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4-Ingredient Tomatillo Rice – Instant Pot Recipe

Tomatillo Rice is a 4-ingredient recipe that cooks up in a fast 15 minutes using the Instant Pot. It 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 liked 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 have 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 Instant Pot too.

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!

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.

Common questions about tomatillos:

Can tomatillos be eaten raw? Yes! Raw tomatillos are tart but can be chopped up into salads. Cooking or roasting tomatillos mellow out their flavor and are often made into sauces, added to salsas and dips.
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? Nope. They can be chopped raw or cooked or roasted without peeling.

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 few things you may need:

  • 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!

Pin this delicious Tomatillo Rice recipe to your favorite Sides, Vegetarian, or Mexican food board

4-Ingredient Tomatillo Rice

Do you have a favorite tomatillo recipe? I’d love to use this fruit 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.

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

Two photo collage of two close ups of Tomatillo Rice at different angles in a white bowl garnished with fresh cilantro. The title banner "Tomatillo Rice - Instant Pot Recipe runs through the center.
5 from 15 votes

4-Ingredient Tomatillo Rice – Instant Pot Recipe

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.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Natural Release 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 4
Author Julie Menghini


  • 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


    • 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.



    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.


    Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 278mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 3.9mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1.2mg
    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.
    Tried this recipe? That’s awesome!Mention @hostessatheart or tag #hostessatheart!
    Recipe Rating


    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!


    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.


    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!


    Monday 29th of April 2019

    What a great idea for a Mexican meal! I often make rice for burritos but I know they would be even better with your tomatillo rice. Yet another reason I'm happy I have an instant pot. The rice can cook while I make the rest of dinner and then it's time to eat.

    Julie Menghini

    Wednesday 1st of May 2019

    Thank you! It took me a while to get on the Instant Pot bandwagon but I'm really enjoying it now.

    Kylee from Kylee Cooks

    Monday 29th of April 2019

    I need to pull my instant pot out again and dust it off! This recipe looks like the one I needed to get me started again. Can't wait!

    Julie Menghini

    Wednesday 1st of May 2019

    Thank you, Kylee!