This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

How many Mexican theme dinners in a row can you host before your friends start to wonder if you know how to cook anything else? I am hoping A LOT, because now that I’ve discovered Instant Pot Mexican Casserole, it’s all Mexican-plus-margs from here until someone schedules an intervention. True to its “casserole” name, this recipe yields a generous portion, so it can feed a crowd. It also reheats well, meaning that if you make this Instant Pot Mexican Casserole for a smaller group or even just yourself, you’ll have tasty leftovers to enjoy all week. New to the Instant Pot? This recipe is easy, so it’s perfect for learning your way around the electric pressure cooker.

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!

I’ve been cooking with my Instant Pot for over a year now (this is the model I have), and while I originally embraced it a little reluctantly (really, another gadget?), now I can’t imagine my kitchen without it.

I love the hands-free aspect of the Instant Pot (close the lid, walk away, then come back and the meal is cooked) and the fact that I can sauté directly in it instead of in a separate skillet, and it does an especially knockout job of cooking certain ingredients, particularly rice-based dishes like this Instant Pot Mexican Casserole.

You can find a wide range of healthy Instant Pot Recipes on my site (including these scrumptious Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers), and if you haven’t made this one yet, please do give it a try.

This recipe is family friendly, easy to adapt to different diets, and has the ever-loved Mexican flavor profile that never seems to grow old or lose its appeal. No matter how many different cuisines and cooking styles I try, Mexican food hits the spot every single time.

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

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole—An Easy, Healthy Dinner for Tonight

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole is not new territory, nor are Instant Pot casseroles in general. This Crock Pot Mexican Casserole is one of the single most popular recipes on my site, with these Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos and this Instant Pot Chicken and Rice close seconds.

Mexican casseroles are, however, 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!

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

This pressure cooker Mexican casserole is the complete dinner package.

It hits every food group. Veggies (colorful bell peppers, sweet corn, and fire-roasted tomatoes), whole grains (hello, brown rice), protein (beans + ground chicken or turkey; you can also make this Instant Pot Mexican Casserole with ground beef if you prefer—I recommend a lean 90%), 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.

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.

What to Serve with Instant Pot Mexican Casserole

More Mexican Chicken Recipes

Recommended Tools to Make Instant Pot Mexican Casserole

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole

4.67 from 156 votes
Instant Pot Mexican Casserole. A healthy Instant Pot Mexican recipe with rice, chicken, beans, spices, and fresh veggies. Easy and absolutely delicious! NOTE: This recipe has worked fine for me on multiple occasions and has worked for many others, but some readers have reported issues with “burn” warnings. The directions were updated on 1.22.19 to try to help offset the burn warning for new Instant Pot owners (late 2018 and beyond). If you have a newer Instant Pot model (which registers “burn” warnings more easily), I recommend adding 1 full cup of water. Also, be sure to rinse your rice first and fully remove any stuck-on bits of food from the bottom before sealing the pot as the recipe directs.

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings: 4 -6 people


  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 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 cup corn kernels fresh, frozen and thawed, or drained from a can
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup water plus additional if you have a newer Instant Pot (see recipe notes below)
  • 1 15-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes in their juices
  • 2 cups of your favorite salsa 1 (16-ounce) jar; I used a chunky medium salsa
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain brown rice*
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese divided
  • For serving: chopped fresh cilantro diced avocado, chopped green onion, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt


  • 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 red bell pepper, green bell pepper and black beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Stir to combine.
  • Splash in the water and scrape up all of the stuck on bits of food. Make sure to get every bit off so that you avoid a burn warning. Pour in the diced tomatoes in their juices and salsa. Do not stir. Rinse the brown rice and drain (this will help prevent a "burn" warning). Add the brown rice and once again do not stir (again, we are trying to avoid the burn warning here). With the back of a spoon or a spatula, gently push the rice down and spread it evenly so that it is submerged in liquid.
  • 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.
  • 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.



  • 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).


Serving: 1(of 6), about 1 1/2 cups without extra toppingsCalories: 437kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 27gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 64mgFiber: 9gSugar: 9g

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite recipes and access FREE meal plans.

Sign Me Up


Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

You May Also Like

Free Email Series
Sign Up for FREE Weekly Meal Plans
Each includes a grocery list, budget, and 5 healthy dinners, helping you save time, save money, and live better!

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

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

Recipe Rating


Leave a comment

  1. Really enjoyed this recipe…but I made a couple modifications. I used poblano peppers, peeled and seeded instead of green bell pepper and used tomatoes with green chillies. I also used ground beef instead of turkey. Will make again and again4 stars

  2. This was so delicious!! I ended up making it in my Dutch oven and did quinoa with it. We put it on top of organic tortilla chips and mozzarella goat cheese.. it was so good! Even my toddlers loved it! :)5 stars

  3. This is one of our favorites. It is amazing and makes great leftovers! The recipe feeds many and goes great with a side of chips and quac.5 stars

    1. Hi Tulsi! The only thing you would need to do is make sure to use 1 cup water versus 1/4 cup, per my notes in the recipe card. Hope this helps!

  4. I’ve made this.3 or 4 times now with turkey and it’s always a hit. My son is currently dating a vegetarian, so I’m going to try cutting up an eggplant into big chunks to replace the turkey. Pretty sure it’s going to turn out great.5 stars

  5. This recipe is The Best. I make it Vege by leaving out the meat, and substituting with a pack of non-meat. I use Quorn, and meat eaters can’t tell the difference. Thanks! Lizzy5 stars

      1. This recipe is amazing!! I used ground chicken and mini sweet peppers in place of the bell peppers then topped with avocado and green onions. I will be making it again and again! Thank you!5 stars

  6. Outcome was more of a chili soup than a casserole, altough I did not include the 2 cups of salsa. I had to add 1 cup of water tho as I use a new Instant Pot. For me, that recipe totally was a waste of time. Everything ended up as a incredibly watery overcooked soup. The peppers are a disaster, you could eat the whole dish without having teeth.2 stars

    1. I’m sorry this wasn’t to your tastes, J. I (and many other readers) have really enjoyed it. The salsa does add some extra flavor to the dish, and adding the extra water is likely what caused some of the excess liquid.

  7. Really tasty! I didn’t have chili powder but i used a bit of paprika instead.i don’t have an instant but another cooker, so it took a lot longer because i don’t have the pressure cooker but it still turned out great5 stars

  8. DELICIOUS! I cooked using 80% lean ground sirloin. I added a can of chopped Ortega green chiles, and chipotle spice (I didn’t have cumin). I used long grain white rice, so only cooked for the 20 minutes, then I let depressurize for 5 minutes and hit the quick release. Rice was cooked perfectly! Will definitely make again and again! Thank you for this recipe!5 stars

  9. Was super easy and makes alot! Very flavorful. I was a little doubtful to put in 2 tablespoons of chili powder because I thought it would be overpowering but it was just perfect. Served with sour cream. If I’d have thought about it, I would’ve topped with cilantro, too. Will definitely make again!5 stars

  10. I found your cookbook at my local library and ended up buying the book because there were SO MANY good recipes in it! Its my go to on healthy eating recipes! I just found this post and cant wait to try it in my instant pot. All of your recipes have been delicious! I love making your blueberry banana bread!

  11. So good!!!!! I have a newer instant pot and used half a cup of water. It came out great! J thank you5 stars

  12. Can you double this recipe? I need to feed 9adults and 6kids. I’ve made it before and loved it!! But I’ve never tried doubling.

    1. Hi Clare! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
      I haven’t tried to double it myself but I think you’d need to see if it all fits in your instant pot. Hope this helps!

  13. This is the second time I’ve made this recipe. I also tripled the recipe for lots of leftovers. Yum 😋
    Thanks Lisa 😊5 stars

  14. Made this last night, I doubled this in my 8 qt instant pot, and followed the recipe exactly as written. Totally delicious! I already shared the recipe. Thank you!5 stars

  15. This is a great recipe that the whole family loves. It also tastes great with ground beef too! We also like to serve tortilla chips and queso dip on the side too.

    We were first introduced to it when someone brought it as part of a meal train after having a baby. I highly recommend it as a meal train meal where you cook it in the Instant to save time and then throw it all in a disposable casserole pan for the family to reheat at their convenience.5 stars

  16. I am thinking of making this into a freezer meal. I plan to follow step one, cool it, add to a freezer bag, shred the cheese into a smaller freezer bag and freeze the two together. I will then make a kit of the tomatoes, salsa, and rice to keep in my cupboard until ready to make. I will then thaw the frozen bags and continue on with the recipe. Am I missing anything? Does this sound like it will work?

  17. Easy and satisfying with good Mexican flavor! Used brown Jasmine rice, frozen mixed bell peppers and fire roasted frozen corn.4 stars

Load More Comments