13 September 2020

Instant Pot Spicy Rice

Smoky, spicy rice with sweet red peppers and peas. Cooked in the Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker), for perfect results every time! Inspired by Nandos' spicy rice, with added veg for a little more colour and goodness. This recipe is medium-high spice and if you like it a little more or even less spicy, it's easily customisable to your taste! 

Great to serve up as a main dish or as a side - the recipe makes a generous amount, so if cooking for fewer people you could also halve it, or make the full batch and pop the leftovers in the freezer for an even easier dinner another night!

Cooking rice in the instant pot takes around the same time than if it was done on the stove...but time isn't the only factor here - this is low fuss, one-pot, mostly hands-off, perfect rice every. single. time. No need to worry about the pan boiling dry or not being on the right heat, the result is plump, fluffy, flavourful rice, with a perfect bite to it. You could also use whole grain rice for this recipe, but it would take a little longer (pressure cook for 18 mins). If you don't have an instant pot, I have a similar Mexican Rice recipe here that you can follow the method for.

Click here for printer-friendly version

Instant Pot Spicy Rice | Serves: 4-6 | Time: 25-30 mins

You'll need

  • Instant Pot
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Sieve
  • Wooden spoon
  • Fork
  • 2x small bowls


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 cups long grain white rice*
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili flakes**
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes**
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • Juice 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1.5 cups frozen peas

* If using whole grain rice, increase the pressure cook time to 18 mins
**This recipe is medium-high spice (2-3 🌶🌶🌶), for a more, or less spicy rice, adjust the amount of chili flakes to your liking 


  1. Measure out your peas and allow these to thaw at room temp whilst you make your dish.
  2. Press the sauté button on the instant pot, set it for 10 minutes on 'normal', add a splash of oil and let it heat up. Meanwhile, dice an onion, add this to pot once hot and let it cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Whilst the onion is cooking, prep the rest of your ingredients. Measure out all your flavourings, from the tomato puree to the salt into a small bowl. Dice the pepper into 2cm pieces, measure out the water and rinse your rice. 
  4. Add the rice and spices to the instant pot and stir around for 30 seconds, then add the pepper and water.
  5. Press the 'cancel' button, then press 'pressure cook', set it to 3 minutes on 'high', un-press the 'keep-warm' button to ensure it turns off after cooking, then seal the lid and let it cook. 
  6. Once the cooking cycle has finished, let it naturally depressurise for 15 minutes, then auto-release for the last little bit. Don't be tempted to auto-release before 15 minutes is up as the high pressure may cause some of the seasonings to come out the valve!
  7. Remove the lid, add the peas and fluff the rice up with a fork, being careful not to scrape the bottom of the pot, pop the lid back on and let it sit for 2 more minutes for the peas to heat through.
  8. Then serve up and enjoy!
Cassidy xx