be the case? Other than that it is fantastic!

    • Hi Mason, that could be caused by doubling the recipe. I haven’t tried doubling it myself, so unfortunately I don’t have any specific guidance. I hope it comes out again next time if you try the recipe as written! I’m glad you enjoyed the flavor!

  36. So good. I prepared the recipe as written. Topped   with avocado and sour cream. This will be in regular rotation. Thank you for the great recipe. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *