Instant Pot Cheesy Chipotle Chicken and Rice

Let me just start out by saying:

 6 MINUTES in the instant pot. 6. MIN.UTES.

You will not believe how it tastes like you spent hours making this. The chicken is tender, the flavors are melded together in cheesy bliss, and the rice is perfectly al dente.

Although “chipotle” is in the name, it is very very mild (want more heat? Add up to an extra tablespoon of adobo sauce). My kids eat this, and believe me, they loathe spicy things!

Now lets talk for a moment about the Arborio rice. This type of rice is the same rice that is used in risotto and it’s used for a specific purpose in this dish, so hear me out before you go subbing it out for regular rice 😉 Arborio is a short grained rice which means it is going to release way more starch as it cooks making this dish super creamy without adding thickening agents such as cornstarch or flour. I know it is more expensive than regular brown or white rice, but it is totally worth the investment! This dish is so comforting (and EASY!) on a cool night and I think you’re going to fall in love with it! My favorite brand is Rice Selects and it comes in a convenient container with a screw top lid so you won’t lose any of your precious grains to an easy spill! This is the best price I’ve come upon for arborio rice >>> RiceSelect Arborio Rice, 32 Ounce Jar (Pack of 4)

As always this dish is gluten free and you could easily sub your favorite non-dairy cheese and milk to make it dairy free as well (just keep in mind, some dairy free cheeses don’t melt as well as others so choose accordingly)! A slow cooker could work for this, but I am sure the liquid amounts would vary. Do some research and test it out if you’re feeling spicy 🙂


makes 4-6 servings

•1 medium yellow onion, diced
•3 cloves of garlic, minced
•2 tsp kosher salt (1 1/2 tsp fine salt)
•1/2 tsp pepper
•1 tsp smoked paprika
•1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (secret weapon for making this so good)
•1 14oz can petite diced tomatoes with juices (fire roasted or regular)
•1/2 can of water (from the tomatoes – it’s about 1 cup)
•2 teaspoons adobo sauce (more or less to taste – a little goes a long way) (from can of “chipotle peppers in adobo” or Frontera brand sells “Chipotle Adobo sauce” in a convenient jar which is what I buy) >>>
•1 1/2 to 2 lb chicken tenderloins (fresh, not frozen)

Stir in after cooking:
•1/4 cup heavy cream
•3/4 cup cheddar cheese


1. After you’ve prepared the onion and garlic, set your instant pot to sauté mode and let it heat for one minute.
2. Place one tablespoon of cooking oil of choice (extra virgin or canola) in the instant pot and sauté the onions and garlic for one minute.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the instant pot. (chicken tenders, 1 1/2 Cups Arborio rice, salt and pepper, petite diced tomatoes, 1/2 can of water (a tad less than 1 cup), 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, and 1 teaspoon smoked paprika). Stir to mix well.
4. Place the lid on and set lid vent to “sealing.”
5. Press “cancel” then press “manual” and use the arrow buttons to place 6 minutes on the timer display. No need to press any other buttons as the pot will beep 3 times and then start automatically.
6. When the timer finishes, press cancel, then carefully flip the valve to “vent” to do a quick pressure release. (I like to place a towel over the vent when I do this so it’s not as intense)
7. Stir in 1/4 cup heavy cream and 3/4 cup cheddar cheese until melted and serve.
*Top with cilantro, sour cream, and/or avocado if desired


If you’re short on time, you can skip the saute on the onions and garlic and just add them in with step 3.



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