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A pressure cooker is a great hands-off method for rice that works every time! Here’s how to make Instant Pot basmati rice.

Instant Pot Basmati Rice

Looking for an easy way to cook rice? If you’ve got a pressure cooker, it’s a rice cooker too. Try this Instant Pot basmati rice! It’s a hands-off method that results in fluffy, perfectly cooked rice in just over 20 minutes. No gummy rice, no risk of over cooking or under cooking it: it’s perfect every time! Alex and I love using a pressure cooker for rice because you essentially “set it and forget it”. This leaves the stove—and our brains—open for preparing the main part of the meal.

What’s basmati rice, anyway?

Basmati rice is a long grain rice traditionally grown in India and the surrounding countries (Pakistan, Nepal, etc). Because of that, it’s best paired with Indian-style curries, like this Easy Chickpea Curry. The flavor is nutty and floral: the name “basmati” comes from the Hindi word for “fragrant”.

Basmati rice fits into a category of rice called “aromatic rice”. These are medium to long grain rice varieties like jasmine rice that have a nutty aroma and flavor. (What’s the difference? See more at Basmati vs Jasmine Rice.)

Instant Pot basmati rice

Tips for how to cook Instant Pot basmati rice

Cooking basmati rice in a pressure cooker is very simple! The hardest part is waiting the 10 minutes for the natural release. Here’s what to remember:

  • You’ll add 1 part basmati rice and 1 part water. The recipe below calls for 2 cups.
  • The cook time on High is 8 minutes (white rice) or 20 minutes (brown rice). Keep in mind it takes about 5 minutes to “preheat” first.
  • Natural release for 10 minutes. Remember to set a timer for 10 minutes so you remember to let out the steam after the natural release!

White rice vs. brown rice

When white rice is so much quicker than brown rice: why eat brown rice? In short: brown rice has more nutrients because it’s less processed. So Alex and I try to eat brown when we have time. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Brown rice is less processed = more nutrients. White rice has its hull, bran and germ removed. Brown rice has only the hull removed, so it keeps the nutrient-packed bran and germ. This means it has more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than white rice.
  • Brown rice has more fiber. 1 cup of cooked white rice has 0.6 grams fiber, but 1 cup cooked brown rice has 3.2 grams of fiber, 13% of your daily need. (Source)

Want more? Go to Brown Rice vs White Rice.

Brown basmati rice vs white basmati rice

Ways to serve Instant Pot basmati rice

Basmati rice is best served with Indian-style curry recipes! While you can’t make these with your pressure cooker, the nice part about Instant Pot basmati rice is that you can set it and forget it. It’s totally hands off, and it frees up the stovetop so you can make the curry. Here are a few of our favorite curry recipes:

  • Easy Chickpea Curry The ultimate healthy and easy weeknight dinner! It’s done in 20 minutes, totally plant based, and full of flavor.
  • Vegetable Curry This easy vegetable curry is the best way to eat your veggies! Cauliflower, bell pepper and chickpeas swim in a flavor-packed broth.
  • Quick Coconut Lentil Curry This coconut lentil curry has it all: it’s a fast and easy dinner idea that’s healthy and full of flavor. Perfect for weeknights!

More Instant Pot rice recipes

We love cooking rice in our Instant Pot, because it’s mainly hands off and comes out perfectly cooked! here are a few more of our pressure cooker rice methods:

Instant Pot Basmati Rice

This Instant Pot basmati rice recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Instant Pot Basmati Rice

Instant Pot Basmati Rice

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 23 minute
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x


A pressure cooker is a great hands-off method for rice that works every time! Here’s how to make Instant Pot basmati rice.


  • 2 cups white or brown basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • Kosher salt


  1. Rinse the rice. Then add it and the water to the Instant Pot and stir. Lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Place the pressure release handle (vent) in the “Sealing” position.
  2. Cook on high pressure for EITHER 8 minutes (white rice) or 20 minutes (brown rice): Press the Pressure Cook button, making sure the “High Pressure” setting is selected, and set the time. Note that it takes about 5 minutes for the pot to “preheat” and come up to pressure before it starts cooking. (During cooking, avoid touching the metal part of the lid.)
  3. Natural release for 10 minutes: After the Instant Pot beeps, set a timer and wait for 10 minutes to let the Instant Pot naturally release pressure. Then vent any remaining steam by moving the vent to “Venting”, covering your hand with a towel or hot pad. Never put your hands or face near the vent when releasing steam. (The pressure indicator in the lid may drop on its own during this time, meaning that there is no remaining steam in the pot.)
  4. Open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in kosher salt to taste. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. (Note: When reheating leftovers, it’s helpful to add a tiny bit of water and then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave — adding the water helps to rehydrate the rice so it’s not dry!)
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Rice
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Instant Pot Basmati Rice, Pressure Cooker Basmati Rice

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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