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Enchilada Rice (Instant Pot + Stovetop)

Enchilada Rice is a quick and easy recipe featuring colorful veggies, black beans, rice, enchilada sauce, and Mexican spices for a delicious vegan lunch, dinner, or make-ahead meal! Includes Instant Pot and stovetop methods.

side angle view of bowl with serving of vegan enchilada rice with extras and items surrounding.

I’ve been trying to find ways to put it to good use a 20 pound bag of white rice on hand. And what better way than to include this Tomatillo Salsa Verde, making a soon-to-be new family favorite meal – Enchilada Rice!

It’s a rice dish made with a variety of veggies and spices, and is irresistibly delicious! Plus, it’s easy to make and any leftovers are even better!

What else I love about this recipe is you can make an enchilada rice bowl with tortilla chips and avocado, or use it as a filling for burritos, tacos, and more!

So without further ado, let’s get to it!

top down view of the ingredients used to the best enchilada rice recipe.

Ingredient Notes

Here’s what goes into making the best enchilada rice! We have also included variations and substitution ideas, making this recipe a keeper for ease and taste.

  • Rice – We used long-grain rice here, but you can use brown rice or quinoa. See the notes in the recipe card for more details.
  • Black beans – Canned or fresh cooked beans can be used. For variation, sub with red kidney beans, or even pinto beans.
  • Corn – Fresh off the cob, canned or frozen corn can all be used.
  • Bell pepper – I used green bell pepper, but any color will do.
  • Onion – Use any color onion.
  • Garlic – If you don’t have fresh garlic on hand, you can substitute with 1 – 2 tsp garlic powder.
  • Tomatoes – We used our favorite fire-roasted diced tomatoes. No need to drain the juices, just dump the whole can!
  • Enchilada sauce – For this recipe, use your favorite enchilada sauce (red or green) or my favorite Tomatillo Salsa Verde.
  • Spices – We like to use a mix of cumin, chili powder (or smoked paprika), and dried oregano. For a deeper flavor and heat, try adding 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle powder.
  • Optional toppings – Give your serving a topping of fresh chopped cilantro, shredded vegan cheese, sliced avocado, and tortilla chips. Use them all at once, or mix and match to your heart’s desire. :)
side by side photos showing the process of making enchilada rice in an instant pot.

How To Make Instant Pot Enchilada Rice

Here is a quick look at the process of making enchilada rice using an Instant Pot (affiliate link). Yhe stovetop method is in the printable recipe card below.

  • Prep. Gather the ingredients and get them all chopped and ready to go.
  • Saute. Press the saute button, add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and saute for 5 minutes.
  • Cook. Add the rice, water, spices, tomatoes, corn, black beans, and finish with the enchilada sauce, and stir. Attach lid and set the valve to SEALING. Press the RICE button, make sure it’s set on LOW pressure, and set time for 12 minutes. Quick release pressure when done.
  • Let cool and thicken. Once you remove the lid, it will seem there is lots of liquid, but once stirred and left for a few minutes, it will thicken up perfectly. Add optional vegan cheese and chopped cilantro. Season to taste.

And now you’re ready to enjoy!

Top Tips

  • Add more texture and protein. Adding an 8 oz block of crumbled tempeh along with the beans is a great way to change it up.
  • Add more spices. As is, the spice level is pretty kid-friendly, but feel free to add more to taste.
  • Use brown rice or quinoa! This recipe can easily be changed up using brown rice or quinoa. The adjustments are listed in the notes in the recipe card below.
  • Speed up the recipe. Make this recipe move along quicker by skipping the saute in both cooking methods. It’ll still be delicious!
  • Cooking methods. If using an Instant Pot, it can cook all in one pot. The stovetop method requires cooking the rice separately and then combining it. Just be sure to omit the extra liquids (vegetable broth) since it isn’t needed when using precooked rice.

top down view of freshly made enchilada rice in an instant pot.

How To Store

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator in a covered container.
  • Freezer: Enchilada rice is freezer-friendly and can be frozen for up to 2 – 3 months. To freeze, let cool completely and store in freezer-safe containers, leaving about 1/2 inch headspace for expansion. You can also freeze larger portions in large ziplock bags, removing as much air as possible before zip-locking. Let thaw before reheating.
  • Reheat: Warm on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through, stirring frequently. Alternatively, reheat in the microwave using 30 – 60 second intervals, stirring after each, until warm.

Serving Suggestions

This savory rice can be served in a variety of ways. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Meal bowl: I love this as a meal bowl with avocado, vegan cheese, and tortilla chips for scooping. It’s also great with shredded lettuce, adding a healthy dose of roughage to your bowl.
  • Burritos + tacos: Try it as a filling for burritos and tacos, along with shredded lettuce, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, and pico de gallo.

However you serve your enchilada rice, enjoy!

top down view of bowl with serving of vegan enchilada rice with extras and items surrounding.

More Easy Tex-Mex Recipes!

Let me know if you try this enchilada rice recipe or have a question! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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Enchilada Rice (Instant Pot + Stovetop)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 13 reviews

Enchilada Rice is a delicious Mexican-inspired recipe featuring veggies, black beans, rice, and enchilada sauce that can be used as a meal bowl or a burrito or taco filling! Quick + easy, Instant Pot or stovetop methods.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Instant Pot, stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Tex Mex
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium onion (any color), diced
  • 34 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice (see notes for brown rice)
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water (omit for stovetop method)
  • 1 can (14oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14oz) corn, drained
  • 1 can (14oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (green, red, salsa verde or combo)
  • salt, to taste

To serve, optional

  • sliced or diced avocado
  • fresh chopped cilantro
  • shredded vegan cheese
  • tortilla chips
  • Pico de Gallo

Instructions

Instant Pot (6 or 8 quart):

  • Saute: Add the oil/water, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the insert of the Instant Pot, press the SAUTE button, and set the time for 5 minutes, stir frequently.
  • Cook: Add the rice, broth or water, spices, tomatoes, corn, black beans, and finish with the enchilada sauce. Give a quick stir. Attach lid and turn to close, set valve to SEALING. Press the RICE button and set to LOW pressure for 12 minutes. Release pressure when done (to help keep the steam from getting all over, place a thin, single-layer kitchen towel over the valve to catch the steam).
  • Let cool to thicken: Remove lid and give a good stir. It will seem liquidy but will thicken after a few minutes. Add the cilantro and season to taste.

Stovetop

  • Rice: Cook 1 1/2 cups of rice according to package directions. Set aside. (Remember to omit the 2 cups of vegetable broth called for in the ingredients since the rice is cooked separately and will not be needed)
  • Saute: Heat oil/water in a medium-sized pot, add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, saute for 5 minutes.
  • Cook: Add the cooked rice, corn, tomatoes, black beans, broth or water, spices, and enchilada sauce, cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until heated through.
  • Let cool to thicken: Remove from heat, let rest to thicken up, about 5 – 10 minutes. Add the cilantro and season to taste.

Serve in individual bowls with any of the optional garnishes. Also, use it as a burrito or taco filling with shredded lettuce!

Serves 6

Store: Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in a covered container. For longer storage, store in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months using a freezer-safe container.

Notes

Brown Rice with Instant Pot: If using 1 1/2 cups brown rice, add 2 1/4 cups of water. Cook on HIGH pressure for 20 minutes.

Quinoa with Instant Pot: If using 1 1/2 cups of quinoa, add 2 1/4 cups of water. Cook on HIGH pressure for 3 minutes.

Add more texture and more protein. Adding an 8 oz block of crumbled tempeh along with the beans is a great way to change it up.

Add more spices. As is, the spice level is pretty kid-friendly, but feel free to add more.

Speed up the recipe. Make this recipe move along quicker by skipping the saute in both cooking methods. It’ll still be delicious!

Recommended Equipment: This is the Instant Pot (affiliate link) I used for the recipe.

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21 Comments

  1. This was very good! I used red enchilada sauce, so maybe next time I will try green. Thank you for the recipe.






  2. Can I make this without an instant pot?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, there are stovetop instructions in the recipe card, just under the Instant Pot directions. I hope that helps. Enjoy!

  3. We love this recipe but the instant pot version has not worked. It has been showing food burn. Any suggestions?






    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thank you for the feedback, Erica! I have reworked the Instant Pot recipe to cook using the RICE setting and toggling the temp to LOW pressure and cooking time to 12 minutes. I have tested it a few times, and it’s been perfect. The recipe card has been updated. I hope you give it another try with better results!

  4. This is one of my favorite Vegan Mexican dinners—I have made this dish at least 3 times & I can’t get enough of it. I swap the rice for cauliflower rice & it turns out beautifully using the stovetop method. Plus, I love how simple it is to make. Thank you for another delicious dinner Julie! Xoxo.






  5. Hi! Excited to try this recipe but wondering about subbing brown rice- your recipe card says to cook for 22 minutes. Is that correct? The white rice and quinoa options are much shorter so just want to check. Thanks!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, that is correct. Brown rice takes longer to cook, usually 45 minutes on the stove, so 22 minutes in the Instant Pot is just right. Enjoy!

  6. Loved this recipe! Made it today and it was quick and easy and a delicious weeknight dinner.






  7. Yummy! A keeper for sure






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