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4-Ingredient Tomatillo Rice – Instant Pot Recipe

Tomatillo Rice is a 4-ingredient recipe that cooks up in less than 30 minutes using the Instant Pot and canned tomatillos. This tomatillo rice recipe makes a great side dish and is delicious stuffed into your favorite burrito recipe.

Top-down view of two white bowls of Tomatillo Rice garnished with fresh cilantro on a green napkin next to two forks.

Tomatillo Rice is so easy to make. It’s nice and fluffy and never sticky. It tastes great right next to your favorite Mexican recipe or makes a flavorful filling in burritos.

It’s been several years since we were first introduced to a green salsa made from tomatillos at a Mexican restaurant that we like. I was so smitten (yep I said smitten) that I asked the waitress for the recipe. She gave us her mother’s tomatillo recipe and we tried it shortly thereafter.

First of all, it was quite a bit of work. Secondly, it was so hot that I’ve just now recovered. It was a great start though.

We love tomatillos so much that we wanted a tomatillo recipe that wasn’t salsa.

What are Tomatillos?

I was really curious about what a tomatillo actually is. We grew up eating green tomatoes and these are kind of like them, right? It turns out, like tomatoes, it’s a member of the nightshade family but a totally different plant. Scientists have actually found tomatillo fossils dating back 52 million years in Argentina!

Tomatillos are not hot. They’re sour and bitter. The most common tomatillo recipes include sauces, salsas, and dips.

Is Green Rice and Tomatillo Rice the same thing?

No. Mexican Green Rice is a Cilantro Rice Pilaf and traditionally has poblano chiles, onions, cilantro, parsley, carrots, and peas.

A green napkin topped with a white bowl piled high with tomatillo rice and sprinkled with fresh cilantro. A second bowl sits in the background.

Tomatillo Rice Recipe Ingredients

  • Rice – I used brown rice but traditionally Mexican rice is made with long-grain white rice.
  • Tomatillos – Canned Tomatillos are what I used. They’re flavorful and a lot less work than using fresh.
  • Chicken stock – Low fat and low sodium are what I prefer. You can use vegetable stock for a vegetarian tomatillo rice recipe option.
  • Butter – A small amount of butter adds flavor to this tomatillo rice recipe.

How do you make this recipe for tomatillo rice?

Please note, that the printable recipe card has ingredient quantities, complete instructions, and nutritional information. The following is a quick overview of the recipe.

  1. Puree the can of tomatillos in a blender.
  2. Add all of the ingredients to the instant pot and stir to combine. Replace the lid and close the vent valve. Set the instant pot for 15 minutes at high pressure. When the 15 minutes is up let the instant pot release naturally for 10 minutes and then do a quick release.
  3. Fluff up the rice and serve.

Tomatillo Rice Variations

  • We love cilantro tomatillo rice so I stir it into the cooked rice as well as garnish the top. Other delicious toppings include diced tomatoes, green onion, and Cotija cheese.
  • Add chopped jalapenos or onion to the rice before cooking.
  • Add chicken! Chicken and tomatillo rice is a delicious tomatillo recipe! Chicken and tomatillo rice can be cooked together just like we did in this electric cooker Chicken and Rice recipe

We love this recipe as a side dish especially when we have Green Chili!

Tips for the perfect Instant Pot Tomatillo Rice

  • I’ve had readers say that their rice had too much liquid after cooking it in the instapot. I use brown rice. If you use a different variety it may need a different cooking time.
    • If the rice is watery but cooked use less liquid next time.
    • If the rice isn’t cooked completely, increase the cooking time.

Common FAQs about tomatillos:

Can tomatillos be eaten raw?

Yes! Raw tomatillos are tart but can be chopped up into salads. Tomatillos do not need to be cooked, however, cooking or roasting tomatillos mellow out their flavor.

How do you know when a tomatillo is ripe?

Tomatillos are ripe when green and should be picked when their husk has burst. They can also be purple or yellow.

How do you prepare fresh tomatillos?

Remove the husk which is like a thin paper. Rinse to remove the sticky residue I often use a citrus-based fruit and vegetable wash that works well to remove the sticky film.

Do tomatillos need to be peeled?

No. They can be chopped raw or cooked or roasted without peeling.

What you need for this Tomatillo Rice Instant Pot Recipe

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  • 6-Qt 9-in-1 Programmable Instant Pot – I really recommend this Instant Pot. It has been so easy getting to know. I have the 8-quart size but the 6-quart size would be adequate for most recipes.
  • Silicone Spatulas –  This pretty set has a flat side and a curved side to take on your toughest job. I love that they are all one piece and can withstand 500°F! Throw out those old chipped ones and treat yourself!

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

Table view of cilantro rice in a bowl

4-Ingredient Tomatillo Rice – Instant Pot Recipe

Author: Julie Menghini
4-Ingredient Tomatillo Rice cooks up in a fast 15 using an Instant Pot.  It's a perfect side to your Mexican meal or a great filler for your favorite burrito recipe.
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Natural Release 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Mexican, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword: Tomatillo Rice
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup brown rice rinsed
  • 1 cup tomatillos *canned pureed
  • 1 cup chicken stock low sodium – vegetable broth or water will work too
  • 2 tsp butter

Fresh Cilantro Garnish is optional

    Instructions
     

    • Puree the can of tomatillos in a blender.  You will only use 1 cup.  The remaining puree can be frozen or use it in your favorite salsa recipe.
    • Add all of the ingredients to the instant pot and stir to combine.  Replace the lid and close the vent valve.  Set the instant pot for 15 minutes at high pressure.  When the 15 minutes is up let the instant pot release naturally for 10 minutes and then do a quick release.

    Video

    Notes

    I’ve only been able to find the 28oz-sized can.  I would get a smaller one if I could find one.  You will only use 1 cup.  The remaining puree can be used to make salsa or other sauces.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 5gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 105mgPotassium: 278mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 100IUVitamin C: 3.9mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 1.2mg

    Nutritional Disclaimer

    This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

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    4-Ingredient Tomatillo Rice

    If you like this recipe, we would appreciate your comment and a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review!

    We liked Mexican tomatillos so much that we actually planted a couple. Note to self one plant produces enough fruit for the whole neighborhood! For this recipe, I actually used canned tomatillos.

    Fresh definitely has their place but the canned tomatillos work perfectly in this recipe. They worked perfectly in my Poblano Pork Stew over Tomatillo Rice. That rice was made without an IP too.

    Do you have a favorite tomatillo recipe? I’d love to use Mexican tomatillos a lot more and would love it if you’d share it with us by posting it in the comments below.

    Or, send me an email. I answer all of my own correspondence and never share or sell your contact information.

    This post was originally released in 2019 so it was time for an update. Detailed instructions, tips, and FAQs have been added to improve our readers’ experience. No changes were made to the recipe.

    Recipe Rating




    Pamikins

    Tuesday 22nd of August 2023

    Ohhh Julie, this looks FAB! Searching for some other ways to use up my HUGE tomatillo harvest and I found your awesome recipe. Each year, I can salsa verde with my jalapenos, tomatillos and cilantro. This year, I will do some in half pints (1 cup) so that I can easily make your Tomatillo Rice. YUMMO!

    Julie Menghini

    Tuesday 22nd of August 2023

    Thank you so much! I'd love to have a pantry full of fresh salsa verde with canned tomatillos! That would be like gold in the bank. This https://hostessatheart.com/green-mole-chicken-enchiladas/ would be amazing with your salsa verde too!

    Ali

    Tuesday 25th of July 2023

    Mine goes to the burn notification each time I try this. Any ideas? I added a little more liquid but it was still wet and super chewy. Not sure what I’m doing wrong.

    Julie Menghini

    Thursday 27th of July 2023

    I've never had that issue, Ali. 1:1 rice and water or 1 rice to 1.25 water is all you should need. Do you have a rice setting on your instant pot? I've always just used the manual high pressure setting but if you have a rice setting you may want to try that?

    Gabriele

    Thursday 10th of September 2020

    Hey, i was wondering if you can use fresh tomatillo instead of caned ? and if i have to do anything different if i use fresh, thank you in advance.

    Julie Menghini

    Monday 14th of September 2020

    You can but canned tomatillos are packed in the juice so after you puree them make sure you have a total 2 cups. You can compensate with more chicken stock or whatever liquid you're using. Thanks for stopping by!

    Mike

    Thursday 16th of July 2020

    What would the time be if I used long grain white rice? I have a huge bag!

    Julie Menghini

    Friday 17th of July 2020

    No difference. I've used both.

    Dana

    Monday 29th of April 2019

    I can't wait to make this over and over again! It's so easy. I've always wanted to do something with tomatillos, but whenever I'd see them, I wouldn't have anything in mind so I'd refrain. This is a great way to use them, though. And I'm sure anyone who has ever made rice in the Instant Pot would agree that IP rice is the ONLY rice. It always cooks to perfection!

    Julie Menghini

    Wednesday 1st of May 2019

    Thank you, Dana! The instant pot is the only way to go when it comes to making rice!

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