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The Best Brown Rice with an Instant Pot

The Instant Pot transforms the brown rice flawlessly for a quick and nutritious whole grain side dish. Since brown rice is a whole grain, it is a fantastic substitute for a simple carb like white rice or pasta. Using the pressure cooker gives perfect results and is ready faster than the stovetop method.

March 11, 2021

Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Brown Rice

Brown rice is a whole grain and healthy substitute for simple carbs while providing a nutty taste and comfort food pleasure. Using the Instant Pot or pressure cooker also makes it convenient. 

Make Extra for Meal Prep

When I  make brown rice on the stove, I find it dry, lumpy, and not as tasty as white rice. I always buy it at the store but rarely make it because it takes too long, and I prefer white rice texture. That is, however, until I made it in the pressure cooker. Voila, perfect taste and texture, and ready in 30 minutes. The results are so delicious that the standard recipe to serve four is not enough for my family’s appetite. Now I cook a double batch and have leftovers for another meal. 

Can Brown Rice Substitute Any White Rice Recipe?

Yes, you can substitute brown rice for any white rice. I made The Best Basmati Rice Pilaf using brown rice in the pressure cooker, and it was perfect. The liquid proportions are different, and I did not rinse the rice, and the results were spectacular. See the recipe card below for complete directions.

How Much Liquid to Cook Brown Rice in a Pressure Cooker?

When cooking brown rice in a pressure cooker, use 1 to 1.25; 1 cup of rice and 1-1/4 cup water or broth.

Is Brown Rice a Whole Grain?

Yes, brown rice is a whole grain. Brown rice keeps the germ and bran intact and contains thiamine, magnesium, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, fiber, potassium riboflavin, iron, and protein. Eating complex carbs like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables improve the diet. Adding more brown rice is a big win since it is a healthy carbohydrate. I was diagnosed with leaky gut years ago and ate a grain-free diet. It cleared up all my digestive symptoms and issues. When I slowly introduced grain into my diet, I was delighted when rice caused no digestive problems. 

Reverential Rice

According to the Whole Grain Council, rice has a long history and was first cultivated more than 8,000 years ago in China! High maintenance and labor-intensive plant, rice is the staple food of more than half of the world’s population. More than 3.5 billion people depend on rice for approximately 20% of their daily calories. The Council notes that farmers flood the rice paddies to control weed growth and rodent issues. On a recent visit to Japan, I saw beautiful rice paddies in Kyoto on a tour of Shugakuin Imperial Villa. Taking in the breathtaking views, gardens, and rice paddies made me feel transported back to the 17th century when the villa was built for the Emperor. Back to a time when grains were whole and not refined to remove the bran, germ, and nutrients.


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Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Brown Rice

The Best Brown Rice with an Instant Pot

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Karen
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Rice
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Delicious brown rice has earthy and nutty flavors yet mild enough to enhance any meat and vegetables. The Instant Pot or pressure cooker transforms the brown rice flawlessly for a quick and nutritious whole grain side dish.


Units Scale
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup organic brown rice
  • 11/4 cup water or broth (chicken, beef, vegetable)*
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped. optional
  • 1 lime, zested, optional
  • juice of 1 lime, optional


  1. Cook Onions. Set the pressure cooker to saute and pour the olive oil into the pot.  Pour in the onions and salt and cook until soft.
  2. Add the rice to the pot and stir to combine the ingredients.
  3. Add the broth (or water) and cilantro (if using) and give the ingredients a swirl pushing down any grains stuck to the sides or top. Make sure no grains are in the lid channel.
  4. Close and lock the lid. Set the knob to pressure on the dial.
  5. Press the BROWN RICE function and press the start button.
  6. Cook Rice. The 20-minute countdown will begin after the pressure is reached.
  7. Allow the steam to escape naturally. When the timer goes off, allow steam to escape naturally. It takes about 5-10 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork and place it in a serving bowl. Squeeze lime juice into the bowl and top with lime zest.


*The calories and nutritional information includes chicken broth.

Cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice are optional. The recipe is great plain without them or can be used if they enhance the other dishes.

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

Let me know your thoughts on this post!

2 responses to “The Best Brown Rice with an Instant Pot”

  1. Each of the four editor-recommended methods were tested with two cups of the same long-grain brown rice and cooked on the same day using the same eight-quart Instant Pot Max. After we cooked each batch, we cleaned and dried the Instant Pot and let it cool for 30 minutes before beginning the next test. We judged the rice on timing both how long it took the Instant Pot to reach pressure as well as cook time and the texture of the rice. What we re looking for with brown rice is chewy but not too chewy grains that don t clump together. And since we love brown rice for meal prep, we also included some notes on how well each rice fared when we microwaved it the next day.

    • Happy that you liked the brown rice and that it was tasted good as leftovers. Making extra for meal prep is such a good idea.

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Karen the Supper Sanity Home Chef

Welcome to Supper Sanity

Hello, I’m Karen, a very passionate meal planner. As a mother of three, I have been planning family menus for years. When I was diagnosed with a digestive condition, I found it necessary to follow an eating regime that eliminated many ingredients. That made meal planning a health necessity. I’ve learned a lot and want to share my resources to simplify meal planning, shop efficiently and cook affordable homemade meals. If you wish to try new recipes, plan healthier meals, and enjoy a great dinner with your friends and family, Supper Sanity can help.

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