InstantPot Perfect Brown Rice Pilaf

Cooking brown rice has never been easier! The InstantPot (or any pressure cooker) comes to the rescue in this recipe creating the most deliciously light and fluffy brown rice pilaf.

InstantPot Brown Rice Pilaf

Disclaimer: there are a few Amazon affiliate links for the pressure cookers below (which is where I bought mine from); feel free to shop around for the best price!

InstantPot to the rescue again! When I first posted about the InstantPot (and pressure cooking in general) over six months ago, I wondered if all the world would still be enamored with the InstantPot come mid-year. I haven’t done any type of scientific research, but judging by the number of requests I get for InstantPot/pressure cooking recipes, I’d say the love is still going strong.

I use my InstantPot and stovetop pressure cooker all the time. Several times a week, at least – and often I have both going simultaneously around dinnertime. I’m a huge fan (or perhaps just a big pressure cooking nerd), and that’s an understatement.

Here is a growing list of my favorite pressure cooker recipes.

InstantPot Brown Rice Pilaf

I’ve been making simple brown rice in the InstantPot for months now (1 1/4 cups liquid + 1 cup brown rice + pinch of salt for 22 minutes, natural release), but a few weeks ago I wanted to elevate the already delicious brown rice just a touch to go with this tender grilled salmon (heads up: that right there is a perfect combo for dinner).

Taking a minute to quickly sauté onions or shallots in butter, lightly toasting the rice and using broth instead of water, takes every day brown rice (that’s pretty stellar in the InstantPot already) and makes it a million times better.

And it’s not really any harder than my usual brown rice system. This InstantPot brown rice pilaf is good stuff and pairs well with so many dishes.

Brown rice is deliciously wholesome, but it can be a bit tricky to cook perfectly so it’s fluffy and tender (anyone who’s had to eat crunchy nubbins of brown rice due to inept cooking is totally feeling me on this issue, am I right?). Pressure cooking the brown rice into a pilaf (basically adding a bit more flavor) is the perfect solution to all brown rice woes.

What are you using your InstantPot for these days? 

One Year Ago: Healthier Chocolate No-Bake Cookies
Two Years Ago: Fresh Strawberry Gelato {i.e. Italian Ice Cream}
Three Years Ago: Grilled Honey Chicken and Veggie Kebabs

InstantPot Brown Rice Pilaf

Yield: Serves 6

InstantPot Brown Rice Pilaf

This recipe can easily be made in a stovetop pressure cooker. Decrease the cooking time to 22 minutes.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion or shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain or basmati brown rice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Add the butter to the insert of the InstantPot and select the saute function. When the butter melts, add the onion and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions is starting to turn translucent, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and cook for 30-45 seconds, stirring constantly.
  3. Stir in the garlic and broth.
  4. Secure the lid. Select Manual and decrease the time to 22 minutes.
  5. After the cook time is over, let the pressure naturally release. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the parsley. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe