Kinda handy. You get two sides in one with a tasty veggie rice made in your Instant Pot. The rice is loaded with vegetables and seasoned with a great blend of spices. Add a protein if you like and dinner is ready!
This is a simple vegetable rice recipe. Nothing fancy. I love that it’s a two-in-one dish and a step up from plain rice with veggies on the side. And, a great make ahead or potluck dish. My husband and I have being eating leftovers for the past two nights.
I made the veggie rice the way I like it. Fairly soft, seasoned to my taste and lots of vegetables. You might like your rice more al dente with different seasoning. So I strongly encourage your to experiment to get the right rice texture with the veggies you choose and the right tastes. You’ll see several suggestions below under ‘tailor to your taste’.
Optional, but delicious, is a fresh chopped tomato salad that I serve on top of the veggie rice. It adds a certain brightness and contrasting texture. Instructions are in the recipe if you want to make it, but again, it’s nothing fancy.
I serve this dish as a side with grilled BBQ chicken, marinated flank steak, baked apricot onion chicken, roasted salmon stuffed with herbs or grilled pork tenderloin. You could certainly serve the veggie rice as a main dish on its own though.
Tailor To Your Taste
Here’s a few options to adapt the veggie rice to your liking.
- For a more substantial main dish: top with tomato salad, bean salad, salsa, black beans or cut up leftover chicken or beef.
- Change the seasonings: This requires experimentation. Try Mexican or taco seasoning, Mediterranean seasoning or Indian seasoning. You can also add heat of course with chili powder, hotter curry powder or chili flakes.
- Vary the vegetables: You can substitute other vegetables if you like (or use more of one and less of another). Just be mindful of water content as that will affect the rice:liquid ratio. Good substitutes are parsnip and celeriac. Avoid eggplant, asparagus, zucchini, cauliflower and broccoli as they will disintegrate or become mushy.
- Texture of the rice: The key here is the rice to liquid ratio (not the cooking time). You have to account for the rinsing of the rice (where some water is retained) and the water content of the vegetables. Instructions for softer and more al dente rice are in the recipe.
- Buy pre-chopped vegetables. You might just have to give them an extra chop to make the pieces a bit smaller. Or, use two different vegetables instead of five.
- For the fresh tomato topping, just toss tomatoes with Italian or Balsamic salad dressing and call it a day.
- Cool the rice dish and store it in a sealed container for up to 3 days ahead. Reheat covered in the microwave with a tablespoon of water.
Other rice side dishes you might like
How to make veggie rice in the instant pot
Instant Pot Veggie Rice
- Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker (I use a 6 quart - you may have to tweak the recipe with a different size)
- 1 cup white long grain rice (I use Basmati or Jasmine rice), Place rice in strainer, rinse under running water until water is clear, 1-2 minutes. Drain.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/4 cups water or broth (chicken or vegetable)
- Garnish: 1/4 cup chopped parsley
Vegetables (total 4-5 cups diced) Note 1
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1 medium to large carrot, peeled
- 2 ribs celery
- 1 pepper, any color, seeded, ribs removed
- 8 ounce mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed (1/2 pound)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (I use a yellow mild curry powder)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (can substitute regular paprika)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (use less if your liquid/broth contains salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Fresh Tomato Salad Topping (OPTIONAL)
- 1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered (I squeeze out some of seeds and juice over the sink)
- drizzle of olive oil Note 2 for shortcut.
- 1 green onion (the green part), chopped (or 1 - 2 tbsp chopped parsley)
- salt and pepper
- squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
- PRESS SAUTE FUNCTION ON INSTANT POT. Ready when it says "hot"
- PREPARE VEGGIES: Chop/dice veggies into 1/2 inch pieces. Don't make them too big or they won't get soft enough - unless you like a bit of crunch. If too small, they may disintegrate. I find 1/4-1/2 inch works well but no need to obsess!. You should have a total of about 4-5 cups of chopped vegetables.
- SAUTE VEGGIES: Add oil, then veggies. Saute for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add all seasonings and saute another 1 minute. Press CANCEL.
- ADD LIQUID AND RICE. Stir. Note 3,
- PRESSURE COOK: Close lid and set valve to 'SEALING', then set PRESSURE OR MANUAL button on High for 5 minutes (use + or - buttons). The Instant Pot will take about 5 minutes to come to pressure before it starts the 5 minute cooking process. When finished (it will beep), do a 5 minute pressure release. Then release the remaining pressure by turning to valve to VENT.Carefully open lid, Stir in chopped parsley. Tip: for added richness, stir in a tablespoon of butter.
- OPTIONAL TOPPING: While rice and veggies are cooking, combine chopped tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, green onions and a squeeze of lemon juice (if desired) in a small bowl. Serve tomato salad over rice.
- Vegetables: You can substitute other vegetables if you like. Just be mindful of water content as that will affect the rice:liquid ratio. Good substitutes are parsnip and celeriac. Avoid eggplant, asparagus, zucchini, cauliflower and broccoli as they will disintegrate or become mushy.
- Shortcut for fresh tomato topping. Toss tomatoes with a couple teaspoons of Italian or Balsamic salad dressing - and call it a day.
- Rice:Liquid ratio: I like my rice fairly soft. I've accounted for the water left in from rinsing the rice and the liquid in the vegetables. If you prefer your rice slightly less moist and more al dente, reduce the amount of liquid by 3 tablespoons. The best way is to experiment with the amount of liquid, not the cooking time.
- Make Ahead: Cool and store in a sealed container up to 3 days ahead. Reheat covered in microwave with a tablespoon of water.