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.
1large red bell peppercut into wide strips (about 3/4 inch), halved if long
1large green bell peppercut into wide strips (about 3/4 inch), halved if long
115-ounce can low-sodium black beansdrained and rinsed
1cupcorn kernelsfresh, frozen and thawed, or drained from a can
1/4cupwaterplus additional if you have a newer Instant Pot (see recipe notes below)
115-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes in their juices
2cupsof your favorite salsa1 (16-ounce) jar; I used a chunky medium salsa
1cupuncooked long grain brown rice*
1cupshredded Mexican blend cheesedivided
For serving: chopped fresh cilantrodiced 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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