Rice With Veggies (Instant Pot)

Pretty handy. You get two sides in one with this tasty instant pot rice with veggies. The rice is loaded with healthy 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, but a step up from plain rice with veggies on the side. And, a great make-ahead or potluck dish.

bowl of seasoned rice and veggies topped with tomato salad p

I make 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 quick fresh chopped tomato salad that I like to serve on top of the veggie rice. It adds a certain brightness and contrasting texture. Instructions are in the recipe card if you want to make it.

 

Tailor To Your Taste

Here are a few variations and substitutions to tweak the veggie rice to your liking.

  • Type of rice to use: use long grain white rice for this recipe. Basmati rice or Jasmine rice work well.
  • For a more substantial main dish: top with tomato salad, bean salad, salsa, tofu, black beans or cut up leftover chicken or beef.
  • Change the flavor profile with seasonings: This requires experimentation.
    • Try Mexican or taco seasoning, Mediterranean seasoning or Indian seasoning.
    • Add heat with chili powder, hotter curry powder, a squirt of sriracha sauce or red pepper flakes.
    • Try a few drops of sesame oil or a squeeze of lemon.
  • Vary the vegetables: I use onions, bell peppers, celery, carrots and mushrooms. You can substitute other fresh vegetables (or use more of one and less of another). Just be mindful of water content as that will affect the rice-to-liquid ratio.
    • Good substitutes are parsnip, green beans and celeriac.
    • Avoid eggplant, asparagus, zucchini, cauliflower and broccoli as they will disintegrate or become mushy.
  • Texture of the rice: The key 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.
  • Add some crunch: after cooking - with chopped water chestnuts, chopped nuts or julienned jicama.

How to make veggie rice in the instant pot

rice, carrot, onion, mushrooms, celery, red pepper, seasonings, oil
Ingredients: white rice, mushrooms, carrot, onion, pepper, oil, parsley, seasonings
rice, carrot, onion, mushrooms, celery, red pepper all diced
chop veggies
raw rice in sieve under running water
rinse and drain rice in colander/sieve
veggies sauteed in instant pot with seasonings
Saute veggies and add seasonings
sauteed veggies and raw rice in instant pot
Stir is rice
Add liquid then pressure cook for 5 minutes. Do a natural release for 5 minutes, then release remaining pressure.
Vegetable Rice in bowl close up
bowl of seasoned rice and veggies topped with tomato salad p

What to serve with vegetable rice

As a side dish, I love to serve it with grilled BBQ chicken, marinated flank steak, baked apricot onion chicken, roasted salmon stuffed with herbs or grilled pork tenderloin.

As a main dish, serve it on its own (I like it with the tomato salad topping) or add tofu, black beans, red beans, cooked chicken, steak, pork or shrimp. Add a side salad, too, if you like such as a simple Thai mango salad.

Shortcut

  • 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 instead of making your own dressing and call it a day.

Make Ahead 

  • Cool the rice dish and store leftover rice in an air-tight container for up to 3 days ahead. Reheat covered in the microwave with a tablespoon of water.

Other rice side dishes you might like 

New to the instant pot?

Here's a first timers guide to how to use an instant pot by Simply Recipes.

bowl of seasoned rice and veggies topped with tomato salad
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4.91 from 21 votes

Rice With Veggies (Instant Pot)

Kinda handy. You get two sides in one with a tasty rice with veggies 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!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 sides (or 2-3 mains)
Author: Cheryl

Equipment

  • Instant Pot/or Pressure Cooker (I use a 6 quart - you may have to tweak the recipe with a different size) (I use a 6 quart)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white long grain rice (I use Basmati or Jasmine rice)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ¼ cups water or broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • Garnish: ¼ cup chopped parsley

Vegetables, Note 1

  • You will need a total 4-5 cups/560-700 grams diced
  • ½ medium onion
  • 1 medium to large carrot, peeled
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 pepper, any color, seeded, ribs removed
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed (½ pound)

Seasonings

  • 1 ½ 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
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (use less if your liquid/broth contains salt)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Fresh Tomato Salad Topping (OPTIONAL)

  • 1 ½ 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 tablespoon chopped parsley)
  • salt and pepper
  • squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

Instructions

  • GET INSTANT POT READY: Spray bottom of the pot to avoid sticking and for easier clean up. Press SAUTE function. It's ready when it says "hot"
  • PREPARE RICE: Place rice in strainer, rinse under running cold water until water is clear, 1-2 minutes. Drain.
  • PREPARE VEGGIES: Chop/dice veggies into ½ inch/1.28 cm 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 ¼-1/2 inch (0.64-1.28 cm) works well but no need to obsess!. You should have a total of about 4-5 cups/560-700 grams 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 on HIGH PRESSURE OR MANUAL button 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 natural pressure release. Then do a quick release for the remaining pressure by turning to valve to VENT.
    When button drops, carefully open lid, Stir in chopped parsley and other optional add-ins. 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 cooked rice.

Notes

  1. 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, green beans and celeriac. Avoid eggplant, asparagus, zucchini, cauliflower and broccoli as they will disintegrate or become mushy. 
  2. Shortcut for fresh tomato topping. Toss tomatoes with a couple teaspoons of Italian or Balsamic salad dressing - and call it a day. 
  3. Rice-to-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. 
  4. Other variations to try:
    • For a more substantial main dish: top with tomato salad, bean salad, salsa, tofu, black beans or cut up leftover chicken or beef.
    • Change the flavor profile with seasonings: This requires experimentation.
      • Try Mexican or taco seasoning, Mediterranean seasoning or Indian seasoning.
      • Add heat with chili powder, hotter curry powder, a squirt of sriracha sauce or red pepper flakes.
      • Add a few drops of sesame oil after cooking if you like.
    • Add some crunch: after cooking - with chopped water chestnuts, chopped nuts or julienned jicama.
  5. Make Ahead: Cool and store in a sealed container up to 3 days ahead. Reheat covered in microwave with a tablespoon of water. 
Nutrition values are estimates and include the tomato salad topping. 

Nutrition

Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 631mg | Potassium: 573mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 4029IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg
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10 Comments

  1. I just chopped everything and got it all going in the instant pot, mixed in the rice and broth and only as I set the timer did I notice I used brown rice when the recipe called for white. The 5 min time clued me in. So I am bumping up the time to 12mins which is 7 more mins than the veggies can live with and 8 fewer mins than the rice will likely need. Lol, so I am expecting mushy veggies and crunchy rice but the flavors will be amazing. Stand by for the update.🙂

  2. I’m looking after mum mum who’s been ill, got to the end of the day and NEARLY resorted to something out of the freezer. Pulled myself together, ran up the road for curry powder and BOOM This lovely dinner happened! Thank you😊

    1. Awww. That’s so lovely Lulu. With all you’re taking care of, thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. 🤗

  3. 5 stars
    This turned out great! We recently got an Instant Pot and have been looking for super easy, healthy recipes to make.

    Only thing different in ours compared to the recipe was a few vegetables... added cut green beans and cut asparagus, and omitted the celery. For the asparagus, we used the thicker part so that it would hold up better.

    We're looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

    1. What a lovely comment. Thank you so much! Glad you tweaked the veggies to you preferences. I’d love to hear what you think of any other recipes you might try.

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