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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 (change as needed): 4 sides (or 2-3 mains)
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white long grain rice (I use Basmati or Jasmine rice)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups water or broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • Garnish: 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Vegetables, Note 1

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

Seasonings

  • 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)

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 1/2 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 1/4-1/2 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. 
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