Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls

This recipe is spicy! If you'd prefer less spice, replace the chipotle peppers with a heaping spoonful of smoked paprika and omit the jalapeno.

This recipe works best in a 6-quart pressure cooker. If you are using a larger pressure cooker, add a 1/2 cup of water or broth to the sauce mixture in the blender, or double the recipe to ensure there is enough liquid to get the pot up to pressure.

You can also use bone-in, skin-on chicken in this recipe (up to 3 1/2 pounds).

The chicken can also be used for things like tacos, burritos, quick chicken chili, or enchiladas.

Stovetop Instructions: Simmer the chicken thighs in the sauce in a covered soup pot or dutch oven for 30 minutes, until tender. Cook the rice in a separate pot.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


For the chipotle chicken:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce (from a can)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 medium limes)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs

For the rice:

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 medium green onions, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

To serve:

  • 2 ounces crumbled cotija cheese
  • 12 thin slices jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges

Special equipment:


1 Make the sauce: In a blender, combine the garlic, onion, chipotle peppers, water, lime juice, honey, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Blend for about a minute, until it becomes a smooth sauce. If necessary, scrape down the sides of the blender halfway through blending.

Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls

2 Mix the chicken with the sauce: Put the chicken thighs in the pot of a 6-quart or larger electric pressure cooker, then pour the sauce over the chicken and stir to evenly coat the chicken in the sauce.

Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls

3 Nestle a raised steam rack in with the chicken. Make sure all of its legs are touching the bottom of the pot.

Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls

4 Rinse the rice. Place the rice in a wire mesh strainer and rinse under running water. Let it drain for a minute or so, then combine the rice with a cup of water in a small (1 ½-quart) stainless steel mixing bowl.

Place the bowl of rice and water on top of the steam rack in the pot. The bowl should fit snugly inside the pot; make sure that you can still lock the lid of the pressure cooker closed.

Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls

5 Cook the chicken and rice: Secure the lid on the pressure cooker. Make sure the pressure regulator is set to the “Sealing” position.

If you are using an Instant Pot, select the “Poultry” or “Manual” program, then adjust the time to 15 minutes. If your pressure cooker does not have a “Poultry” program, set it manually to “High Pressure” for 15 minutes. For stovetop pressure cookers, cook for 12 minutes at high pressure.

It will take about 15 minutes for your pressure cooker to come up to pressure, and then the actual cooking will begin. Total time from the time you seal the pressure cooker to the end of cooking is about 30 minutes.

Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls

6 Release the pressure: When the cooking time ends, let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes, then perform a quick pressure release by moving the pressure release knob from “Sealing” to “Venting.”

Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls

7 Fluff the rice: Wearing a pair of heat-proof mitts, remove the bowl of rice and the steam rack from the pot.

Fluff the rice with a fork and mix in the cilantro, green onions, jalapeño, lime juice, and salt.

Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken and Rice BowlsPressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls

8 Working in the pot, shred the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces with two forks.

Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls

9 Serve: Divide the rice between individual bowls and spoon the chicken on top, along with a some of its sauce. Top each bowl with the cotija cheese, sliced jalapeño, and a wedge of lime.

Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls

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  • jennifer

    sooooo yummy and so easy to make. keeping this one in the vault!


  • courtney

    We made this with chicken breasts and it was a fast, easy, good dinner, and less spicy than I expected (our adventurous 1yo daughter ate some happily). We simplified by just mincing up the chipotle chile and onion and garlic and skipping the entire blender step which turned out great and reduced the number of dishes to clean. We also didn’t have any lime juice so we used lemon which was probably not as good, but sufficed for weeknight dinner. The trick with the rice is amazing. Will be extrapolating that to all sorts of recipes.


    • Susan

      Thanks for the tip on making it without the blender – it is a little messy. I always throw bell peppers and sliced onions on top – yummy. Making it for the 3rd time tonight but I don’t do the rice as I don’t have the steam rack. I use the filling for great tacos!

  • Sarita

    I made this last night and it was a huge hit! We will be using this rice with a lot of different meals. Thank you for the tip about the sauce in an 8qt pressure cooker, I doubled it & it was perfect. I am going to make enchiladas with the leftovers tonight.


  • Hugh P

    This is so great- Thank you Coco!! I ran out and bought your book and we’re cooking our way through it with all A+’s for everything so far! We had to take the toned-down spice route on this recipe for the sake of the children, but will not spare them next time…although the meal was still a 10 for the grown ups. The cilantro rice on it’s own warrants five stars! Keep ’em coming!!


    • Coco Morante

      Hi Hugh, I’m just seeing this comment now and wanted to say you’re so welcome! I will have a new book coming out in October, and more recipes here all the time, of course. So glad you enjoyed this dish!

  • Michelle

    Ahhh-maz-ing !!

  • Beth Mann

    How long would you cook if you used breasts instead of thighs? Using the Insta Pot.

    • Coco Morante

      Hi Beth,

      If you’re planning to make this with the rice on top, it should cook for the same amount of time (15 minutes with a 10 minute pressure release). If you will just be cooking the chicken breasts in sauce, you can lower the cooking time to as little as 8 minutes and perform a quick pressure release. Enjoy!

  • Hope

    Wondering if you can use a crock pot just for the chicken and then cook rice separately?

    • Coco Morante

      Sure! If you’re using a slow cooker, I’d try 3 hours on the high setting or 6 hours on low.

  • Coco Morante

    Awesome, I hope you enjoy it, Paige!