Instant Pot red rice

Instant Pot red rice

Red rice cooked in the Instant Pot is the zero fuss solution to your weeknight dinner. It’s nice to mix things up every so often and having a different carb is the quickest way to do that. At home we have about four types of rice. Basmati, brown rice, risotto rice, black rice and red rice.

As much as his blog is for me to share what I find, cook and eat, it’s also to remind me of how to cook. 

Since buying an Instant Pot I’ve tried a fair few recipes. Quite a few have been duds. The worst recipe was a rice method that didn’t cook properly! I was left with hard, half cooked rice and I had no idea how to rescue it. 

It turns out the method I found didn’t consider different kinds of rice and how they compare in a pressure cooker.

All rice cooks differently

Contrary to my husband’s hopes, you can’t substitute one rice cooking method for another when you change types of rice. This goes for stove top methods too, the absorption method doesn’t work for brown rice.

Most white rice is reasonably interchangeable in the Instant Pot. But once you get to brown, black or red rice it’s a different story. This is because brown, black and red rice have a layer of bran on the outside. Bran is the protective layer of fibre between the inner rice grain and the outer rice husk.

The bran layer slows the cooking process meaning you need more time in the pot to fully cook it.

Cooked red rice.
The beautiful red colour remains after cooking.

Red rice

Red rice gets its colour from the red bran layer around the grain. It’s got a beautiful deep red colour and long thin grains. When it’s cooked the grains burst to reveal the fluffy white insides.

Red rice is something you don’t come across every day. In fact, I’ve only seen it in a few supermarkets and of course online (US).

Where to buy red rice

I came across Pandaroo red rice in Woolworths in the Asian aisle. It comes sealed in a one kilogram brick. Even better, its labelled gluten free. Isn’t all rice gluten free? Yes, but often it is processed in facilities with wheat or other gluten containing products.

There are a few varieties of red rice, the Pandaroo brand contains Thai red Cargo rice. It’s a non-glutinous (non sticky) long grain rice.

I’ve also see Chef’s Choice selling red rice online. I’ve found this brand very good when it comes to clean facilities – no may contain statement for gluten on my lentils!

Using your Instant Pot to make red rice

Like brown rice, red rice takes a looooong time to cook on the stove. Depending on your set up that could mean you are standing by the hob for thirty minutes supervising your pot. Instead, take it easy. Get out your Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Set it up, turn it on, relax.

While the active cooking time for the Instant Pot is fairly long, 20 minutes, it is fuss free. There’s no sautéing beforehand. Just rinse the rice, add the water and off you go.

Storage of red rice

This method makes four serves of red rice using the Instant Pot. If you’re a two person household like me that means leftovers.

Red rice, like all rice, should be cooled and immediately refrigerated for storage. Once you’ve cooked your rice, pack any leftovers in a container and leave them to cool. You can put them in the fridge as soon as they stop steaming – ideally within an hour.

Red rice will keep in the fridge for a few days if it is properly sealed. Personally, I would only keep rice for two days, but it can be kept safely for four.

Reheating your rice

If you are going to store your rice make sure that when you reheat it that it is piping hot. No cold spots, no lukewarm rice. Day-old rice is great for fried rice dishes like Chinese style fried rice, or Indonesian nasi goreng. In both dishes the rice is reheated in a hot pan, ensuring proper food safety.

If you’re eating the rice on it’s own or as a side I recommend using the microwave. Stop the microwave mid-way through reheating to stir the rice, ensuring the heat is evenly distributed.

Instant Pot Red Rice

Perfectly cook your red rice every time using the Instant Pot or any comparable pressure cooker. Save time and enjoy this healthy rice variety.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Release time 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4


  • Instant Pot or comparable pressure cooker
  • Measuring cup


  • 1 cup red rice
  • 1.5 cups water


  • Wash the red rice thoroughly in cold water. This removes excess starch that causes claggy rice.
  • Drain the rice and put it in the Instant Pot / pressure cooker.
  • Add the water and gently stir. Ensure all rice grains are sitting under the water.
  • Put the lid on the Instant Pot and set it to pressure cook mode, high, for 20 minutes.
  • After the cooking time leave the rice to naturally release for ten minutes.
  • After 10 minutes if there is still pressure carefully open the valve to release. Open the lid and use a spoon to stir the rice.
  • If the rice still has moisture, let it sit for five minutes to steam off.
Keyword Instant Pot, Rice

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