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

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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!

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole

4.65 from 115 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 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Total: 1 hr 15 mins

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

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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!

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  1. Like so many others my rice didn’t fully cook. So disappointed because it seems like such a great recipe otherwise. I will consider making it again but with white rice to see if that makes a difference.

    1. Hi Katie! Did you make this with white rice? I prefer white over brown and am wondering if the cooking times are transferable/if this recipe actually works

      1. I’m sorry to hear that you also had trouble with this recipe. Let me know if you’d like any help troubleshooting!

        1. Thanks Erin! I came up with a solution with the help of my sister (who sent me your recipe with high recommendations in the first place!). I added a cup of water, then put it it back on high pressure for 20 minutes. When I came back a half hour later (to account for the time it takes for the pressure to build up) I saw that I got the dreaded burn warning!! BUT!!! When I opened the lid to stir and fix, I found that the water was all absorbed and the rice cooked! Not sure when the burn warning came on or how long into the pressure cycle it happened, but the meal ended coming out delicious! Next time I will just add an extra cup of water to the recipe and cook for an extra ten minutes. Thanks for your offer of help!5 stars

  2. My entire family LOVED this recipe – including my 8 year old who lives by the motto, “I don’t try new foods.”
    We will be adding it to our weekly rotation for sure.
    We had one small hiccup with a burn alert with a tiny bit of chili powder stuck to the side of the instant pot, so just make sure you get those little specks rubbed off before pressurizing. Outside of that, the entire process was easy peasy!5 stars

  3. I used basmati rice; 2c rice, 4c chicken broth. Cook on High for 3 min, natural release for 20 minutes. Works fantastic. I left the salsa out because we only carry super spicy salsa ?. I also replaced the chicken with pork, and added 1tsp ground Mexican oregano. It was delicious?5 stars

  4. Amazing! I used white rice bc I didn’t have brown. Highly recommend 1 cup of water bc I did a little less and did receive a burn warning on my pot… was really good!!5 stars

  5. This recipe is fantastic, my husband said it was the best thing I have made in the Instant Pot.

    I have a newer 6 or 8 quart ultra and the only thing I would change would be to stay with the 1/4 to 1/3 cup of water, not the full cup as ours turned out a little too watery, but the flavors were great. I think the key is just make sure there aren’t any food bits on the sides or bottom and then make sure the rice is pushed down into the liquid.

    I am trying the chicken mole recipe next.5 stars

    1. I’m sorry you had trouble with the rice, Nancy. I haven’t been able to duplicate this issue, so I’m not sure what might be going wrong. I hope you were still able to enjoy t!

  6. This is a good quick easy healthy recipe. I guess flavour is all dependant on where you live and what brands are available to you. But it’s not bad and it’s hearty.4 stars

  7. Followed recipe to a T and the rice was completely raw after 40 minutes. Really kinda sucked because we didn’t end up eating until almost 7:30, anyone find a solution? Had tons of white rice but even went to the store to buy brown and feeling I should have just used white rice…2 stars

    1. Hi Emma, I haven’t run into this issue, so it’s hard to say for sure. You could try adding a little extra liquid next time to see if that helps cook the rice. I’m sorry for the trouble, and I hope you were still able to enjoy it!

  8. I gave this a second try. After 20 min cooking, 20 min. NR, I unplugged, stirred and put the top back on and let it sit for another 20 min. It was perfect!!5 stars

  9. This Mexican Casserole for the Instant Pot is one of our all time favorite recipes! My Husband and I make this together and eat it every day until it’s gone. We love it! Husband requests we make it usually every couple of weeks. We keep all the ingredients in stock all the time.
    I ordered and received the cookbook and couldn’t believe this recipe was not in it! Maybe it was an oversight. This recipe is the BEST! Thank you!5 stars

  10. What should I change if I am not adding rice? My mom is pre-diabetic and watching her carb intake so I try to eliminate crabs when possible?

    1. Hi Chiara! Leaving out the rice will change a lot, as the liquid in the recipe is partly for cooking the rice. It may be very soupy without the rice, and the liquid level is also important for the Instant Pot pressurizing correctly. Other readers have reported success with omitting it, so I think you could try it. If you decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  11. i managed to fix the undercooked rice problem by adding another 20 minutes pressure cooking on high, rice is cooked through! i also added olives which were yummy.5 stars

  12. Followed directions exactly and turned out perfect and delicious! Thanks for the recipe!!5 stars

  13. Great recipe that I was hoping wouldn’t turn out like everyone said with raw rice, but unfortunately, it happened to me too :( I brought the pot back up to pressure and cooked it an additional 7 minutes, but probably could have gone longer. Either way, it’s a GREAT recipe that I’m sure will be event better with leftovers, so thank you! :)4 stars

    1. Hi Dani! I’m sorry you had trouble with the rice, but glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind revew!

  14. I have a CrockPot Express which has a non stick lining and mine turned out PERFECTLY!! I added 3/4 cup of water. There was still some liquid at the bottom when I initially opened the pot to stir and add the cheese, however once I let it sit for ten minutes, it was perfect! The whole family gave it double thumbs up :) Thanks for an awesome recipe!!5 stars

  15. This was very delish but next time I make it I’ll used chicken beasts and cut into bite sized pieces. The ground chicken felt like it just melted away.
    I was hesitant to try this becuz I can’t stand the Mexican dry mix in the packet.
    But this recipe was just wonderful. Not that strong yuck taste (that’s why I avoid making tacos from a box.).5 stars

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