How to cook Basmati Rice in an Instant Pot
This Instant Pot Basmati Rice recipe is SO EASY! After trying this once you won’t look back at your rice cooker. Loaded with buttery goodness, this perfectly cooked basmati rice recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot making cleanup a breeze. Perfect for meal prep!
This post was originally published on April 15th, 2021.
🍚 Instant Pot White Basmati Rice
This is one of those “lightbulb moment” recipes. I’ve had my Instant Pot for well over a year now and haven’t tried making basmati rice in it yet. It even has its own function for it!
This instant pot rice recipe is super quick and easy to throw together. Add all of the ingredients into the pot, set it for 3 minutes on high pressure, and let it do its thing! You don’t even need to stir the ingredients before cooking. Cooking rice in the instant pot also saves time because you don’t need to check it.
The genius of adding butter to this recipe means not only is it packed full of delicious buttery flavor (and who doesn’t want that, right?) but the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot, which is one of my pet peeves when cooking rice on the stove.
Finally, one of my favorite parts of this recipe is that it uses less water than usual. When you cook rice on the stove, you need 1.5 cups of water per cup of rice, whereas to make this basmati recipe, you only need 1 cup of water per cup of basmati. Every little helps when conserving water for our dear planet!
❤️ Why you will love this recipe
Quick: This perfect Indian basmati rice takes less than 20 minutes cooking time! This no soak method is much faster than the stovetop recipe.
Easy: Cooking perfect rice in instant pot is incredibly simple! All you have to do is add your ingredients to the pressure cooker and cook it. This is a hands-off fool-proof recipe.
Less cleanup: The cooked rice doesn’t stick at all to the pressure cooker making cleanup a breeze.
Perfectly cooked rice: This aromatic rice recipe results in perfectly soft and fluffy rice.
Meal prep: Make a large batch of basmati rice in instant pot to last all week! There are so many great dishes to serve this with, and it’s perfect for packed work lunches as well.
Vegan and gluten free: Naturally! You can substitute the butter for vegan butter, coconut oil, or olive oil to skip the dairy.
🗝️ Key Ingredients & Substitutions
Basmati Rice: This cooked rice recipe is strictly for white basmati rice. I haven’t tried to make other rice like brown basmati rice or jasmine rice in my pressure cooker yet, but I will as it’s so easy!
Butter: Butter is optional in this recipe, however, I like it for 2 reasons. 1: It keeps the basmati from sticking to the bottom of the pot. 2: Flavor! Buttery rice is much tastier than plain rice. Feel free to substitute vegan butter or a healthy oil of your choice.
Salt: You can add this to your own taste, but my guideline will give you a good estimate of the needed amount for an average person.
🥣 How to cook Perfect Basmati Rice in Instant Pot
1. Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer to remove excess starch and debris.
2. Add the rinsed rice, water, butter, and salt to the instant pot.
3. Close the pressure cooker lid, ensuring the vent is sealed.
4. Turn off the “keep warm” button and pressure cook the long grain rice on high pressure for 3 minutes and let the pressure release naturally release (about 10-15 minutes).
5. Fluff the cooked rice when it’s finished releasing and serve.
🤔 Can I make Basmati rice inside another pot in the electric pressure cooker?
Absolutely! Here’s how to do it:
- Begin by placing the instant pot steamer rack or trivet in the bottom of the pressure cooker’s inner pot.
- Next, pour in 1 cup of water.
- Add 2 cups of rinsed basmati rice, 2 cups of water, butter, and salt to a small pot or heat-proof glass Tupperware (think oven-safe like Pyrex), and place it on top of the steamer rack in the inner pot.
- Pressure cook the rice following the recipe as it’s written on the recipe card below, allowing the remaining pressure to release naturally when it’s finished with the “keep warm” setting off.
❓ Can I use the rice setting on my instant pot pressure cooker?
For effortlessly cooking white rice, the ‘Rice Setting’ on your Instant Pot is also a great choice. Simply follow the same instructions as you would for Pressure Cook/Manual mode, but instead, opt for the Rice button.
This setting defaults to 12 minutes of cooking time at low pressure, ensuring your rice turns out fluffy and delicious with minimal effort. Enjoy perfectly cooked white rice every time with this handy feature!
Leftover basmati rice can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheat leftover rice in the microwave or on the stove until piping hot. Note: you may need to add a little water if it’s a bit dry.
Freeze cooked basmati rice in a freezer bag or container for up to 6 months. Thaw frozen rice completely before reheating.
🪄 Recipe Notes & Tips
Keep warm: Make sure you turn off the “keep warm” setting on the instant pot. Leaving this on will make the pressure cooker basmati rice stick after it’s finished cooking.
Softer rice: For softer rice, add another 1/4 cup of water per cup of rice. So the water to rice ratio for 1 cup of rice will now be 1 and 1/4 cups of water. 2 cups of rice will need 2 and 1/2 cups of water, and so on.
Mushy rice: Make sure that you don’t add too much water when you’re cooking basmati rice or it will become mushy. For perfect basmati rice, add no more than 1 and 1/4 cups of water per cup of rice. I always do just one cup of water to one cup of rice to make sure it is not mushy and more firm rice. Some might call it “al-dente”!
Do I soak the rice? There is no need to soak basmati rice using this method. Cleaning the rice is recommended because rinsed rice is less starchy but technically you can skip that step as well.
Brown rice: I haven’t tried brown rice with this recipe yet.
💦 What is the rice-to-water ratio for Instant Pot Basmati Rice?
The rice-to-water ratio is 1:1, so 1 cup of rice will need 1 cup of water. When you’re making rice on the stove, the ratio is 1:1.5, so 1 cup of rice would need 1.5 cups of water.
🍛 How much cooked rice per person?
🍽️ How do I serve basmati rice?
I make instant pot basmati to go with any dish I’d usually make rice for. Curries, and stews, they’re all elevated with this rice recipe.
Speaking of stews, I love this rice recipe with both my Vegetarian Beef Stew and my Slow Cooker Beef Stew. They’re both spot on!
Make a rice salad! I love adding rice to my Pickled Beet Salad for a heartier version. I make sure the rice has cooled completely before mixing it in.
This side dish goes perfectly with stir-fries. My Vegan stir-fry is so delicious, and for something a little different be sure to try my Chinese Beef, Tomato, and egg stir fry!
Along the same lines, I serve my Chinese Braised Pork Recipe with a side of this basmati rice recipe.
When I first had Thai Coconut Soup at a fairly legit restaurant, they served it with rice…and that’s how I prefer it! My Whole30 Thai Coconut Soup with Shrimp doesn’t necessarily call for rice as it’s whole30, but it’s great with basmati on the side.
Chili is another favorite that we always serve with rice. Both my Vegan Chili and my White Chicken Chili are great with this recipe.
Make a Burrito Bowl with basmati rice, Chicken Fajitas with peppers and onions, and a drizzle of taco green sauce. SO tasty!
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Instant Pot Basmati Rice Recipe
This Basmati Rice Instant Pot recipe is SO EASY! After trying this once you won't look back at the conventional way of cooking rice. Loaded with buttery goodness, this easy rice recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make and doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot making clean up a breeze. It's gluten-free, and can easily be made vegan.
- 2 cups basmati rice, 360g *see notes
- 2 cups water, 500ml
- 4 tsp salted butter
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- Add basmati rice, water, butter, and salt to the instant pot.
- Close the lid, ensuring the vent is sealed.
- Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes and allow the pressure to naturally release (about 10-15 minutes).
- Remove the rice from the instant pot when finished releasing and serve.
*This is the amount needed for 4 servings. See the chart in the blog post's main body for cooking more or fewer portions.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 137Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 617mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information and calculations will vary with the use of different brands or ingredients. These figures are estimates. Please get in touch if you have questions!