Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas and Rice

By: Amber

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Instant Pot chicken fajitas and rice makes for a fantastic weeknight dinner! Chicken, rice, bell peppers, and onions are all cooked together in the Instant Pot to give you the classic flavors of fajitas with the ease of a one-pot meal.

instant pot chicken fajitas and rice

This month, we've been dedicated to bringing you a new one-pot meal every week – and these Instant Pot chicken fajitas may be our favorite of all of them! We've taken the ease of our reader-favorite lemon chicken and rice skillet and made it even better by using our favorite Mexican flavors and making it in the Instant Pot instead of the stovetop.

Why Make Chicken Fajitas in the Instant Pot?

While we love classic fajitas done in the cast iron or on the grill, they don't exactly lend themselves to easy weeknight cooking. These chicken fajitas, on the other hand, can be made in under 30 minutes with the help of the Instant Pot, and you'll get a full meal that's all cooked in the same pot. Better yet, this recipe delivers a ton of flavor, and is completely fool-proof!

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas and Rice

Here's how to make this chicken fajitas and rice recipe:

  1. Chop the fajita veggies. Instead of slicing up bell peppers and onions as you'd see in a traditional fajita recipe, we chose to chop them up for this recipe. This serves two purposes – first, it gives the rice incredible flavor, and second, we found that putting the veggies in sliced left them overcooked and flavorless.
  2. Cook the veggies. One of our favorite Instant Pot features is the fact that you can sear and saute in the pot before pressure cooking. You'll cook the garlic, onion, and bell pepper until just wilted – this prevents the dish from taking on a raw onion flavor.
  3. Season the chicken. Since we wanted this to be a simple weeknight dinner, you'll simply season the chicken instead of giving it a longer marinade (though you absolutely can marinate it longer if you'd like). We recommend using chicken breast tenders or boneless, skinless chicken thighs here because boneless, skinless chicken breast has a tendency to dry out. Place the chicken in a bowl and toss it with a few Mexican seasonings, lime juice, coconut aminos, and salt, then set aside.
  4. Rinse the rice. Don't skip this step! Before adding the rice to the Instant Pot, place it in a strainer and rinse it thoroughly. This will ensure the rice cooks properly.
  5. Add everything to the pot. Once the veggies are cooked, you'll add the rice to the pot along with the chicken broth and salt and whisk it all together, then place the chicken on top.
  6. Seal the pot and cook. Next, you'll simply place the lid on the pot, make sure it is sealed, then set it to cook for 12 minutes. Once the timer goes off, let it sit for 10 minutes, then manually release the pressure.
  7. Slice the chicken. To make this a little more classic fajita-style as we did, you can remove the chicken from the pot and slice it into thin strips. If you'd prefer, you can also easily shred the chicken. Once you've finished with that step, you're ready to eat!

instant pot chicken fajitas and rice in a metal pot garnished with limes and chopped cilantro

How to Serve Instant Pot Fajita Chicken & Rice

We recommend either making these chicken fajitas into tacos and serving the rice on the side or making some epic chicken fajita bowls! You can round out your bowls or tacos with some extra lime wedges, sliced avocados or guacamole, salsa, and cheese for the perfect meal. We hope you love this one-pot dinner as much as we do!

More Instant Pot Dinner Recipes

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Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas and Rice

instant pot chicken fajitas and rice in a metal pot garnished with limes and chopped cilantro

Chicken, rice, and fajita veggies are all cooked in the Instant Pot for a delicious one-pot meal that's done in under 30 minutes! **Note: this recipe has been updated with instructions to prevent the Instant Pot ‘burn' warning**

  • Author: Amber Goulden
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 5
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

For the Rice

For the Chicken

For Serving

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • Fresh chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Set the Instant Pot to ‘saute’ mode, then add the olive oil to the pot. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the onion and bell pepper are slightly browned, then turn off the pot.
  2. While the onion and pepper cook, add the chicken breast tenders to a bowl along with the lime juice, coconut aminos, and spices and toss to combine, then set aside.
  3. Remove the cooked veggies from the pot, then pour in the chicken broth and salt, and scrape the bottom of the pot with a whisk or spatula to bring up all of the browned bits.
  4. Add the chicken to the pot, then the cooked vegetables, and the rice.
  5. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and ensure that the pressure release valve is set to ‘sealed,’ then set it to cook for 12 minutes on the manual setting.
  6. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then turn the pressure release valve to ‘venting.’
  7. Take the lid off of the pot and remove the chicken and thinly slice it. Stir the lime juice into rice and taste, adding salt if needed. Return the sliced chicken to the pot, garnish with cilantro, and serve!

Notes

  • You can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in place of the tenders. We recommend against using boneless, skinless chicken breast as it will dry out.
  • To prevent the burn warning, make sure you rinse the rice, scrape the the browned bits off the bottom of the pot when you remove the vegetables, and add the chicken thighs to the bottom of the pot.
  • If you do receive the burn warning, open up the Instant Pot, scrape the bottom of the pot, and add an additional 1/2 cup of broth, then continue cooking.

Keywords: chicken, instant pot, fajitas, mexican food

Comments

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  1. Danielle says:

    I can’t find coconut aminos where I live. What can I use as a substitute?

  2. Amanda says:

    When I make rice only in my instant pot, it only takes 6 minutes. Would the extra cooking time in this recipe overcook the rice maybe?

    1. Amanda says:

      That makes sense! Thank you!

  3. Anna says:

    Any idea how brown rice would affect the cooking time? I am trying to avoid a trip to the store. 🙂 Thanks!

  4. Analy says:

    I got the dreaded instapot “burn”…any idea what I could have done wrong? I used jasmine rice so maybe that was it?

    1. Amanda Redinger says:

      I also got the burn — twice!

    2. Jena says:

      You might try stirring the rice and liquid (before placing the chicken in) so that the dry rice isn’t coating the bottom. Also make sure the vent is closed (I know I forget sometimes!) so that you much of the liquid doesn’t steam out!

  5. Karen says:

    If I use chicken thighs, do I need to put them in whole or make chicken “strips” out of them before adding to instant pot?

  6. B. King says:

    This was easy and delicious! My family and I really liked the flavors. (Be sure to add the lime juice at the end, because it ties all the flavors together!) The only thing I may do differently next time is slightly reduce the amount of rice, just because it makes too much for my little family.

  7. Shelley says:

    Do you think cauliflower rice could replace the white rice?

  8. Mandy says:

    I, too, got the burn message twice. Anyone figure out how to prevent this? I followed the recipe exactly in an 8 quart IP. I did stir well before adding the chicken. I’ve never had this happen before and I’ve done several chicken and rice recipes. The dish itself is delicious, but I do have quite a bit of burned rice on the bottom of my pot.

  9. Katie says:

    Do have any idea how to adjust cooking time to sub quinoa for rice?

  10. BEth C says:

    Made this tonight for the family. Easy, quick meal with ingredients that are easy to have on hand. Rice turned out to be my favorite part. Might do 2 lbs of meat next time for our crew

  11. Jess says:

    My daughter wanted me to comment because she absolutely loved this recipe! She’s 8 and a pretty good eater but also particular, so this is Abbie-Grace approved!
    We added fresh green beans with the peppers because we had some from the farmers market. Kept everything else the same and it worked out perfectly!!!! Thank you so much for the recipe 🙂

  12. Laura says:

    I’ve made this 3 times already! It’s become one of our favorite recipes on IP, so, so good!