Recipe: Instant Pot Weeknight Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowls

Recipe: Instant Pot Weeknight Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowls

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Kelli Foster
Sep 17, 2017
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

We all need a foolproof meal that we can turn to on nights we forget to plan and need to get dinner on the table fast. Inspired by these slow-cooker burrito bowls, this recipe comes together quickly with the help of an electric pressure cooker. With chicken, rice, black beans, and corn, it's a wholesome supper that tastes like it took much longer to make than it actually did.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

A Versatile Burrito Bowl in 20 Minutes

Just as with a traditional burrito, this recipe is super versatile. Don't skip making it because you don't have one of the ingredients on the list. Besides the salsa, there's a good chance anything on the ingredient list can be omitted or swapped for something else.

Vegetable broth or even water can be used in place of chicken broth, while pinto, white, or kidney beans can easily be used in place of black beans. Have a pack of boneless, skinless breasts already in the fridge? Go ahead and use that in place of chicken thighs. None of these swaps will affect the cook time or finished burrito bowls.

For a Faster Dinner, Embrace the "Meanwhile"

My go-to tactic for making dinner prep as efficient and speedy as possible is to embrace the "meanwhile." This means that instead of prepping all the ingredients at the onset (as we're often told to do), you should work as you go. This is largely a dump-and-go recipe, but there's still some room to embrace the meanwhile for more efficient and faster prep. Get started by prepping the onion and garlic, and having the spices and broth ready. While the onion sautés and simmers, cut up the chicken and rinse and drain the black beans.

More kitchen shortcuts: Sara Moulton's Kitchen Shortcuts

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

How We Made This Recipe Better

To our readers who've had issues with this recipe: We apologize and we hear you! After learning about some of the recipe's difficulties, we headed back into the kitchen to ensure it would be successful for everyone. After retesting we've identified scorched (and sometimes undercooked rice) to be the issue.

When added to the bottom of the pot, the rice browns too quickly, signaling to the pressure cooker there's stuck-on food. The degree to which this happens differs from machine to machine. We didn't get a BURN error, but did experience significant scorching. After a few more rounds of testing (and reading though all your comments!) we've come up with this solution: Layer the dry rice on top of the chicken-salsa mixture before adding the lid and setting the pressure cooker to HIGH pressure. This keeps the rice from burning and helps it cook to its fluffy, tender best.

Instant Pot Weeknight Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowls

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons

    canola or vegetable oil

  • 1

    medium yellow onion, diced

  • 2

    cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon

    chili powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    ground cumin

  • 1 cup

    low-sodium chicken broth, divided

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 (15-ounce) can

    black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup

    frozen corn kernels

  • 1 (16-ounce) jar

    salsa

  • 1 cup

    long-grain white rice

  • 1/2 cup

    shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1/4 cup

    coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Add the oil to the Instant Pot, turn on sauté setting, and heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup of the chicken broth and cook, gently scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any stuck-on bits, and simmer for 1 minute.

Season the chicken all over with the salt and pepper. Add the chicken, beans, corn, salsa, and stir to combine. Sprinkle the rice over the top. Pour the remaining 3/4 cup broth over the rice, but do not stir. Using the manual setting, set the pressure to HIGH for 10 minutes. Close and lock the lid. It should take the pressure cooker about 10 to 12 minutes to come to pressure and begin the 10 minute countdown. When the cooking time is complete, do a quick release of the pressure.

Gently stir everything together. Divide between bowls and top with the cheese and cilantro.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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