Cajun Instant Pot Chicken and Rice is a flavorful one pot meal! It’s really hard to believe that it cooks in just about 30 minutes! Another great, easy weeknight dinner made with your pressure cooker and jasmine rice.
I’m constantly blown away by my pressure cooker and what it can do in such a short amount of time. It’s amazing! No wonder that my slow cooker is gathering dust in the corner. Because this instant pot chicken and rice recipe won’t disappoint! This pressure cooker recipe is one of my favorite one pot meals made in the Instant Pot. Everything for a hearty meal ready in less than 30 minutes.
I was sitting around reading the Instant Pot recipes and contemplating what to try next when my husband suggested Cajun chicken and rice. We gave it some thought. Should we try Cajun Instant Pot recipe? First of all, we love Cajun. We could eat it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. Not kidding. Secondly, we love spicy food. Better to overload on Cajun spice, than salt, right? At least that’s what my husband always says. Finally, spicy chicken and rice is a match made in heaven. Or, in the instant pot?
Prep Work before cooking Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
- Being prepared is as important as cooking process itself! We want to add everything into the pot as quickly as possible. Do you know why? Because we want to avoid any liquid from evaporating too fast. And too soon! This is what will help us avoid the dreaded BURN warning.
- First things first, I want to make sure that you have followed all of the steps below. Before you start making Instant Pot Chicken and Rice.
- You should take chicken stock out of the fridge ahead of time. This will bring it to room temperature. If cold liquid hits the hot pot, liquid will evaporate too quickly.
- Next, measure out tomato paste and chicken broth.
- Make sure to use either Jasmine or Basmati rice. While pressure cooker jasmine rice is very aromatic, basmati rice is no less flavorful. They won’t become mushy or burnt. Perfect instant pot rice choice!
- Also measure out the rice and rinse it. I usually rinse the rice 3-4 times to get rid of starch. Doing this will help prevent potential Burn notice.
- I like to have olive oil, spices, salt and pepper right in front of me.
- Chop the veggies. Garlic, bell peppers, and scallions.
- Finally, slice the chicken ahead of time.
Which buttons do I need to push?
- It’s time to put your Instant Pot into action to make Cajun Instant Pot Chicken and Rice! If you were wondering which Buttons to push on your Instant Pot, the detailed instructions are below:
- First things first, close that lid and lock it.
- Next, move valve on top of the lid to Sealing position. This will ensure pressure building up inside.
- Push Pressure Cook button on the front panel. This button is also called Manual on some models.
- Finally set to High Pressure for 8 minutes
At this time the pressure will start building. This is called preheat mode. Once the instant pot is getting close to reaching its optimal temperature, you will see steam coming out of the float valve. And very soon, the screen will show “On” for the duration of the preheat mode.
- You should remember that the time it takes to cook the recipe, is not the total cooking time. You need to give the pot some time to ‘come to pressure’, and the more water in the pot, the longer this will take. Don’t worry, just let it do it’s thing!
You will know when the preheat mode is over when the float valve pops up and seals itself. The steam will stop coming out. At this time you will hear the beep as well as the On on the screen will disappear. The digital display will start the countdown.
Now all you have to do is patiently wait for your Cajun Instant Pot Chicken and Rice to be done.
How do I know if Instant Pot Chicken and Rice is done?
- Once the countdown is over, the instant pot will beep several times. That means it’s time to use a 10 minute natural pressure release method.
- First, put the wet towel over the lid. Next, move your face and body away from the lid. Finally, move the valve from Sealing to Venting. If not using a towel, you will see a straight line of steam shooting vertically from the lid into the sealing, which perfectly normal.
- Please make sure to wait until all the steam is out. Once the red pin drops, open the lid.
- Take the chicken out and shred the chicken strips with the fork and stir to combine with the rice. Taste Instant Pot Chicken and Rice and adjust the seasoning at this point.
Pressure Cooking Instructions for Brown Rice
- I wrote this Cajun Instant Pot Chicken and Rice recipe for white rice. If you decide to make it with brown rice, the instructions are slightly different. You will need to add more time and more liquid.
- You should use 2 ¼ cups of ROOM TEMPERATURE BROTH for 1.5 cups of brown rice.
- Cook on Manual, set to High pressure for 15 minutes. When time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. After that release remaining pressure by turning the valve to ‘Venting’.
Instant Pot Tips
- If you are frequently using your Instant Pot for a variety of recipes, it’s a good idea to have 2 different rings. One for savory recipes, and the other – for sweet recipes. This will help in avoiding odor exchange.
- I use this Genuine Instant Pot Ring as my second ring. It has over 1,000 positive reviews on Amazon.
- Instant Pot Tempered Glass Lid is a good way to help keep the food warm. You don’t even have to put the heavy pressure lid on!
Can I double this recipe?
Yes, you can double Instant Pot Chicken and Rice. Doing so does not change the cooking time. One cup of rice will take same amount of time to pressure cook as will two cups of rice or three cups.
However, make sure to not fill the instant pot more than half full for rice. That is, NEVER bring food over the maximum full line. This is especially important when rice is concerned. ½ full is your maximum here.
Hungry for more instant pot recipes?
The recipes below are all delicious and very easy to make:
How about Cajun recipes?
Cajun Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot (or small onion), diced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into small chunks
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into small chunks
- 3 green scallions, cut into small chunks
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 cups chicken stock, (divided)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, (more to season chicken)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 1.5 cup jasmine or basmati white rice, (rinsed several times)
- 1 pound chicken breast, (cut in strips)
- Salt and pepper, (to season chicken)
- Dried Oregano Seasoning, (to season chicken)
- Preheat Instant Pot by pressing the “sauté” button.
- Sautéing Veggies: Once IP is hot, add olive oil and then add chopped shallot, red and green bell peppers, scallions, garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Deglaze: MANDATORY STEP! Next add ¼ cup of chicken stock to deglaze the bottom of the Instant Pot, making sure no bits and pieces are stuck to the bottom. This will ensure that nothing is stuck on the bottom to prevent BURN Warning. DO IT VERY WELL – BE GENEROUS WHEN DEGLAZING.
- Next add remaining chicken stock, tomato paste, Cajun seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder and sea salt. Mix and stir to combine and to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom.
- Now add rinsed rice and make sure it’s submerged into the liquid.
- Add sliced chicken and season it generously with salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and Oregano (or Italian Seasoning) right in the pot.
- Then IMMEDIATELY close lid (IMPORTANT!) to avoid water from evaporating. Lock the lid and put valve to Sealing position.
- Push Pressure Cook (this button is also called Manual on some models), set to High Pressure and set the time on the digital display for 8 minutes.
- Pressure Release Method: When the time is up, use 10 minutes of natural pressure release: put the wet towel over the lid, move your face and body away from the lid and move the valve from Sealing to Venting.
- If not using a towel, you will see a straight line of steam shooting vertically from the lid into the sealing, which perfectly normal. Wait until all the steam is out and until the red pin drops, then open the lid.
- Shred the chicken strips with the fork and stir to combine with the rice. Taste an adjust the seasoning at this point.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only. This information comes from online calculators. Although whatsinthepan.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
Try our new favorite Instant Pot recipe Instant Pot Pork Chops:
Angela M says
Flavor is okay. Rice was completely mushy. Not very yummy. Sorry!
So sorry to hear that! Mushy is not good.
This is the second recipe on your website we’ve tried this past week. Excellent. Your details are helpful in planning a recipe.
A pro tip from an old Italian grandmother…when you use tomato paste, always add it to the onion mixture. Cook it down so it creates the “fond” on the bottom of the pan. This method adds a definitive depth of flavor in any kind of dish. Then you continue on and when you add the broth and scrap up all that goodness that lives on the bottom of the pan (fond)…you’ll thank that Grandmother.
Thank you for this wonderful tip!
Can I sub medium grain white rice (or even long grain) instead of what the recipe calls for ?
This recipe is super delicious! My son & husband loved it. I used “Slap Ya Mama” (yellow container) cajun seasoning, which is available on Amazon. Unfortunately, my Instant Pot never got up to pressure, instead I got the “Burn” message twice even though I added extra chicken stock and reduced the rice by 1/4 cup. So, I scooped the chicken & rice mixture out of the Instant Pot, put it in a casserole dish and put it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Then I put it under the broiler so it would get a little crispy on the top.
The next time I make it, I will cook it in on the stove top and then put it under the broiler for a few minutes. I might also add some shrimp the next time and try the hot blend of “Slap Ya Mama” seasoning (red container). Even though using the Instant Pot didn’t work out for me, this recipe is still definitely a keeper!
I’m so glad you modified it into a casserole dish! Very creative!
Can you substitute rice for quinoa? How does it change cooking time? Thank you! I love this recipe so much!
I would reduce time for sure, however I do not know exactly to what. I might make a recipe with quinoa as a test soon to find out.
I am really surprised that you advocate putting a wet towel, or anything for that matter, over the vent when releasing the pressure. Doing so is not recommended by any electric pressure cooker manufacturer.
I was interested in your recipe though, until I noticed the 63g carbs. My hubby is diabetic so I’ll have to figure out how to slim in down some.
Can one substitute ORZO for the rice and if so does it change the cooking time?
Set Instant Pot on Manual High Pressure for 3 minutes and then 10 minutes natural release. Orzo will cook fast, chicken will be done by then too.
Hi! If I use skinless boneless chicken thighs, what would I need to change?
No need to change anything, Mira!
Suzanne Fluker says
I believe the actual name for this recipe is Jambalaya.
Instant Pot Jambalaya – that does sound good.
Could you make this in a crockpot instead? If so, how long would it take? Thanks
To cook it in the crockpot make sure your rice to liquid ration is 1:2. For every 1 cup of rice, use 2 cups of liquid. You would cook on HIGH for 2.5 to 3 hours. And check on the rice after 2.5 hours.